I’ve been to Egypt twice now since I started traveling. The first time I was able to spend just a week, which was not enough time for such a diverse and historically rich country. When I decided to go back I wanted to make sure I had enough time to do everything on my list. For this reason, I decided to spend a month exploring Egypt. Now I’m sharing everything I’ve learned about Egypt with you.
What to expect in Egypt
The official currency of Egypt is the Egyptian Pound (EGP).
There are plenty of ATMs to take cash out, and you’ll want to keep cash on your for street markets, cheap food and tips. Cafes and Hotels are likely to take cards!
Getting to Egypt
You can get to Egypt in a variety of ways. There are plenty of choices when it comes to flying into the country, with airports in Cairo, Luxor, and even a small airport in Aswan. If you’re interested in spending more time in Cairo you can also fly into Sharm el Sheik on the coast. If you’re coming from neighboring countries, you can take buses to Egypt.
There are buses that travel into Egypt from Israel and Sudan.
Safety in Egypt
I was nervous about traveling alone in Egypt. I’ll be honest about my experience though. As I said above, everyone has different experiences. Personally, I didn’t run into any trouble in Egypt. Keep in mind though, that during my entire month in Egypt, I didn’t really spend any time outside after dark. Especially in Alexandria and Cairo. I choose to spend the evenings and nights at home, catching up on work or movies.
My Top Tips for Traveling in Egypt as a Solo Female Traveler
Get a sim card from the airport.
Sim cards in Egypt are extremely affordable. You can grab one at the airport as soon as you get through customs and then you’re set to take an Uber to your hotel directly from the airport.
Plan ahead (at least have your first night planned out.)
I love going on a trip completely unplanned. Often when I’m traveling I’ll only book the first night’s accommodation and from there I’ll go where other travelers or locals recommend. In Egypt, I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do and I had my stay in Cairo booked before landing. This way I knew where I was going when I got off the airplane.
Stay in Hostels and go out with people you meet in the hostel.
I know you might not be a hostel-style traveler, but the hostels in Egypt are a bit different. And they’re actually perfect for solo female travelers! Hostels in Egypt don’t have shared rooms, they’re only private rooms but they also have plenty of common areas where you can hang out and meet other travelers. It’s the perfect way to explore Egypt as a solo female traveler.
Take tours with local guides.
On my first trip to Egypt, I did what I do in every other country in the world… I didn’t take tours. I just got myself to a site, wandered around for a while, and then went off to the next stop. If this is your first time in Egypt, I would not recommend this style of travel to Egypt. Instead, find a local guide to show you around. Oftentimes, they’ll have amazing facts and stories about history, and they’re incredible at protecting you from the constant streams of “Can I take a photo with you?” that follow you around Egypt as a solo female traveler. Plus, a lot of these tour guides used to do 40 hours a month, and now they do about 4… so taking a local guide helps you to bring money directly back into the economy and the people who need it.
Use Uber/Lyft to get around.
I prefer Lyft to Uber, but whichever you choose, I recommend taking them around Egypt. When you have a sim card, you can get a Lyft anywhere in the country and they’re extremely reliable, safe and cheap.
Learn a few key phrases in Arabic
- Thank you: Shukrān
- Hello: Salaam ‘aleikum
- Yes, of course/thank you: aywa, tab3an/shukran
- No, sorry/thank you: la, aasif/shukran
- Goodbye: Ma’a salaameh
- How much is this?: Bikam da?
How to get around Egypt
There are a lot of ways to get around in Egypt. I chose to travel with Go-Bus. They had good services, that always ran on time. I took overnight buses with Go-Bus to Dahab, back to Cairo, down to Luxor, and back to Cairo. In between Luxor and Aswan, I took the train.
Go-Bus has a series of bus travel options that range from basic to Luxury. Personally, I traveled by the luxury bus simply because I go to have a single-seat, meaning for the full trip no one sat next to me, and it really only cost a few dollars more.
I do not recommend renting a car in Egypt. Every time I got into an Uber in Egypt, we got hit by a car. I’m not even joking about that. It is not a place that I would recommend you drive. In the cities, you can almost always get around by bus or Uber and if not, things are usually close enough that you can walk.
Cost of travel in Egypt
The most you’ll spend during your entire time in Egypt is around $30 (USD) a day. I found that between $30-$50 (USD) I was traveling well. The food is extremely cheap and you can also get accommodation for cheap. I found that what I was paying the most for was tours with locals (still only about $15 a day, well worth it!)
🏨 Hotel room: $50-$100 a night
🛏️ Hostel room: $10-$20 a night
🍛 Lunch / Dinner: $7 – $10
🥭 Fruit snacks: $0.50 bunch of bananas
🚰 Drinking water: $0.10 for 1.5L
🚊 Uber/Lyft: $1.50-$3.00 a trip
🚂 Overnight Buses + Trains: $15
Where to stay in Egypt
Budget: Dahab Hostel ($10 USD a night)
Luxury: Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence ($200 USD a night)
Budget: Sinbad Camp ($10 USD a night in a room with Private Shower)
Luxury: Dahab Paradise Hotel ($20 USD a night)
Budget: Triomphe Hostel ($11 USD a night)
Luxury: Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano ($250 USD a night)
Budget: Bob Marley Peace Hotel ($6 USD a night)
Luxury: The Sofitel Winter Palace ($130 USD a night)
Budget: Keylany Hostel ($20 USD a night)
Luxury: Anakato Nubian Houses ($30 USD a night)