Information for backpacking in Egypt. Whether you need information about Egyptian entry visa, backpacker jobs in Egypt, hostels, or things to do, it's all here.

Backpacking Egypt

Looking for important travel information while backpacking in Egypt? Here you will find information on working in Egypt, entry visas, Egypt hostels, and much more.

Table of Contents

Facts About Egypt

Egypt is a magnificent country with countless legacies behind it which form its present. Most of the country is covered by desert, so the small part which isn’t, the valley of the Nile River, is where a striking 95% of the population has settled.

The capital, Cairo, is a city that is overwhelming due to its enormity and chaotic feel. The outstanding pyramids and temples of Cairo will take your breath away. It was not until the late 18th century, when Napoleon invaded Egypt, that the fascinating artefacts of the Egyptians were discovered and the world began to be aware of the treasures of this far away land.

  • Currency: Egyptian Pound = 100 piastres
  • Time Zone: GMT + 2
  • Language: Arabic. English and French are widely spoken
  • Telephone Services: Country Code + 20
  • Emergency Numbers: Not Present

Climate in Egypt

When deciding the best time to visit Egypt, the weather plays a critical role. You can expect hot and arid weather during the summer months and dry, cold winters. Strong dusty winds blow from the Sahara in April.

Things to do in Egypt


The capital city, Cairo is one of the most distinctive cities in the world and is the most convenient base for seeing the Great Pyramids. Within Cairo, you will find plenty of hawkers eager to sell you transport to Giza, only 20 minutes from the city where you will find these spectacular testaments to a formerly great civilization.

While in Cairo, and after visiting the pyramids, it is worth spending a day or two exploring the rest of the city. Coptic Cairo is the oldest part of the city and is where you will find what remains of the Fortress of Babylon. The last two remaining towers are the highlight of this site although the museum just at the base of them is worth a look for its collection of religious artefacts and art. Other sites in Cairo include the Al-Azhar Mosque, the Mosque of Qaitbey and the Citadel.


In the past Luxor, which is situated on the River Nile, was the Egyptian stronghold, a centre of immense power. Luxor is where Tutankhamun’s burial chamber lies, in the Valley of the Kings. A walk in Luxor is a walk through history as you are met with unique and wonderful statues, temples and carvings everywhere you go.

The main attraction is the Temples of Karnack which were built during Theban times as centres of worship. Also worth looking at are the Luxor temple which was built by Amenhotep III and the Colossi of Memnon.


Alexandria, the second largest Egyptian city, is the main port of Egypt and is situated in the north-west of the Nile Delta. There are beautiful white sandy beaches and captivating scenery stretching for 140 km along the Mediterranean Sea. Abu-Qir Suburb is one of the most peaceful beaches and is well-known for fishing and delicious seafood restaurants. This area also offers the opportunity to see many Greek and Roman monuments.

Nile cruises in Egypt

When you are travelling in Egypt a Nile cruise is recommended and the traditional Nile sailing boats, known as feluccas, can be hired by the hour. There are also numerous Nile cruises running between Luxor and Aswan, and between Cairo and Aswan which last for anything up to two weeks. It is recommended to contact a tour operator and book a complete package with Viator.

Unique Activities in Egypt

Since popular places in Egypt can get crowded during tourist season, it is wise to reserve tickets and activities ahead of time. GetYourGuide sells entrance tickets to museums and landmarks at face value so you can avoid the lines and save that precious time for more exploring.

Viator is another popular travel website that helps you book things to do in Egypt. They work directly with local tour operators in Egypt, so you won’t have to scour the internet or roam around town trying to find the best deal.

If you know your schedule ahead of time, a great insider tip is to buy tickets for major tourist attractions ahead of time. Tiqets has entrance tickets and skip-the-line passes for major attractions in Cairo, Alexandria, and other hotspots, which can be a worthwhile cost during peak tourist season.

How to Find Cheap Flights to Egypt

In order to find the best flights to Egypt we recommend using a few well-known flight comparison search engines. These websites offer powerful search options, like entering flexible dates and airports in order to find the cheapest flight to Egypt.

Our go-to flight search engine is Skyscanner, which we love for its extremely flexible search options. Our favourite way to get travel inspiration is their “Everywhere” feature. Simply enter “Everywhere” as a destination, and it will then list all available flights from your departure city in order of price. This also works when entering the entire country of Egypt as your destination. Skyscanner will search all possible airports in the country in order to find the cheapest option.

Kiwi is another new favourite flight search engine among savvy travellers. Kiwi works by combining flights from different carriers in order to get the best deal. Also, if there is a better ground or ferry option for the route you’re searching, Kiwi will include that in the search results. On average, we have found the cheapest flights to Egypt with them compared to the other websites out there.

How to Travel Around Egypt on a Budget

There are daily flights connecting Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel and Hurghada run by Egypt Air. Air Sinai also offers flights connecting Cairo to places all over Egypt.

Train travel in Egypt

There is an extensive railway network in Egypt controlled by Egyptian State Railways. The network covers the whole country and connects all main cities with a high standard of service. If you want to take advantage of the overnight train services then it is necessary to book one week in advance.

Bus travel in Egypt

Taking a bus is the mode of transport used by most locals to get around Egypt on a budget. The national bus network covers the Nile Valley and coastal routes.

Car Services in Egypt

The collective taxi service (also known as servees) in Egypt are also a great option. They operate on a wide variety of routes, fees are reasonable, and they are generally quicker than buses and trains. The fare is shared by all passengers travelling the route, so it is much cheaper than booking your own private car or Uber.

Backpacking Tours in Egypt

Though part of the fun of backpacking Egypt is exploring on your own, there are situations, especially when venturing off the tourist trail, when it does make sense to go with a guide or a small group. 

The most popular option for social travel in Egypt is Contiki tours. Contiki trips offer more than just transportation, they are organized social group travel for travellers aged 18-35. Whether you’re travelling by yourself or going with a group of friends, Contiki tours are perfect for people looking to have a blast, meet new friends, and form lifelong memories. They offer tours that travel primarily in Egypt or longer tours that cover other nearby places.

G Adventures is another great option for organized travel, but with a smaller group. It’s a great choice for anyone backpacking Egypt alone who would like to meet up with like-minded travellers. It’s also a practical option for exploring places where you need an experienced guide, like a long hiking adventure or visiting a place well off the beaten path. You can choose from different styles of small group tours like active, wellness, hiking trips, 18-30somethings, and more. Their most popular trips in Egypt are their 15-day Egypt and Jordan Adventure, 8-day classic Egypt on a Shoestring tour.

Health and Safety in Egypt

It is very important that you have full medical insurance for your trip to Egypt as there are quite a few health risks. You should be aware that you may be at risk from Malaria and Yellow Fever. If you travel through an area infected with Yellow Fever you are required to have a Vaccination certificate, so you should check with the Embassy which areas are considered infected. You should get Polio and Typhoid Vaccinations before your departure. Other health risks include Rabies and Bilharzia.

Entry visa requirements for Egypt

A passport is required by all visitors and must be valid for at least 6 months after the date of arrival. Everyone is required to have a Tourist visa, except nationals of Malta and Jordan, and you can contact the British Embassy for more information. You are also required to have proof of a return ticket.

Visa requirements for Egypt can vary widely depending on your country of origin and can change over time. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, be sure to check the latest visa requirements while you’re still planning your trip.

Egypt Hostels and Budget Accommodation

Budget travel and hostels in Egypt including: Cairo hostels.

Due to the importance of tourism in Egypt, there is ample accommodation services and variety in the vicinity of all well-known attractions and large cities. As a budget traveller, you will be interested to know that there are 15 Youth hostels in Egypt and they are located in popular tourist destinations.

We have had good experiences finding hostels in Egypt on HostelWorld. They have the largest inventory of hostels worldwide, and with over 10 million reviews and ratings from other travellers, you know exactly what to expect.

Another good way to find accommodation in Egypt is by checking You’ll find hotels, homestays, hostels, and other unique accommodations. They have the most reviews and advanced filtering of any accommodation-booking site, so you’ll be sure to find a great place in your budget. Many of the places on also offer free cancellation, which takes the pressure off the planning phase of your trip to Egypt.

If you are backpacking with another travel companion, we highly recommend booking a rental via VRBO. With a vacation rental in Egypt, you’ll have more space, your own kitchen, and you’ll get a better feel for how the locals live. Plus, the cost of a vacation rental can be split among your group, oftentimes making it cheaper than doing individual hotel rooms. 

If you’re looking to save even more money while backpacking in Egypt, there are plenty of creative ways to get free accommodation in exchange for work. For example, one of our favourite ways to stay in amazing locations for free is by signing up as a petsitter with Trusted Housesitters. The site connects responsible animal lovers with petsitting opportunities in Egypt and all over the world. It’s a win-win for both sides – travellers can stay in amazing locations for free, and homeowners can rest easy knowing that someone is watching over their place.

Another option that will not break the bank is to stay in campsites, although there are only a few official campsites across the country. If you would like to make your way through the desert wilderness then you can book these trips through local tour operators but it is very advisable to contact the local tourist offices for exact details as it can be dangerous to go on one of these camping excursions with an inexperienced guide.

And lastly, CouchSurfing is a great community that connects travellers with local hosts in Egypt. You can stay for free with verified hosts, who will usually take some time to show you around the local spots.

Useful Links for Backpacking in Egypt

  • GAdventures – guided small group tours in Egypt, great for solo travellers or for those interested in a more adventurous trip which would require a guide
  • DiscoverCars The world’s leading rental car search engine to rent a car in Egypt 
  • Kiwi and Skyscanner – Flight comparison search engines to find the cheapest flights to Egypt and within the country
  • GetYourGuide and Viator a collection of local tours and activities in Egypt. Also offers Skip the Line tickets for crowded attractions
  • Tiqets – Website selling entrance tickets and skip the line tickets for major tourist attractions in Egypt
  • HostelWorld – #1 hostel search website to find accommodation while backpacking Egypt. Thousands of hostels and millions of reviews from fellow travellers
  • – a commonly used booking site for accommodation in Egypt. Find hostels, hotels, and other unique accommodations in Egypt with advanced filtering and millions of reviews
  • World Nomads Travel Insurance – Comprehensive travel insurance for long and short trips when backpacking Egypt

There you have it, the ultimate Egypt backpacking guide. We hope you have found all the information you need for backpacking around Egypt.

Next up:

Backpacking in Turkey

Backpacking in Cyprus

Backpacking in Saudi Arabia

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A guide for backpacking around Egypt. Get important travelers information when it comes to Egypt including visa requirements, employment opportunities, common Arabic phrases and translation, as well as Egypt hostels.


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