The official currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound. The Egyptian pound is divided into 100 piastres or 1000 millièmes. The international currency code or ISO-4217 code is EGP. In Arabia, the Egyptian pound is called guanayh – pronounced gineh. Mostly the term LE is used, which comes from French – livre égyptienne. The English abbreviation is EP for Egyptian Pound. The Egyptian pound is the official currency in Egypt and is also used unofficially in the Gazah Strip, alongside the official Israeli shekel as a means of payment. The symbol for the pound is known to us from England: £.
History of the Egyptian pound
In 1834, the Egyptian pound was introduced as the official currency in Egypt and replaced the piasters. In the course of the use of the means of payment, it was repeatedly pegged to the British pound and in modern times to the US $. In 2009 the inflation rate was a high 18%, nowadays the inflation rate has dropped to 9.5%. In 1998 there was a period of weak economic data and the Egyptian pound fell into a severe vortex of devaluation. The currency stabilized again.
After the 2011 revolution, the currency reserves were severely depleted. The country’s foreign exchange comes mainly from tourism, paid-in money from the countless migrant workers and the fees for using the Suez Canal.
Currency exchange into the Egyptian pound
Banknotes are available in Egypt as 50, 25, 10 and 5 piastres and as 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 pound notes. There are coins, but they are rarely used. Coins are divided into 5, 10, 20, 25, 50 piastres and 1 pound. Egypt has a hole coin – the 25 piastres have a hole in the middle. The 1 pound coin is unlikely to resemble our 2 euro coin and is often confused. Bills under 20 pounds are in short supply in Egypt. This is important to note in order to be able to pay smaller amounts in small shops. Often you cannot change a £ 20 note there.
The cheapest option is to exchange it in cash at the airport or in the official exchange offices, which offer a fair price. The courses hardly differ. Only an amount of up to EGP 1000 may be imported and exported. The course is also significantly better in Egypt. You can pay very well with EC and credit cards (Eurocard and Visa) and use them at the cash machines without any problems.
Euro checks are accepted up to 700 EGP per check in hotels and major banks. It is ideal to take a security cushion with you in travelers’ checks (preferably smaller denominations). You can also pay in euros, but no euros are returned and the prices in euros are usually much higher. It is essential to ask for small bills so that you can easily shop in smaller shops.