We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Tipping and Public Bathrooms in Egypt

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
19 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
Tipping and Public Bathrooms in Egypt

Just an FYI, take about 50 dollars in singles when travelling in Egypt, tipping is customary everywhere. We gave our guide money to take care of all tips, but an extra 50 is needed even then, everyone tries to get an extra tip even if your guide is tipping.

Public bathrooms are a perfect example. They are all mined by attendants and they have all the toilet paper(a tiny piece is given to each person) and soap so you have to use that and give them a tip!

My best advice, take a roll of toilet paper per person, wipes and hand sanitizers, this is a MUST! you will not regret it. Save yourself some tips, it will add up.

Giza, Egypt
Level Contributor
906 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Tipping and Public Bathrooms in Egypt

At the risk of sounding sarcastic (which is not my intention) by lugging around your own toilet paper, tissues, wet wipes, sanitizer, etc in order to save paying a LE1 toilet tip, over a two week vacation that will save you... let's see.... less than the price of a sandwich back home!

As you correctly said, tipping is very much customary here, and often it is an essential part of a poorly paid person's income. Consider if you will that an estimated 30% of Egypt's population live below the poverty line, and while prices of everything from housing to basic foodstuffs have increased around 25% over the last few years, wages and salaries haven't. That person who works in the bathroom (toilets) may well earn less than LE150 per month, which equates to about US$26, or GBP13, out of which they invariably have to support a family. Truthfully, these people could not survive without tips!

So saying, here is my personal guideline on bathroom tipping. The attendant's primary function is to keep the bathroom clean and supplied with soap and tissue, no more. If someone chooses to offer an additional service by turning the taps on for me, handing me the soap and some tissues afterwards, then I consider that a bonus and something for which I am happy to tip. If I find that the bathroom is clean and the attendant is pleasant and not pushy, then I am more than happy to give a few pounds, not just one. (I personally find it hard to imagine a worse job than spending all day in a toilet clearing up after other people, and so if someone can do that job day-in, day-out and still keep a smile on their face then in my opinion they deserve a medal, not just a tip!) If on the other hand the bathroom is not well looked after and all the attendant does is stand there with their hand out, or worse, they actually ASK for money while holding the tissue ransom (as happens all the time in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo by the way, where tipping is actually officially prohibited) then I will not give them anything. I’ve come across bathrooms where I’ve found the attendants practically charging the customers to go in and telling them how much to give, which is totally unacceptable and I soundly tell them off!

For more guidance on the tricky issue of tipping in Egypt, check out this previous post and the links it contains: tripadvisor.com/…8226002

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
19 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Tipping and Public Bathrooms in Egypt

Karen,

This is NOT about the money. It is about convenience, you must remember to always have change and it is something that must be thought about all the time. People do not want to change money and the ATM's do not always work.

I am from South America and understand the situtation in Egypt, please do not take this personally this is about CONVENIENCE for travellers.

This is purely a matter of convenience, in case you run out of small things.

Giza, Egypt
Level Contributor
906 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Tipping and Public Bathrooms in Egypt

Don't worry Debra, I didn't take it personally at all, and didn't mean to rant, but when you said "save yourself some tips, it will add up" I assumed you were referring to the financial aspect rather than convenience aspect.

No worries! Have a good day.

london
Destination Expert
for Nile River Valley
Level Contributor
13,279 posts
276 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Tipping and Public Bathrooms in Egypt

Actually I would not mind tipping people who are forced to do this sort of job, if only I could get the right change for it. Usually I am in a position where can only get notes which are quite large - 20 or 50 LE - and everybody keeps telling me they have no small change, however hard I try.

I know I am not the only person who finds this happens. Either there is a chronic shortage of change in Egypt or the locals pretend there is in the hope you will give them a large note, and sometimes you do, but sometimes it works the other way and then everybody feels cheated.

Alexandria, Egypt
Level Contributor
884 posts
78 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Tipping and Public Bathrooms in Egypt

Still laughing at the toilet paper being ' held to ransom' !!!! Great one Karen - and totally agree with all you wrote.

Sheffield, United...
Level Contributor
155 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Tipping and Public Bathrooms in Egypt

No small change ! When we go to "Sharm", my pockets seem full of the stuff. What a good idea to go to the toilet and get rid of it. Come off it, if the truth is known none of us like tipping. A tip of E1 is about £0.10 ($0.20). It really must mount up to say $6 for a two week holiday., "Wow"

London
Level Contributor
419 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Tipping and Public Bathrooms in Egypt

I don't mind tipping at all for using the toilets, but it's still a good idea to carry toilet paper and hand sanitiser on you as you won't always get a lot of paper from the attendants and handwashing facilities are sometimes a bit limited.

Tipping is a way of life in Egypt. You'll be asked for a tip for services that you've not even requested such as carrying a bag, giving directions or showing something in a tomb or temple. It's peanuts to us. The only difficulty is keeping a stock of small notes for tips. It is hard to get them - banks and hotels are not keen to change up larger notes and you get rid of them quickly once you have them. Some people (especially children) like pens so carrying a few cheap biros is an alternative if you run out of small notes. Same with sweets.

Liverpool, United...
Level Contributor
4,146 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Tipping and Public Bathrooms in Egypt

Very interesting post, thanks - this will help people I am sure.

Always good to have some essentials with you, and it is so easy to do. Change is had to get, I suffer from it constantly.

My husband told me yesterday that the banks will be withdrawing the 1 LE notes and replacing them with the 1 LE coin, hope that is true as it would relieve the change situation ! the one pound coin was created about a year ago, but till now have only seen a few of them.

Many thanks

Wendy

Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
1,858 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Tipping and Public Bathrooms in Egypt

I thought that the attendant also cleans the the toilets etc. As a male, I never used TP but still tipped a bit.. I figured they get bad pay and have a bad job, so what's a little money.

Believe me I am anti-Bakshee (sp) for no reason, but this seems a good case to give a bit.

My two cents. :)

Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
19 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Tipping and Public Bathrooms in Egypt

All,

This has definiely served a purpose, for FIRST TIME TRAVELLERS to Egpyt who will not know that this is what happens at public restrooms.

I am sure that this post will be appreciated by other travellers. I went prepared with tips we changed money before we left but this was one important area that was not covered in guide books and it should be. Public restrooms are very important, you are away from hotels and boats all day and drinking lots of water, it is a necessity. I did not go to the bathroom with money in my pockets or hands everytime and this will happen to everyone at least once or twice. People will be prepared with tips, toilet paper and hand sanitizer!

Thanks

DGW