Egypt currency and Exchange Rate
The unit for Egypt currency is the pound (EGP; symbol E£) = 100 piastres. Notes are in denominations of E£100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 1, 50 piastres and 25 piastres. Coins are in denominations of 20, 10 and 5 piastres.
Since 2007, there are 200 Pound notes circulating in Egypt. There is talk that 500 Pound notes will start circulating. As of the summer of 2009, banknotes of one pound and one half pound are being phased out, replaced by more extensive use of coins. Presumably quarter pound notes will be phased out as well.
Two interesting peculiarities of Egypt currency are that each note is written in two languages, Arabic and English, and that the smaller the note denomination, the smaller its physical size. The Arabic side of the note has engravings of architecturally and historically important mosques. The English side depicts the legacy of Ancient Egypt, with engravings of figures, statues and temples. Egyptian paper money is among the most beautiful, on account of its color and the use of Egyptian and Arab motifs in its design.
Currency exchange is available at banks, official bureaux de change and most hotels. Banks often have better exchange rates than bureaux de change or hotels. All common international currencies are accepted. The import and export of foreign currency is unlimited. The import of local currency is unlimited. The export of local currency is prohibited.
One-five pound note is a good tip for service.
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted, but generally only in bigger hotels or restaurants in Cairo and restaurants in tourist areas. You may avoid additional exchange rate charges by using traveller's cheques in US Dollars, Euros or Pounds Sterling.
Tips from INFOHUB
Money exchange in Egypt poses little trouble as long as you stay in large centers. Smaller places will seldom have banks, exchange shops or black markets. One isnít normally supposed to pay a commission when changing money. However, one should keep in mind that exchange rates at the main Egyptian banks (Bank of Alexandria, Banque Misr, Banque du Caire and National Bank of Egypt) and Forex bureaux (the generic term for private exchanges) vary enough to make a difference to people changing a lot of money at once. As a rule of thumb, Forex bureaux offer the best rates for cash, but may not take travelers' cheques; the transaction is also faster than in banks, where forms are passed among a bevy of clerks and counters. Forex bureaux are largely confined to Cairo, Alexandria and the Canal Cities. The fractional difference between the black market and the official exchange rates offers zero incentive to deal with (possible) rip-off artists or agentsí provocateurs. That said, you might find it expedient to change some cash unofficially in the Sinai or the desert oasis, where banks are thin on the ground, and the risk factor is lower.
Price / Tour Site
EGP 20 / Abu Seir Pyramids