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What currency is it best to take to Egypt at the moment?

Grantham
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9 posts
67 reviews
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What currency is it best to take to Egypt at the moment?

I am going on a cruise next month calling at Alexandria and Port Said. I will be taking excursions organised by Cunard but as this will be the only time I ever get to visit Egypt, I would like to buy a few momentos and presents. I gather that you get a much better rate for your money from Egyptian banks but with our timetable, this won't be possible. I therefore wonder if it's best to get our Egyptian currency in the UK or whether Euros, US dollars would be a better bet. As I have no idea about current prices in the country I also have no idea how much money we would need and don't want to change too much as I will never get another chance to use it!

I hope someone can help

Bolton, United...
Destination Expert
for Nile River Valley
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1,747 posts
25 reviews
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1. Re: What currency is it best to take to Egypt at the moment?

You'll get your best rate, certainly closest to those UK banks give to each other and business customers, by taking Sterling and changing it , at a local bank, once you get to Egypt.

Just on a quick check between the official/inter-bank rate, those being offered to tourists by the Post Office and that Banque Misr (one of the Egyptian banks) is quoting shows the following:

Official: £1 = LE9.8293

Post Office: £1 = LE8.9788

Banque Misr: £1 = LE9.7753

Grantham
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9 posts
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2. Re: What currency is it best to take to Egypt at the moment?

Thanks for that reply - when you are on a cruise excursion, you are never sure if you will actually be able to get into a bank. To be on the safe side I think I will get Egyptian currency from the UK before we go as I am not expecting to spend a large amount of money so it won't make a huge difference. To be honest, when you are a fleeting cruise visitor, it's not quite the same as "normal" tourists - when visiting St Petersberg on a cruise, our local guide was rather askanced when we tried to pay her for photography permits for the Cathedral in Russian rubles asking "Why have you got rubles?" to which we of course replied "Because we are in Russia?" That's one reason why I asked if Euros or Dollars would be better - in our experience Americans on cruises never seem to bother with details like getting foreign currency as they always assume everyone accepts dollars!

Scotland, United...
Destination Expert
for Luxor, Nile River Valley, Egypt
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9,282 posts
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3. Re: What currency is it best to take to Egypt at the moment?

You will get LE in the UK, but usually only large denominations e.g. 50 & 100's

But note the vast difference between buy &* sell prices at your local shop and in Egypt at http://www.nbe.com.eg/en/ExchangeRate.aspx (That difference is the size of the UK profit margin!!!!)

So, you will get about 10% more LE for your pound locally as you arrive, before you have gone through immigration i.e. where you are getting your visa, although I haven't arrived by Cruise boat so am unable to confirm actual locations

Change most there and hand some back asking for 'Small' for tips - you will need some instantly for any luggage!

Whilst ANYONE will accept £1 coins they can not get them changed and have to find a friendly tourist to change them with, so please do NOT tip using these.

4. Re: What currency is it best to take to Egypt at the moment?

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