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Currency Insights: What Currency Does Egypt Use?

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Embarking on a journey from the drizzly streets of the UK to the sun-drenched vistas of Egypt offers a thrilling escapade into history, culture, and vibrant bazaars. Before jetting off, savvy travellers meticulously plan their adventures down to the financial details.

For example, it’s important to know what currency Egypt uses, ensuring your trip to this ancient land is seamless. Let’s delve into Egypt’s monetary landscape and unravel the secrets to smart spending for British travellers.

Unravelling the Egyptian currency

Embarking on a journey to Egypt, travellers find themselves amidst a rich tapestry of ancient wonders and bustling markets.

To navigate this landscape, understanding the country’s currency becomes paramount. The official currency of Egypt is the Egyptian pound, often represented as EGP or with the symbol “£.”

The Egyptian pound is subdivided into 100 piastres, and you’ll find banknotes and coins in various denominations. Egyptian banknotes feature iconic imagery of historical significance, making them not just a means to spend money but also a reflection of the country’s rich heritage.

In the region, particularly in the Gaza Strip, a different currency, the Israeli New Shekel, highlights the diversity of currencies even within close proximities. It underscores the importance of being prepared with the right money when travelling.

For British travellers, keeping an eye on exchange rates is a good idea. Utilising an online currency converter can provide real-time data on how British pounds translate to Egyptian pounds. This ensures you get the best deal and aren’t caught off guard by fluctuating exchange rates.

By grasping the nuances of the Egyptian currency landscape, travellers can easily explore this ancient land, immersing themselves in everything from the Pyramids of Giza to the bustling souks of Cairo, all while managing their travel money wisely.

coins and wallet

The role of Egyptian Pounds in your travel money

The Egyptian pound takes centre stage in your travel money when journeying through Egypt. With various coins and banknotes, the currency is distinctive and practical for everyday transactions.

Coins are denominated in piastres and pounds, while banknotes are available in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, and 200 Egyptian pounds.

There’s a noticeable difference in value comparing the Egyptian pound to the British pound. The exchange rate, subject to market fluctuations, typically favours the pound sterling.

An online currency converter can aid travellers in understanding how much their British pounds will convert to Egyptian currency.

While many big cities and tourist areas accept credit and debit cards, having enough cash on hand is a good idea, especially when exploring local markets or smaller establishments.

Many shops and local markets may not have the facilities for card payments, making cash transactions more convenient and sometimes the only option.

Ensuring you have a mix of denominations in Egyptian pounds facilitates smoother transactions, allowing travellers to engage in haggling at markets or simply to pay for a refreshing drink amidst the Egyptian sun.

Exchanging Currency: Tips and Tricks

From British Pound to Egyptian Pound

Exchanging currency in a foreign country can sometimes feel like navigating a maze. However, with the right knowledge, it can be seamless and cost-effective. For UK travellers heading to Egypt, understanding how to obtain the Egyptian pound without incurring unnecessary fees is essential.

Upon arrival, visitors often face the immediate need for local currency to cover transportation and tips.

While foreign currency, such as the British pound, can be exchanged at currency exchange offices and banks throughout Egypt’s bustling metropolises, doing so at airports or hotels may come at a premium due to convenience charges.

For those seeking to buy Egyptian pounds, banks and currency exchange offices in big cities like Cairo generally present competitive exchange rates.

To avoid the common pitfall of hidden fees that may diminish the value received, travellers should leverage a currency converter for an estimate before exchanging.

ATMs present a modern convenience, offering the chance to withdraw cash directly in Egyptian pounds. This route often allows travellers to benefit from their home bank’s exchange rates, which can be more favourable than local exchange services.

It is advisable, however, to be cautious and select ATMs that are affiliated with recognised banks to minimise additional charges.

Whether it’s for haggling at local markets or settling the bill at a historic café, having access to the Egyptian pound enriches the travel experience, ensuring visitors can immerse themselves fully in the vibrant culture of Egypt without financial worry.

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Paying your way: Cash, cards, or both?

Striking a balance between different forms of payment can enhance your travel experience in Egypt. Knowing where and how to pay is critical to navigating the local economy effectively.

Cash is often the preferred payment mode in many shops, local restaurants, and bustling marketplaces.

Smaller establishments may not have card facilities, making it prudent to have enough cash on hand when venturing into these areas. The Egyptian pound, in smaller denominations, is handy for such transactions.

Conversely, big hotels and many upscale establishments readily accept debit cards, offering a seamless payment experience. Significant currencies like US dollars, euros, and pound sterling are often accepted here, especially in tourist areas.

While convenient, it’s essential to be mindful of the exchange rate offered to avoid paying more than necessary.

Intelligent management of your travel money is crucial. Seeking the best rates and avoiding exchange fees can lead to substantial savings.

For example, using a multi-currency debit card can help you make low-cost conversions and avoid unexpected fees. Debit cards from providers like Revolut, swissmoney or Wise are often recommended.

Furthermore, contactless payments have made transactions quicker and more convenient. In many establishments, especially in urban locales, this form of payment is widely accepted, allowing tourists to pay swiftly and securely.

Smart travel money choices: Debit cards and more

Navigating your finances while travelling can be simplified by leveraging innovative financial tools. Options such as Revolut, Wise, and swissmoney’s debit card are excellent choices for travellers seeking convenience and value.

These multi-currency debit cards are designed to make foreign currency transactions smoother. They offer benefits such as minimal hidden fees and competitive rates, allowing you to get more for your money.

By using these cards, travellers can make purchases or withdraw cash without being bogged down by excessive charges.

However, having a mix of payment options is always a good idea. Carrying enough cash, particularly in smaller notes, is advisable for places that may not accept card payments.

This ensures you’re well-prepared to navigate both bustling bazaars and sophisticated establishments.

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Understanding the currency landscape is crucial when embarking on a journey to Egypt. The Egyptian pound reigns supreme as the best currency, offering travellers ease in transactions across the country.

While exchanging currency can be conveniently done in big cities like Cairo, savvy travellers opt for cash and debit cards to ensure seamless experiences, from local markets to luxurious hotels.

Ultimately, striking a balance between the two payment methods guarantees both convenience and the best rates, ensuring your Egyptian adventure is as enriching as it is memorable.


What’s the best currency to take to Egypt?

The Egyptian pound is the most recommended currency to take to Egypt, ensuring smooth transactions in most places.

Is it a good idea to exchange my currency before travelling to Egypt?

Generally, it is advisable to exchange a small amount for initial expenses and then use ATMs or currency exchange offices in Egypt for better rates.

Are credit cards widely accepted in Egypt?

Credit cards are accepted in many hotels and big cities, but it’s a good idea to have cash for local markets and smaller establishments.

How can I avoid currency exchange fees when in Egypt?

Utilising multi-currency debit cards like Revolut, swissmoney, or Wise can help you avoid hidden fees and secure favourable rates.

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Renata Pacheco

Renata is a seasoned financial market expert with over 30 years of experience in journalism and content creation, primarily focusing on the financial market. Throughout her extensive career, she has worked with leading financial institutions such as Citibank Brasil, Fiserv in Latin America, and other notable financial entities, further honing her expertise and credibility in the sector.

For more than six years, Renata has also been writing for the crypto market, collaborating with financial publications in Brazil, the US, and Europe. Her deep understanding and extensive knowledge make her a respected voice in the industry, appreciated for her ability to demystify complex financial concepts and market trends. This skill enables her to make financial insights accessible to a wide audience, from novice investors to seasoned professionals.

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