8 Budget-Friendly Tips for Vacationing in Egypt

Booking one of our many tours across Egypt is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to enjoy luxury and adventure all in one. But while you are enjoying the many amazing benefits of a private Egypt tour, you can still find ways to save your budget for the sights and experiences you truly want to splurge on.

Here are some tips for keeping other areas of your Egyptian vacation on budget.

1. Haggle when shopping in Egypt

Vacationing in Egypt - Haggle when shopping in Egypt

Khan El Khalili Bazaar is one of Cairo’s main attractions for tourists and Egyptians alike.

In Egypt, it is expected and encouraged that customers haggle when shopping in the marketplaces, especially in infamous Khan El Khalili Bazaar. This practice has a long history in the country, and you’ll find that this can be a lot of fun if you have a good sense of humor – not to mention, you’ll save money on souvenirs and gifts. You can get up to 50% off many things in the market places if you are patient.

The key to haggling in Egypt is to keep a smile on your face and start low. The shop owner will come back with another offer, and the two of you will take turns naming prices. The best bargains are often found if you are willing to walk away and come back later.

2. Eat at small local restaurants called Koshari

Vacationing in Egypt - Egyptian Koshari

Koshari is an Egyptian dish made of rice, macaroni, and lentils mixed together.

If you want a delicious and totally authentic meal in Egypt, you don’t have to spend big bucks. In fact, if you find a Kosheri, you can get a fantastic meal for under a dollar. These restaurants serve healthy, authentic, delicious meals made up of pasta, lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, and spices.

If you find one, there’s no menu – you choose the size of your portion, and get served up this mixture that is something like an Egyptian goulash. You’ll also be able to find plenty of places serving falafel and fava beans (called foul) that are also affordable and tasty.

3. Save money by exchanging your dollars for Egyptian pounds

1 Egyptian Pound

1 Egyptian Pound note

When shopping, many of the marketplaces will offer prices in Euros or American dollars. This allows them to round up and charge a bit more, while making things sound cheaper (10 Euros sounds much more attractive than 100 Egyptian pounds!) But when you shop with the local currency, you can use the correct price, not the rounded price, for items, and save a bit.

4. See what you really want to see with private tours

Private Egypt Tours

Private Egypt Tours: Your own private expert guide and vehicle. Your schedule, your budget, your tour.

There are many ways to take tours of Egypt, including booking excursions through a travel agency – the same agency you might use for flights or hotel rooms. The problem with this is that it’s harder to choose exactly what you want to see – so some of your dollars may go to waste. With private guided Egypt tours through Egypt Tours Plus, you can choose exactly the areas you want to see.

Try our Nile cruises, luxury tours of Cairo and the Red Sea, or combine a tour of Egypt with tours of Jordan, Morocco, Turkey, and many other areas. You can see exactly what you want with far more variety through our Egypt tour packages.

5. Don’t overpay for common tourist activities, and pay attention to common vendor practices

In a country where tourism is a large industry, it’s pretty common to try to charge unsuspecting visitors the highest prices possible. For example, if a short camel ride is more than 20 U.S. dollars, look elsewhere – this is the common average price for this type of attraction. You may find in the markets that vendors will try to talk you into trying something on – don’t do this unless you’re willing to buy it. Another common practice by unscrupulous vendors is to take your photo and then demand you pay for it – don’t allow your photo to be taken if you don’t want to buy it.

For the most part, Egyptian vendors are honest and friendly – but of course, no place on Earth is perfect.

6. Learn some basic Arabic to avoid overpaying or getting tricked

There are a few basic phrases in Arabic that you can learn to help you avoid pushy vendors. “La’a shukran” means “no thank you”, and is usually respected by vendors. They’ll move on to someone else once you make your intentions clear. This phrase can also be used to shake off swarms of children who beg for pictures on the street – this is a common practice, and may be fun a few times, but can slow you down fast.

7. Plan ahead for buying your visa

Egypt Visa stamp

Egypt Visa stamp.

Most people who travel to Egypt will purchase their visa in their country of residence. But did you know that, if you are the holder of an EU, US, Canadian or Australian passport, you can actually get your visa when you arrive in Egypt? This tends to be more affordable and much faster, so you save money and time. 

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8. Walk away from major hotels or tourist sites for a taxi

Black and White Taxis in Cairo

Black and White Taxis in Cairo.

Most of the time, the taxis that gather outside hotels and major tourist attractions will charge a bit more. These are usually English-speaking drivers who want to chauffeur you around all day and make a lot of money doing so. This may not be a bad idea if you have a free day and want a local guide with a car – but if you just want a quick ride from here to there, walk away from these areas and hire a taxi driving by. These will be more affordable.

Save Your Egypt Vacation Dollars for Luxury Tours

To see Egypt in style and luxury, you can save money with these tips, and then book your private tour to see the most beautiful sights around the country. Choose the tour based on the length of your stay, destination, and more, on our website – and now you’ll know exactly how to make the best of the rest of your trip to Egypt!