The Overnight Train from Cairo to Luxor

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The Overnight Train from Cairo to Luxor

With only three full days to explore and lots to see, we opted to take the overnight train from Cairo to Luxor a day of exploring. I was determined to see Djeser-Djeseru, The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, after learning about it in my high school art history class. Taking the train would allow us to see more of the country in a short amount of time without breaking the bank.

While it was far from the Rocky Mountaineer, it did the trick, and we were able to see all the sights we wanted to. If you’re planning on taking the overnight train while in Egypt, I highly recommend it. Here’s what you should know.

Cost:

For about $250 US dollars, you’ll get a round-trip ticket for two from Cairo to Luxor – a ten hour trip. This was definitely the cheapest way to see both cities, especially because we were able to save on hotel accommodations for two nights. While Egypt Air runs around 7 to 10 hour-long flights a day between these two cities, the cost will run you around $250 USD per person for a round-trip flight, and you’ll still need to pay for hotel accommodations.

Note: If you are traveling alone, you can share the compartment to keep costs low, but you can also pay to have the car to yourself.

Overnight Train from Cairo to Luxor

Comfort:

Aside from being thrown around throughout the night by the rough train ride, the couches and bed were relatively comfortable. I’d say it is more comfortable than a plane, but less comfortable than a hotel. Having your own compartment is wonderful, and being able to lie down to sleep is definitely a perk.

Overnight Train from Cairo to Luxor

Overnight Train from Cairo to Luxor

Cleanliness:

It’s not a 5-star hotel, but it is clean. Considering these trains run back and forth, I was impressed with the overall cleanliness. I wouldn’t say it was perfect, but our pillow and sheets were clean, and to me, that was all that really mattered. The bathroom was shared, so while it was clean in the beginning of the ride, it wasn’t pleasant by the end. But, again, this was to be expected.

Overnight Train from Cairo to Luxor

Food:

After boarding the train, you are served an airline-style meal, with drinks at an additional cost. The same style meal is served to you the following morning. Again, the food is what you’d expect while traveling and is nothing out of the ordinary. Jeff and I also stopped at a shop for snacks and water before boarding, which saved us any additional costs, plus we were able to have some food that we enjoyed with us. I would suggest anyone traveling by train to do the same.

Overnight Train from Cairo to Luxor

Even though, personally, I am not a fan of train travel, I would consider traveling by train again in Egypt, especially this way. The privacy is nice and it feels as if you are on your own private train.

While cost was one of the best reasons for traveling this way, one of my favorite parts was being able to watch Egyptian life go on as we traveled by.

Overnight Train from Cairo to Luxor

Overnight Train from Cairo to Luxor

Overnight Train from Cairo to Luxor

My overall verdict would be to take the train. It’s cost-efficient and gives the traveler more of a feel for the country rather than hoping on a plane. Since it’s overnight, you aren’t losing any time experiencing the country and you are saving on hotels. The best part about this is that even if you don’t have a lot of time, you can still see more of the country than you may expect just by hoping on board.

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Overnight Train from Cairo to Luxor

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Comments (16)

  1. Sarah

    Train travel is my favourite! The night train looks super cozy and I love your photos of the apartments/buildings from the train.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks! Yup, it was pretty great! I read some of your new post – you’ll be headed to Egypt, correct? If so, I can give you some tips and the name of the guide we used, just in case you need a contact there. He was amazing and invited us to his home, watched our belongings, fed us, and let us shower. Plus, we got to play with his kids and they taught us Arabic. The best!

  2. Kieu ~ GQ trippin

    My kind of travel. I like watching the ‘life’ go by too while we trained in India. Would love to try this if we ever make our way back to Egypt.

    1. The World Wanderer

      I definitely want to ride the train in India now. It’s so nice to sit back and relax a bit.

  3. Pola (@jettingaround)

    Great write-up and tips! I like your photos too – they make me want to take a train trip right away! If I make it to Egypt, I’ll keep this in mind for sure.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thank you! I actually wish I knew this stuff ahead of time. Definitely use this mode of transportation, was wonderful!

  4. @mrsoaroundworld

    I have to say I never really travelled by train and after Switzerland, I am almost a convert!!

    1. The World Wanderer

      It’s a pretty great way to travel!

  5. the lazy travelers

    i’ve had one overnight train travel experience in france and it was TRES TERRIBLE. this looks so vip in comparison. xo! the romantic

    1. The World Wanderer

      It was pretty fantastic, and much better than I expected. 🙂

  6. Nicole

    Great post, I will be taking the train in Egypt this fall. Could you please share the name of the guide you used? Thank you kindly.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thank you! Our guide’s name was Mohammad. He was really incredible and could probably use the business right now. Here’s his link to Trip Advisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g294201-d2071213-Reviews-Mohamed_Bahaa_Tours_Private_Tour_Guide-Cairo_Cairo_Governorate.html He’ll get back to you right away if you e-mail him.

      1. Nicole

        Thank you! I am not surprised to see you have used Muhammad’s services. I’ve ready read so much about him!
        One more question.. I will be travelling solo, do you feel the overnight train is safe for a single female?
        Thanks again 😀

        1. The World Wanderer

          Yes, he’s amazing, and let us into his home to shower and relax before catching the train. We watched tv with him and his wife and played with his children.

          I never felt in danger on the overnight train. Maybe book the one room for yourself, so you don’t have to share it. Then you lock it and you are all set. Also, if you hire Mohammad, he’ll wait with you at the train station and make sure you get on the correct one. 🙂 Don’t hesitate to email me if you have any more questions – erin@theworldwanderer.net

  7. Aggy

    Looks like an amazing experience!
    I love to travel by train but I’ve never been on a night train, some of my friends don’t like it but this one actually looks comfortable!

    1. The World Wanderer

      It actually wasn’t so bad! I’d suggest it.

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