A Look Inside the VIP Sleeper Train Egypt

Through my travels around Egypt, I took a sleeper train twice. The first from Cairo to Aswan and the second from Luxor to Cairo. It was an experience to say the least, and as far as sleeper trains go, this wasn’t the worst I’ve been on! 

This blog post will contain a short review of my time on each sleeper train, as well as what you can expect if you choose to book this yourself. 

grey train
Photo by Jan Kroon on Pexels.com

How much does it cost? 

There is only one company which runs sleeper train in Egypt, Watania Sleeping Trains. They operate 3 sleeping trains per day between Cairo, Luxor and Aswan, carrying approximately 400 000 passengers a year. Below is the schedule, but take this as a guide as everything runs on ‘Egyptian Time’.

Train No.Station/TimeArrivalArrivalRun
Sleeper Train 86Cairo Station
19.45 – local time
05.55 (next day)
09.25 (next day)
Sleeper Train 87Aswan Station
17.15 – local time
06.25 (next day)

Below is the current pricing (as of writing this blog post).

Watania Sleeper Train Trip: Cairo / Luxor / Aswan –  for one Way tripSleeper Train price in US Dollars – including Dinner & Breakfast
Per person in a double cabin$120
Per person in a single cabin$80
Children (04.-09) years old$70

How to Book? 

Sleeper train seats can be booked online through the Ernst Website or at the train station. It is recommend to book your transport at least 3 days prior to your departure date.

What to Expect? 


We boarded our first sleeper train from Cairo to Aswan at around 8.15pm. The train was meant to leave at 8.00pm, and for Egyptian time, this wasn’t too bad! 

As I was travelling with a group, we had our tickets sorted by the tour company – which told us our cabin and train number. The cabins are booked for 2 people, so this mean I was roomed with my roommate. However, if you book this individually, just keep in mind if you are a solo traveller, you may be roomed with a stranger. 

When we arrived at the train station, we were greeted with some baggage handlers, which took our luggage to the platform, this was paid for by the travel company. But I do think you will get this option if you travel outside a tour. You will have to pay them, so if you want to handle your own luggage, simply say no politely. 

You will have to show your ticket once entering the train station platform, you can also buy your tickets at the train station if needed.

The Cabin 

The cabins are very basic, even with the VIP tickets. In each cabin is a small couch and one made up bed. The second bed gets made up by the conductor after dinner. The cabin has air conditioning, reading lights, cabin lights, a mirror and a small sink with running water. There isn’t much room for large luggage, but there is a small luggage compartment above the top bunk. 

You also get all bedding on the sleeper train. 

Sleeper train review - Egypt
Excuse the mess – I forgot to take a photo before I got comfy

The Food 

You will receive dinner and breakfast on the sleeper train. The dinner wasn’t too bad! The first dinner from Cairo to Aswan included a small beef stew, rice, beetroot, bread roll, brownie dessert and some mixed vegetables. The dinner on the second sleeper train, from Luxor to Cairo was very similar, expect it was some chicken instead of beef. 

The breakfast was the same for each. It was 3 different types of bread and a juice box – if you’ve been to Egypt you know to expect a lot of bread! It also had a few different cheese spreads and a fig jam. Tea and coffee are included in your breakfast. 

Sleeping on the Train 

I had an average sleep on both trains. The first was much better than the second, as the second train was very rough and bumpy. It was a broken sleep, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Neither the less, don’t expect it to be a peaceful slumber! 

I would recommend getting ear plugs and an eye mask to help sleep. I have loop ear plugs, which are my favourite for travelling. They managed to block out a lot of the noise. 

It does get quite cold in the cabins at night too, so I would recommend packing a jumper just in case. 

The Bathrooms 

One the first train, the bathrooms were kept very clean and not too bad to use. The second train, not so much. If you’ve travelled on public transport before, you know what to expect. They had toilet paper, a sink, drop toilet and air dryer for your hands. 

I’d recommend taking your own toilet paper and hand sanitiser. Don’t expect the bathrooms to be the nicest, but it is nice having a bathroom you can use (and not have to pay for!). 

Arriving at the Station 

You will be woken up by the conductor roughly 1-2hrs before arrival with your breakfast. You will then be given a 10min warning when you are near the station to get your things together. Once off the train make your way out of the station, you will most likely get baggage handlers ask to help with your luggage again. 

Overall thoughts? 

It was not that bad. A lot of people from my group said that the sleeper train was the worst part of the tour, but I actually enjoyed it. Maybe it was because it was the first time during the tour we didn’t have to pack or move for longer than a few hours. But overall, it wasn’t that bad. 

I would recommend taking the sleeper train in Egypt if you are looking for a cheap and efficient way to get between Cairo, Luxor and Aswan. 

Comments (1)

  • 10 Things you MUST see or do in Egypt – TREKwithBECK

    10th July 2023 at 12:00 pm

    […] As I said, it isn’t for everyone, but it was a good thing to experience in Egypt, especially if you haven’t taken a sleeper train before! You can read my full review of the sleeper train here.  […]

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