Driving in Cairo, Cairo
The traffic in Cairo is really mad. The roads are always crowded, like it's always rush hour. The first two times, early eighties, I arrived in Cairo, was at night. The taxidrivers drove full speed, ignored red trafficlights, but they know all very well their own road rules, so nothing happened. What I saw was that pedestrians had no rights and had to jump for their lives.
If you have to go by road some where, it will take some time because of the traffic jam, so be prepared.
If you really decide to drive...(which in my opinion not a very good idea)you will have hard time to find a parking spot,,it`s almost impossible to find one in Cairo,specially the downtown area,But there`s one solution ,,which is vallet parking,you will HAVE TO use the vallet parking to be able to park your car infront of the place you`re heading to.
The good news is that vallet parking is really cheap(usually 1 egyptian pound)6 egyptian pounds =1$.
The streets of Cairo were designed during times when the population of Cairo was only a fraction of today's. The overcrowding that has occurred in recent decades has made traffic congestion in this city of 15-20 million a disaster! Yet, several new measures in recent years have somewhat helped ease the congestion. Nonetheless, one must be prepared to face delays when navigating the city.
the traffic is breathtaking (in all ways...) and there is always a traffic jams of the multi-lane and multi-storey highways; I always needed about 1 hour from Giza (hotel) to downtown Cairo. The airport is another hour to the east!
you can have a visa at cairo airport,it is less expensive and you won't have to ask a visa at the egyptian consulate of your home;but check if you belong to a country which has a good relationship with egypt.
Anyway,do not drive in cairo,it is crazy
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DRIVE IN CAIRO. It is an art unto itself! The roads are difficult to navigate and the driving is maniacle!!! There is a structure to the driving but I think you'd have to have been brought up with it to attempt it.
Someone has added a great comment prior to mine somewhere. It states that these drivers have broken one of the laws of physics stating that no 2 objects can occupy the same space at the same time, this is obviously proven wrong in Cairo. It is a thrilling ride at any time of day.
I would sit back and relax.
Don't even think about driving in Cairo! People over there have their own system when it comes to traffic and it seems to work for them, however my suggestion is to get a taxi. It's not expensive and it will get you safely to places. Don't forget to agree on the taxi price before you start your juorney :)
The rule of the road in Cairo is: there are no rules. There are no stop signs or traffic lights because the drivers would not stop anyway. The lines painted on the streets are for decoration only. They do not use thier headlights at night for fear of using up the battery.
avoid the humiliation of public transport by :
1- Avoiding buses (in all forms!). The trams are only 25 piasters, cost effective for those to whom time and comfort is no issue.
2-Underground, only 2 lines including main destinations as (Opera & El-Tahrir sq. ) for 1 L.E.
which are usually ok if yr tummy is not upset by the smell of stale sweat.
3-Black & white cabs are usually happy to see tourists.. in a (lion happy to see steak kind of way) only if u have no other options.. and the maximum fare from one end of cairo to the other is by no means more than 60L.E. i usually say 30-35 egyptian pounds per hour. -only take this type of cab if your up for a little barganing-
HERE IT IS,,, Your best bet is the Yellow City Cab service .. they have installed fare meteres, a/c and speak english. tel no. (19155)
as for driving well just leave that to the Qahirians ;)
DONT DRIVE YOURSELF
Welcome to a country where the average age of the cars is about 20 years old. They do not drive with their lights on at night (its bad for their eyes - I'm really surprised the rest of the world has not caught on to this "risk"..lol).
Very few cars have break lights and fewer have seat belts. By the way, there are no traffic lights, or at least none that are followed. A 3-lane highway becomes 6-7 lanes of traffic...and add in a bunch of people randomly walking through this mess...
Have I convienced you to not drive in Cairo?