Is it worth tipping in Egypt? How much and to whom should you give? What is baksheesh? Read our post and find out the answers to these questions
First of all, it is worth remembering that no one has the right to force you to tip. However, it is worth knowing that both Europeans and Egyptians living permanently in Egypt also tip. Baksheesh is a form of appreciating a person’s work. Earnings in Egypt are really low and it is common to help people whose material situation is worse than ours.
Baksheesh – definition
In simplest terms, baksheesh is a tip. Small amount of money that we give to the drivers, guides, boat crew and all other people whose work we want to appreciate. It is not mandatory, but very popular in Egyptian culture.
Who and how much to tip in Egypt
It has been assumed that one dollar (or its equivalent) is the most popular tip. However, a family of several people or a group of friends, leaving one dollar, does not make a good impression.
The first tip usually goes to the bus drivers who take you from the airport to the hotel. Another to the porter who carries your luggage. Then there are people cleaning your room, waiters or bartenders, and if you take optional trips, they are also drivers on trips, crew on ships or guides. Many people decide to tip the hotel gardener as well.
If you are not in a good financial situation yourself and you simply cannot afford to “throw” dollars left and right, it is worth taking from your country e.g. sweets that you can give to children demanding baksheesh on the streets of Hurghada or in a Bedouin village during a safari. Please pay attention that the purchased sweets do not contain pork gelatin. The majority of the inhabitants of Egypt are Muslims, and their religion forbids the consumption of pork.
I think that it would also be a welcome gesture to take clothes, men’s shoes or toys you don’t need from your homeland and give them, for example, to people working the hardest in hotels.
In a hotel, it is better to do less and more often.
Dollars in the passport
I often come across the opinion that when checking in at an Egyptian hotel, it is worth giving a passport with dollars at the reception. The banknotes are to ensure that a better room is assigned. Indeed, in many hotels in Egypt you can get a better room by tipping the receptionist, but it’s worth tipping after seeing the room.
Tips in euros
The problem with Euro tips is that it is impossible to exchange coins in Egypt. Therefore, it is very common for hotel or boat crew to ask tourists to exchange, for example, 10 euros in coins for a banknote. If you came to Egypt with euros, you can exchange the amount you want to spend on tips into Egyptian pounds and tip in pounds. Instead of a 1 euro coin, you can then give 30 Egyptian pounds.
Write in the comments what is your opinion about baksheesh and tipping in Egypt