The Egyptian pound (EGP) is the currency of Egypt and usually appears represented with the symbol £. In turn, an Egyptian pound is divided into 100 piastres. One of the things that will surprise you most is that both the Central Bank of Egypt and the Egyptian Government issue banknotes, both fully legal, although only the Central Bank of Egypt can issue coins. We found banknotes of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 pounds; plus 5, 10, 25 and 50 piastres and coins of 5, 10, 20, 25 and 50 piastres and 1 pound.
Where to change Egyptian pounds
If you go to Egypt, you can change currency at the airport, banks, hotels and exchange offices. Bank hours are usually from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday, and even in hotels we can find banks. €1 equals 16.33 Egyptian pounds, 1 US dollar is 16.70 Egyptian pounds and 1 British pound is 21.17 Egyptian pounds. Another option is to exchange directly at the ATMs, but there may be problems with cards and, in addition, the commission you pay will be higher.
Before changing money to Egyptian pounds you should know that you cannot take Egyptian money out of the country. Therefore, it is recommended to exchange in small amounts and not change all the money at once. Before heading back home, it is advisable to exchange the Egyptian pounds you have not used.
Can I use my bank card in Egypt?
Yes, you can use your credit card in Egypt without problems. In most restaurants, hotels or businesses we can use international credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Diners Club. Travellers checks are also accepted, although not all banks accept the exchange to dollars and some charge a commission of up to 2%. As if that were not enough, we can pay in euros or dollars in tourist establishments like the hotels themselves.
How much do things cost in Egypt?
In Egypt you can bargain, although we must be clear and friendly when negotiating prices. You should also know that accommodation or transportation is 50% cheaper for Egyptians than for foreigners. For example, for transportation, a metro or urban bus ticket will cost between 0.25 and 1 Egyptian pound depending on the route travelled, while a taxi costs between 3 and 6.40 pounds per kilometre.
A single room in a 3-star hotel can cost between 50 and 60 Egyptian pounds and a can of soda will cost between 1 and 2.5 pounds if we buy it in a kiosk or between 3 and 7 pounds in a restaurant. In coffee shops, coffee or tea will cost a maximum of 2 pounds. A 1.5-litre water bottle costs about 2 pounds in kiosks and up to 4 pounds in a restaurant.
Although there are differences between cities and tourist areas, Egypt is a cheap country, where in addition to the Egyptian pound you can use euros and dollars in some shops.