Advises, Cairo

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  • Advises
    by machomikemd
  • Advises
    by machomikemd
  • you need lots of water hiking the desert
    you need lots of water hiking the desert
    by machomikemd
  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Foreign Currency Exchange ATM's

    by machomikemd Written Oct 22, 2013
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    Favorite thing: the foreign curency exchange ATM's are different from the international ATM's, in that you can exhange you US Dollar, European EU, Canadian Dollars, Australian Dollars and other selected currencies like the Saudi Arabian Riyal, Kuwait Dinar or the Bahraini Dinar into Egyptian Pound (LE) via a fixed exchange rate via these automated teller machines, which changes daily, without the additional commisions added in changing at the money exhange shops or the additional surcharges incurred via withdrawing money from the International ATM Machines.

    you only put your money inside the machine (like a 100 US dollar) and press change into Egyptian Pound and wait for a few seconds and viola! Instant Egyptian Pounds!

    the machines have engish, arabic, japanese, chinese,french, spanish languages and you just press the button to transact on what language you want and then viola!

    Fondest memory: the foreign currency exchange ATM's are available at the Airport, at selected malls (like the City Stars Mall) and banks around Cairo.

    they are very convenient and you are not charged a commision fee or a surchage!

    Related to:
    • Business Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Road Trip

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    Bottled Water

    by machomikemd Written Oct 22, 2013
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    Favorite thing: like anywhere in the world, Cairo has lots of bottled water, mineral water, spring water, alkaline water companies, both local and international that sell this precious commodity. remember this egypt is mostly desert so don't be shocked if the prices of bottled water is higher than a liter of petrol here as petrol is more abundant and is subsidized by the government. you can buy bottled water everywhere, in restaurants, shops, bazaars, souks, malls, souvenir shops, you tour bus guides! (who have bottled water in coolers and sell you 1 bottle for US $ 1) and more as you really need to have to drink lots of fluids as cairo is a desert area after all. prices of bottled water starts at LE 5 for a small 500 ml botlle and goes up to LE 25 to 30 for the big 2 liter bottles.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Food and Dining
    • Backpacking

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    Buying the Money - Easy and Quick

    by Mozumbus Updated Jan 4, 2012

    Favorite thing: Non rip-off bank kiosks inside the aiport.

    There are bank kiosks just before the immigration at Cairo International Airport. They offer quite competitive rates. I got 1620 EGP for 1000 AED against 1635 as quoted on the internet, which means 1% transaction cost; a fair deal indeed.

    USD, EUR, GBP, AED, etc were equally in demand.

    In the downtown, we saw quite a few money exchange shops offering competitive rates.

    While shopping in Khan El Khalili, at a big local shop (Auf) mostly selling garments, I got out of local currency. Only then I realized that they themselves exchange the currency, for the purpose of shopping only. I had to insist a bit to raise the bid from 5.95 to 6 EGP for 1 USD! They also refused to take the 20$ bill and only accepted the 50$ one.

    Last night, when it was too late for the currency shop, we again got out of the local cash. But the reception guy at the hotel gave us a favour this time and gave us the required sum against foreign notes so that we could buy a few kilos of the Halawa!

    So based on this experience, I can say that Egypt is not too difficult for the purpose of currency exchange with the airport option being the preferred one.

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    Recommended Reading

    by MM212 Updated Mar 25, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Below are a number of books I recommend reading prior to a trip to Cairo:

    Paris Along The Nile - Architecture in Cairo from the Belle Epoque, by Cynthia Myntti

    Egypt's Belle Epoque - Cairo and the Age of the Hedonists, by Trevor Mostyn

    Islamic Monuments in Cairo - The Practical Guide, by Caroline Williams

    Alexandrie 1860-1960 - Un modèle éphémère de convivialité: communautés et identité cosmopolite (Éditions Autrements - Séries Mémoires)

    Le Caire, par André Raymond (Also in English: Cairo, by André Raymond)

    The Yacoubian Building, by Alaa Al-Aswany

    Egyptian Art, by Jaromir Malek (Phaidon Press)

    Cairo Illustrated, by Michael Haag

    Égypte - Guides Bleus by Hachette. This is the best guidebook on Egypt, if you read French.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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  • A Guide Is a Neccessity

    by alainie12 Written Oct 9, 2010

    Favorite thing: It's almost impossible to select only one activity or site in Cairo (or the rest of Egypt as well) because so much is awe inspiring. It was my experience that the best way to get around and know what it is you are seeing is to hire a guide and driver. The additional cost to your trip is more than offset by the ability to see and do more because you are saving time and the frustrations of having to navigate an unfamiliar culture and language. In addition, you get the benefit of learning the history and mythology the treasures you see represent. We used guides hired from Mr. Mostafa of GoTravelEgypt.Com; both guides we hired spoke perfect English and held Master's Degrees in Egyptology. Without their guidance, knowledge and expertise our trip would not have been anywhere near the perfect trip we were lucky enough to take.

    Fondest memory: The people I encountered make up my best memories. The Egyption sense of humor is very playful and teasing. Where ever we went we found people to be gracious and friendly.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Family Travel

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    When it comes to money.

    by angelsmom13 Written Mar 30, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Operate like your in a casino.Make things perfectly clear.When I was at the airport I got my entry visa,then I went to get my US dollars exchanged for egyptian pounds.I gave the teller 200 usd.It was not till later that I noticed he cheated me.I later looked at the receipt he gave me,and he recorded it as 100 usd.Im sure he pocketed it. Also when you negotiate anything write it on a piece of paper,then if anyone tries to change the deal you can show them the paper and hopefuly they will stick to the agreed deal. For example if you deal for a cab write how much and for how many people and show it to the driver.

    Related to:
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    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

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    Taxi from Airplane in Cairo to Alexandria

    by Capisco Written Oct 25, 2008

    Favorite thing: Train is better than Taxi and much cheaper working daily on the root from Cairo to Alexandria but there are different types of trains .
    For example you can take a train and stay 3 hours and you can take another train which is the direct one which will be just 2 Hours
    IF you want the time of the Direct train from Cairo To Alexandria just let me know .
    But take care That you might not find a place in the train as it might be fully booked so i recommend have your tickets in Advance.
    You/I can arrange a Cheap private Taxi for you with a driver to wait you in the airport and get you here to Alexandria.
    By the way i live in Alexandria since I was born so if you want anything while in Alexandria just say Karim ;)

    Fondest memory: The Pyramids
    Cairo Tower
    Mohamed Ali Citadel
    Azahar Park
    Khan EL Khalili
    City Ctars (The biggest mall in Egypt)

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel

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  • General advice from an ex-pat

    by youngsincairo Written Sep 3, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Advice from an ex-pat starting her 4th year in Cairo: Dress like a tourist and you will be treated like a tourist. Women: tops not too low, mid-calf length capris or skirts are good options, bare upper arms are considered sexy, so cover up! Bermuda shorts for a man is OK at the pyramids since you will be considered a tourist anyway. One correction: the bank windows for purchasing visas ($15 US or equivalent in pounds or Euros) are beyond the baggage collection and duty free shop, on the left just before the Immigration/passport booths. The lineup is generally short. No trouble with pickpockets, but I wouldn't want to tempt them, either. Just use common sense: be careful in crowded streets, wear your purse across your chest, no wallets in back pockets! One suggestion: it helps if you learn a few words of Arabic, and joke with them (using gestures and facial expression--they have a wonderful sense of humour! Act confident, like you're friends (not timid or intimidated). One Egyptian man in the Khan (market area) told me he knew I wasn't a tourist because I didn't act frightened...

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    Bus or personal Guide

    by hamCW Written Aug 12, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: I just returned from a great trip in Egypt. Fortunately, I had read about Mohamed Bahaa on Virtual Traveler!

    He my arrangements for all the hotels, flights guided tours and transportation. In addition, Bahaa made several trips to the pharmacy to make sure I had the medical supplies I needed. The hotel rooms were great. I have read horror stories about others who stayed in undesirable places. I previously had taken those bus tours . Remember hearing the bus guide point out “ look on the right side” and you were on the left side and missed the photo shot. That doesn’t happen with Bahaa. Best off all, the cost is about the same as the bus day or half day tour. I was in Egypt for about 11 days. Thanks Bahaa Tours!
    email m.bahaa2@usa.net

    Fondest memory: The people are friendly. You will amazed at what awaits you in the Cairo Museum. Take a trip outside of Cairo and see the farms and rural Egyptian lifestyle. Then go to Luxor, WOW!

    Related to:
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

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    Bus or personal Guide

    by hamCW Written Aug 12, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: I just returned from a great trip in Egypt. Fortunately, I had read about Mohamed Bahaa on Virtual Traveler!

    He my arrangements for all the hotels, flights guided tours and transportation. In addition, Bahaa made several trips to the pharmacy to make sure I had the medical supplies I needed. The hotel rooms were great. I have read horror stories about others who stayed in undesirable places. I previously had taken those bus tours . Remember hearing the bus guide point out “ look on the right side” and you were on the left side and missed the photo shot. That doesn’t happen with Bahaa. Best off all, the cost is about the same as the bus day or half day tour. I was in Egypt for about 11 days. Thanks Bahaa!

    Fondest memory: The people are friendly. You will amazed at what awaits you in the Cairo Museum. Take a trip outside of Cairo and see the farms and rural Egyptian lifestyle. Then go to Luxor, WOW!

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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    When to Go

    by queenpud Written Oct 10, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: The best time to go November - April (occasionally experiences dust storms brought by the sirocco hot winds in April)

    There are two seasons: a very hot summer between May and October, and a mild winter from November to April.
    Cairo is very dry, receiving on average only about a centimeter of rain a year, but it does have high humidity levels in summer.

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  • Licensed Egyptologist & Private Tour Guide Availab

    by gsimington Written Jul 1, 2007

    Favorite thing: Simply email me to be connected with a wonderfully personable, independent, licensed tour guide with a Master's Degree in Egyptology, who is one of the few tour guides in Egypt who speaks both fluent English and German without a heavy accent. He is well versed in all aspects of ancient and modern Egyptian history and provides superior tours at very reasonable prices.

    Satisfied clients have said:

    "I think the most significant statement I can make is that if Ibrahim says he will do something, he will do it! He was on time, every time."

    "Ibrahim speaks multiple languages, and he speaks English fluently, knowing many words and phrases that demonstrated a thorough understanding of the language. His vocabulary was outstanding, and his pronunciation was impeccable! The depth of his knowledge on a multitude of subjects was quite impressive. This was no ordinary guide, or even just a good one! We have traveled independently and frequently for many years. We hire private guides and drivers when we are in an area where we do not want to drive and public transportation is inadequate, or when we feel the history of the destination is significant and we want to know more about it. We have used private guides in Greece, Morocco, Turkey, Malta, Thailand, Philippines, etc. Ibrahim was the best all round guide we have ever used."

    Fondest memory: "Whether you have an idea of what you want to see, or you just want to leave it up to Ibrahim to plan your visit, you will not be disappointed. For example, I took a tour of Coptic Cairo with a different guide. When I took a tour of Coptic Cairo with Ibrahim, I was amazed at the difference -- I learned so much more. Ibrahim never rushes, and you can ask him anything. He also knows good places for lunch -- just let him know if you want to be served or go through a buffet line. His service is all about helping you get the most out of your visit."

    "Ibrahim emphasized on multiple occasions that this was our vacation and our money! He asked for feedback frequently, such as are we going too fast, too slow, too much or not enough detail, speaking loudly enough, and summarizing at the end of the day with “what should I have done differently”?"

    "I only have the highest praise for Ibrahim. He accompanied my partner and I on a recent trip on the Nile and around Cairo and it was a fantastic experience. His knowledge of everything is superb and everything went smoothly ... as we said afterwards, it was absolutely "hassle free. Safety was also a concern for us and we felt very taken care of in that respect as well."

    "We found his fees to be reasonable and he exceeded our expectations in his flexibility to work with us on what we wanted to see and where we wanted to go. We found more than a guide in Abe, we found a wonderful friend that we still periodically stay in touch with. I'm sure you will find a friend in him too!!"

    "Our family will always have wonderful memories of our Egyptian adventure, and I know we have Ibrahim to thank for making it so personal and so meaningful, as well as so hassle-free. Without him we would have had to do a lot more coping, and I know the trip would have been much less enjoyable."

    Many more references available.

    gsimington@gmail.com

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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    You need a water parade before you step out!

    by M.E.R.V Updated Apr 17, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Drink plenty of water always because the heat is unbearable. Tap water isn't safe to drink and mineral water should be sealed when you buy them from vendors on the streets. Get canned drinks instead of bottled ones if you can and do bring some stomach tablets just in case you get a Mummy-Belly.

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  • Disappearing Main Tourist Office

    by ZannaClair Written Apr 3, 2007

    Favorite thing: As of the 1st of April 2007 we have discovered that there is no longer an open and running main tourist information office in Cairo. If you need any advice, ideally you would ask the tourist information place at the Airport. The tourist info at Ramses Train Station is not overly useful, limited english skills and doesn't even understand the word "goddess".

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    • Family Travel

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  • BRING YOUR STUDENT CARD

    by pangtidor Written Mar 7, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: If you are a student, dont forget to bring your student card. Make sure that `STUDENT CARD` is printed on your card, to be acknowledged as a student card for them. With the student card you will get 50% discount for almost all of the entrance fees.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • School Holidays
    • Study Abroad

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