Local traditions and culture in Cairo

  • Local Customs
    by machomikemd
  • Local Customs
    by machomikemd
  • Local Customs
    by machomikemd

Most Viewed Local Customs in Cairo

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Smoker's Haven

    by machomikemd Written Oct 25, 2013

    The Middle East, of Which Egypt is included and East Asia and South East Asia remains bastions for smokers in the world of which the largest concentration of smokers in the globe are located. while in other areas of the world, smoking is not allowed inside malls and hotel lobbies, unless they are enclosed, in egypt, you can still smoke inside malls and the smoking area in the Cairo International Airport is always busy with smokers.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Business Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Starbucks Egypt and Cairo Coffee Mugs

    by machomikemd Written Oct 25, 2013

    althoug my favorite collectors item of my travels are the various fridge magnets and shot glasses available, I also occasionally collect starbucks coffee mugs in some places that I've visited. And here in Egypt, I had to buy the Egyptian and Cairo Starbucks coffee mugs and they come in small and big sizes the the cost of a small coffee mug is LE 60 and the big coffee mug at LE 75. I bought them at the Starbucks Coffee Outlet at the Transit Area of Cairo International Airport Terminal 1. you can also buy the stainless steel Starbucks mugs and containers and they come with free hot coffee.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Business Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Buying Oils and Essences

    by machomikemd Written Oct 24, 2013

    as your tours eventually take most tourists to the perfume shops and factories around Cairo and Giza, you will be tempted to buy these aromatic products as egypt is known as a major manufacturer and exported of oil based fragrances and essences and they also teach you how to dilute these pure oils and essences into eau to toilette or aftershave perfumes and eau de parfum concentrations. these shops have local fragrances for use as aromatherapy, incense, perfumes and house fragrances. they have pure oils like jasmine, lotus, lemon and combinations which are copies of famous fragrances like Chanel or Ck or DKNY or Carolina Herrera or Ralph Lauren and they are named Aknaton or Osiris or Queen of the Desert or Anubis and more.

    the fragrances are available in 25 ml, 50 ml and 100 ml bottles and costs from LE 150 to 600, depending on the size of the fragrance. they even proved wooden boxes and free oil containers if you buy many (at least 6 or more).

    Related to:
    • Luxury Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Perfumed Oils and Essences Containers

    by machomikemd Written Oct 24, 2013

    egypt has a vibrant perfume, oils and essences industry since the ancient pharaohnic times and beside the endess list of oils and perfumes being sold and marketed, egpyt also makes the containers to house these valuable fragrances. the containers are available in different shapes and sizes and are made from glass, porcelain and ceramics and not in mets containers as not to dilute and differ the content inside. you can buy these oil and frangrance containers at fragrance shops and souvenir stores and souks all around cairo and giza and they cost from LE 50 to 150 per piece, depending on the size and designs and you can even have them free if you buy lots of oils and fragrances at the fragrance stores!

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Luxury Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Papyrus

    by machomikemd Written Oct 23, 2013

    One of the earliest used material for making documents, writing papers, books and more since the ancient times is the egyptian papyrus. the Papyrus is made from the pulp of the of the papyrus plant, Cyperus papyrus, which grows on the banks of the nile river since the ancient times. the papyrus parchment papers were used by the early egyptians and even the sudanese ancient kingdom of Nubia as writing material and for boats, mattresses, mats, rope, sandals, and baskets. The papryus is now one of egypt.s most famous souvenirs as there are many papyrus factories cum shops in cairo and giza that sell papryrus parchments with assorted paintings for tourists.

    I will have separate tips on the papryus shops and papryrus making demonstrations.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Business Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Egypt Ash Trays

    by machomikemd Written Oct 23, 2013

    being one of the popular tourist destinations in the middle east and having more than 12 milliom tourists a year means that egypt has lots of souvenir items to offer to gawking tourists like us and although my all time favorite souvenir item are the shot glasses and fridge magnets, I occasionally buy other touristy stuff and this time I bought the egyptian ash tray as I was intrigued with the ash tray with an egyptian queen in the design, you can buy these ash trays at the many souvenir shops in Cairo and Giza and costs LE 35 to 50, depending on your haggling skills.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Budget Travel
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Egypt Fridge Magnets

    by machomikemd Written Oct 23, 2013

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    this will be my pictures of the Refrigerator Magnets.

    I am an avid collector of shot glasses and Fridge Magnets of my travels and here in Cairo, with many souvenir shops and souks and even in Giza, there are tons of fridge magnets of different styles (you can buy these fridge magnets in plastic or ceramic or steel or pewter with magnets at the back and even magnetite kinds comes with different pictures or designs). The themes ranging from the pharoahnic period with assorted pyramids, pharohs, queens and other egyptian themes like coptic themse or islamic these and the egytian flag too. and you can pay them either in US dollars (US $) or Egyptian Pound (LE) and the cost is between 15 to 35 LE, depending on the type used.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • machomikemd's Profile Photo
    4 more images

    Egypt Shot Glasses

    by machomikemd Written Oct 23, 2013

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I am an avid collector of shot glasses and Fridge Magnets of my travels and here in Cairo, with many souvenir shops and souks and even in Giza, there are tons of shot glasses of different styles (you can buy these shot glasses in frosted glass, tempered glass or pewter and comes with different pictures or designs). The themse ranging from the pharoahnic period with assorted pyramids, pharohs, queens and other egyptian themse like coptic themse or islamic these. and you can pay them either in US dollars (US $) or Egyptian Pound (LE) and the cost is between 18 to 40 LE, depending on the type used.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • TheLongTone's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    The great feast

    by TheLongTone Updated Aug 16, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Eid al kebir (literally the great feast, also known as Eid al Adha) is one of the most important dates in the Muslim calendar. It commemorates Abraham's (Ibrahim) submission to the will of God by his willingness to sacrifice his first-born son: in Muslim theology this makes Abraham the first Muslim.

    It's a family affair: the traditional way to celebrate it is to sacrifice an animal (tradidinally a sheep, but it can be a goat. a cow or a camel) and then spend the next few days eating it.
    As one would expect (the giving of alms being one of the five pillars of Islam) the tradition does not ignore those who cannot afford to sacrifice: one third of the meat should be given to the poor.

    In Cairo the approach of Eid is marked by exuberant decorations outside butcher's shops. The banners in the main photo are embroidered with the ninety nine names of Allah.

    And outside some mosques there are pens of sheep being lovingly looked after, happily unaware of what eid mans for them.

    Was this review helpful?

  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    sufi dance

    by mindcrime Written May 16, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Al-Ghouriyya at Sharia al-Azhar is an impressive couple of black and white buildings that date back from 1505. When visited it one afternoon there was a free Soufi dance show.

    The sufi dance is practiced by the Dervishes, through a weird whirling dance, a ceremony that aims to reach perfection as they say and the origin of the dance goes back to 12th century. The ritual goes through different levers, first step we saw was an Islamic prayer and then they start to whirl, slowly till they go faster and reach some kind of an exctatic trance. It was really interesting and not touristic at all.

    See my short video here: video

    Address:Sharia al-Azhar at Al-Ghouriyya, Islamic Cairo

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Music

    Was this review helpful?

  • TheLongTone's Profile Photo

    Samak? La Samak!

    by TheLongTone Updated Feb 7, 2010

    My favoured daybag for jaunts in foreign climes is a large shopping basket which I bought in Fes several years ago. It generally excites little comment (although it was widely admired in Tunisia, where they sadly admitted that they don't make stuff as well as they do in Morocco) but for some reason everybody in Cairo though I should be carrying fish in it. To the point where I'd just catch the eye of the museum guard or whoever, sadly shake my head and say 'La Samak'.... 'No Fish'
    Next time i go to Cairo I'm packing a large rubber fish. That'll show them.

    Was this review helpful?

  • TheLongTone's Profile Photo

    A Gentleman pays five

    by TheLongTone Updated Feb 6, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    As I recall the going price for a pack of Cleopatras (the favorite Egyptian smoke) is around 3.50 LE. Egypt is a heartbreakingly poor country and in addition to the numerous beggars there are many people ekeing out a precarious existence by hawking packs of tissues or cigarettes. Less eroding to the sense of self-worth than begging. So, hand over a five and don't take any change. Even if you are relatively poor at home, here you are a rich person.
    The title of the tip is a quote from an Egyptian cafe acquaintance.

    The generosity of spirit of the poor never fails to humble me. I was once offered a pack of tissues by a man whose life must have been hard and grim: he had lost the use of both legs. It was a gift, he absolutely refused money. Wouldn't take it. He simply wanted to welcome me to his country.

    Was this review helpful?

  • TheLongTone's Profile Photo

    The price of bread

    by TheLongTone Updated Jan 29, 2010

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Apparently the Ancient Egyptian word for 'Bread' was the same as the word for 'Life' 'Death' seems more appropriate, given that this is the standard way of delivering it. I wouldn't do this on a quiet backstreet, let alone in Cairo traffic. Brave, foolhardy or simply desperate to make a living.... so, when eating bread in Cairo, reflect on what has been done to get it to you, and be thankful!

    Was this review helpful?

  • uglyscot's Profile Photo

    eating from the street sellers

    by uglyscot Updated Jun 22, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When various fruits and vegetables are available on season, men with carts go around selling their wares at remarkably cheap prices.
    Apart from juices, the most popular I have seen are the prickly pear salesmen. They peel the prickly outer coating off, leaving the seedy pulp ready to eat.
    Then in winter, roasted sweet potatoes are on sale. They are cooked in a fascinating contraption that reminds me of an old steam engine, with its furnace blazing. The poke [cone] of potatoes are delicious and hot on a chilly day.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel
    • Food and Dining

    Was this review helpful?

  • csordila's Profile Photo

    Egyptian hospitality

    by csordila Updated May 10, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The local peoples are very gracious and polite in Cairo. It occurs that the passers-by on the street give us a smile and say hello.
    Egyptian has casual intimacy like kissing the other men on the cheek, so do not be surprised by this gesture. This is their way of greeting and they do not usually require a lot of personal space while interacting with fellow men.

    Though they are close talkers, be extra careful when interacting with the women. It has been in tradition that it is unseemly proper to speak with women when you are not related. Even when engaged in professional situations, making eye contact with women is considered to be forward already.

    Moreover, if talking with the Egyptians avoid going into details and asking about their female relatives. You may be just trying to be friendly but a conservative Egyptian may wrongly interpret it.

    The Egyptian hospitality is well-known.
    If you are guest somewhere and you like something there, you may not start praising it, because by the local traditions the host is bound to offer it to the guest as a gift.
    Likewise solemn duty to offer the guest a beverage and food. The main beverage among the Egyptians is the coffee, which is drunk much more sweetly, than in Europe.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

Cairo Hotels

See all 174 Hotels in Cairo

Latest Cairo Hotel Reviews

Nile Hilton
128 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Sep 29, 2013
Sofitel Le Sphinx Cairo
501 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 16, 2014
Mena House Oberoi Cairo
251 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 14, 2014
Cataract Pyramids Resort
201 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Feb 4, 2014
Le Meridien Pyramids
960 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 5, 2014
Intercontinental Pyramids Park Resort Cairo
210 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 14, 2014
Safir Hotel Cairo
166 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 13, 2014
Marriott Cairo Hotel And Omar Khayyam Casino
840 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 15, 2014
Grand Hyatt Cairo
217 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Feb 21, 2014
Grand Pyramids Hotel Cairo
324 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 14, 2014
Fairmont Heliopolis
196 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 16, 2014
Oasis Hotel
294 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Mar 27, 2014
Husa Pyramids
75 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 12, 2014
Hilton Pyramids Golf
212 Reviews & Opinions
Latest: Apr 12, 2014

Instant Answers: Cairo

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

94 travelers online now

Comments

Cairo Local Customs

Travel tips and advice posted by real travelers and Cairo locals.
Map of Cairo