Money and duty free for Egypt

Currency & Money

Currency information

Egyptian Pound or ginee (LE; symbol E£) = 100 piastres. Notes are in denominations of E£200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 1, 50 piastres and 25 piastres. Coins are in denominations of 25, 20, 10 and 5 piastres.

British pounds sterling, Euros and the US Dollar are accepted everywhere although change may be given in Egyptian pounds.

Credit cards

American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted in all but the smallest hotels and restaurants throughout the country, except in the Western oases. It is wise to keep your credit card in view when you make purchases or pay a restaurant bill, and to keep receipts for checking exchange rates and charges on your statement.


ATMS can be found in all major towns and cities.

Travellers cheques

These are becoming less useful now that international ATMs are prevalent throughout the country. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller’s cheques in US Dollars, Euros or Pounds Sterling. You will need to show your passport when you change traveller’s cheques.

Banking hours

Sun-Thurs 0830-1400. Bureaux de change are generally also open in the evening 1800-2100.

Currency restriction

Currency exchange

The Egyptian pound is available outside Egypt and you can change money before you leave for your trip. Alternatively, 24-hour currency exchange is available at Cairo airport. It is worth exchanging at least a small amount for incidentals during your first day or two in Egypt. Keep small denomination notes for taxis fares as drivers rarely seem to have any change, and for tips, known as baksheesh, which are a way of life in Egypt.

Currency exchange is also available at banks, official bureaux de change outlets and most hotels. Banks often have better exchange rates than bureaux de change or hotels. All common international currencies are accepted. It is wise to divide your currency between you if there is more than one person in your party and keep it secure to guard against theft. It is advisable to take only what you will need for a day’s excursion and keep the remainder of your money in your hotel safe.

Egypt duty free

The following items may be imported into Egypt by travellers over 18 without incurring customs duty:

• 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 200g of tobacco.
• 2L of alcoholic beverages.

Note: You should declare currency over E£500 on arrival.

Banned Imports

Drugs, firearms and cotton.

Banned Exports

Drugs, firearms and cotton.

You may only export small quantities of locally bought gold and silver for personal use.

If exporting antiquities over 100 years old, you must obtain a licence.