Egypt Currency Exchange Guide

Egypt offers more than just a glimpse into the past. This awe-inspiring country offers a diverse range of experiences that make it a destination worth travelling to. Visitors can soak up the sun on the gorgeous beaches or take a dip in the crystal-clear waters that stretch as far as the eye can see. Whether you’re a history buff or looking to unwind, you’ll find something to suit your interests.

General Egpytian Currency Information

What is the currency of Egypt?

The official currency of Egypt is the Egyptian pound (EGP).

What do Egyptian notes & coins look like?

Egyptian notes

Egyptian notes are known for their intricate designs and historical significance. From the Ayesha mosque on the 25 PT note to the Great Sphinx of Giza on the LE 100 note, each bill features a unique image that represents Egypt’s rich culture and heritage. The reverse side of the notes also showcases important monuments and structures such as Ramesses II and the Abu Simbel temples on the 50 PT note or the Mosque of Qaitbay and Abu Hurayba Mosque on the LE 1 and LE 50 notes, respectively. Even the Pharaonic engravings of Hapi offering bounties and war chariots on the LE 5 and LE 20 notes demonstrate Egypt’s ancient history and artistic achievements. Overall, the Egyptian notes are not only a representation of the country’s currency but also provide a glimpse into Egypt’s fascinating past.

Egyptian coins

As for Egyptian coins, they showcase the rich history and culture of Egypt through their intricate design. The obverse side of the coins features various mosques and Islamic illustrations, such as the Mosque of Muhammad Ali and Al-Azhar mosque, which highlights the country’s Muslim heritage. The 5 PT coin stands out with its depiction of Islamic pottery, showcasing Egypt’s mastery of the art form. For fans of the ancient Egyptian civilization, the LE 1 and 50 PT coins are must-haves with their depictions of Tutankhamun’s mask and Cleopatra’s head, respectively.

All coins bear the inscription “جمهورية مصر العربية,” which translates to “Arab Republic of Egypt,” as well as the value in Arabic and English and the Gregorian and Hijri years in Arabic. With their attention to detail and diverse design, Egyptian coins are a great addition to any coin collection.

Economy

Egypt’s economy continues to face challenges as it ranks 151st freest in the 2023 Index with an economic freedom score of 49.6, which is only slightly higher than the previous year. Compared to its peers, Egypt is ranked 11th out of 14 countries in the Middle East/North Africa region, with an overall score below the regional and world averages.

While some progress has been made, deeper institutional reforms are necessary to propel long-term growth and stabilise economic development. Such reforms include improving the judicial system, safeguarding property rights, and reducing corruption.

Brief currency history

The adoption of a bimetallic standard in 1834 paved the way for the introduction of the Egyptian pound, or geneih, as the main unit of currency. This replaced the Egyptian piastre, or ersh, which continued to be circulated as 1/100 of a pound, with the piastre being further divided into 40 para. However, in 1885, the circulation of para came to a halt resulting in the piastre being divided into tenths, later renamed milliemes (malleem) in 1916.

Subsequently, a gold standard was effectively implemented between 1885 and 1914, whereby the legal exchange rates for important foreign currencies were fixed by law. The outbreak of World War I saw the Egyptian pound using a sterling peg of £1 sterling = LE 0.975, or LE 1 = £1/–/6 stg.

Although the Egyptian pound floated in 1989, the Central Bank of Egypt closely managed the float through to 2001, when foreign exchange controls ceased. After exhausting its policies intended to support the pound, the Central Bank of Egypt allowed the currency to float freely on November 3, 2016, resulting in an official rate drop of twofold.

Notably, the Egyptian pound had also been used in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, Cyrenaica when under British occupation and as an independent emirate, and Mandatory Palestine, where it was replaced by the Palestine pound in 1927 at par with the pound sterling. Banknotes were first issued by the National Bank of Egypt on April 3, 1899, with the Central Bank of Egypt and the National Bank of Egypt merging in 1961.

Taking Travel Money to Egypt

Travel to Egypt

What currency should I take to Egypt?

If you’re travelling to Egypt, you’ll need to exchange your Australian dollars (AUD) for Egyptian pounds (EGP).

Is it better to convert currency in Australia or Egypt?

When it comes to converting currency in Australia or Egypt, there are benefits to both options. However, from a practical standpoint, it’s more advantageous to convert your currency in Australia. By doing so, you’ll know exactly how much travel money you have, which can help you budget and plan accordingly. Additionally, you’ll be able to access those funds right away, which can be especially helpful if you’re arriving in Egypt late at night or on a weekend when currency exchanges may be closed.

How much money can I take to Egypt?

Upon arrival in the country, you are allowed to bring any amount of foreign currency as long as you declare an amount equivalent to or exceeding (10) ten thousand dollars or its equivalent in other foreign currencies. Additionally, you may also carry up to (5) five thousand Egyptian pounds in local currency.

Where to convert currency?

If you’re seeking to convert currency in Australia, head over to Crown Currency Exchange. Not only do we offer a competitive foreign exchange rate in all minor and major currencies, but we also have 50 stores located nationwide for your convenience. With almost two decades of experience in the industry, our welcoming staff ensures top-notch service without any hidden charges or commissions.

Is tipping customary in Egypt? How much is expected?

Tipping is an important part of many cultures, and it’s customary to show your appreciation for services rendered. Understanding how much you should tip and which services are typically tipped can make your visit to Egypt more enjoyable. Let’s review the custom of tipping in Egypt. 

Tour Guides: Tipping tour guides is customary in Egypt. Depending on the size of your group and the quality of service provided, it is recommended that you tip USD 2–4 per person per day. This amount can be adjusted accordingly based on the number of people in your group and the level of service you received from your guide. 

Restaurants: When dining out at restaurants, 10-15% is usually enough for a tip unless there is exceptional service. Remember that tips are shared among restaurant staff, so a larger tip will likely be appreciated by all team members who served you during your meal. 

Housekeeping: If staying at a hotel or other accommodation with daily housekeeping services, $1-2 per night is common practice when tipping housekeepers.

Taxi Drivers: It is not customary to tip taxi drivers in Egypt, as most fares will include an agreed-upon price prior to beginning your journey. However, if traffic is bad or the taxi driver offers extra knowledge about Egyptian culture or treats you kindly, then leaving some extra money or rounding up can be an appropriate gesture of gratitude for their services.  

What is ATM access like in Egypt?

The larger cities in Egypt, particularly Cairo and Alexandria, have a plentiful supply of ATMs that can be easily found in typical locations such as banks and shopping centres. However, in smaller towns, ATMs are more difficult to come by, and locating them becomes even more challenging if you go further out of town.

What should you budget per day?

Budget

For budget-conscious travellers willing to accept some inconvenience and limit their expenses, a trip to Egypt can be accomplished for as little as E£2,280-2,800 (AUD $110-135) per person per day by taking standby flights. About 21% of rentals fall in the E£0 to E£3,090 per night range for an entire place, and some vacation rentals can even be booked for as low as E£618 per night. However, cheap rentals are usually in less popular locations and must be reserved early. One-star hotels offer the most affordable lodging options, with prices starting at around E£958 per night.

Moderate

Those looking to travel to Egypt on a moderate budget should expect to spend around E£3,317-4,147 (AUD $160-200) per person per day. This would cover mid-range accommodation options, basic transportation fees and meals at local restaurants. Depending on the destination, visitors can enjoy some of the more luxurious experiences, such as boat rides on the Nile River or a camel ride across the desert.

Luxury

Travelling to Egypt on a luxury budget of E£7,257+ (AUD $350+) per person per day allows for an enjoyable stay without worrying about costs. Accommodation in five-star hotels can range from E£2,317 per night for a single room to E£14,898 per night for a suite. Flights within the country are also expensive, with prices starting at around E£1,850 one way between two major cities. Tourist attractions and costly recreational activities will also add up to your daily expenses.

Currency details

Currency:

Egyptian pound

Currency code:

EGP

Currency symbol:

EGP, LE, E£, ج.م

Central bank:

Central Bank of Egypt

Nickname:

None

Currency sub-unit:

Qirsh (Piastre) = 1/100 of a Pound | Malleem (Millième) = 1/1,000 of a Pound

Bank notes:

5, 10, 25, 50 Piastres. 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 Pounds

Coins:

5, 10, 20, 25, 50 Piastres. 1 Pound

Must-do's while you are in Egypt

Pyramids of Giza

Visit the Pyramids of Giza 

No trip to Egypt would be complete without visiting one of the world’s oldest wonders, the Great Pyramid of Giza. These famous tombs were built by ancient Egyptians over 4,000 years ago and remained an impressive feat of engineering. The pyramid complex also houses two other smaller pyramids and the iconic Sphinx statue. You can even take a camel ride around the site after you explore! 

Luxor's Ancient Temples

Explore Luxor's Ancient Temples 

Luxor is home to some of Egypt’s most impressive temples, including Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple. The former was actually built up over time by different pharaohs, making it one of the largest religious complexes in the world! The latter is renowned for its beautiful columns and statues that line its entranceway.

Cairo's Bazaars

Visit Cairo's Bazaars 

The bustling markets in Cairo are full of life and activity! There are numerous bazaars located all around the city where you can find everything from traditional Egyptian souvenirs to spices, textiles, jewellery, carpets – you name it! It’s also a great place to pick up some unique gifts for friends back home or just take in all the hustle and bustle before continuing on your journey. 

Nile River

Cruise Along The Nile River  

The Nile River has been an integral part of Egypt’s history since ancient times – so naturally, cruising along it should be on your list! It’s a great way to get a glimpse into life along this majestic river as you pass through lush green fields, small villages, ancient monuments and more. Plus – what better way to enjoy this incredible landscape than from a boat? 

basbousa

Experience Traditional Egyptian Cuisine  

Egyptian cuisine consists mostly of vegetarian dishes that are packed with flavour – think falafel sandwiches, hearty stews like koshari (rice mixed with lentils) and flavorful spiced rice dishes such as mahshi (stuffed eggplant). And don’t forget about desserts like basbousa (semolina cake soaked in syrup). There are plenty of places where you can sample these delicious dishes throughout Egypt, so don’t forget to bring your appetite! 

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