Your Ultimate Guide on Train Travel in EgyptEgypt is one of the best places to visit and even better if you love train journeys. Yes, Egypt is home to some of the extended train routes and it happens to be crazily under budget. Train travel in Egypt is always recommended for people who love drinking in the scenery of a new place. It is very convenient and easy to travel to Egypt via train and any tourists can independently travel via train.
Some of the important routes by the Egyptian Railways are comfortable and you can travel between Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said, Luxor, Aswan, & Suez. The two major routes in Egypt are Cairo–Alexandria, and Cairo–Aswan, there are other train transportations for daytime and nighttime. The most beautiful train journey in Egypt will be along the Nile where you will catch up the brilliance of nature from the train window, the scenery is filled with beautiful palm trees, lush fields and open sky.
Train operator - Egyptian National Railways, Sleeper trains Cairo-Luxor-Aswan
Two Important Egypt Train Services
1. Day TrainsDay trains are the express trains, which offer all-day transportation to the south of Cairo. You will find various trains at different timing but the best one is 980, as mentioned earlier, day trains along the way will give you a beautiful view of villages and plantations.
2. Night TrainsThe night trains are comfortable enough to offer a decent sleeping seat, the seats are recliner and some of them are even cheaper than the Watania Sleeper trains. You will get four-five options in sleeper trains that run from Luxor and Aswan on a daily basis.
The one thing that is better on day trains as compared to the night trains is the scenic beauty.
Three Important Classes in Train Travel in Egypt
1st ClassThis is the best one with air-con, clean toilets, padded seats, snacks and tea from the trolley. This class is suggested if you are travelling a long distance.
2nd ClassThis is okay to travel on if you are not travelling a very long distance, the seats are comfortable, toilets are agreeable, no air-con, and some snacks.
3rd ClassThis is not very luxurious but somehow one of the interesting train class to travel in Egypt. You will find many vendors, and get a lot of attention from the people around if you are a foreigner. This class is mostly crowded.
Sleeper TrainsSleeper trains are important for some tourists who prefer the train seats for crashing at night. It is a private company but has an extended route for Cairo to Luxor and Aswan. The price of the tickets is reasonable, which is $110 for two people. The journey is mostly of 12 hours, but you will have to make the reservation beforehand.
Compartments: The compartments are mostly comfortable with seats that convert to a bed, clean sheets, blanket, and pillow. The sleepers also have clean toilets.
Meals: the food is good, dinner and breakfast are served airline-style in the compartments. You will also have some light drinks on the train.
Two Main Routes
1. Service between Alexandria and CairoThe routes between Alexandria and Cairo are the most travelled and excellent in service. These routes comprise of two main trains, first, the modern air-conditioned express trains, which has 1st and 2nd class. The second category is the ordinary trains, which has 2nd and 3rd class and no air condition. The tickets for the first class of this route are affordable that will cost you around $9.
2. Train routes between Cairo, Luxor and AswanYou can travel on 4 different types of train, we listed the four types for you to understand and make the bookings accordingly.
• Overnight deluxe sleeper train
• Daytime air-conditioned express trains
• Overnight air-conditioned express trains
• Daytime ordinary slow trains
Each one has its own benefits and you will be able to afford the tickets for around $5-$9.
Buying Tickets in EgyptJust as any other country has a super annoying train station and equally annoying ticket counters, Egypt is just about the same. Buying tickets are easy but the process can get on your nerves, so we advise you to be patient when you go to buy a ticket in the train station. Remember that your train travel in Egypt will be totally worth it. There are various booking window so make sure you are standing behind the right one.
Self-Service Ticket MachinesThe main station in Egypt also has a self-service ticket machine will be faster than the staffed ticket counters. The machines are advanced with touch screens and various language facility and you will be able to get the reservation for most of the train routes in Egypt. You may come across some machines that will trouble you, but that’s okay, find the one that works.
Online Tickets InformationIf you want to book the ticket online, then checking out the government website is the best option. However, the government website only has a timetable for express trains, main routes and not the other services.
1. What tickets you can book online?1st & 2nd class seats on express trains between Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor & Aswan. However, for sleeper train tickets of the same route, you will have to visit their official website.
2. When is the booking open?You can book 2 weeks before departure.
3. What is not possible to book online?• Sleeper trains because it only books daytime express trains
• 2nd & 3rd class tickets for ordinary slow trains
• Tickets to Mersa Matruh or Port Said or smaller stations such as Edfu or Kom Ombo
• Tickets further ahead than 2 weeks
Limitations: You will only be able to book a maximum of 4 seats at one time on Cairo-Luxor-Aswan trains and around 5 seats on Cairo-Alexandria trains. If you want to book more than 4-5 tickets, then you will have to go through some agency.
Train travel in Egypt is not complicated or expensive once you know all the related details. It is actually quite inexpensive and easy, you get various options in multiple routes and the pricing on them is also affordable.