Julie Egypt 18 Comments

The Cairo Pass is a ticket that allows you to visit all of the main sites in Cairo and Giza. The Luxor Pass is ticket that allows you to visit all of the archaeological sites on the East Bank and West Bank of Luxor.

In this article, get all of the details on how these passes work, how much they cost, how to get one, and if they are worth it.

The Cairo Pass

The Cairo Pass gives you free entry to the sites in Cairo, Giza, Dahshur, Saqqara, and Mit Rahina. These sites include the Egyptian Museum, the Museum of Islamic Art, the Coptic Museum, Saladin Citadel, all sites on the Giza Plateau, all sites at Saqqara, the Red and Bent Pyramids in Dahshur, and the sites in Historic Cairo.

The Cairo Pass costs $100 USD or 90 euros. It is valid for 5 days.

Where Can You Purchase the Cairo Pass?

Points of sale for the Cairo Pass include the Egyptian Museum, the Giza Plateau, and Saladin Citadel. It is also available at the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities office at 3 El-Adel Abubakr St. in Zamelak, Cairo.

You will need your passport, two black and white photocopies of your main passport page, and two passport photos. Students will need a valid student identification card. To purchase the Cairo Pass, you will pay with US dollars or euros and these need to be crisp, new bills, in perfect condition.

Is the Cairo Pass Worth It?

For most people, the answer is no. To make it worth the $100 USD, you need to visit A LOT of sites in Cairo and Giza, OR plan on more than one visit to the Giza Plateau and/or the Egyptian Museum.

I added it up and it costs $100 USD to visit these sites: the inclusive ticket to the Egyptian Museum, the inclusive ticket to the Giza Plateau, Saladin Citadel, Bab Zuweila, the Coptic Museum, the Islamic Art Museum, the Step Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara, the pyramids in Dahshur, and the Memphis open-air museum. If you visit all of these, you will just break even with the cost of the Cairo Pass.

If you don’t plan on visiting all of these sites while in Cairo, the Cairo Pass is not worth it.

However, with the Cairo Pass, you can visit the Giza Plateau and the Egyptian Museum multiple times. These are the biggest ticket items in Cairo. One visit to the Giza Plateau, if you purchase the inclusive ticket (which allows you to go inside the Khufu Boat Museum and the Great Pyramid) costs 600 EGP (roughly $39 USD). If you think you will go twice, you will pay $80 (for two inclusive tickets).

Giza Plateau

The Luxor Pass

The Luxor Pass is a single ticket that includes all of the archaeological sites on the West Bank and East Bank of Luxor. There are two versions of this pass.

The standard Luxor Pass includes all of the sites on the East and West Bank, with the exception of the tombs of Seti I and Nefertari. The Luxor Pass costs $100 USD for adults and $50 USD for people under 30 years with a valid student ID card. In euros, the fee is €90 for adults and €45 for students.

The Premium Luxor Pass includes all of the archaeological sites on the East and West Banks, as well as the tombs of Seti I and Nefertari. The Luxor Premium Pass costs $200 USD for adults and $100 USD for people under 30 years with a valid student ID card. In euros, the fee is €180 for adults and €90 for students.

The passes are valid for 5 days.

These passes also give you entry in each site without waiting in line. However, during our visit in 2019, we never had to wait in a queue to enter any site in Egypt.

Karnak

Karnak Temple

Where Can You Buy the Luxor Pass?

The Luxor Pass can be purchased at the main antiquities administration offices (including the Antiquities Inspectorate Ticket Office on the West Bank of Luxor) as well as the ticket booths at Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings.

You will need your passport, two black and white photocopies of your main passport page, and two passport photos. Students will need a valid student identification card. To purchase the Luxor Pass, you will pay with US dollars or euros and these need to be crisp, new bills, in perfect condition.

Is the Luxor Pass Worth It?

If you plan to visit Luxor for two days, with visits to everything we list on our West Bank of Luxor post, as well the main sites on the East Bank, then the Luxor Pass is worth it.

These sites include:

  • The Valley of the Kings (including the tombs of Tutankhamun and Ramesses V and VI)
  • Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
  • Valley of the Queens
  • Medinet Habu
  • Ramesseum
  • Deir el-Medina (Valley of the Artisans)
  • Tombs of the Nobles
  • Temple of Seti I
  • Howard Carter House
  • Karnak Temple
  • Luxor Temple
  • Luxor Museum
  • Mummification Museum

All of these add up to a grand total of 1970 EGP, excluding the tombs of Nefertari and Seti I. The price of 1970 EGP includes the additional tombs of Tutankhamun, Ramesses V and VI, and Pashedu. 1970 EGP = $126 USD as of December 2020.

If you also plan to visit both of the tombs of Seti I and Nefertari, then the Premium Pass is worth it.

Even if you don’t plan to visit everything on this list, I recommend adding up the cost that you expect to spend. If your total comes close to $100 (for example, if you think you will spend $90 USD) then it still could be worth it to purchase the Luxor Pass. In my opinion, it is worth a little extra money to purchase the Luxor Pass, in order to save yourself the time and hassle of visiting multiple ticket booths (and ATM’s).

Important Note: The Cairo Pass and the Luxor Pass does not include the sound and light shows at the Giza Plateau and in Luxor.

Queen Nefertari

Inside the tomb of Queen Nefertari

Cairo Pass + Luxor Pass

If you purchase both passes, you get a discount. If you purchase the Cairo Pass at full price you get 50% off of the Luxor Pass.

Cairo Pass + Standard Luxor Pass: $100 USD + $50 USD = $150 USD
Cairo Pass + Premium Luxor Pass: $100 USD + $100 USD = $200 USD

If you plan to purchase both passes together, your best bet is to do this at the Cultural Affairs Department (I have also seen it written as the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities office) in Cairo. One of our awesome readers wrote in and shared his experience with us (thank you Ankur!). He arrived at the office at 9 am and it took about 30 minutes to process his paperwork and give him both passes.

Here is Ankur’s experience, in his own words (and you can see his full comment below): I did go there at 9AM. However they requested that I come back at 10 AM to apply for the passes. Honestly, this is Egyptian Government office, and the man there basically did not want to be bothered by me first thing as they opened. Once I came back at 10 AM, the man in charge left, lol, and there were two women there who were very helpful in getting me the pass and its process took about 30 minutes. Therefore I would advised getting there around 10 or after, since the Office is middle of nowhere (in terms for touristy things to do). I basically wondered the streets from 9 to 10 AM. Could have used that to sleep in!

The Cultural Affairs Department is located at 3 El-Adel Abubakr St. in Zamelak, Cairo. Their hours of operation are 9 am to 3 pm Sunday to Thursday.

Most places in Cairo do not sell the Luxor Pass, so most likely, you will not be able to purchase both passes at the Egyptian Museum or the Giza Plateau. If you visit Luxor after Cairo, I am not sure how easy it is to purchase the Luxor Pass with the 50% discount.

The Cairo Pass and the Luxor Pass are rather new, and from what I have read, not everyone, including the ticket attendants in Egypt, are familiar with the passes. From his experience, Ankur recommended printing a copy of the information sheet for the Luxor and Cairo Pass to show any ticket attendants who are not familiar with these passes.

Medinet Habu

Medinet Habu on the West Bank of Luxor

More Tips about these Passes

When you purchase your pass, you can set the start date. For example, if you purchase both passes while you are in Cairo, you can start your Cairo Pass immediately and set the Luxor Pass to start on the first day you plan to be in Luxor (even if it is six days later). 

Durability of the Pass: This is a paper pass. All information, including the dates of validity, are written in ink. The passport photo is affixed with just one staple. You will be constantly taking this pass in and out of your pocket, so you risk knocking off the passport photo or wearing away the ink. Ankur recommends keeping the pass in an envelope to protect it. A money envelope would be the correct size. 

More advice from Ankur about using the pass: Make sure when you are showing the pass to the attendants at the entrances you take good care of the pass. I felt that the guards did not care about the pass when handling it. (I think it’s due to the fact most of the time they are handling tickets, which are worthless the moment you pass the gate). So hold on to them, literally, when you show the passes. At my first location the guy was so careless the pass flew away from his hands! From then on, I held the pass to show to them, rarely letting go of the pass as they approved it.

Final Thoughts

If you are on a short tour of Egypt and don’t plan on visiting a huge number of sites, it is not worth it to purchase these passes.

But if you are planning a longer stay, if you like the idea of visiting a long list of tombs and temples in Luxor, with the option for repeat visits to your favorite places, then the Luxor Pass, and maybe even the Cairo Pass are worth it.

It is a hassle to get both passes, but you can save a lot of money, depending on the places you plan to visit.

For the full price list for sites in Egypt for 2021, click here (I am aware that the date of this document is 2019 – 2020, but it is my understanding that prices did not increase for 2021). This also includes information about both the Cairo Pass and the Luxor Pass.

Help Keep This Article Updated

If you purchase the Cairo Pass and/or the Luxor Pass on your trip to Egypt and have any additional information that could be helpful to future readers, let us know in the comment section below. We really appreciate it!!


More Information for Your Trip to Egypt:

Read all of our articles about Egypt in our Egypt Destination Guide.

You Might Also Like:

 

Egypt Travel Advice Luxor Pass Cairo Pass

 

All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc.), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited.

Comments 18

  1. Great article. We arrive on Friday June 18th at 10am and flight to Luxor later that night in a few weeks so have time to spend and was thinking about going from airport to get the pass and then continue with our flight. Since it is a Friday am I out of luck to be able to purchase both tickets for Cairo and Luxor? What options do I have for a Friday purchase? Thanks – Bill

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      I think that the Egyptian Museum is your best chance to get the pass on a Friday. You could also try the Giza Plateau or the Saladin Citadel. On a Friday, I think your chances are not great if you visit the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities office. You could Google their hours of operation or call them, but it’s not so easy to call or get reliable info about Egypt online, unfortunately. The touristy sights are more likely to be open than the Antiquities office. Cheers, Julie

  2. This is the first and only blog I’ve yet to come across to mention the passes. I then hunted down more info, of which there is little. From the reviews I’ve read many people make mention of the confusion, difficulty, and oft irritated and lackadaisical attitude of the people whose job it is to provide them to the visitor. There are also conflicting reports of where the passes are reputed to sold, listing them as being available for purchase at (I think) 4 other ticket box office sites, but the reality is that they are available at the Giza ticket office(not without some difficulty there as well) and the main Ministry of Antiquities office in Zamalek. And those reviewers have noted that more than the reported physical copies of passport and passport photos are required. But it is good to see from this comment thread that the passes are an actual thing and valid at sites. But for the nuisance of physically obtaining these passes, at least in Cairo, especially for those with anticipated late to very late flight arrivals, to then have to sacrifice at least half of a day to get these passes, it just doesn’t seem worth the time and effort, money yes, but not time. If the reports are correct that this pass is available at the Karnak Temple (and possibly KV, please correct me if I’m wrong)ticket office, that seems a more worthwhile endeavour. By the way, yours is one of the most comprehensive travel guides out there, great work!

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      You summed up the passes very well. Having been there, and talking to our guide, and our tour company, it was challenging to get a handle on how to get and use these passes. We didn’t use them because we didn’t know they existed before our visit. These passes don’t seem to be used very much, at least not yet. The most reliable information comes from Ankur Patel, who visited right before Covid, bought and used the passes, and has written a lot in the comment section here. I recommend going through his comments if you have not done so yet. And I agree, it is not easy to get the pass in Cairo, which makes taking advantage of the combo pass difficult for many travelers to Egypt. Our guide confirmed that the Luxor Pass can be purchased at Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings. Make sure you bring your passport photos, passport and copies, and US bills in perfect condition, and some patience, when you go to purchase the pass. If you want to write in with more tips, things you learned, etc, after your trip to Egypt, it would really help future readers. Cheers, Julie

  3. Me encanta ver que no soy la unica que planea, un viaje para fin de año con tanta anticipacion, Y en tiempos covid, soy positiva a que cada vez toda va ir mejorando mas!
    Muy buenas recomendaciones! 🙂

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      Author

      ¡Gracias! Tenemos muchas esperanzas de que viajar sea mucho más fácil a finales de este año. ¡Disfruta de tu tiempo en Egypt! Cheers, Julie

    1. I am sure you can, and you would be going to one city then then the second. Especially true when buying both at the same time. I bought mine in Cairo with start date for Cairo that day, and then the luxor start date to be the day arrived in luxor, 6 days later. I am sure you can do the other way around. I think you need to have it in the same calendar year and it should be good, and probably not something crazy like a 6 month gap.

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      2. Hello
        We arrive in Cairo on Friday 8th of octobre… Can you tell us if we can by «Cairo» and «Luxor Pass» at Giza Plateau entrance ?
        We understand that if we don’t get both at the same time we will not have the special 50 % discount…??
        Thank you for your answer

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          Author

          Yes, from what I have read online and was told by our guide, you can get the Cairo Pass at the Giza Plateau. However, I am not sure if you can also get the Luxor Pass at the Giza Plateau. Ankur Patel went to the Antiquities Office in Cairo and was able to get both, but you will have to go out of your way to get here. So, you can take a chance and hope to get both at the Giza Plateau, or schedule a visit to the Ministry office in Cairo at the beginning of your trip to get both. Sorry I can’t give you any more info than this. Cheers, Julie

  4. Hi!
    We are planning our trip to Egypt for later this year, your articles are so helpful. I am going through every single one of them!
    About the Luxor pass, can you enter all 8 tombs that are included in the ticket or just 3 like the standard entrance ticket?
    Thanks!

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      Author

      That is a very good question. I am not 100% sure about this answer, but it is my understanding that with the Luxor Pass, you would be able to visit more than 3 of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings (with the exception of Seti 1, which you would pay for separately or could visit with the Premium Pass). I will be looking into this so check back in a few days and hopefully I will have a more concrete answer for you. Cheers, Julie

      1. Good Morning Laura and Julie,

        I went to Luxor last year in feb 2020. As for your question to give the simpliest answer:
        The standard luxor pass will allow you to go to any site, all tombs (all 8 tombs plus Tut and Ramesses V/VI included) in VOK, all 4 VOQ, all the Nobles, except for 3 things: Seti 1 and Nefetari, and the Karnak Night light show.
        The Premium Luxor pass will include above and Seti 1 and Nefetari. It still does not include the Karnak Night light show.

        The way VOK/VOQ normal ticket works is the you buy the ticket and gives access to three tombs, noted by the guard at the tomb punching holes in the tickets. Three holes and your done.
        In the Pass, there is no hole punching, you just show the ticket, so no one has any track of what tombs you have been to.

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          Wow, thanks so much for writing back in with this information!! This is what we assumed but it is nice to have you confirm it. Thanks again! Cheers, Julie

  5. Great Article! Much better laid out then my reply post. Thank for you given me credit!

    Some more tips

    Dates of Validity:

    When you do buy the passes you can set exactly what day you want the Pass to start on. For me, we started the Cairo date on the same day of purchase, and the the Luxor Pass to start on the day of our arrival to Luxor (about 6 days later)

    Pass Durability:

    The quality of Paper used for the passes are not the best. There a equivalent of Basic High school musical tickets. Also, all the information, including the dates of Validity are written in pen, and the passport photo is affixed with just one staple. This pass can easily rip, dates can smudge. photo come off. I wish they had laminated it for some durability. (After all your paid $100)
    Since you are going to use these for 5 days you are taking it in and out your pocket about 20 times at least. Therefore I would highly recommend taking some type of envelope/holder to keep it in good care. The photo affixed with one staple on the pass is just begging to be ripped off when placing in your pocket.
    Money envelopes from the US Bank would be fine for the size.

    Cultural Affairs Department Hours:
    9 am to 3 pm Sunday to Thursday

    Like stated in the article, I did go there at 9AM. However they requested that I come back at 10 AM to apply for the passes. Honestly, this is Egyptian Government office, and the man there basically did not want to be bothered by me first thing as they opened. Once I came back at 10 AM, the man in charge left, lol, and there were two women there who were very helpful in getting me the pass and its process took about 30 minutes. Therefore I would advised getting there around 10 or after, since the Office is middle of nowhere (in terms for touristy things to do). I basically wondered the streets from 9 to 10 AM. Could have used that to sleep in!

    Using the Pass:

    Make sure when you are showing the pass to the entrances you take good care of the pass. I felt that the guards did not care about the pass when handling it. (I think its due to the fact most of the time they are handling tickets, which are worthless the moment you pass the gate). So hold on to them, Literally, when you show the passes. At my first location the guy was so careless the pass flew away from his hands!
    From then on, I held the pass to show to them, rarely physically letting go of the pass as they approved it.

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      Author

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