Some people say it’s chaotic city with maddening traffic, noise, pollution and all. But this is what Cairo is all about. This a city built at a corner of a vast desert. What could one expect. You cannot escape the sandy winds blowing periodically into the city. But as for me Cairo is fine. Friendly people, the souqs, historical sites and the majestic Nile
There is another wonder of Cairo besides the Pyramid and the Nile. It’s the enormous volume of traffic moving incessantly in and out of the city and with traffic lights nowhere to be seen.
Pay no heed to the blaring horns of the vehicles on the roads. Maybe it’s just another way of saying “Excuse me!”
Fondest memory: In certain parts of the city, one could see camel riders or horse and mule carts criss crossing the streets at their leisurely pace. Surely they have no horns to honk away the on-coming vehicles.
If you are wanting to catch the sunrise or sip a coffee whilst watching the sunset, you may need to know what those times are for when you are there.
Adjust the dates for your choice -
As soon as we step on the entrance of the Sakkara Nest Restaurant, the pathway floor catches my attention.
Decorative tiles of different shapes were arranged unevenly that made it unique and attractive. I am sure you will agree with me that though it was simple but this work of art deserve a recognition.
Have not seen this artworks in my previous tours. Very colourful!
I took this photos of Water Lily in Cairo.
Yes, this kind of water lilies can be found in many countries and also in Cairo. I hope when you visit the Cairo museum, you will still be able to find them right in front of the museum. You can sit beside them and enjoy the view.
I took this photo in Cairo. I know and I remember!
We have this type of flower in my country of origin and love cutting from the stem and use as a decorative arrangement for Mayflower festival in the Philippines. As a kid, we used them to make blowing bubbles. We collect them, minced and get the sticky juice and put some water. That was how we made bubbles for free.
I do not know the name of the flower, but I am sure it is a family of Hibiscus. Very pretty, I would say!
I have been making the trip between cairo airport and Alex about three times/year for a couple of years now, flying in via KLM & arriving in the early hours of the morning. In the airport, just after you leave the customs area, you will find desks for three or four limo companies. You will not be able to miss them, even if you wanted to, as some of them will approach you and ask if you wanted a taxi. They will tell you that they have fixed prices but still, don't be afraid to haggle. They will probably charge you something bettween LE 500 - LE 800 , for a nice clean & A/C car, although will try to charge you more. If you get out of that area you can pick an ordinary Taxi (black & white cabs). These will charge you less (although the quality of cars is less) & you should aim for LE 250 - LE 300 but do haggle hard and make sure that you both have agreed on a price and that no misunderstanding is possible. If you are happy with the driver take his mobile number and use him for your return trip .. telling him that will also make him "nicer" to you even if you change your mind later on. For your return, you can either use the superjet or one of these drivers. There are also cab companies in Alex which you can phone a couple of days in advance & arrange .. Again, this should not cost you more that LE 300.. Enjoy your trip anyway !
Hey everyone! I went to Cairo in 2006 and could not believe how cheap it all was. Also I hope you fly in on a night flight because the view as you descend is spectacular - with the vast deserts and tiny towns, and the pyramids all lit up in cheesy disco lights...I nearly cried, it was all a bit emotional! ;) So here are a few prices to give you an idea of what to expect to pay out there (all in gbp): 2L bottle of water - 20 to 50p; coffee in a cafe 30p; nice jeans probably around 4gbp (though I personally didn't get a chance to see if there were any clothes shops around); silver jewellery usually is a fixed price according to weight so not as cheap as you may like but I got a lovely pair of dangly earrings for around 12gbp - any other goods such as leather etc can be haggled for, always offer them about a quarter to a third of their original asking price and stick to your guns (politely) and you should pick up some amazing bargains; 1 week's grocery shopping probably about 5gbp (totally affordable anyway and I had my first pomegranate out there, sooo delicious! They have the best fruit out there); meals out in restaurants with alcohol are also really cheap and generally very good food - but go for a restaurant that looks clean and more expensive from the outside, it will still only cost you about 7gbp for a three course meal and not much more for drinks, but this way you're less likely to get the dreaded funny tummy. DO NOT touch salads in any form, no matter how well presented they are, I slipped up once and had one and became VERY sick (it went on for six months and I lost a lot of weight). Also don't accept drinks with icecubes in them and be careful not to put your fingers in your mouth, even/especially after washing them in running water. One of the best investments you can make is a bottle of hand sanitiser from Wilkos or a supermarket (don't buy one from a camping outlet such as Millets as they will charge you 7gbp instead of paying about 2gbp) and a cheap pashmina (to cover up when you feel exposed in less touristy areas and acts as a comfortable layer if the evening feels cooler - I didn't leave the hotel without mine). Be warned, I went in late September and the temperature was 41C most days, almost unbearable, so be prepared. Finally - Cairo is generally dirty, smelly, full of culture and life, filled with interesting people always ready for a joke, and completely different to anything you're used to if it's your first time in a muslim country. It's utterly amazing, just soak it up and don't expect anything and you'll fall in love with it! Let me know if you have any other queries esp. re the museum, pyramids, travelling around etc and I'll do my best to help! Take care & enjoy your holiday - Jen :) P.s one of the most helpful things I was told was to learn the words for 'no, thanks' in Arabic - as they will not leave you alone in many places, so you'll say this a lot - it's pronounced 'leh (no) shokran (thanks)'
Fondest memory: The crazy souks, the amazingly friendly and generous people, the cheeky sense of humour and the fact that they don't take things too seriously out there; I loved the sense of history and awe in being around the pyramids and articles in the beautifully kept museum. The madness of the traffic and the smells and sounds that were so different to anything I've ever been used to. It was a complete adventure and I'll not forget it!
Before visiting Egypt, you should check with your local Egyptian embassy to identify the visa requirements that apply to citizens from your country.
Having done so myself, I found that as a UK citizen I was eligible to obtain a tourist visa upon arrival at Cairo airport. The following details were correct at the time of my visit in November 2007:
- tourist visas can be purchased upon arrival at Cairo airport, and are valid for 30 days. You must have at least 6 months remaining on your current passport;
- you can pay for your visa in either $US or EGP, with visas priced at $US15 or EGP 90 (9 GBP);
- visas are purchased from bank counters immediately inside the airport. Hand over your cash and you will receive a visa sticker. Peel the sticker off and stick it on a blank page in your passport. This will then be stamped when you pass through passport control;
- most people on my flight had either obtained a visa prior to travelling or didn’t require one, so I was one of the few people on the flight who made their way to the visa counters. However, some people made the mistake of joining the long queue for passport control, only to be told once they reached the front that they had to go back and get a visa. Don’t make that mistake or you’ll have to queue up twice.
In common with many countries, foreign visitors also have to fill in a landing card and a customs declaration when visiting Egypt. These will normally be distributed on the flight and will require you to fill in details such as: name, address, occupation, nationality, passport number, purpose of your visit, length of stay and address while in Egypt. These will be collected from you at passport control/customs.
Note: The above information relates to travellers arriving in Egypt at Cairo airport. I believe that there are different visa regulations in force for visitors to the holiday resorts located on the Sinai peninsular. In the case of the latter, many European visitors do not require a visa for stays of 14 days or less.
Favorite thing: On the way from Cairo to Memphis, some very nice houses and villas can be noticed. I was told that those propertys belong to the rich people who live in Cairo. Having a house away from the city is nice in every part of the world but in Cairo even more considering the very high polution, especially during the summer months. The other way to escape ftom the city, for those who don't have money problem is moving to Alexandria. I was told that about 3 milion people leave Cairo in the summer and most of them go to Alexandria.
Egypt is the only Arab country that has the diplomatic relationship with Israel.
They offered to Israel very nice mansion in Cairo for the Embassy building. It was refused.
And guess what, Israeli choosed two upper floors of the residential Skyscraper (not on the very top, though) so if someone choose to attack it, it can’t be done without killing their own people. Clever enough, isn’t it?
This is, at least to me, quite an interesting story.
Here it is how the police judge who is guilty when traffic accidents happen. The owner of the better car always wins!
If involved cars are equally bad, the winner is the owner who gets to the police first!
I went by myself and as soon as I started walking around the streets I did not feel comfortable. As soon as I got out there I realised what a friendly place it is. Don't stray into the real Cairo areas unless you feel very secure. They will be surprised to see you and have a laugh thinking you are lost!!
I walked from my hotel to Cairo Museum which took 30 mins but I'm glad I did because you can really absorb the culture and what people are like. You will find some great cafes and places to eat. When I was there I saw nobody wandering around, it was very hot but still. Get out and about and try to get to places that are close by walking.
Dr Abdelghany Nassar is from Cairo. He is a young man with wisdom beyond his years. We spent a day with him and it was by far our best day (in Cairo). He was sensitive to what we were looking to get out of Cairo, he knew when to guide and when to be silent. Conversations were interesting and relaxed and by the end of the day we considered him more a friend than a guide.
What he didn't know about Cairo and Egypt's history probably wasn't worth knowing and he was super with our kids - he didn't patronise them but neither did he bore them.
Certainly when we return to Egypt we'll look him up for 2 reasons : 1 to say "hello" and 2 to have another fab tour!
I believe he guides around other places including Luxor and Sinai. His email is :
Fondest memory: hmm... would say fondest memory is sitting drinking mint tea and Turkish coffee in Fishwari's chatting to Abdel about his apartment whist he smoked hubbly bubbly had his shoes polished by an old man, our kids went on sugar overload from Sprite and Cola and we all (including the guys that worked there) tried to figure out what thje lotion in a little plastic bottle was (my guess was hair conditioner)!
I remembered being in such an absolute rush we only had two places planned in the itinery - The Pyramids(of course!) and the Egyptian Museum. We managed to spend a couple of hours in the Egyptian Museum which was amazingly huge with the largest amount of exhibits anywhere in the world. The fact that the amount of ancient artefacts they housed in there is unbelievable!
Fondest memory: The HEAT! I literally thought I was going to melt just right there. In Cairo, the amount of dust and smoke from traffic and the surrounding desert can even make you choke. Don't say I didn't warn you!
Favorite thing: The exchanging of money in Cairo is quit easy, the exchange rate is controlled by the government, so exchanging money at the airport or at your hotel you will get the same rate. Try to exchange a small amount of money in the airport enough to pay a taxi about 60 LE about $11 US dollars and then exchange the rest at your hotel away from preying eyes !!!!!
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