Getting around Cairo?

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  LuganoPirate 17 Apr 2019
at 11:16
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  • EU_Flyer2
    Participant

    I’ll be visiting Cairo at the end of April for 3 full days. Any tips on how to get around? Is Uber ok?

    Also any tips on restaurants or museums?

    Many thanks in advance!!


    GivingupBA
    Participant

    I’ll be visiting Cairo at the end of April for 3 full days. Any tips on how to get around? Is Uber ok? Also any tips on restaurants or museums?

    I just grabbed taxis on my long trip there – I found them absolutely fine BUT I had to know the fare, and agree it with the driver before moving off. Twice I hired a taxi for the whole day, agreeing the cost beforehand, and found that great too, and the drivers helpful. I didn’t try Uber.

    To visit I recommend Al-Azhar Mosque (though I couldn’t go in), the Cairo Tower on Gezira Island, the Cairo Citadel (for views of the city), the Egyptian Museum, and Ibn Tulun. And of course the Pyramids. BUT the second time I went to the Pyramids I had a guide, which was very well worth it, because he kept the touts away: I’m sorry to say that I found the touts a real pain on my first (solo) visit, almost spoiling it. Sorry no tips on restaurants. Hope you enjoy your trip, I thought Cairo was great, and it’s so important culturally in the Arab world.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Swissdiver
    Participant

    I tend to pay a little more and stick to the hotel’s cars in Cairo, as it is a city where you spend a massive amount of time in the car! Going to the Pyramids from the Nile’s banks, for instance, can last between 1 and 2 hours one way. And GivingupBA nailed it regarding what is to be seen.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Folium
    Participant

    To add to the previous recommendations, arrange a car for the day and visit the pyramid complexes at Saqqara and Dahshur. They are south of Cairo and are fabulous pyramids in more of a desert setting than suburban Giza, and more importantly see a fraction of the tourists, traffic and touts that plague Giza.
    Re hotels the Meridien at Cairo airport is outstanding and strongly recommended.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    I think that’s right.

    The seconed time I went I visited those in preference to returning to Giza, though the new museum is opening (one day) at Giza and will be very impressive when it eventually opens

    https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/grand-egyptian-museum/index.html

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    EU_Flyer2
    Participant

    Thanks everyone, that’s very helpful indeed!

    Last went to Cairo with my granny a hundred years ago (or perhaps 25) and was also partly inspired by BT’s September ’18 feature. I’m staying at the Kempinski. The rooftop pool looked too good to refuse.


    _glbetrkkr_
    Participant

    I used Uber in/around Cairo. I liked knowing my fare beforehand instead of negotiating it. It goes without saying, but always match the license plate to what is on your app. I agree with Folium a trip to Saqqara is worth it. My friend and I went and we were the only two people. Eventually, others showed up, but it wasn’t nearly as hectic as Giza. I also recommend a sojourn on a felucca. Get Your Guide has great tour options and it’s not too expensive.

    Bab El-Sharq is inside the Ritz-Carlton. It’s a great place to dine al fresco and their middle eastern options are good (and not too expensive, by RC standards). The evening we went, there were performances by Egyptian singers.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    KSHaggag
    Participant

    Hello EUFlyer ,

    As an Egyptian residing in Alexandria rather than in Cairo I would confirm the latter is a huge city boasting lots and lots of interesting sights and monuments reflecting the old Pharaonic ,Christian ,and Islamic civilizations across thousands and thousands of years .It nevertheless has a lot of modern facilities to offer to the sophisticated traveller,too.

    Yes ,indeed all the monuments mentioned above are worth a visit ,both the conventional and the unconventional ones alike .

    The Citadel,the Pyramids ,Saqqara sights ,the Egyptian museum,Al Azhar Mosque ,Al Hussein Mosque and surroundings ,the Coptic ancient hanging church among tons and tons of other great sights are all impressive .You just need to have your schedule well organized based on the geographic location of the sights ;I do iterate that Cairo is a huuuuge place and traffic is often challenging .You can have your schedule organized by your Hotel Concierge who can give you the best advice on where to go and when .

    Cairo is a city spreading and growing at an exponential rate still with a lot of new districts being developed ,be them industrial or residential or both .

    The NEW Egyptian Museum will be launched toward the end of 2020 and will be a real jewel that will attract lots of people from all over the world ;it will be housing thousands of rare pieces not seen before .A new airport called Sphynx airport is also ready for flight operation to welcome the NEW Museum and Pyramids visitors .That airport is located 45 kms out of Cairo on the Alexandria /Cairo road .

    A New Administrative Capital is being built too but that will be ready by next year .Government offices ,ministries ,embassies etc are planning to move there to decongest the crowded capital ,Greater Cairo housing today approx 20 Million people during the day and slightly less during the night .

    As for hotels and restaurants ,it is all down to your budget however Cairo ,by international standards is still considered as a very affordable place for visitors ( not for the locals of course ).

    Luxury Hotels on the Nile include The Ritz Carlton ,The Sofitel ,The Conrad ,The Nile Fairmont ,The Nile Kempinski ,The Four Seasons Nile Plaza ,Cairo Marriott ,The Semiramis Intercontinental and soon the St Regis will be launched .They all offer the best amenities and services you would expect to get from those hospitality brands .
    Needless to say that the Four Seasons Nile Plaza offers the most exquisite standards so far however this comes at a Premium price .
    Further a field ,in the upscale Heliopolis district ,closer to the airport there are lots of other premium hotels too e.g. Meridien Cairo Airport ( connected to Terminal 3 with a pedestrian bridge ) ,the Hilton Heliopolis ,the City Stars Intercontinental ,etc…
    Zamalek district is a very upscale area ( in central Cairo ) where you have tons of cafes ,chic restaurants ,bistros ,etc ..Heliopolis is also home to thousands of upscale eateries .

    The weather in April is warm enough for you to be in summer attire ( shirt ,T shirt ,and trousers ) .

    The best thing about Egypt is the hospitality of the people who are always eager to help regardless their social background and education .

    Taxis are available and I would advise you to negotiate the fare beforehand .Uber and Careem are also operational and popular among the younger crowds .

    Enjoy Cairo !

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    agsteele
    Participant

    I am a regular in Egypt and would happily use Uber. I’m not sure whether the cars take card payments – I’ve always paid with Cash. Be careful not to select the Uber Scooter option – a colleague did that once by mistake.

    If you don’t speak Arabic then Uber is a less stressful option that a white taxi. They have meters which are supposed to work but rarely get turned on. As @GivingupBA said, you should negotiate your fare before setting off if you use a regular taxi.

    I’ve happily used the Metro service in the past. If it is going where you want it can be as quick as road transport.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I would never use UBER, but would stick with taxi’s, negotiating the fare in advance, or have a car booked by the hotel. It’s more expensive than a taxi, but still inexpensive when compared to say London.

    The other advantage of using a hotel car is the driver can often help you jump queues. Of course he’ll expect a nice tip but in my opinion it’s well worth it!

    When I was in Heliopolis, I’d use a taxi to cross the main road. It was safer than making the crossing on foot!!

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