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Expat Exchange - Cost of Living in Cairo 2024
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Cost of Living in Cairo

By Betsy Burlingame

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Summary: Understanding the the cost of living in Cairo helps a newcomer what to expect when it comes to apartment or house hunting, grocery shopping, transportation, dining out, utilities and more.

Apartment Rentals Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Cairo is around $400-600 per month. Rent for a three-bedroom apartment in the city center is around $800-1000 per month. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside the city center is around $200-400 per month. Rent for a three-bedroom apartment outside the city center is around $400-600 per month.
Apartment Purchases The cost of purchasing an apartment in Cairo varies greatly depending on the location and size of the apartment. Prices for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center range from $50,000 to $100,000. Prices for a three-bedroom apartment in the city center range from $100,000 to $200,000. Prices for a one-bedroom apartment outside the city center range from $25,000 to $50,000. Prices for a three-bedroom apartment outside the city center range from $50,000 to $100,000.
Transportation Public transportation in Cairo is very affordable. A single ride on the metro costs around $0.25. A monthly pass costs around $10. Taxis are also very affordable, with a ride from one side of the city to the other costing around $5-10. Buses are also available, with a single ride costing around $0.25.
Groceries Groceries in Cairo are relatively inexpensive. A loaf of bread costs around $0.50, a liter of milk costs around $1, and a dozen eggs costs around $1.50. Fruits and vegetables are also very affordable, with a kilogram of apples costing around $1 and a kilogram of potatoes costing around $0.50.
Restaurants Eating out in Cairo is very affordable. A meal at a fast food restaurant costs around $3-5, while a meal at a mid-range restaurant costs around $10-15. A meal at a high-end restaurant costs around $20-30.
Utilities Utilities in Cairo are relatively inexpensive. The average cost of electricity is around $0.15 per kWh. The average cost of water is around $0.50 per cubic meter. The average cost of internet is around $20-30 per month.
Private School Tuition Private school tuition in Cairo varies greatly depending on the school. Preschool tuition ranges from $500 to $2,000 per year. Elementary school tuition ranges from $1,000 to $4,000 per year. Middle school tuition ranges from $2,000 to $6,000 per year. High school tuition ranges from $3,000 to $10,000 per year.

Monthly Budget for Retirees in Cairo

"The cost of living in Cairo is generally considered to be quite affordable. Basic necessities such as food, transportation, and housing are relatively inexpensive compared to other cities in the region. However, prices for luxury items such as electronics and imported goods can be quite expensive. Additionally, the cost of living can vary greatly depending on the neighborhood and lifestyle," said one expat living in Cairo.

Can I live in Cairo on $1,500 a month?

"I've been living in Cairo for a few years now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $1,500 a month, but you'll have to make some adjustments and sacrifices. First, you'll need to choose an affordable neighborhood to live in. Some of the more expensive neighborhoods like Zamalek, Maadi, and Heliopolis might be out of your budget, but there are other areas like Dokki, Mohandessin, and Nasr City that are more affordable and still offer a decent quality of life.When it comes to housing, you'll probably have to settle for a smaller apartment or share a place with roommates to save on rent. Utilities can also be a bit expensive, so you'll need to be mindful of your usage, especially when it comes to air conditioning during the hot summer months.Transportation is relatively cheap in Cairo, but traffic can be a nightmare. You might want to consider using public transportation like the metro or buses, or even ride-sharing apps like Uber and Careem to save on transportation costs.Eating out can be affordable if you stick to local Egyptian cuisine, but if you're craving international or western food, it can get quite expensive. Cooking at home and buying groceries from local markets can help you save on food expenses.As for entertainment, there are plenty of free or low-cost activities to enjoy in Cairo, like visiting historical sites, parks, and local markets. However, if you're into nightlife or want to attend concerts and events, you might have to cut back on those activities to stay within your budget.In general, living on $1,500 a month in Cairo is doable, but you'll have to be mindful of your spending and make some sacrifices when it comes to housing, food, and entertainment. It's all about finding the right balance and adjusting your lifestyle to fit your budget," commented an expat living in Cairo.

Can I live in Cairo on $3,500 a month?

"I've been living in Cairo for a few years now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $3,000 a month, even if you're used to modern amenities. However, you might have to make some sacrifices in terms of the neighborhood you choose to live in and the size of your apartment.For example, some of the more expensive neighborhoods like Zamalek, Maadi, and New Cairo have a lot of modern amenities and are popular among expats, but the cost of living there can be quite high. If you want to live in one of these areas, you might have to settle for a smaller apartment or share with roommates to make it work within your budget.On the other hand, there are more affordable neighborhoods like Dokki, Mohandessin, and Nasr City where you can find decent apartments at a lower cost. These areas might not be as fancy as the more expensive neighborhoods, but they still have a good number of modern amenities like supermarkets, gyms, and restaurants. Plus, they're well-connected to other parts of the city by public transportation, so you won't feel too isolated.In terms of other expenses, eating out and entertainment can be quite affordable in Cairo, especially if you're open to trying local cuisine and exploring the city's many cultural offerings. However, imported goods and international brands can be quite expensive, so you might have to adjust your shopping habits and prioritize local products to save money.Overall, living comfortably on $3,000 a month in Cairo is definitely doable, but you'll have to be mindful of your spending and make some compromises when it comes to your choice of neighborhood and apartment size," said one expat living in Cairo.

Can I live in Cairo on $5,000 a month?

"I've been living in Cairo for a few years now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $5,000 a month, even if you're used to modern amenities. However, there might be some sacrifices you'll have to make to ensure you stay within your budget.Firstly, you'll want to choose a neighborhood that's affordable but still offers a good quality of life. Some of the more expensive neighborhoods, like Zamalek and Maadi, might be out of your budget if you're trying to stick to $5,000 a month. Instead, consider areas like Mohandessin, Dokki, or Agouza. These neighborhoods are still relatively central and offer a good mix of local and expat communities, but the cost of living is more reasonable.In terms of housing, you might have to compromise on the size or quality of your apartment. While you can still find modern, well-maintained apartments in Cairo, they might not be as spacious or luxurious as what you're used to. Be prepared to downsize a bit and potentially live in an older building.Transportation is generally affordable in Cairo, but traffic can be a nightmare. If you're used to driving your own car, you might want to consider using public transportation or ride-sharing services like Uber or Careem instead. This will not only save you money on car maintenance and fuel but also help you avoid the stress of navigating Cairo's chaotic streets.Eating out can be quite affordable in Cairo, especially if you're open to trying local cuisine. However, if you prefer dining at high-end restaurants or international chains, your food budget might take a hit. To save money, consider cooking at home more often and exploring local markets for fresh produce and ingredients.Finally, while there are plenty of modern amenities available in Cairo, you might have to adjust your expectations when it comes to things like customer service, internet speeds, and the availability of certain products. It's important to be patient and adaptable as you navigate life in a new city.Overall, living comfortably on $5,000 a month in Cairo is definitely achievable, but it will require some adjustments and compromises. By choosing an affordable neighborhood, being mindful of your spending, and embracing the local culture, you'll be able to make the most of your time in this vibrant and fascinating city," commented an expat living in Cairo.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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