To/From Airport, Cairo
Since we were staying at the New 6th of October City which is located more then 65 kilometers away from Cairo International Airport in Heliopolis, the only mode of transport in going to the airport will be via Taxi or private van and tour buses (since we are on a group tour, tour buses ferried us to the airport) and public buses travel from the city to Heliopolis is long and the Cairo Metro does not have a stop at 6th of October City and Cairo International Airport at Present. travel time takes 1 1/2 hours along the busy roads of Giza to elevated ring roads in Cairo then to the wide avenues to Heliopolis and the airport.
I've been in Cairo for two months now and a majority of the black taxis don't have a meter and will ask some outrageous prices!
Even in places like City Stars the white cabs try to ask ridiculous prices. It's a lot better while on the meter but know that the meter runs while stuck in traffic as well.
But if you do find a reasonable set price in a white taxi, take it, but know that upon arrival they will probably (most likely) ask for more money. Just give them what you originally agreed upon and if it seems like the driver is upset, he probably is but dont feed into it, just smile give him the money and leave.
At Cairo airport, don't give in to security staff when they declare you cannot proceed to board with cologne in your check in baggage - then changing their tune, saying that you can if you pay a "tip". This is just one more case of the endlessly annoying corruption with which Egyptians are bleeding the tourists dry.
We always used to use the Limousine service from the airport because it is cleaner, though more expensive. When we arrived at 2am in January 2011 we were offered the usual mercedes but because a friend was with us and we had quite a lot of luggage , the company suggested a minibus instead. This cost us 120 EG Pounds.
Our return to the airport during the troubles was different, we used our old reliable black taxi driver to transport 3 adults and 2 children and 11 pieces of luggage.
Other alternatives are the white cabs, see previous tip, or the Cairo cabs which are yellow.
There is also the Airport Shuttle Bus. I don't know the price for these.
Hi, I toured through Cairo, Alexandria, Port Said and Suez with a private tour guide who owns his own car. He was a real asset to the logistics and he arranged accommodation and sight seeing perfectly.
I have his contact details for you here:
Abdo El Lahamy e:mail email@example.com celphone:002-012-198-4431
He was an all-in-one package and I would recommend him always!
New Terminal 3 airport is great. Very few problems with it. I flew in from New York and transited to Athens. At first i was afraid of missing my transfer flight (2 hours later), however, upon arrival into the terminal 3, when i went to the international transfers desk they took care of me completely. They strangely asked for my passport and wanted to take it away, which i promptly refused (Never part with your passport unless you're completely sure what they're doing with it, and unless you have a name!). So they explained to me they needed it to get my boarding pass and to get me through immigration (for some reason, although i'm transferring, i would be going through Egypt land, and hence need immigration authorisation...silly if you ask me, but that's how it is!). So i took down the person's name who took my passport, and kept my eye on him as much as possible. Anyway, all went well and he did in fact do what he said he would. He also made sure my checked baggage got onto the flight, and he gave me new baggage receipts. Top guy...he wouldnt even take my 'tea money'. The whole process took slightly under one hour, and i was never stressed (except when he first took my passport away). The new terminal 3 is fabulous. No problems about going through there again for a transit.
It is not simple at all to transfer from the domestic terminal to the international terminal at Cairo. There are actually two domestic terminals now--one of which is not even remotely within walking distance of any of the other terminals at CAI--and two international terminals. It is extremely confusing as to which one you will arrive at and which one you need to catch your next flight from. There is a free bus, but using it is challenging to say the least. The inter-terminal bus is not marked; nor is the bus stop; and you may have to change buses halfway through the ten-minute trip!!
My latest experience at transferring between domestic (Sharm el Sheikh-Cairo) and international flights (in from London on BMI, out to Dubai on Emirates) was in March 2009. I am an extremely experienced traveler and even I thought the whole thing was deeply confusing. The easy, but expensive, way to get between terminals is to pay for a cab. I find this an outrageous rip-off, so I made the effort to figure out the free bus, which does exist, but is not made clear in any way by the airport. The most helpful people were the guys running the pickups for tour groups--they could tell me where to go, whereas the information desk in the airport could not. After about 25 minutes of wandering around outside the terminal and asking four different people for help, I got on the bus and ended up at the right place--by sheer luck I think.
In terms of transportation from the airport, we recently used the Cairo Airport Shuttle and highly recommend it. New, comfortable, air-conditioned, seven-seater vans - total cost 80LE. Call +20 22 265 3937 to make a reservation and upon arrival go to the shuttle desk. You will be escorted to your van and driver.
For the return trip, the driver was prompt - to the minute! - and got us to the airport in record time. Best 80LE ($14) +tip I ever spent.
First obtain a visa for entry into Egypt the window is located directly to the side of the checkpoint windows to enter. The cost is about 15.00 USD There is also a window to exchange currency. Once you are on the other side of the checkpoint you will get your bags off the carousel that have probably going round and round because most times I have gone to Egypt, my bags were there before I cleared customs! If your visit includes a tour guide, don't worry about finding your guide, your guide will find you! Hey, these guys are good! They are usually holding up signs. And they have no problem approaching you asking who you are. You may get asked a few times before you find the right guide but he will be there waiting for you.
I landed at Cairo’s international airport in the early hours of the morning when I visited the city in November 2007.
I had booked a hotel in the Zamalek region of the city and, having not pre-booked an airport pick-up, decided that a taxi would be the most feasible way of getting there.
So, at 3 o’clock in the morning, I made my way through the arrivals hall and caught the eye of one of the waiting taxi drivers. At least I thought he was a taxi driver, but when I followed him out into the car park he directed me to a waiting taxi that already had a driver in it. It turned out that I had to pay the first guy before the journey, rather than paying the driver at the end of the journey.
Clearly, this had both positive and negative implications. On the one hand, by paying up front I knew how much the journey would cost and I wouldn’t be hit with a surprisingly large fare when I reached my destination. On the other hand, I was parting with my money before I reached my intended destination – what was to stop the driver dumping me in the middle of nowhere?
I weighed up the alternatives and, mainly due to the fact that there wasn’t really any alternative!, decided that I’d take a chance with this taxi.
I did a bit of research before my trip, so I knew a ball park figure for a taxi fare from the airport to Zamalek, and I suspected that I was being slightly overcharged when I was asked for 75 EGP (7.50 GBP), but I was too tired to bother haggling over a few pounds.
I handed over the cash and in return I was given a receipt. At least I now had some form of evidence if this taxi journey went awry.
After pulling out of the airport car park, the taxi driver pulled in at a security check point. The security guard asked me to sign my name in his official looking book and asked to see my receipt – I handed it over and he kept it. There goes my evidence! The guard also asked for a tip, but after I shrugged my shoulders and pretended not to understand, he soon gave up and the driver was allowed to move on. Welcome to Egypt!
The journey to my hotel took around 25 minutes and, as with every taxi journey that I took in Cairo, involved a lot of near misses, harsh braking and me clinging onto the seat in front for dear life. I don’t mind admitting that the traffic in Cairo is the most frightening thing that I have ever experienced during my travels – I am just thankful that I survived in one piece!
The taxi driver dropped me off outside the hotel and I gave him a reasonable tip. He clearly wanted a much bigger tip, and tried to make me feel guilty by telling me that he would see very little of the money that I had paid to the other guy at the airport.
OK, as of October 7,2007,,,,,,,,a entry visa for Cairo,Egypt is a sticker of sort not the stamp as I was informed,,still $15 USD,,check out the photo I have for this.
So,don't waste your money,on getting a visa service,,your about assured on getting one there(at the airport)before you leave the terminal,,its right behind you,,,somewhat in the corner,,,they will show you where its at,,not a problem,,,,,and you can get money exchanged there,also.
It is highly recommended to book this service over the internet. It costs about £18. When you arrive at Ciaro and walk outside then you will be hounded by taxi drivers. Also you arrive in the terminal with your VISA and the guide will have your sticker for the passport and speak to customs to get you through the quick route! It is worth it just for having to save queuing for a long time.
I have the number and email of my driver that I used for the week and he is fantastic!! You can also book hotels and tours with him for very little. Very trustworthy and professional.
The one experience I keep repeating whenever I am in Cairo is the fact that everyone and their cousin will tell you that there is no free shuttle bus at the airport. That's not true! There is a free shuttle bus and all you need to do is ignore the millions of guys trying to get you to take a taxi and go outside the terminal. Normally as soon as you walk out, you'll see a sign for Terminal Shuttle. The police are normally willing to tell you when the next shuttle will be.
Another option if you arrive at strange night/morning hours like I do is to take one of the airport taxis. You'll find their kiosk right outside the luggage claim area and the price is fixed...and you'll get a receipt :) They even have a special price for acting as a shuttle which is quite affordable, if I remember correctly it was only around 25-30LE. I've included a link to the taxi service :)
Basically I wanted everyone to know that the shuttle bus does exist despite what all the taxi drivers and sometimes security guards tell you!
I must say getting to and from the airport in Cairo is an adventure in itself, it seems the minute you come off the airplane you are swamped with people trying to take you somewhere. And for all those who fear a langauge problem DON'T WORRY they all SPEAK, ENGLISH, SPANISH, FRENCH, ITALIAN, GERMAN, MANDARIN....you name it they have someone there ready to speak to you and get you to your destination.
Try to walk outside before determining who your going to ride with, people will follow you and be annoying....just keep your cool and you'll be ok, don't make eye contact and basically ignore them until you are ready to deal with them....the going price as of 2/19/2007 was 50 LE from the Airport about $10 US dollars for a regular very beat up'd car, think twice about this option, many don't have AC and the trunks are small and your luggage might not fit, to 100 LE for a nice Mercedes Benz with A/C, and after you see the conditions of the cars 100 LE for a BENZ about $20 US dollars it's a bargain, with the traffic and the heat....we choose the BENZ after dropping the price from 150LE we ended up paying 100 LE and were so glad we did, all of our luggage and coats (since we came from Europe) fit in the trunk. And from there hold on baby, because I don't care where in the world you have been, you have never seen anything like the driving in CAIRO.....WOW !!!!!!! but it was an experience we'll never forget !!!!!!!
To take a bus from Cairo airport to the city center, you can take No. 356 from airport terminal 2 (see pic). From terminal 1, you can take the free airport transfer shuttle to airport 2, where you will see this bus terminal. Bus ride takes about 1 hour and costs 2 EGP + 50p for lugguage (May 2006).