Aerial view of Luxor, Egypt.


Land of the Pharaohs

Imagine toggling between your Slack notifications and a view that includes an honest-to-goodness pyramid—the kind that took a labor force of thousands more years to construct than you’ve been alive. In Egypt the weight of millennia sits comfortably next to the buzz of modernity, where you’re as likely to get lost in the labyrinthine alleys of old Cairo as you are in the tabs you’ve kept open on your browser. Think of it as the Bourdain travel special you never knew you needed, with all the unexpected insights and eyebrow-raising encounters.

Now, you won’t find your typical co-working hubs equipped with ergonomically designed chairs and piped-in ambient music here. What you get instead is a co-working experience inside an architectural masterpiece that’s older than the concept of architecture itself. If the bones of these buildings could talk, they’d tell tales that predate your MacBook’s entire ancestral lineage. Ride the metro and find yourself in an impromptu lecture about the existential crisis of the modern world, courtesy of a fellow passenger who probably moonlights as a Sufi philosopher. And the taxis? They’re a rolling theatre of animated dialogues, often punctuated by the driver pointing out a 4,000-year-old monument as casually as if it were a 7-Eleven.

But Egypt isn’t just a place to hammer out emails and meet deadlines; it’s a locale that makes even routine feel imbued with a sense of the epic. Close your Zoom call, and step into a setting so steeped in history it makes the grandest of Tolkien’s tales seem like an afternoon soap opera. Imagine ending your workday with a boat ride down the Nile, the world’s longest river serving as your stress-melting backdrop, under a sky that could provoke even the most skeptical among us into poetry. Egypt isn’t just another dot on the digital nomad’s map; it’s a multi-layered narrative daring you to step in and become part of the tale. Your work-from-anywhere life will never be the same.

I. The basics

Cost of living

While it may not offer the rock-bottom prices of some Southeast Asian countries, Egypt provides a compelling cost advantage compared to many Western locations.

  1. Rent: Expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $700 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in a city center, and significantly less in smaller towns or suburbs.
  2. Groceries: Basic items like milk, bread, and vegetables will usually cost around $20 to $30 per week.
  3. Transport: A monthly public transportation pass will set you back around $15 to $25. Taxis and ride-sharing services are also affordable but vary depending on distance.
  4. Utilities: Monthly bills for electricity, water, and gas generally range from $30 to $50.
  5. Internet: A decent broadband connection can cost around $20 to $40 per month.
  6. Dining/Entertainment: Expect to pay around $5 to $10 for a meal at an inexpensive restaurant and about $20 to $40 for a three-course meal at a mid-range restaurant. Cinema tickets are usually under $10.


In Egypt’s major cities like Cairo and Alexandria, reliable internet is generally accessible with speeds ranging from 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps, depending on your service package. Cafes, co-working spaces, and hotels often provide free Wi-Fi, although the quality and speed can vary, making them more suitable for basic tasks rather than heavy data usage like video conferencing or large file transfers.

If your wanderlust takes you beyond urban centers, be prepared for less reliable and slower connections. Mobile data via 4G is an alternative and is widely available, but speeds can drop significantly in rural or remote areas. For the most flexible and cost-effective access, consider purchasing a local SIM card with a data package that suits your needs, especially if you’re planning on venturing into less-populated regions.


Egypt’s healthcare system is a study in contrasts. The public healthcare system is universally accessible and inexpensive, but it often suffers from outdated facilities and long waiting times. On the plus side, emergency treatments are usually efficient, and the staff is often well-trained, if overworked.

The private sector provides a different experience altogether. Private hospitals and clinics in Egypt offer state-of-the-art facilities and a wide range of specialist services. Many doctors and healthcare professionals in the private sector have trained abroad and speak English, which can be a relief for expatriates or digital nomads. However, this level of service comes at a cost, and it can be quite expensive without comprehensive health insurance.

Therefore, it’s highly advisable for digital nomads to invest in a robust international health insurance plan that offers extensive coverage, including medical repatriation in extreme cases. With the right insurance, healthcare in Egypt can be both excellent and relatively stress-free.


Safety is a primary concern for anyone, but especially for digital nomads who may not be familiar with the local norms and customs. Generally speaking, Egypt is a safe country, particularly in areas that are frequented by tourists or international visitors. Violent crime rates are relatively low, and the most common type of incidents are petty crimes like pickpocketing or scams, particularly in crowded markets or touristy areas.

In terms of personal safety, common-sense precautions go a long way. For instance, it’s advisable to avoid walking alone in poorly-lit or secluded areas during late hours. Women travelers should take extra caution and may experience unwanted attention; modest attire is recommended to avoid unnecessary scrutiny.

Political stability has improved over the years, but it’s still wise to avoid any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations. Always keep an eye on local news or international advisories to stay informed.

II. Living in Egypt as a digital nomad


Egypt’s climate primarily oscillates between hot desert conditions and mild winters. The summer season, which stretches from late May to early October, can be particularly relentless. Temperatures in interior cities like Cairo and Luxor frequently climb to 95°F (35°C) or even higher. However, coastal cities like Alexandria offer a bit of respite, thanks to the moderating influence of the Mediterranean Sea; think temperatures in the 80s rather than the scorching 90s.

Winters are more agreeable, spanning from November to April, with daytime temperatures usually ranging between a pleasant 57°F (14°C) to 68°F (20°C). Rain is a rare guest in Egypt, making its brief appearance mainly during the winter months and predominantly in the northern coastal regions. The minimal precipitation contributes to the arid landscapes but also makes for predictable travel planning.


While Egypt is often synonymous with vast desert landscapes and the winding Nile River, the country’s natural beauty is far more diverse than these iconic images suggest. To start, Egypt’s Red Sea coast is nothing short of a marine paradise. Diving enthusiasts will find themselves in a veritable wonderland, with spots like Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada offering vibrant coral reefs teeming with a diverse range of marine life—from darting clownfish to majestic sea turtles. These locations aren’t just for seasoned divers; snorkelers can equally enjoy the shallower coral gardens that often stretch up to the shoreline.

Now, pivot west, and you enter an entirely different world: the Western Desert. This area constitutes about two-thirds of Egypt’s land area and offers a stunning array of landscapes. The White Desert, for instance, is famous for its surreal, wind-carved rock formations that look like giant mushrooms or abstract sculptures. The Black Desert, on the other hand, is characterized by volcanic hills and rocks, offering a darker palette of natural wonders. The Siwa Oasis, tucked away in the midst of these deserts, is a green haven with natural springs and ancient ruins—a sharp contrast to the endless dunes surrounding it.

For those who prefer a splash of green in their natural vistas, the Nile Delta won’t disappoint. This fertile stretch of land is where the Nile River fans out before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea, creating a lush, green landscape that’s a stark contrast to the surrounding arid regions. It’s a haven for bird-watchers, especially during the migratory seasons, and offers a different kind of natural beauty that’s less rugged but equally captivating.

Last but not least, Egypt’s protected areas and national parks, like Ras Mohammed National Park near Sharm El Sheikh or Wadi El Rayan in the Fayoum Oasis, offer a mix of marine, desert, and wetland ecosystems. These areas are home to diverse fauna such as the Fennec fox, gazelles, and various bird species, offering a more interactive experience with the country’s wildlife.


In Egypt, the pace of life is as variable as the landscape. In bustling metropolises like Cairo and Alexandria, the lifestyle is decidedly cosmopolitan. Shopping malls brimming with international brands coexist with ancient bazaars like Khan El Khalili, where vendors have been hawking their wares for centuries. Cultural aficionados will appreciate the numerous museums, art galleries, and theaters showcasing both traditional and modern Egyptian art forms.

As for the culinary scene, Egypt offers a palate of flavors deeply rooted in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern traditions. Staples like koshary—a delightful mishmash of rice, pasta, lentils, and fried onions—sit alongside international favorites like pizza and sushi. In coastal cities like Alexandria, seafood is a highlight, served freshly caught and often grilled to perfection. Desserts like baklava and basbousa offer a sweet finale to any meal.

Nightlife in Egypt is a mixed bag that caters to varied preferences. In urban hubs, you’ll find an array of options from high-end clubs pulsating with electronic beats to more subdued settings where jazz and acoustic melodies hold sway. However, traditional forms of entertainment are ever-present and widely enjoyed. It’s not uncommon to find venues where belly dancers captivate audiences or where live Arabic music sets the tone for the evening. If you’re not a fan of alcohol—which is available but not broadly popular—you’ll find that Egypt’s tea and coffee shops offer a rich social experience. These venues serve as communal gathering spots, particularly for the older generation, and offer a window into the daily rhythms and social fabric of Egyptian life.


Egypt is a cultural goldmine with its rich history spanning millennia, from the era of pharaohs and pyramids to Islamic caliphates and modern-day republicanism. The nation is a living museum, with relics like the Sphinx and the pyramids of Giza standing as eternal guardians of a bygone era. But history isn’t confined to these monumental sites; it seeps into the streets of cities like Cairo, where medieval Islamic architecture coexists with 19th-century European influences and modern skyscrapers.

Culture in Egypt is multifaceted and deeply ingrained in daily life. Whether it’s the Islamic call to prayer that resounds five times a day, or the vibrant local markets filled with spices, textiles, and handicrafts, every experience is a cultural tapestry. Events and festivals, such as the Islamic celebrations of Eid or the Coptic Christian observance of Easter, further highlight the country’s religious and cultural diversity.

Local attractions vary wildly depending on where you are in Egypt. In Luxor, for example, you’ll be enthralled by the Valley of the Kings and the grandiose Karnak Temple. In Aswan, the High Dam and the beautiful Philae Temple await. The Sinai Peninsula offers fantastic opportunities for trekking and diving, and let’s not forget the laid-back Mediterranean vibes in Alexandria, with its historical sites like Qaitbay Citadel and the Catacombs.


The primary language spoken in Egypt is Arabic, which can pose a challenge for those not familiar with the language. However, Egypt’s extensive history as a tourist destination and its growing expatriate community mean that English is widely understood in major cities and tourist areas. In such places, you’ll find that many signs and menus are available in both Arabic and English, and a good number of locals, particularly the younger generation, have a functional grasp of English.

For digital nomads, it might be worth picking up some basic Arabic phrases to navigate everyday interactions more smoothly, but generally speaking, the language barrier shouldn’t be a significant hindrance. In business settings and among the educated elite, English is even more prevalent. Even in smaller towns or less touristy areas, people are often willing to go out of their way to communicate, sometimes resorting to a blend of sign language and basic English to get their point across.

Communication isn’t solely about language, though; it’s also about cultural understanding. Egyptians are generally warm and hospitable people, but being aware of social norms—such as dress codes in religious places or the etiquettes of bargaining in markets—can enhance communication and make for a more enriching experience.

III. Cities to consider


View overlooking Cairo, Egypt.
Photo by Omar Elsharawy

Cairo is not just a city; it’s a time capsule where history meets a frenetic modern lifestyle. As the capital, it’s the epicenter of Egypt’s political and cultural movements and offers an array of co-working spaces, international and local cuisine, and high-speed internet. Besides the modern amenities, the city is a gateway to iconic historical sites like the Giza pyramids and the Sphinx. Cairo is also a hub for flights, both domestic and international, making it convenient for nomads who love to hop around. However, it’s worth noting that the city’s bustling environment can be overwhelming, and the traffic is notoriously challenging.


View from the Citadel overlooking the harbour in Alexandria, Egypt.
Photo by Flo P

Alexandria, or “Alex” as locals call it, offers a Mediterranean charm that’s different from Cairo’s hustle and bustle. Known for its scenic beaches and historical sites like the Qaitbay Citadel, the city also has a growing number of modern amenities, such as shopping malls and a decent selection of co-working spaces. Public transport is more manageable here than in Cairo, and the city’s Corniche is an ideal spot for evening walks to clear your mind after a day’s work. Plus, Alexandria is just a train ride away from Cairo, giving you the best of both worlds.


Aerial view of Luxor, Egypt.
Photo by Dmitrii Zhodzishskii

Luxor is history frozen in time, with its ancient ruins and the River Nile gracefully flowing through it. For the digital nomad with a love for history, Luxor offers unique work-life balance possibilities. Imagine wrapping up your workday and then heading to the Karnak Temple or the Valley of the Kings for a history lesson that no book can provide. While Luxor may lack the cosmopolitan air of Cairo and Alexandria, it offers a decent range of accommodation options and eateries. Internet connectivity can be a bit spotty, so it’s ideal for those whose work doesn’t require constant high-speed internet.


View of Aswan overlooking the Nile, Egypt.
Photo by Abdullah Helwa

Aswan gives you a slower, more reflective pace of life. Set on the Nile, the city offers breathtaking natural vistas, and the chance to explore Nubian culture adds another layer of richness to the experience. Co-working spaces are scarce, but many hotels and cafes offer strong enough Wi-Fi for most remote work needs. If you’re someone who draws inspiration from nature and ancient history, working from Aswan offers a tranquil setting that other Egyptian cities can’t match.

Sharm El Sheikh

View of the coast in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
Photo by Omar Elsharawy

Think of Sharm El Sheikh as your ideal holiday destination that you can also work from. With its luxurious resorts, the city offers excellent Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to work seamlessly. Once the laptop is closed, you have the Red Sea at your doorstep for some world-class diving or snorkeling. It’s a fantastic place to network as well, as the city often hosts international conferences and events.


View of the Blue Hole from the Blue Hole Road, Dahab, Egypt.
Photo by Raimond Klavins

Dahab offers a similar Red Sea experience to Sharm El Sheikh but in a more laid-back setting. The community vibe here is strong, and you’ll find many like-minded digital nomads and freelancers working from beachside cafes. Internet speed might not match up to the larger cities, but it’s usually sufficient for most work tasks. The leisurely pace of life and close-knit community make it easier to balance work and personal life, providing a unique appeal for those looking to escape urban chaos.

IV. Off the beaten track

If mainstream cities are too crowded or cliché for your taste, Egypt offers a plethora of less-visited spots that still provide incredible experiences for digital nomads. These locations are for those who yearn to get away from the usual hustle and delve deeper into Egypt’s rich tapestry.

Siwa Oasis

Window view overlooking Siwa Oasis, Egypt.
Photo by Rawan Yasser

Situated near the Libyan border, Siwa Oasis is the epitome of remote beauty. Imagine an idyllic green landscape surrounded by golden sands, and you’ll get an idea of what Siwa offers. The area is renowned for its natural springs and ancient ruins, including the Oracle Temple, where Alexander the Great was said to have visited. While internet connectivity here won’t match big cities, the sheer tranquility might just make up for it.

El Gouna

View of El Gouna overlooking the Red Sea, Egypt.
Photo by Yevhenii Foshchan

Located on the Red Sea, El Gouna is a lesser-known alternative to Sharm El Sheikh and Dahab. It’s a self-contained resort town with an infrastructure that surprisingly caters to digital nomads, offering reliable internet and even co-working spaces. Plus, it’s got excellent kitesurfing spots, making it ideal for the adventurous spirit.

Marsa Alam

View of the Red Sea from Marsa Alam, Egypt.
Photo by Paolo Bendandi

Another jewel on the Red Sea, Marsa Alam offers pristine beaches and some of the most untouched coral reefs in Egypt. This destination is perfect for digital nomads who are diving enthusiasts. Internet connectivity is generally decent, thanks to the burgeoning tourism infrastructure. It’s less crowded than other Red Sea spots, providing a tranquil environment to work and play.

Fayoum Oasis

Two farmers in the Fayoum Oasis, Egypt.
Photo by Kyrillos kamal

Located about 90 km from Cairo, Fayoum is a perfect weekend getaway or even a longer-term retreat. The area has an appealing blend of desert landscapes, lush farmlands, and ancient ruins. While you might struggle with high-speed internet, the change of scenery and the opportunity to explore attractions like Wadi El Rayan make it worth the trade-off.


View of Nuweiba overlooking the beach, Egypt.
Photo by Hatem Ramadan

Situated between Dahab and Taba, Nuweiba is a sleepy coastal town that offers stunning views of the Sinai Mountains and the Red Sea. It’s perfect for those looking to balance remote work with outdoor activities like trekking and snorkeling. While you shouldn’t expect city-level amenities, the essentials for a digital nomad are available.


View of a small boat on the Nile in Minya, Egypt.
Photo by Ahmad Ajmi

Situated along the Nile River midway between Cairo and Luxor, Minya offers an authentic Egyptian experience far removed from tourist crowds. Here you can explore numerous ancient sites, including the tombs at Tuna el-Gebel and the ruins of Hermopolis. Internet and amenities are basic but functional, providing an experience that’s as close to old Egypt as you can get while still being able to log in for a Zoom meeting.

Choosing to go off the beaten track in Egypt means embracing a different set of trade-offs: fewer amenities but less crowding, slower internet but greater tranquility, and fewer co-working spaces but an environment that more than compensates with its unique charm and beauty.

Types of visas available for remote workers 

Navigating the Egyptian visa system can be complex but is crucial for digital nomads who intend to make the Land of the Pharaohs their temporary home. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Tourist Visa: Most digital nomads initially enter Egypt on a single-entry tourist visa, valid for 30 days. This visa doesn’t allow you to work legally in Egypt but is often used by digital nomads who intend to stay for a short period.
  2. Multiple-Entry Tourist Visa: This visa is valid for six months but only allows you to stay for a maximum of 30 days at a time. This is more flexible but also does not provide a legal basis for long-term work.
  3. Business Visa: While not explicitly for remote workers, this visa can sometimes be applicable if you’re going to Egypt for work-related reasons. However, you generally need an invitation from an Egyptian company.
  4. Residence Visa: If you intend to stay in Egypt for a long period, a residence visa is technically the most appropriate option. This requires a lot of documentation and is not easily obtained.

Application process and necessary documentation

  1. Initial Application: For most nationalities, the initial tourist visa can be obtained upon arrival at major Egyptian airports, but it’s advisable to apply in advance through an Egyptian consulate or embassy.
  2. Documentation: Necessary documents usually include a valid passport, completed application forms, passport-sized photos, proof of sufficient funds, and sometimes, proof of accommodations and a return ticket.
  3. Fees: The visa fee can vary depending on your nationality and the type of visa but expect to pay between $25 to $60.
  4. Extensions: If you entered on a tourist visa and wish to extend your stay, you’ll have to visit the Mogamma, a central administrative building in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, for visa extensions. You must apply for an extension before your initial visa expires.
  5. Proof of Remote Work: While not yet a widespread practice, some nomads have reported that showing proof of remote employment can ease the visa extension process.
  6. Legal Requirements: Note that working on a tourist visa is a legal gray area and could potentially lead to expulsion or denial of re-entry into Egypt.
  7. Application for Other Visas: For business or residence visas, the process becomes more complicated, requiring additional documentation and often an in-person interview.

While Egypt doesn’t yet have a specialized digital nomad visa, understanding and navigating the existing visa options is crucial for a hassle-free stay. Always ensure you have the most current information, as visa policies can change.

VI. Tips for a smooth landing in Egypt 

Finding accommodation 

Arriving in Egypt without initial accommodation is like embarking on a Nile cruise with no boat—you’re in for a rough ride. Book at least a week’s stay in advance. Websites like Airbnb offer a quick fix, but they might weigh heavily on your budget. Once you get a feel for the local neighborhoods, seek out a local real estate agent. They’re like your tour guides to a more affordable yet comfortable lifestyle. But don’t underestimate the word-of-mouth wisdom from expat communities. They can point you to lesser-known areas that offer both safety and convenience, a kind of grassroots Google Maps tailored for newcomers.

Setting up local bank accounts and financial considerations 

The decision to open a local bank account could hinge on the length of your Egyptian sojourn. For brief getaways, your international debit or credit card might suffice. Yet, anyone looking to spend more than a few months here should consider easing their daily life with a local account. To navigate the Egyptian banking maze, you’ll need the basics—passport, proof of local address, and sometimes a golden ticket, which is a letter from your home bank. Don’t let the nitty-gritty of foreign transaction fees catch you off guard; there are digital platforms like Revolut that can help you avoid those pesky extra charges.

Getting around Egypt can be an adventure in itself. Public transportation like buses and metros exist in cities like Cairo, but they can be overwhelming for a newcomer, particularly if you don’t speak Arabic. Signage is sparse and often not in English. Ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Careem offer a more user-friendly alternative, with reliable service and transparent pricing. However, traditional taxis are a fixture on the Egyptian landscape. If you choose this route, arm yourself with negotiation skills to agree on the fare beforehand or insist on the meter being used. For more extensive travel within Egypt, trains are often reliable and relatively comfortable for longer distances. If you’re in a hurry, domestic flights can save time but be prepared for the extra cost.

Adapting to local customs and cultural nuances

As you make your way through the land of the Pharaohs, bear in mind that the norms here are a blend of tradition and religion. Handshakes aren’t a simple ‘hello’; they often come with a side of shoulder taps or even cheek kisses among friends. Dress modestly to respect the predominantly Islamic culture—think long trousers and shirts that cover your shoulders. Egyptian punctuality is not to be taken literally. It’s more of a suggestion rather than a rule, except in formal settings where timekeeping suddenly morphs back into a universal standard. And remember, the art of tipping, or “baksheesh,” is as Egyptian as the pyramids. Always carry some loose change; it’s the unofficial currency for everyday kindnesses.

VII. In summary


  1. Affordability: Compared to many Western countries, Egypt offers a cost-effective lifestyle that can help digital nomads make the most of their income.
  2. Rich history and culture: With an array of historical landmarks, vibrant markets, and cultural festivals, Egypt is never short on stimulating experiences.
  3. Geographical diversity: Whether you’re into bustling cities, historical towns, or coastal retreats, Egypt has a location for you.
  4. Warm climate: If you’re looking to swap snow for sunshine, Egypt’s predominantly warm and sunny weather is a significant draw.
  5. Culinary delights: From local street food to high-end restaurants, Egypt offers a gastronomic journey for all budgets.
  6. Community: The digital nomad and expat communities are growing in Egypt, making it easier to find a support network.
  7. Strategic location: Nestled between Africa, Asia, and close to Europe, Egypt’s location is advantageous for nomads who have a case of wanderlust.


  1. Connectivity issues: While you’ll find Wi-Fi in most urban areas, the speed and reliability can be hit-or-miss, especially in more remote locations.
  2. Safety concerns: General safety is good, but political instability and occasional acts of terrorism call for up-to-date information and vigilance.
  3. Language barrier: Outside of tourist-focused locales, English isn’t widely spoken, which could create some challenges.
  4. Cultural differences: The social fabric in Egypt is deeply rooted in Islamic and traditional norms, which might require an adjustment period for newcomers.
  5. Traffic and pollution: Large cities like Cairo are notorious for their traffic jams and less-than-ideal air quality.
  6. Tourist scams: As with many tourist destinations, a variety of scams targeting newcomers exist, so it’s best to stay alert.
  7. Limited coworking spaces: The coworking scene is still in its infancy, making it a bit more challenging for those who need dedicated workspaces with all the amenities.

In the lexicon of digital nomad destinations, Egypt is like the enigmatic phrase scrawled in the margins—full of intrigue but requiring a bit of decoding. One moment you’re navigating high-speed internet, and the next you’re quite literally navigating the Nile, the river that has shaped civilizations. The affordability here doesn’t just manifest in numbers on a budget sheet; it’s the realization that you can experience millennia of history without plundering your savings.

But let’s not put on rose-colored glasses. The Wi-Fi here can be a fickle friend, leaving you stranded in the digital desert just as you’re about to hit ‘send’ on an important email. And while coworking spaces are sprouting up, they’re still outnumbered by ancient monuments—which are stunning but not particularly helpful when you’re searching for a power outlet.

So, what makes Egypt a unique chapter in a digital nomad’s travelogue? It’s the heady blend of the practical and the mythical. You’re as likely to find community in a burgeoning expat cafe as you are to find solitude beside an age-old obelisk. It’s not just about scraping by with modern conveniences; it’s about enriching daily life with experiences that textbooks and virtual tours can’t replicate. In Egypt, you’re not just working remotely—you’re clocking in from a timeline that spans thousands of years, with each day serving a side of surprise.

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