Getting to the Giza Pyramids from Downtown Cairo can be expensive and time consuming. A taxi will cost you at the minimum 50 LE ($10) each way and takes about an hour to and from the Pyramids. The best option is to take the red line metro to the Giza Station stop for 1 LE each way (.20 cents) and then from Giza Station you can catch a cab to the Pyramids for 20 LE ($4). The average trip time is between 30 to 40 minutes and so not only is it faster but its far cheaper as the total price each way is $4.20 for a total of $8.40 round trip. Without this is the best way to get to the Pyramids if your on a budget and want to get there fast from the downtown area.
Not that difficult if you're staying in the downtown - which more likely that you will be - or around the Tahrir Square or any other places near the Metro Station, especially the Line 2 - Shubra to ElMounib route. There are only 2 Metro Lines in Cairo, the other one is Line 1 New El Marg to Helwan. Line 3 Airport to Downtown is under construction.
Chances are, the nearest Metro to you if you're in the downtown is the one on Tahrir Square called - Sadat Station - but may also be Naguib or Attaba or Martyrs.
Now, if you're taking it from Sadat Station, there are subway entrances from both sides of the highway around the Tahrir roundabout. Go down and buy your EGP1 ticket, you can buy 2 for the return so you don't have to queue again later if you're taking the same route and mode of transport coming back.
Look at the overhead sign that says El Mounib and go to that platform, take the Metro train and count the stops or look at the route map inside the train. From Sadat Station, you should be getting off on the 6th stop which is Giza Station, not the Giza Suburb station after it.
When you arrive at the Giza Station, go down the stairs and there are taxis waiting right at the station, either you take one from there or walk until you reach the main road (which I did) and hail a taxi from there. ASk for a meter or agree on a price, between 15 - 20 EGP, no more than that. The first taxi I hailed was asking for EGP30, I did not take, and I ended up taking a metered taxi at EGP17 (gave away the change as a tip).
There are two entrances to the pyramid complex, I was dropped off at the one near the Sphinx which is good because you'll work your way up to the largest pyramid and exit at the other gate.
Take a taxi again back to the Giza Metro Station, I got the metered taxi a bit less at EGP15 (plus tip of 2). And took the platform at the metro station that says Shobra.
I took the metro several times -- to/from Giza (pyramids), Mar Girgis (Coptic Cairo) and New El MArg (near the airport). There are currently 2 lines (3rd coming soon), Line 1 that goes to Coptic Cairo and Line 2 goes to Giza station. Metro traverse limited routes for tourists but you could always combine it with taxi to save some fares. It's not hard to find the stations, it has the ""M" signs, the carriages have electric fans as sometimes it gets really crowded and hot. Be careful though not taking the all-female carriage, normally in the mid of the carriages and with red (or pink?) coloured bar on above the entrance. You will know too once your on the platform, the female locals wait at a certain platform.
Going to the pyramids - Giza Station (plus taxi), I took the Metro from Sadat Station at Tahrir Square, it's the 6th stop - the Shubra to El Mounib way (not the other way around).
From Sadat station to Coptic Cairo, Line 1, New El Marg to Helwan way, 4th stop - Mar Girgis. (SEE ROUTE MAP on the photo on ur left).
When you're at the station look for the signboards so you won't end up at the wrong platform.
Fare is EGP1.
Must say that we only used the metro once while in Cairo from Sadat station (near the Egyptian Museum) to Coptic Cairo (Mari Girgis station). The cost was 1LE to travel one way on any line, but the fare must be paid again if you change lines. At the moment there are 2 lines, the red and green and the journey was very straight forward with no hassle and clean trains. The first carriages in each train are for females only. The system is open from 5.30am - midnight and until 1am in summer.
The metro system does not seem to link up directly with many tourist sights to be honest, so you will have to take cabs most of the time or buses if you know the stops and schedules!! Saying this, a third line is under construction with plans for lines 4, 5 and 6 in the future.
Look for the red "M" in a star shaped sign for the metro. See metro map on photo link.
If you're sick of haggling with taxi drivers and jamed roads just enjoy a metro ride! There are currently two lines running, but I must admit that those are not linking tourist spots. The Egyptian Museum can be reached (Sadat Station near Tahir Square), also Ramses Train Station (Mubarak Station) and Coptic Cairo. To save time and money going to the pyramids of Giza take the metro to Giza Station and catch a taxi from there.
Riding the metro costs 1 EGP only within the whole city, no matter how often you're changing lines.
There are women only compartments which are clearly marked as such. I would recommend to women travelling without male company to use those.
On most Metro/Underground/Subway maps you'll see a line going out towards the airport. Ignore this as there are only two lines in Cairo, the third is under construction and will probably be finished at the same time as the Pyramids fall down.
Do you find using Cairo's taxis exhausting (i.e. haggle every fare)? Time consuming (i.e. Cairo is notorious for its traffic jams, rush hour or not)? Scary (i.e. the city's roads are like one giant bump-car arcade)?
Cheer up, there's the Metro - Cairo's surprisingly reliable and clean mass transport system! And not to mention, cheap - you pay only EGP 1 (~20 US cents) per ride per person regardless of distance.
Metro stations are conveniently located at the city's major areas such as Midan Tahrir (near the Egyptian Museum), Midan Ramses (adjacent to Ramses train station), Doqqi, Mar Girgis (beside Coptic Cairo), etc. To access the stations look for the big orange "M"signs.
The Cairo Metro network, the only one in Africa, is surprisingly efficient and clean. For anyone who knows the city, these two qualities are impossibly rare. The system currently has two lines, with plans for expansion well underway. Although taxis are cheap, for tourists, the Cairo Metro is a better hassle-free mode of transport when getting around the city of Cairo. A couple of places are in fact better visited by Metro, such as Coptic Cairo (Mar Girgis stop).
Riding the subway should not be missed, at only EP 1 per ride, regardless of distance or transfers and a faster and more "intimate" experience. First cars are always women-only. It allows you to easily and cheaply explore dozens of different neighborhoods. Service is rarely more than 15 minutes between trains until midnight. Often they are packed (and the rider expressions usually somewhere between resigned, sullen and grim); rarely are the riders reading and among the readers, the Koran is the most popular book. We didn't see a single laptop here, or anywhere else.
For more information and links, check my website:
The Cairo Metro in Egypt is Africa's only full-fledged metro system. The system currently consists of two operational lines, with a third in an advanced stage of planning. The metro is run by the National Authority for Tunnels. The line uses standard gauge (1435 mm). Ticket price is EGP 0.75 for each journey (as of January 2005, EUR 0.08 or USD 0.10), regardless of distance. On all Cairo metros, the first car of each train is reserved for women.
One of my guide books said "the Cairo metro works like nothing else in this country-- clean, fast, and efficient" and I tend to agree.
Cheap way to get around quick (LE1 for a trip to the pyramids VS LE 30 in a taxi).
NOTE: the first two compartments are specially reserved for female travellers only!
Cairo is the only African city with a subway system. The Metro is reliable, fast and the stations are much cleaner than most other public places.
5:30 - 24:00 every 5-6 minutes during rush hours and 8-10 daytime,
in summer service is extended until 1:00
The first car of every train is reserved for women.
75 piasters per ride independent from distance travelled
For more information click here: Metro
Metro in Cairo probably your second best solution to get around Cairo, but not many subway lines connect to major tourist attraction. The Bright sight is that the Mar Girgis is just a right stop in front of Old Cairo famous church; The Hanging Church.
See this sign and you are at an entry to the Cairo Metro. 75 piastres gets you to any station on the line.You will,however,frequently accidently exit at an interchange station and have to repay to get back in. Great for going to the Egyptian Musem and to Coptic Cairo. And just joyriding and watching the locals.Don't be reticent about boarding or you'll be left standing on the platform,staring at the instructions on boarding...the most ignored sign in cairo!
Gentlemen, please don't enter the front 2 carriages. Ladies only!!!
The Cairo Metro is Africa's only metro system. The system currently consists of two operational lines, with a third in an advanced stage of planning. Ticket price is 0.75 EGP for each ride (as of February 2005), regardless of distance. On all Cairo metros, the first car of each train is reserved for women.
The system at least gets you close to most places of interest. For instance, you can take the metro out to Giza and catch a short taxi ride from there. Khan El Khalili is reached from a 15 minute walk from Ataba station. The system does not go to the airport but it does cover Ramses Station.