By international standards Egypt is still fairly cheap, though admission fees, guided tours and private transportation can really hike up the price.
If you’re a hard-core budget traveller, it’s possible to get by on about US$20 a day or maybe less, though you will have to stick to the cheapest hotels, eat the staple snacks of fuul (fava beans) and ta’amiyya (felafel), use the cheapest local transport and limit your sightseeing. At the other end of the scale, Egypt has plenty of accommodation charging upwards of US$200 a night, and some of the better restaurants will set you back US$20 per person or more.
Taking a middle route, if you stay in a modest hotel with a fan and private bathroom, eat in low-key restaurants frequented by locals (allowing for the occasional splurge), and aim to see a couple of sites each day, you’ll be looking at between US$30 and US$50 a day.
Getting around the country is cheap: the 10-hour train ride between Cairo and Luxor can cost as little as US$6 in 2nd class, and even domestic flights on EgyptAir can cost as little as US$35. However, private taxis in convoys between tourist destinations can get pricey, though these are often the safest and most comfortable way to travel.
The major expense is going to be the entry fees to tourist sites. Foreigners are seen as dollars on legs, so places where they flock tend to be pricey. A complete visit to the Giza Pyramids costs more than US$50 in admission charges, while seeing the mummies at the Egyptian Museum costs about US$25. However, if you have a valid International Student Identity Card (ISIC), you can rack up some serious discounts. Of course, no card will make you exempt from the seemingly obligatory demands for baksheesh, which can seriously drain your wallet if you’re not careful.
A service charge of between 10% and 15% is applied in most upmarket restaurants and hotels, to which value-added tax (VAT) and municipal taxes are also added. In other words, the price that you are quoted at a hotel or read on a menu could be almost 25% higher when it comes to paying the bill.