Frugal Travel Tips For Cairo, Egypt

When travelers think of Cairo, they think of the Pyramids Of Giza, the only remaining wonder of the ancient world but much of the joy of being in Cairo, comes from the unique culture. Observing this culture, including eating well, can be frugal for the savvy traveler.

Pyramids Of Giza

If you have time to explore the Pyramids of Giza complete with the Sphinx at the entrance, then the entrance fee is worth it. To touch the same stones laid by the ancients is an experience. However, for time crunched or extremely budget conscious travelers, the view from the outside is fine, especially to watch the laser light show at night.

Note: Any pictures of locals or camels usually come with a price tag so be prepared.

Khan el-Khalili

Traders have been bargaining in the Khan for centuries. One of the largest markets in the world, this is the place to people watch, to pick up souvenirs and to perfect haggling skills.

Haggling is expected, even welcomed. How to tell if the shopkeeper has reached the rock bottom price? If you walk away and the shopkeeper lets you go.

Note: The Middle Eastern’s definition of personal space is much different (as in much less space) than the average North American’s. Expect some close encounters.

Falafel In A Pita

One of the most popular Sandwiches in the Middle East is the falafel in a pita (so popular even McDonalds has a version). Deep fried chick peas formed into a ball, put in a flat bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and a creamy tahini sauce, the mix is not only delicious but inexpensive. We bought falafel in a pita for the equivalent of 25 cents U.S.

How to find the most inexpensive falafel stand?

Follow the local teenage boys. Teenage boys (the world over) have a nose for finding inexpensive meals of half decent quality. Then just point at what one of them order.

Juice Bars

To wash down the falafel, consider visiting one of the numerous juice bars. The juice is freshly squeezed but the glasses are reused, often without rinsing, so walk with your own plastic cup if you’re squeamish.

Cairo is one of the oldest cities in the world, a place of pyramids and mummies, but it does not have to be one of the most expensive. The frugal traveler can eat, drink, shop, and sight see without blowing the budget.