The local currency is Egyptian pounds but they will accept anything!!! There are things to buy but you do need to barter to get a bargain! I got some pure wool shawls/throws for £10 each having started at £40 each!! also spices and cheap t shirts and scarves etc. alabaster ornaments and carved wood ornaments. also lots of 'tat'!!
Yes, they will take absolutely anything - we paid our taxi driver in a mixture of Euros, Egyptian Pounds and US Dollars. Morris is right - barter, barter, barter!
If you are going on a ship's excursion say to the Pyramids or even around Alexandria, then you can get by very happily with a few Euros or US dollars or even GB pounds but to get change it is better to stick to the first two. If you are going on a tour that you have organised on the net, and it is very easy to do, then the same applies except that they will probably want payment for the tour in US dollars. If you want to wait until the ship docks and you want to do your own touring then barter with the taxi driver in whatever currency you prefer and they will sort it but again the preferred currencies are US$ or the € and your driver will pay entrance fees and lunch and you can reimburse him in the arranged currency. .....Neil.
The currency is the Egyptian £ and before the GB pound lost value it was worth 10 Egyptian pounds. Be careful when you are there as traders quote sometimes in GB and some in Egyptian £ - just to confuse. They are very pushy too BUT it can be worth buying - depends where you are going and how long you have to negotiate with the seller - they like to take lots of time over a cup of tea etc. It can be fun or intimidating depending upon how you view it. They are probably the most in your face of any traders I have seen and they wont go away easily but you can, if you are careful, get a bargain or two. Egyptian blankets are very nice at about 3 - 5 GB£ (they will ask 30! - or more). My wife bought a very nice embroidered top but the second one they put in the bag was very inferior quality - so again be acreful to see exactly what you are buying.
We found that buying the currency in Egypt was just as good as buying here - better sometimes and US $ are widely taken along with GB£. Buy with credit cards in the perfume shops - can be very good value. The Giza area was not as good as the Karnak area for bargains but if you are on a Nile cruise there will be lots of 'shopping oportunities!'
When at Giza, we booked personal tours on the net rather than go with a large group. This worked out very well at $50 each for 3 of us with driver and guide and included entrance fees. US$ are the tourist currency in this case.
One thing that you must do when handling Egyptian money, especially low denominations, is to wash your hands after handling it if you don't want to put yourself at risk of a stomach upset. We always carry a small bottle of Boots disinfectant hand cleaner and as such we have never suffered from an Egyptian tummy.
The currency is the Egyptian pound and how much you need is up to the individual things can be quite cheap depends on what you intend to buy.
Egypt --- We did the Nile Cruise/Hotel stay very enjoyable-- like" Only fools and horses" with sun
You need a sense of humour but be firm also as they will plead and plead with you to come into "my humble shop". They are polite so always say "Maybe later it depends"
Wear shorts that have zip and velcro pockets if walking out and around,stick to the main streets always
and barter barter always -- open up at 25-30% of what street traders ask and don't be afraid to walk away--even in jewelers shops cut the price by 50% and take it from there--we are Irish so I sold them stuff!!!!
We are in early 60's and We thoroughly enjoyed it and would go back
Leather is very good value purses and wallets- It's a very poor country where the word baksheesh(tips) rules
My wife and I had roast beef club sandwich with side salad and chips + a six cup pot of tea on the terrace of the Hilton overlooking the Nile for a massive £ 3-60 each--- Luvly Jubbly!!!
Any thing you want to ask e-mail me via this site.
Egyptian Holiday:-The only things i can tell you are:-
(a) Don't take too much cash out with you on day trips,because there are so many pick pockets..even handbags cut from a womans shoulder wasn't noticed immediately??Put all cash into a money belt or zipped pocket.
(B)Shops or bazzars are plentiful,but always barter for the price,walk away if they won't come to your price,you'll get called back and end up by paying YOUR price.
(C)When told"Hi there i am your waiter",and you get the feeling that you have never met,don't get fooled he only wants to take you to his"brothers shop" down the road,where you will have a problem getting out again.
(D)Items to buy are:- Leather coats,especially in Sharm el sheik and Hurgada areas,they are excellent value,plus any other laether made items.
(E) an item NOT to buy is anything dyed yellow,it comes out in every darned wash,as i have found out at my expence?
Have a great time Egypt is a lovely country,lots to see and do and eating places are fairly cheap.
Pat White Dorset England.
Exchange your money over there you definitely get a better exchange rate.
The money was the worst aspect of Egypt for me - you do get hassled for tips and to buy all the time but I would have willingly given (the locals are so much poorer than us) but I could only get large denominations in this country - there is alos mcuh confusion re Egyptian versus GB pounds. My problem was solved by my handing over my entire week's spending money for some tat by mistake! After I could honestly say "sorry I have nothing to give you" Gl Lancs.