EGYPT ITINERARY AND TRAVEL COST
November 20, 2019
I visited Egypt last March 2019, and I now consider it one of my top 5. It is a cheap country to travel to, but not beginner-friendly due to the language barrier and the overwhelming cultural difference. In this blog post, I will divulge my Egypt itinerary and travel budget cost. I stayed here for 16 days and visited four cities – Cairo, Alexandria, Aswan, and Luxor. For Filipino travelers, please note that we need a tourist visa before visiting, and we cannot avail of the visa-on-arrival scheme offered to other nationalities. In my case, I applied for it before leaving Manila, and I was given a single entry tourist visa for a 30 days entry, which is valid for six months.
Here is the exact breakdown of my Egypt itinerary.
- Cairo’s metro is the first of its kind in the African continent and connects many parts of the city. Be sure to check your change before leaving the ticket office, as two officers tried cheating me (I called them out, and they returned the rest).
- Buses and mini-vans ply numerous routes in the city; however, you need to be familiar with it because the signage is in Arabic, and almost no one speaks English. My Egyptian friend taught me the buses to take, so I navigated them easily.
- Uber is widely available and is also a good and safe way to travel around the city.
- People in Cairo are the nicest in Egypt. Everyone was amicable and helpful. However, touts are very common in the Pyramids, so beware!
- The food is cheap and comes in big serving. One place I can recommend is Kazaz, a fast food joint that serves delicious Egyptian food. They also offer a delivery service to hostels for a small fee.
- I bought all my souvenirs at Khan El-Khalili. Be sure to haggle!
- I used Go-Bus to travel to and from Alexandria from Cairo.
Day 1 – March 01, 2019
- Arrival from Athens, Greece
- Check-in at Oasis Hostel Giza (this is a disgusting hostel. Avoid at all cost!).
Day 2 – March 02, 2019
- City Tour Downtown Cairo
Day 3 – March 03, 2019
- Pyramids of Giza tour
Day 4 – March 04, 2019
- Check-in at Midtown Hostel downtown Cairo
- Free day
Day 5 – March 05, 2019
- Egyptian Museum tour
- El Tahrir Square
Day 6 – March 06, 2019
- Free day
Day 7 – March 07, 2019
- Alexandria, Egypt day tour
- Citadel of Qaitbay, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Pompey’s Pillar
- Travel back to Cairo in the evening
Day 8 – March 08, 2019
- Shopping day at Khan El-Khalili
- Al-Azhar Mosque
Day 9 – March 09, 2019
- Citadela tour – Mosque of Muhammad Ali, Al-Azhar Park, Salah El din Al Ayouby Citadel
Day 10 – March 10, 2019
- Free day
- Night travel to Aswan
- Travel time from Cairo to Aswan is almost 13hours, and we went there by train. I reserved the AC1 coach, and if you buy this at the station as a foreigner, the ticket officers will not allow you and direct you to the luxury coaches, which cost 10x more. You need to buy the ticket online at the Egyptian National Railways’ official website to buy the cheaper AC1 coach.
- Uber is not available in Aswan.
- Everyone told us that foreigners need to buy a tour package to visit Abu Simbel. Since I traveled with my local friend Pagera, he negotiated a local transport for both of us, making our trip significantly cheaper. We went there by local bus and went back to Aswan via a mini-van. Police stopped us and asked the driver why I was with them. I just showed them my passport (and smiled), and they let us pass.
- The locals here are also lovely and more laidback than in Cairo.
- Travel from Aswan to Luxor is 4 hours.
Day 11 – March 11, 2019
- Arrival in Aswan
- Check-in at Bakar Guesthouse
Day 12 – March 12, 2019
- Full day tour Abu Simbel
- There is a reason why Luxor is called the hassle capital of Egypt. Every store owners will try their best to sweet talk you into buying their stuff. They were also very aggressive, sometimes almost shoving their wares to my face. Never engage if you don’t plan on buying anything, and you need to haggle in almost EVERYTHING here.
- We negotiated with a local taxi driver to tour us at the Valley of Kings and Temple of Hatshepsut. Be very clear with what you want to visit!
- Here are the latest price and packages for the Valley of Kings. You can choose three tombs – We decided on the Tombs of Ramses III, Ramses IV, and Tutmosis.
- You need to buy a separate camera pass to take pictures inside the tombs. We just did our magic (bribed), so we managed to take pictures.
- Travel time from Luxor to Cairo is 10 hrs. We also bought the ticket online at the official website of the Egyptian National Railways.
Day 13 – March 13, 2019
- Arrival from Aswan
- Check-in at Nefertiti Hotel
- Afternoon tour at the Temple of Karnak
Day 14 – March 14, 2019
- Full day tour Valley of Kings and Temple of Hatshepsut
Day 15 – March 15, 2019
- Return trip to Cairo
Day 16 – March 16, 2019
- Free day
- Night trip to New York