Everything You Need To Know About The Sleeper Train From Cairo To Luxor

Embarking on a night train journey from Cairo to Luxor is a quintessential Egyptian experience that many travelers have on their bucket list. This adventure has been popularized by Michael Palin’s “Around the World in 80 Days,” and it’s not hard to see why.

Although seasoned night train travelers might think they know what to expect, the 10.5-hour journey on this particular route has a few surprises in store. Brace yourself for a bumpy, noisy ride, but don’t let that detract from the thrill of this unforgettable way to travel between two of Egypt’s most iconic destinations. Here’s everything you need to know about the sleeper train from Cairo to Luxor.

What Is The Sleeping Train From Cairo To Luxor Like

Boarding a sleeper train is an adventure in itself, especially when traveling through Egypt. The Cairo to Luxor (and Aswan) route is operated by Watania, a private company working on behalf of the Egyptian Railway Service. The cabins on board the train are cozy, featuring large seats that are transformed into beds at night, as well as an additional bunk bed for a comfortable slumber.

sleeper train egypt

Although the seats may seem old and worn, the thin yet decent mattresses, sheets, blankets, and proper pillows will ensure a sound sleep. However, if traveling during the winter months, be sure to bring a fleece to keep warm. The cabin itself is quite small, so packing light is essential to avoid cramped space.

While the storage options may be limited, the train provides a mirror, a small sink, and enough space to store day bags. And although the various buttons in the cabin may not work, the light switches do! With a curtain to partially block out light, you can sleep soundly as you journey to your destination.

Read more: 10 Unforgettable Experiences In Egypt You’ll Love

What Amenities Does The Train Have

Exploring Egypt by train is a popular and affordable way to travel around the country. But what can you expect when it comes to the amenities on board?

  • On the sleeper trains between Cairo and Luxor (and Aswan), there are two western-style toilets in each carriage. While they may not be the most luxurious of facilities, they are clean and well-stocked with toilet paper. However, the foot pump for flushing rarely works, so be prepared for this. You may also want to bring your own soap or hand sanitizer, as there is no soap provided. Despite their basic nature, the toilets are certainly usable and won’t ruin your train journey experience.
  • While the price of your ticket includes both dinner and breakfast, the food may be somewhat basic. If you are vegetarian, be aware that the options may be limited and on occasion, the staff may mistakenly serve meat instead. However, if you’re averse to plane food, it might be best to eat beforehand. In the lounge car, you can find hot and cold drinks, as well as a small selection of snacks, though it’s worth noting that it may not be the best spot for non-smokers.
  • The train provides blankets, but they are quite thin. So it’s better to be prepared, bring a warm layer.
egypt train station

What Is The Ride Like?

Even though the train travel from Cairo to Luxor can be noisy and bumpy, it is well worth it to see the extraordinary magnificence of Egypt. The ride is smooth, with everything going according to plan from boarding to arrival despite the train’s strong vibrations and jerky movements. You’ll be treated to breathtakingly beautiful rural scenery as the sun rises.

Those who can sleep despite the noise and motion might be able to get a few hours of sleep, but for the rest of us, the trip is an opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of this amazing region of the world.

Where To Catch The Train In Cairo?

Skip the hassle of navigating Cairo’s congested streets and crowded train stations by boarding the train at the much more manageable Giza station. While waiting for your departure, grab a drink at the station’s bar, but beware of pushy sales tactics and overpriced snacks. Alternatively, soak up the atmosphere on the platform before settling into your comfortable cabin for the overnight journey. As you travel south, you’ll pass through stunning scenery and get a glimpse of rural life in Egypt. Wake up to the spectacular sight of the Nile River as you approach Luxor, where ancient wonders like the Valley of the Kings and the Karnak Temple Complex await.

Is It Worth Taking The Sleeper Train?

The sleeper train might be appealing to you if you’re seeking for a unique method to get from Cairo to Luxor. However, it’s important to weigh the benefits and disadvantages before purchasing your tickets. With its jerky ride and lack of sleep, taking the train can be an experience to remember, but it might not be the greatest option if you have a packed schedule. You might be too exhausted the day after the train travel to see popular sites in Luxor, such the Valley of the Kings.

sleeper train egypt

On the other hand, if you have some extra time, using the train can save you money by saving you from having to pay for a night’s lodging. Keep in mind, though, that the train is not cheap for foreigners (price starts at $120 USD), and you might find yourself paying more for less value than other train journeys.

Read More: 15 Best Places To Visit In Egypt With Family

How Can I Book My Tickets?

While booking your tickets may be a frustrating experience, with perseverance and a little guidance, you can easily secure your spot on this iconic journey. Instead of relying on the glitchy Egyptian Railway website, head to Ernst’s website, which operates the sleeper trains. By creating a profile on https://www.wataniasleepingtrains.com/ and selecting the right options, you can book your tickets for this unforgettable trip. With options for single and double cabins and departure times to suit your schedule, the sleeper train from Cairo to Luxor is an experience not to be missed. Just be sure to print out your tickets, as the PDFs may not work on your phone. Get ready to embark on an adventure through Egypt’s stunning landscape and ancient history on the sleeper train from Cairo to Luxor.

Bottom Line

Well, there you have it – everything you need to know about taking the sleeper train from Cairo to Luxor! Sure, booking your tickets might be a bit of a frustrating experience, but it’s all worth it once you’re settled into your cozy cabin, watching the Egyptian countryside roll by under a starry night sky. And let’s be honest, isn’t a little bit of adventure and challenge all part of the fun of traveling?

So whether you’re looking to explore ancient ruins, sample delicious local cuisine, or just soak up the unique culture and atmosphere of Egypt, the sleeper train is a fantastic way to get there. Just remember to pack your sense of adventure, your passport, and your printed tickets, and you’ll be all set for an unforgettable journey. Happy travels!

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