Traveling Through Egypt via Sleeper Train – Safe, Comfortable and Easy!

There are so many ways to travel around Egypt: plane, train, car, bus, taxi, minivan and ferry. And let us not forget camel. I’ve used all of these modes of transportation (except camel), and I have to say the one I’ve come out enjoying the most is the train. Short-distance train travel through Egypt I have found to be easy and safe. But overnight sleeper train travel, in my experience, is fantastic.

When traveling from Luxor to Cairo recently on my first Egyptian overnight train trip, I was surprised to find that 60 USD got me a safe, clean and comfortable ride in a bed in a room shared with one other female, along with two full meals with accompanying drinks. We had one attendant throughout the trip, a man whose name in Arabic means “lovely” in English, he said. He truly was lovely and treated us like queens. I’ve traveled via sleeper train in Europe for much more money and far fewer services, so I know that what I got in Egypt was truly a great deal.

As soon as we settled into our room, my roommate and I were served a nutritious, hot dinner and then a healthy breakfast, plus coffee and tea after we awoke in the morning.

Hot, nutrious meal served to me on an Egypt sleeper train

Look at this meal! It was really quite good.

The train was perfectly clean, and even the bathrooms were totally acceptable.

Hallway of an Egypt sleeper train
Our seats in which we sat briefly while we ate our meals were nice, but then our attendant turned them down into what proved to be perfectly comfortable beds for our night’s sleep.

Bunk Beds on the :Luxor to Cairo train

Based on my experience traveling through Egypt via night train, I can highly recommend this as a safe, clean and comfortable means for travel for others, including solo female travelers.

Tips for traveling by sleeper train through Egypt:

– You need to buy your ticket before the night of your trip. Go to the train station or ask if someone from your hotel will go buy your ticket for you at least one day before you want to travel. The ticket from Luxor to Cairo cost 60 USD for a bed in a room shared with one other person.

– The trip from Luxor to Cairo is approximately ten hours. If your destination or point of origin is south of Luxor or north of Cairo, the trip will be longer. More sleep for you!

– The sleeper train was perfectly safe when I traveled in February 2012. I was told that armed police officers were on board in case of any trouble, although their presence wasn’t noticeable. Be sure and ask at your hotel or a tour company about any potential safety issues before you travel via sleeper train or via any means in Egypt nowadays.

9 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Katie says:

    Wow, wish we had this option when I did a tour in Egypt in 2008 – they booked us seats in an overnight train from Cairo to Aswan and then from Luxor back to Cairo. Possibly the most disgusting thing I have ever experienced in my life. The bathrooms were overflowing with urine into the hallway and feces piled on the toilets. Luckily, one nice Egyptian man who spoke English led me up to what was probably the first class sleeper section so I could use a decent toilet.

    Clearly the only way to travel by train in Egypt is to book the sleeper compartments. Glad you had a good experience and good to know for future reference.
    Katie recently posted..Eto’s Guesthouse: The Only Place to Stay in KakhetiMy Profile

  2. Sabina says:

    Katie – wow, that’s horrible. A few years before I took this train trip I read about overnight trains in Egypt and what I read sounds similar to what you describe. Spending the bucks on a sleeper compartment are really the way to go, apparently.

  3. Steve says:

    I love traveling by sleeper train. I did that all throughout Thailand and it really worked well. Although we didn’t have rooms on our train. Basically I had a small bunk with a drape to pull back when I wanted to go to sleep. It was simple, but functional.

    I’ve heard that transportation can be difficult through Egypt so it’s good to know that you can rely on the train to be pretty good.
    Steve recently posted..The #1 Way to Make the Most Out of Every DayMy Profile

  4. Sabina says:

    Steve, if you ever travel by night through Egypt where trains are available, a sleeper car is absolutely the way to go. I got a great night’s sleep – which would have been even better had I taken a longer trip. :)

  5. jan says:

    I do love train journeys, and this one is so cheap. It looks better than Vietnamese trains. You have me thinking…. What do you think about Egypt generally?
    jan recently posted..How Budget Travel Talk beat the Homecoming BluesMy Profile

  6. This looks like a fun experience, sounds like they really invest in their passengers. I usually prefer shorter commutes, yet sometimes the longer ones accompany me anyway, so I would love to try this train one day.
    Ayelet – All Colores recently posted..On the Way to Jerusalem’s Ice Festival: Retroshalaim, a Retro Art FairMy Profile

  7. Sabina says:

    Hi Jan – This was certainly far better than the two Vietnamese sleeper trains I took – and nicer than the few sleeper train trips I’ve taken through Europe too. I totally recommend this means of travel through Egypt.

    As for general thoughts about Egypt, I honestly now think that the country is not quite as safe as pre-revolution. However, I feel perfectly safe here and won’t hesitate to return. Travelers in Egypt should ask at their hotel about any safety concerns they need to be aware of, both in the location they are, in the location they’re heading to and on the road along the way. Travelers should also stop in and talk to a tour company representative or two – whether they take a tour with that company or not – to get their input on any safety concerns. There probably will be no safety issues at all, but it’s a good idea to check nowadays.

  8. Sabina says:

    Ayelet, I think you’re right – they really do invest in their passengers. I can’t imagine better treatment riding first class in an airplane. I wish I knew more about first class airplane travel, though, so I could compare. ;) I do hope you get to make an overnight train journey through Egypt some day.

  9. Jeanne says:

    Hi Sabina. Glad I found your blog … you’ve reaffirmed my belief that traveling the world can be safe, fun, rewarding experiences. My hubby and I are considering visiting Egypt for a couple of weeks this January. He’s a bit nervous about safety and security there these days. Several of your posts that I’ve read are from back in June, so I’m wondering what your thoughts are about safety / security there now? Hubby is also pretty set on visiting via a tour group (we’d go and see all the major sites., etc.) I’m willing to do that so I can visit this amazing country with him, but would love to extend the trip a few days so we can “see / do whatever we want, when we want”. I’m not much for tour groups, just like cruises. Any suggestions on how easy it might be for us to figure things out on our own once we’ve been in Egypt for 10 – 14 days? what town / city we should base camp in? Thoughts about good tour groups to check out? Thanks for your help.

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