Tipping, or “baksheesh” as it’s known locally, is an essential part of Egyptian culture and is generally expected in most service sectors. Tipping in Egyptian Pounds is preferable, but US Dollars or Euros are acceptable alternatives.
Read on to understand the nuances of tipping culture in Egypt and how much to tip for various services during your trip to Egypt.
Tipping Culture in Egypt
Tipping in Egypt is more than just leaving a few coins on the table; it’s deeply embedded in the culture and known as “baksheesh.” Think of it as a small token of appreciation for a service, much like giving a high-five but in monetary form.
Almost everyone expects some form of baksheesh, from restaurant staff to hotel porters. This practice is widespread because wages are often low. The average monthly salary is $300, so workers rely on these extra contributions. It’s like an unspoken agreement between locals and tourists to help each other.
Should I tip in US Dollars, Euros, or Egyptian Pounds?
The local currency is always the king. Tipping in Egyptian Pounds is the most straightforward and appreciated method. Imagine if someone tipped you in a foreign currency in your home country; it would be a hassle to exchange, right?
However, tipping in US Dollars or Euros is also acceptable if you’re out of Egyptian Pounds. It’s always better to tip in US Dollars than not to tip at all.
Never tip in coins and $1 bills, as they cannot be exchanged!
How Much to Tip in Egypt?
Bellhops or Porters
When you first enter a hotel, you’ll likely encounter bellhops or porters who help you with your luggage. A tip of 10 to 20 Egyptian Pounds is standard for their service. Consider it a way to say “thank you” for getting your vacation off to an effortless start.
Tipping between 20 to 50 Egyptian Pounds per day is recommended for housekeeping.
It’s good practice to tip daily rather than at the end of your stay, as housekeeping staff may rotate. Place the money in a visible location like the bed or a dedicated tip envelope if available.
In Egypt, it’s generally expected to tip around 10 to 15% of the bill at restaurants.
Some places might include a service charge, but this often doesn’t go to the staff. So, even if you see this charge, a separate tip is still appreciated.
The metered fare is usually just a starting point when taking a taxi. Rounding up to the nearest 5 or 10 Egyptian Pounds is customary.
If the driver has been particularly helpful, perhaps by helping with luggage or providing a smooth ride, a bit more would be appreciated.
Tour guides often go above and beyond to make your experience memorable. A tip of 50 to 100 Egyptian Pounds per day is recommended.
If the guide has offered you particular insights, made special arrangements, or given you a truly exceptional experience, you might want to tip more.
While cruising the Nile or other waterways, a general tipping guideline is 100 to 200 Egyptian Pounds per day, usually divided among the crew.
Some companies provide a “tip box” for this collective tipping at the end of the cruise.
For other services, such as restroom attendants or informal guides at historical sites, tipping 5 to 10 Egyptian Pounds is adequate.
While these tips may seem small, they’re important for the recipient. Think of it as leaving a like or positive review for a useful online article; it’s a small gesture that means a lot to the person receiving it.
Mastering the art of tipping, or baksheesh, during your trip to Egypt will earn you the appreciation of locals and help you understand a fundamental aspect of Egyptian culture.
Remember, when in Egypt, it’s generally best to tip in Egyptian Pounds, although other currencies are acceptable alternatives.
The amount to tip varies by service, but a small 5%-15% tip can make a big difference in someone’s day.
So go ahead, be that local superhero; your small acts of kindness will make your trip unforgettable and genuinely beneficial for those you encounter.
Quickly calculate your tip with our free Tip Calculator!