5 thoughts on “egypt-currency what to expect?

  • October 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm
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    Hi there

    You will be met at the airport by a crowd wanting to take your bags to your transport. They are not wanting to steal your bags, they want a tip. They take any currency.

    It is a cash society, travellers cheques and cards can be used but where ever you shop they seem to want you to have cash. Wads of dirty, well worn bank notes are usually necessary so I found an extra wallet ideal for these. There are no coins.

    We were in Luxor last time we went and found that the better restaurants which were owned by Egyptians served very good food. At reasonable prices. No wine in most, because of their religious beliefs.

    Alcohol is difficult to obtain outside hotels and the quality is suspect but you can take in up to 3 litres of spirit with you and buy at the duty free shops within a day of arrival. You can enjoy a drink in your hotel room, if you enjoy a tipple on holiday.

    Travels on local buses, ferries and trains are cheap. They will want you to take organised trips bucket shops are the best deal, you could well find your self on the same trip as the major tour operators but you will have paid a lot less. You can arrange with a local taxi driver for his services for the day at a reasonable charge too. You will almost certainly be taken to a shop selling over priced goods, offering you use of the toilet and a drink, the guide gets his cut. It is worth looking for goods at a shop where they are priced. You can get a better deal with the guys you have to barter with but at least by looking in these shops, you will get an idea of the price you need to pay.

    Toiletries are cheaper than at home, so do not worry about taking loads of these, but clothing is not something which I would suggest you shop for. It is not a fashion conscious society by western european or american standards. Shoes can be good value, worth a look. Fabric, bought off the roll can be worth investigating, if you know how much you need to have garments or soft furnishing/ curtains made up from it.

    If you smoke, cigarettes are cheap, if you like jewelry, there a loads of shops selling it at less than you would probably pay at home. Never buy from a street vendor though, it is almost certainly costume jewelry, make sure it is a proper shop.

    The biggest problem we found was that the ‘locals’ do want to sell you something all the time and expect a ‘tip’ for simply opening the door for you.

    It can actually get chilly at night there, or early morning if you are on a trip. I would take a warm cardigan, just in case. Keep a few sweets in your bag or pocket, so if children do come up to you, you can offer them one. Be sure, if you give to one and several others will appear.

    Hot air balloon rides, are highly recommended.

    You should keep yourself covered as much as possible when going out and about, skimpy shorts and strappy tops will actually cause offence. Knee length shorts and t-shirts are the least which should be worn.

    Unmarried sex and homosexuality is against the law. Be very discreet indeed if this effects you.

    The duty free shop at the airport, for going home, we found very good value.

    Be prepared to see poverty and be aware that our idea of hygiene may not be shared abroad.

    We found that there were a lot of charities running orphanages and animal sanctuaries who were grateful to receive surplus clothes and toiletries from tourists about to leave. What they can not use for the charity, they can sell to raise funds.

  • October 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm
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    Egypt currency is Egyptian pound.
    It depends which city you going to visit, if you are going to travel to cairo or Alexandria so, it will be better to use Egyptian pounds but if you are going to travel to Hurghada or Sharm El Sheikh most people prefer US dollars but you can always use Egyptian pounds.

    Good luck.

  • October 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm
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    Egypcian Pounds, they have started to issue pound coins, they will take any currancy for tips, but we took Dollers to tip the hotel staff they gave us better service for that. always wash your hands or use Gel after touching egypcian money so many germs on the notes Dont eat salad and if u eat fruit… dont eat it unless u can peel it even a grape … u will get sick

  • October 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm
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    Before i went to egypt *sharm el sheikh( the travel agent told us to take egyptian pounds. but when they got out there they want anything but. They prefere you to pay in dollars or euros but also english pounds. i dont understand it myself as i dont know how they change over coins. but they never seemed to have change in egyptian pounds so even if yuo paid in that you would most likely end up with change in a different currency or they tried to give us chocolate bars.

    It may differ to where you go in egypt but this is how it was in Sharm

  • October 3, 2010 at 12:25 pm
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    you can get the Egyptian pound in the UK but be warned that the money is very dirty so make sure that you wash your hands after handling it. You can get a very good rate and find that your money will go far. They will also except US dollars.

    Take some small currency for tips.

    I worked as a forgien exchange cashier for many years.

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