The days of cheap air travel are gone, but there’s still a few locations that you can get to from Egypt without having to sell the car if you know where to look. Here, we’ve put together the cheapest flights that you can catch out of Egypt along with a bit of information on what you can do there and what the dreaded visa process is like for Egyptians in each country.
Before we jump into some of the beautiful locations you can escape to on a budget, it helps to know what airlines to look out for, what websites to use, and what Egyptian airports to fly out from. First of all, forget about only relying on SkyScanner for finding flights, AZair has some incredible deals if you can get around the frustrating website design. AZair specializes in budget airlines and once got me from Cairo to London for only 30 US dollars, which is around 600 Egyptian pounds. The second most important tip is to try to fly out of Alexandria’s Borg el-Arab airport or from Sharm el-Shiekh and Hurghada if possible. The budget airlines that fly out of these airports are often a quarter or half the price that you will find for the same destinations out of Cairo International Airport. That said, there are still a few low-price flights to be got out of Cairo that you can find to some incredible locations.
The price of flight tickets can drastically change year-to-year as new flight routes open or close, but here we have listed the most affordable flights out of Egypt as of 2022 for you to think about for your next holiday abroad. Take a look and see where you want to travel next.
With the arrival of Spanish budget airline Vueling operating out of Cairo International Airport, flights to Barcelona have finally become a bit more affordable for those in Egypt. Barcelona is a city that overflows with culture and you can easily spend a week just soaking it up. From its cuisine and contemporary art to its impressive architecture and music, the city is packed full of exciting and interesting things to do. Its nightlife is also phenomenal and not to be missed, as are some of its architectural gems that are scattered across the city. Unfortunately, you need to apply for a Schengen visa as an Egyptian citizen, but it’s certainly worth the hassle. You can apply for a visa through the Spanish embassy’s official partner.
Again, thanks to the budget airline Vueling recently starting to operate out of Cairo International Airport, flight to Paris have plummeted in price and this luxurious destination may have just become a little bit more affordable for some of us. While you may be able to get cheap flights to Paris, it’s important to factor in how expensive the city is. However, while acknowledging that it’s expensive, there are still great ways to enjoy Paris on a budget if you’re willing to stay in a hostel and avoid expensive eateries. Paris and its many sites are best-enjoyed on foot with occasional stops at picturesque cafes for coffee. Its art galleries and museums like the Louvre and Pompidou Centre are also not to be missed as are the freshly baked goods from bakeries you can find on every street. As with most of Europe, Egyptians need a Schengen visa, which you can get through the French Embassy’s official partner.
Lebanon has it all and more. French historian and philosopher Joseph-Ernest Renan on his journey through Lebanon in 1860 reflected on the country’s extraordinary natural beauty, culture, and Roman and Phoenician ruins by stating, ‘What an amazing magician this Lebanon is’. If you’re looking for beautiful beaches, vineyards, mountains and of course, nightlife, Lebanon may be for you. Be sure to rent a car as Lebanon is a country made for road tripping and pretty much everything is a two-hour drive from Beirut. Remember to bring US dollars though as you’ll need to exchange them when you’re there to get Lebanese currency as its very easy to get ripped off by ATMs and the official exchange rate. Egyptians can apply for a visa beforehand through the embassy or can get a visa on arrival but you’ll have to bring 2000 US dollars in cash to the airport. Even the most luxurious holiday in Lebanon would struggle to cost this much money, but it’s the rule, unfortunately.
Nineteenth-century French poet and author Alphonse de Lamartine once proclaimed, ‘If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul’. Walking through Istanbul’s enchanting cobbled streets, it’s easy to see why he said this as imposing mosques and the colossal Bosporus river mingle together in one of the world’s most impressive cityscapes. Istanbul has plenty to keep you busy, you can visit the great Haga Sofia, explore numerous fantastic museums, engorge yourself in Turkish food, and generally soak up the addictive vibe of the city. Istanbul is also a great base for you to explore Turkey’s pristine beaches and turquoise blue waters in the south or to visit the other-worldly landscape of Cappadocia. More good news is that Egyptians can now apply online for an electronic visa.
Amman has a vibrant cultural scene and some impressive Roman ruins, but the real adventure is out of the city. To make your holiday an unforgettable experience of a lifetime, you can take a trip to the wonders of the ancient city of Petra, get lost in this ‘rose-red city half as old as time’, and even recreate your favorite Indiana Jones scene if you wish. You can also venture through the sands of Wadi Rum via jeep or camel and take a plunge in the healing waters of the Dead Sea. Egyptians can even get visas on arrival, so what are you waiting for?
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
In just three and half hours you can fly to the futuristic city of Dubai. With luxurious hotels, soft sandy beaches and super fancy restaurants; Dubai is a great place to live the high life. In addition to Dubai’s world-famous shopping opportunities, modern Dubai now also offers a whole host of activities for tourists to get stuck into. You can head up to the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa and look upon the city below from the world’s tallest building, visit one of the many waterparks and theme parks, and explore Dubai from the water by boat. As Dubai is a city of the future, you can of course apply for a visa online.
The tiny island of Cyprus is as charming as it is beautiful. With cute little cafes, trendy bars, and fantastic restaurants, it’s a great place to relax and enjoy life at a slow pace. Cyprus has numerous impressive Roman and Greek archaeological sites in addition to picturesque churches and monasteries dotted throughout the landscape, but its main appeal for many is its great beaches. For those in need of a real break, Cyprus is a great option for sitting back, relaxing and soaking up the sun. Although unfortunately, Egyptians have to apply for a visa in person at the embassy and it can take a while to process. However, it’s certainly worth the hassle and the quick hour and a half flight should help make up the time spent sorting out your application.
Sitting below the great Acropolis that looks over the city, Athens is an exciting and criminally underrated holiday destination. In addition to fantastic museums, the cafe culture, art scene, and culinary hotspots provide more than enough to do as you spend your days sipping coffee and soaking up the vibe of this fantastic city. Athens is also a great entry point into the rest of Greece as you can easily grab an internal flight or take a ferry to one of the many incredible islands dotted around the coastline. Egyptians need to apply for a Schengen visa beforehand through the Greek Embassy’s official partner, which is said to be a simpler and easier process than some other Schengen area countries.
Italians are proud of their food, and rightly so. Even if only for the food, a trip to Rome would already be worth it; however, this charming old city has so much more to offer from the impressive colosseum, the awe-inspiring Pantheon, and the exquisite Galleria Borghese displaying sculptures from the Renaissance. Reflecting on this romantic city, Renaissance painter Giotto di Bondone famously said that ‘Rome is the city of echoes, the city of illusions, and the city of yearning’ and it’s easy to see why. They say that ‘all roads lead to Rome’, so why not take a shortcut and head out for your next holiday? Like Greece, Egyptians will also need to apply for a Schengen visa via the Italian Embassy’s official partner. There are very cheap flights to Rome with Wizzair out of Alexandria’s Borg el-Arab airport, so this may be something to check out if you live nearby or think the journey is worth saving the extra bit of money.
Milan is arguably the world capital of fashion, and Milan Fashion Week attracts designers and fashionistas from all over the globe. But if fancy boutiques aren’t your thing, Milan has some architectural wonders to visit like the imposing Milan Cathederal and San Carlo al Corso and numerous world-class art galleries and museums. Milan also has its own cuisine unique to the city, waiting for you to try, and a lively nightlife with something for everyone. In terms of visas, Egyptians will also need to apply for a Schengen visa through the Italian Embassy’s official partner. Like Rome, you can get to Milan with cheap direct flights from Wizzair through Alexandria’s Borg el-Arab airport, and sometimes with other budget airlines via Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh.
WE SAID THIS: Don’t forget… Off The Beaten Path: 10 Arab Travel Agencies Reinventing Adventure