Can Tourists Ride the Day Train From Cairo to Luxor?
We’d read many travel blogs and trip advisor forums where travellers have had major issues purchasing tickets to ride the daytime train from Cairo to Luxor. Most travellers who plan to make the train journey between Egypt’s main two cities quickly discover that at Cairo’s two train stations, Ramses and Giza, ticket sellers will not sell tourists those tickets to take the journey during daylight hours. Instead, they force you to buy the far more expensive ticket for the overnight sleeper train.
Station officials insist that this is for tourist’s safety because sleeper trains are manned by armed guards in case of an attack. But in reality, we actually think it’s far more dangerous to ride a train full of terrorist targets than it is to ride with the locals, but that’s our opinion.
We’d also read articles such as this one and this one that claimed it is possible for tourists to ride the daytime train from Cairo to Luxor. So loaded with the information we needed, we made it our mission to board that daytime train!
The Day Train From Cairo to Luxor is Much Cheaper
Aside from our opinion on which train is safer for us to ride, the main reason for us wanting to ride the day train from Cairo to Luxor was the staggering difference in cost. Can you believe they charge $80 per person to ride the tourist sleeper train and only around $10 per person to take the same journey during the day? We think this is the real reason why they won’t sell the cheaper daytime tickets to tourists. We don’t blame them for trying, but it’s only fair that we get a choice of which train we want to ride.
How to Buy Tickets for the Day Train from Cairo to Luxor
So we already established that you’re not going to be able to purchase a daytime ticket from station ticket booths, but what other options are there? We can tell you how we did it, and it really was simple.
We bought our tickets online from https://enr.gov.eg. The website has an easy to find red ‘ENGLISH’ button which translates the whole website from Arabic to English. Once the site is switched to English, it’s super easy to set up an account, look for train time information and purchase tickets.
Once your account is set up and you are logged in, the site will ask you to agree to some terms and conditions. When you click “I Agree to terms and conditions above”, the site will then open a search page where you can enter your journey information.
Everything is clearly laid out so there’s no confusion with what you’re buying, and once tickets are purchased, you can either print the reservation information immediately or use your login details and reservation number to print them later. The website does not ask for an email address so unfortunately tickets are not sent to your email account.
We obviously don’t carry a printer around with us when we travel, so the next challenge was to find one. The helpful staff at Hotel Luna kindly drew me a map of where to find a man with a printer just around the corner in Downtown Cairo. The man’s office was up a very dodgy looking staircase between KFC and a pet shop, but he allowed me to use his laptop to access my enr.gov.eg account and print our reservation for just 2EGP.
Our Day Train Journey From Cairo to Luxor
Our day train from Cairo to Luxor departed Cairo Ramses station at 8am and arrived to Luxor at around 7pm. We had no issues from anyone on the train, nobody telling us that we shouldn’t be on it, only friendly chat with locals who were curious to know where we were from and what we think of their country.
Our tickets were inspected by several different ticket inspectors and not one of them mentioned anything to do with us not being welcome on the so-called local train. In fact, we were made to feel very welcome and felt the staff were kindly looking after us.
Our AC1 (First Class) Carriage
We booked onto an Ac1 carriage (First Class with air conditioning) and we were impressed with the huge seats, ample legroom and sometimes too cold air conditioning. The carriage was clean (even the toilets despite a smell) and never felt overcrowded. The staff made sure that everyone on board had a ticket so there was nobody standing in the aisle.
Snacks and drinks were served throughout the whole 10-hour journey by the same very friendly man who chatted to us each time he passed. We bought some food with us for the trip so only needed to buy teas and coffees and a lunch meal towards the end of the journey which consisted of 3 very dry chicken and cheese rolls, a packet of crisps, some olives and a piece of cake. The meal cost just 25EGP (just over £1).
Other Ways to Buy a Ticket for the Day Train From Cairo to Luxor
The below alternative ways to purchase a ticket for the day train from Cairo and Luxor have not been tried and tested by us but we’ve heard all are possible.
- Ask staff at your hotel to purchase a ticket for you.
- Find a travel agent to purchase a ticket for you.
- We’ve heard it’s OK to purchase a ticket onboard the train for a slightly higher cost. There are no platform barriers or inspectors so our tickets were not checked until we were on the train
Whichever alternative method you use, it will be more expensive than purchasing online. Our advice is to try online first because we found the whole experience incredibly easy and stress-free.
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