Egypt has developed a good network of domestic air connections with flights to most cities. the national company Egypt Air operates most of these flights and tourist attractions. Popular destinations include Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh, Alexandria, Marsa Matruh, Marsa Alam and the oasis of Kharga. Travel is relatively affordable. As an example, a return flight from Cairo to Luxor can cost as little as €140, €40 or €50 for substantially shorter flights. Bear in mind that there is a big difference in prices for flights from high season to low season and depending on how early you buy the flights.
The bus network is very comprehensive, served by a large number of companies with better or worse vehicles. The most famous companies are Pullman, West Delta, Golden Arrow, Super Jet, East Delta, El Gouna, Upper Egypt Bus Co and Bedouin Bus. Popular routes such as those connecting Cairo, Alexandria, Ismailia, Port Said, Suez , Santa Catarina Monastery, Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada and Luxor are served by luxury buses with air conditioning, bathroom and TV on board, as a rule, safer and quite comfortable.
Trips on other less popular routes are likely to be ensured by buses without these conditions, unsanitary and very noisy due to the engines as well as the music or movies played on board.
In Egypt, bus travel involves considerable risks of road accidents due to the poor condition of the roads and, above all, the recklessness of drivers. In the Sinai area and between Aswan and Abu Simbel, count on several military inspections, for which you must have a passport ready to show.
Don't count on the ease of purchasing tickets online. Tickets are purchased at truck stations or on board.
One of the classic journeys of Egypt is the Nile ascent with strategic stops in cities and places with the most impressive Egyptian ruins such as Luxor, Edzna, Edfu, Kom Ombo, Aswan and others. Virtually all travel agency programs include trips on these boats, but tickets can be purchased independently on large steamboats, on dahabiyyas (larger and well-equipped sailing vessels) or on traditional feluccas. Prices differ immensely. Can go from €10 per night in a small felucca Spartan (usually from Aswan) at €300 or €400 per night on the most luxurious cruise ships.
Ferries ensure a very profitable journey between Hurghada and Sharm-El-Sheikh. The journey takes 90 minutes or considerably longer if the sea is rough. It costs around €40.
The company that manages most of the Egyptian trains is the Egyptian National Railways.
The train could always be a good solution as the Egyptian railway network is extensive (more than 5.000 km of rail) passing through most of the cities and emblematic places. However, the authorities have allowed the infrastructure to deteriorate to such an extent that few train journeys prove advantageous compared to those provided by luxury coaches.
Exceptions can be considered for the stretches between Cairo and Alexandria on board the trains Turbini and Espani and the most touristic night sleeper trains from Cairo to Luxor and Aswan. These trains are managed by a distinct company named abel egypt. Remember, however, that only by ensuring travel in sleeping compartments will you have really acceptable conditions of comfort and travel in eventually torrid Egypt requires good rest.
Classes divide into First, Second and Third.
The First requires reservations made in advance. They include bunk beds, bed linen, shared bathroom and air conditioning. Dinners and breakfasts are included in the ticket prices and are served by hosts in their own compartments.
The Second is in slightly worse conditions than the First (and most likely the absence of air conditioning). It costs just a little less than the First, so it is advisable to cover the difference and travel more relaxed.
In terms of hygiene and comfort, Third Class is Egypt's railway debacle but continues to support millions of its humblest citizens. There is no air conditioning, carriages can be ovens, seats are most likely made of wood, trains stop forever at stations and are delayed for hours. Expect the worst possible in all respects except price.
All tickets must be purchased at the stations. International student cards guarantee discounts on all classes except sleeper trains. The trip between Cairo and Luxor in Second Class will cost you only €4 to €6.
Renting a car in Egypt is a decision that only the bravest are willing to make. If you rent a car in Cairo, you will have already figured out why even before arriving at the rent-a-car facilities. Outside the biggest cities, traffic is smoothed out and driving requires above all attention to road defects and possible infringements by other drivers. The rule in Egypt is to ignore the rules.
You will be much better suited to exploring the country if you get a sturdy 4WD vehicle. Rent-a-cars require the driver to be at least 21 years old. Expect to pay around €30 per day for a utility vehicle, a little less if you rent out of high season and for longer periods. The fuel is heavily subsidized by the state and, as such, inexpensive, around €0,20 per liter of gasoline or diesel. International Driving License required.
Due to the major disadvantages described above, the most common is to rent a car with a driver or taxis for long-term services. The prices for this type of agreement depend a lot on your vocation and your patience to bargain.