Money in Egypt is the Egyptian pound:
exchange rates, cheating tourists, coins and banknotes
The vast majority of tourists who vacation in Egypt, never change money and saw Egyptian pounds only in pictures. In the resort cities, dollars and euros are accepted everywhere: in shops, cafes, restaurants, excursion bureaus, and even taxi drivers take foreign currency, although this is prohibited by law.
However, in some cases, the Egyptian currency will still be needed. In this article, let's talk about coins and banknotes, exchange rates and common deceptions of tourists.
The currency of Egypt is called the "Egyptian pound", its official designation is EGP, you will see such an abbreviation in banks and exchange offices.
The Egyptians themselves call their currency a word that is difficult to pronounce to Europeans, it sounds something like "junayh".
In the shops on the price tags there are the symbols LE, LE, E £ or £ E, they all designate the Egyptian pound. The abbreviation LE stands for "livre egyptian", that is, "Egyptian livre" by analogy with the "French livre." Probably, many readers had questions: "Why is Livre called, if he is a pound? And where is France in general? "
Let's try to answer. Egypt for a long time was part of the Ottoman Empire, and here went the Turkish currency "Kurush", he is also a "piastre". In 1805 Muhammad Ali came to power in Egypt, and began to pursue his policy in all spheres of the country's life. In 1833, there was a war between Egypt and Turkey, and the Egyptians won actual independence. In the new status, Egypt needed its own currency.
The Egyptian pound was introduced in 1834. The new currency did not replace the Turkish piastres (kurushi), but became the highest unit at the rate of 1 pound = 100 piastres. 1 pound in those days was real wealth, it equated to 7.5 grams of pure gold.
Muhammad Ali loved France and everything French. He built an army on the French model, invited the best architects from Paris and even gave France a large obelisk from Luxor Temple . By the way, this obelisk still stands in Paris on the Place de la Concorde.
Not surprisingly, the French name was "attached" to the new currency, because at that time in Egypt there were a lot of French people. To recall even the great archaeologists-Egyptologists of that time - Auguste Mariet (founder of the Cairo Museum ) and Jean-Francois Champollion (deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs) were French.
Almost two centuries passed, but nothing changed in the currency of Egypt - one pound is also divided into 100 piastres, and the French name LE is spread now.
The Egyptian pound is used not only in Egypt, but also in the city of Gaza (usually called the "Gaza Strip"), which is a territory with an indefinite status. In Egypt, Egyptian pounds and Israeli shekels are on a par with.
In what cases do Egyptian pounds still need
If you drive yourself see the sights of Cairo or the city of Alexandria . If you decide to relax on the Mediterranean resorts of Egypt or the resorts around Suez ( Ain Sokhna and others). In all these cases, money will have to be changed, since you will have to pay in pounds.
If you fly to Egypt to the resorts of the Red Sea and the hotel does not go out, then you will manage dollars and euros. Even on local excursions, pounds are not useful. Resorts in Egypt are separate areas, very different from the rest of the country, here pounds are not needed. In the photo on the right is a typical price list from a hotel in Hurghada, it is completely in dollars.
If you come to the resorts of the Red Sea, but want to go on an excursion to Cairo, Alexandria or Luxor, it is better to have a few pounds with you. Egyptian money will come in handy in stores to buy water or a snack. In some local shops you can buy Egyptian souvenirs several times cheaper, but only for pounds.
You can exchange money at bank branches or at exchange offices. Recently, ATMs have started to be installed in hotels, which are also able to make currency exchange. The latter method is the most convenient, since the ATM does not exactly deceive.
See the table below for official exchange rates.
| Exchange rates for: January 24, 2013 |
1 Egyptian pound = 3.182 Russian rubles
1 Egyptian pound = 0.056 US dollars
1 Egyptian pound = 0.046 euros
1 Russian ruble = 0.314 Egyptian pounds
1 American dollar = 17.712 Egyptian pounds
1 euro = 21.931 Egyptian pounds
Features of Egypt's Money
Official export of Egyptian pounds outside the country is prohibited. In fact, no one seriously checks the customs control at the airports of Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh , and a beautiful coin of 1 Egyptian pound has long become a popular souvenir among tourists.
1 pound is divided into 100 piastres, but theoretically in Egypt there is an even smaller monetary unit - in millimeters. 1 piastre = 10 millimeters, 1 pound = 1000 millimeters. Officially, no one banned millimeters, but coins 1 and 5 millimeters were finished in 1972. Now such coins are not found in circulation.
Egyptian banknotes have a good quality - the principle "the greater the denomination of a bill, the more it is bigger" is respected here, which is convenient. Banknotes 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 pounds have lengths of 14.5, 15, 15.5, 16, 16.5 and 17.5 centimeters. A denomination of 200 pounds is even wider than all the others - 8 centimeters against 7 in the remaining bills.
The negative feature of the notes of the Egyptian pound is their external similarity. On the front side, all the denominations have mosques, inscriptions in Arabic and denominations with indo-Arabic numerals. Europeans find it difficult to distinguish bills from each other, they have to turn them all over to the other side, where the inscriptions are already made in English, and the nominal value is indicated by the usual figures.
Such a similarity of bills has given rise to several types of tourist deceits. Let's talk about this in detail.
Deceptions of tourists
The most common deception is the return of the change. You just give less than expected. The swindler hopes that you will incorrectly count, because the bills are similar. The popularity of this deception is logical, because the police do not arrest the mistake in counting the surrender and do not put them in jail. If you notice an error, you will simply be told: "Oh. Excuse me. Wrong. Here's the proper surrender. "
The second deception concerns banknotes of 50 pounds, with which tourists need to be especially careful. Most recently, there was a banknote in the denomination of 50 piastres (pictured right).
These notes stopped printing in 2006, and they were completely withdrawn from circulation in 2010, but scammers still use them. They give 50 notes for the delivery of a bill instead of a 50-pound note.
Remember that on a bill of 50 piasters, a pharaoh with a staff is depicted. Saw this image, then something is unclean. A man with a rod does not bode well for himself, especially motorists know it, but on an Egyptian bank note and even more so.
In addition to the bill of 50 piastres, before there were notes of 25 piastres and 1 pound (with the image of the temple of Abu Simbel ). Fortunately, for these two denominations, scammers did not find the application.
The main rule
Carefully count all the bills, without departing from the ticket office. Do not be too lazy, turn the banknotes upwards with the side where the nominal value is written with the usual figures. After that, count the money, preferably two times.
And read our articles: " Deceptions of tourists in Egypt " and " What in Egypt can not be done for tourists ."
On the obverse of the coins you can see a thematic picture. On the reverse, the denomination is written with Indo-Arabic numerals. Please note that below these figures you can find the value written in English.
Coin 5 piastres.
Until 1992, the pyramids of Giza were depicted on the reverse. It seems strange that the most important sight of Egypt is depicted on the smallest coin. Apparently for this reason the design of the coin has changed.
Since 1992, on the reverse, a vase is depicted. This is not some famous archaeological find, but the most simple vase, made in the classical Arabic style.
Weight: 2.4 grams. Diameter: 17 mm. Thickness: 1,04 mm. Composition: 94% steel, 2% nickel and 4% copper (outer coating)
Coin 10 piastres.
The reverse shows the famous mosque of Muhammad Ali , which is located in the Cairo citadel .
Weight: 3.2 grams. Diameter: 19 mm. Thickness: 1,1 mm. Composition: 94% steel, 2% copper and 4% nickel (outer coating)
The coin is 25 piastres.
The most boring Egyptian coin. On both sides, the nominal value is written, the phrase "Arab Republic of Egypt" and the year of issue on the obverse. Apparently, the author of this coin design had a creative crisis.
Weight: 5.2 grams. Diameter: 25 mm. Thickness: 1.4 mm. Composition: 95% copper, 5% aluminum.
Coin 50 piastres.
The reverse depicts the profile of Queen Cleopatra - the most famous Egyptian .
Weight: 6,5 grams. Diameter: 23 mm. Thickness: 1.7 mm. Composition: 94% steel, 2% nickel and 4% copper (outer coating)
Coin 1 pound.
The reverse depicts the funerary mask of the pharaoh Tutankhamun from the 17th dynasty, which was extracted in 1922 from the tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62) in the Valley of the Kings . If you think about it, this mask perfectly suits as a symbol of money, because it is gold weighing more than 10 kilograms. Now the mask of Tutankhamun is kept in the Cairo Museum.
Weight: 8.5 grams. Diameter: 25 mm. Thickness: 1.95 mm.
The composition of the central part: 94% steel, 2% nickel and 4% copper (outer coating).
Composition of the rim: 94% steel, 2% copper and 4% nickel (outer coating).
Coins in Egypt are constantly changing. Now in circulation there are coins of several series. For example, you can find coins of 50 piasters of two diameters - 23 (2007) and 25 (2005) millimeters. Both coins are a full legal tender. If you run into a similar one, do not be surprised.
Now in circulation there are bills of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 Egyptian pounds. In 2006, in Al-Ahram newspapers (the title translates as "pyramids") and Al-Akbar (translated as "news") in several articles it was stated that the authorities plan to introduce a 500-pound note. But there are no official statements yet, and nobody even saw the mock-ups of this bill.
The banknote is 5 pounds.
On the front side there is the Ibn Tulun Mosque, on the back there is a reproduction of the engraving "The Nile River offers gifts to the inhabitants of the valley" found in one of the royal tombs.
Dimensions: 145x70. Colors: blue-green.
The note is 10 pounds.
On the front side is the Al-Rifai Mosque, on the back there is the upper part of the statue of the pharaoh Khafre. This sculpture archaeologists found in the memorial temple in Giza near the pyramid of Chephren . Now the sculpture can be seen in the Cairo Museum.
Dimensions: 150x70. Colors: pink.
The note is 20 pounds.
On the front side there is a mosque of Muhammad Ali, on the back side is depicted the battle chariot of Ancient Egypt.
Dimensions: 155x70. Colors: green.
The note is 50 pounds.
On the front side there is a Kajmas al-Isshaki mosque (it is also Abu Khuraybah mosque), on the back side there is a temple in Edfu , dedicated to the god Gora.
Dimensions: 160x70. Colors: brownish-red.
The note is 100 pounds.
On the front side there is a mosque and madrasah of Sultan Hasan in Cairo, on the back side the head of the Great Sphinx in Giza is shown.
Dimensions: 165x70. Colors: violet.
The note is 200 pounds.
On the front side is a Kanibei al-Rahmah mosque in Cairo, on the back there is a statue of a "sitting scribe", found by archaeologist Auguste Mariette in Saqqara in 1850. The statue is dated by the IV dynasty, that is, it is the same age as the pyramid of Cheops (about 2500 BC).
Interestingly, this sculpture is now not in Egypt, but in Paris in the Louvre Museum. Among Egyptian politicians, there are sometimes statements that Egypt must demand it back. For this reason, the appearance of the "sitting scribe" on the bill was apprehended with caution. Is this a political statement?
Dimensions: 175x80. Colors: olive.
The last important remark
At the beginning of the economic crisis in 2014-2015 in Egypt, many traders began to accept Russian rubles. Then in the Russian press it was trumpeted as "about the gigantic victory of the Russian economy over the dollar."
Tourists, who believed in such ultra-patriotic statements, took with them on the trip rubles, but quickly understood their stupidity. With an official ruble / dollar exchange rate of 60 rubles, Egyptian traders accepted rubles at the rate of 80 or even 100.
Do not repeat such mistakes, take dollars with you. We wish you successful communication with money in Egypt, and read our other interesting articles about this country ( links below ).
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50 piastres for how much you can sell
Alexander - GlavRed site
Nominally, about 3.5 rubles. This coin is of no special value.