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. If you read in the comments below, it sounds like easiest and fastest place to purchase the Cairo Pass is at the Giza Plateau.
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 as of January 2023 with the current exchange rate, it costs $57 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 Great Pyramid) costs 600 EGP (roughly $21 USD). If you think you will go twice, you will pay $42 (for two inclusive tickets).
PRO TRAVEL TIP: The Cairo and Luxor Pass are sold in US dollars and euros. Entrance fees into tombs, temples, museums and pyramids are in Egyptian pounds. Check the currency exchange rate before you go. As of January 2023, the US dollar is very strong, so it could be cheaper for paying each entrance fee, rather than getting the Cairo or Luxor Pass. However, once you have the pass, you no longer have to make trips to the ATM to withdraw Egyptian pounds, which can be a big hassle.
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.
Where Can You Buy the Luxor Pass?
The Luxor Pass can be purchased at the main antiquities administration office in Cairo as well as the ticket booths at Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings. In both Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings, there is a room in the visitor center where you can purchase the pass.
You will need your passport, two black and white photocopies of your main passport page, and two passport photos (some people have been writing in that they needed one passport photo and three copies of their passport page). 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
- 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 = $71 USD as of January 2023 (for reference, with the exchange rate in 2022, that added up to $126 USD).
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.
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 only purchase the Cairo Pass while in Cairo, and then later purchase the Luxor Pass in Luxor, I don’t know if it is possible to purchase the Luxor Pass with the 50% discount.
A recent traveler, Diego, wrote in with his experience (from February 2022). He purchased the Luxor Pass first. When in Cairo, at the Giza Plateau, he showed his Luxor Pass and was able to get 50% off of the Cairo Pass. No passport or passport photos were needed once he purchased the second pass. You can read more in his comment at the end of this post. Thanks Diego!!
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. Note: According to our tour company, this is still the updated pricing list for 2023, even though it says 2019 – 2020.
Medinet Habu on the West Bank of Luxor
More Tips about these Passes
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.
More advice from Diego about purchasing the passes: You will need the exact amount of money when paying for the pass. He paid in euros and the pass cost 45 euros. He had 50 euros and they did not accept it. He had to change the bills in order to purchase the pass.
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 updated pricing for sites in Egypt for 2023, click here.
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!! And I recommend that you also read the comment section because people have been writing in with more information.
More Information about Egypt
CAIRO: Start with our article Best Things to do in Cairo. We also have a 2 day Cairo Itinerary, information on how to visit the Pyramids of Giza, and how to day trip to Dahshur, Memphis, and Saqqara.
VALLEY OF THE KINGS: Plan your visit with our Guide to the Valley of the Kings. Pick out which tombs you want to visit in our article Best Tombs in the Valley of the Kings.
TRAVEL ADVICE: Here is list of important things to know before visit Egypt. The Luxor Pass and Cairo Pass can save you a lot of money…learn more in our guide. And we also have information on how much it costs to visit Egypt.
EGYPT ITINERARY: With 10 days in Egypt, visit Cairo, Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel.
ASWAN: For a list of the top experiences, read our article Best Things to Do in Aswan. We also have a guide on how to visit Kom Ombo, Edfu, and Esna while driving between Aswan and Luxor.
Read all of our articles about Egypt in our Egypt Travel Guide.
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