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Hawkers and hassle Tips (45)

Don't Buy Souvenir Items in Giza Pyramids Area!

being the number one tourist destination of egypt, the Giza Necropolis, where the Great Pyramids are located, has lots of mini stalls, hawkers, touts asking for alms and selling items and other unscrupolous elements like the pick pockets, photo scammers and the like. since having permanent shopping stalls are not allowed in the Complex, the sellers have wooden stalls of which they put the souvenir items on display while the hawlers carry them and aggresively pursue tourists to buy them. my suggestion will be to don't buy at the wooden stalls and hawkers around the area as the prices are sky high and they don't accept haggling and even act aggressively to you if you would not buy their overpriced items. They even gang up on single unsuspecting tourist if you would not buy there items at the atrocious prices and threaten you with bodily harm! even our local egyptian tour guides had a hard time shielding us from these pesky and lousy sellers.

if you are in a group tour like us, you can buy all the items they sell at shops outside the giza necropolis which the tour buses drop you off and you can even haggle for items you buy as they sell the same items you find at the Pyramids area and without the hassle and the physical threats and gouging!

machomikemd's Profile Photo
Oct 26, 2013

Agressive Touts, Sellers, Pickpockets

since the current political situation in egypt which is less than stable since the 2011 ousting of Hosni Mubarak and the present Mohammed Morsi, the touts, assorted hawkers, sellers and the notorious pickpockets abound around the major tourist areas of Cairo and most especially, at the giza necropolis. they have gotten more aggressive as there are less tourists going to egypt because of the continuing political crises. don't make eye contact with these touts asking for money or the hawkers selling their wares or even posing for pictures in front of camels as these people will pester you to buy their products, for alms and even payment for posing in a camel or horse. Even our local tour guides almost had a fight with these goons as they were pestering our group and trying to surround us to force us to buy.

machomikemd's Profile Photo
Oct 24, 2013

Museum visit scam

My husband and I decided to take a short walk to the wonderful Cairo museum and, as mentioned by others here, we were stopped by someone as we looked at our map. He spoke very good English and was smartly dressed in a suit and tie. He asked could he help us with directions, we said no thank you. He said he was a doctor and was not trying to trick us like many bad people in the area. When we said we were visiting the museum, he said it didn't open for another hour and we could have tea with him. We said no thank you. He said he was not trying to trick us, but just wanted to be helpful and hospitable. He was so persistent. We ending up crossing the road to his "pharmacy" which turned out to be the usual shop full of junk for tourists. His colleague locked the door behind us. He asked someone to make tea and then proceeded to try to sell us various things. Then he also asked for money for his daughter who is getting married. We explained over and over again that we didn't bring very much money out with us as we were just going to the museum. He started to become more and more aggressive. My husband became really annoyed and insisted they let us out. We finally escaped without paying anything, but it was a horrible experience. I was surprised to see the same scam mentioned here by a number of people. We know some lovely Egyptian people; I feel it is such a shame that these conmen spoil the experience of seeing an amazing country. Anyway, my point here is, don't get caught the same way.

Sep 14, 2011

Foe friends and free gifts

Beware of the sellers around the pyramids. They will try to offer you "free" gifts but I'm pretty certain that these gifts are not for free and you will get harrassed.

There are also people offering to have their pictures taken with you but I'm pretty sure that they will want money for their time.

We have also been warned about the people who own the camels who will take tourists far away on a camel ride and then won't bring them back until they pay them lots of money, way above the agreed price.

Its nice to be friendly and interact with the locals but unfortunately, as we were warned by our guide, they are only interested in one thing and that, my friend, is your wallet.

clueless83's Profile Photo
Jun 13, 2010
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Helpful Egyptians

When a friend and I were walking along the fence beside the Cairo Museum towards the front gate a very well dressed and well spoken Egyption man said to us "The Museum is closed between 12 - 2 but I can show you a government run souveneir shop while you wait". I was a little suspiscious but my friend wanted to go as she is a keen shopper. Well he led us across the road into a tiny little shop which was obiously run by his wife/mother as they knew him well and once inside they shut the door behind us and it was very difficult for us to get out. Eventually we managed to get out and when we got back to the museum we found that it doesnt shut between 12 - 2 at all.

Almonds's Profile Photo
Feb 18, 2010

Scam upon Scam!!! Be on Alert!

Although overall the people of Egypt are wonderful, warm hearted people, there are definitely those who put the "gyp" into Egypt! You need to be on alert at all times and aware during your trip. This is not to suggest that it is unsafe in Egypt but rather hawkers and vendors will do everything they can to trick and pressure you out of your money. The following is a list of scams:

TAXI SCAMS: Cab drivers will almost always over charge tourists so be prepared to negotiate your fare before you get in the cab. If you are taking a cab to the Pyramids they will try and drop you off by the stables near the pyramids where hawkers will pressure into a horse or camel ride. Tell the driver you want to be dropped off at the entrance.

PYRAMID SCAMS: No I don't mean a pyramid scam like Amway but rather scams at the Pyramids. After you buy your ticket and enter the site, hawkers will come up to you and either ask for your ticket or try and take it out of your hand. Do not give them your ticket...they do not work there...they are simply trying to trick you into paying them for a "official" tour. Hawkers will also come up to you and welcome you to Egypt and then try and give you a "gift". Do not accept the "gift" under any circumstance. If you have to, put your hands in your pockets, because they will literally force the item into your hands. If you accept the "gift" they will then hit you up for a big tip and believe me when I say they are persistent. Save yourself the trouble and simply keep on walking. Often times the security guards at the Pyramids will motion for you to follow them and they will take you to a place with a nice view and offer to take your picture. Then of course they ask you for a big tip. If you say no (as I did several times) they get really mad. The viewpoints were okay but I would have found them on my own. So be advised the security guards are harder to say no to then the hawkers...the guards after all have guns.

EGYPTIAN MUSEUM SCAMS: If you are walking to the Museum there is a very good chance you will get stopped by someone telling you that the museum is closed for a "special event" for an hour. They will then invite you into their shop to have tea and or say hello to their wife. They will then proceed to pressure you into buying their worthless souvenirs for the next hour. So accept the invitation at your own risk. As far fetched as this scam seems it happened to me (I said no) and three other people I talked with (they didn't say no and ended up buying crap they didn't want) so don't be surprised if you get the pitch.

wilocrek's Profile Photo
Mar 28, 2009

You Need Exact Money or Else.....

Yes, you need to prepare and pay exact amount if possible. If you are handing 10 Egyptian Pounds to buy snacks and refreshments in stalls on the street, more often than not - you are not getting your change. Seems normal to some vendors like the guy I posted here, he did not give the change to my family. It happened and he still have the guts to pose for a picture, lol. It is small amount of money but still.......he'll gonna do it to each of his customers???

Nevertheless, I still love Egypt and still like the people!

freddie18's Profile Photo
Jan 18, 2009

Firm and polite

We didn't experience much hassle in Cairo, mostly just people asking if we wanted boat rides on the Nile or hashish, but a simple 'la shukran' said with a smile and while continuing to walk on, mostly did the trick. People may fall into step with you for a while, but if you keep on walking eventually they'll go back to their pitch.

illumina's Profile Photo
Nov 30, 2008
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"Cairo`s yellow pages!"
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"Cairo- Umm el Dunya"
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"CAIRO... still thinking of..."
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"checking" of entry tickets at tourist sites

Annoying, aggressive hawkers and "guides" at Egypt's tourist sites are well known, but one stupid scam really annoyed me. At the Pyramid, Saqqara and other sites we were often approached by officious acting people who would sternly demand to see our entry tickets so they could "check" them. Upon seeing that they were valid, their expressions would soften and they would act apologetic before launching into "guide" mode (and then of course want a "tip"). These guys are not official and there are no ticket "checks" after you enter. If someone approaches you and asks (demands) to see your ticket, ask to see THEIR ID. When they can't produce one, tell them to go away or you will report them -- that's what I always did. One of these guys actually had a police whistle that he used to enhance his official site police act. I didn't show him my ticket either and told him to have me thrown out if he had these official powers. He just kind of walked away.

t368504's Profile Photo
Aug 27, 2008

Camel Ride at Giza

If you're not going there with travel agents (i.e. on your own), chances are that you'll be approached by people who want to offer camel ride to move around in the area of pyramids. They're so persistent. Fortunately, we were warned by friends about this, that they were agreed a price but after a distance, were asked for additional money. You can just ignore them if not interested.

In our case, we actually took a cab from the hotel to the pyramids. Some two kilometers before, a man stopped the car and joined us. We thought the taxi driver simply allowed a ride for the local. They had a chat and suddenly we were brought to the camel agent's place quite close to the entrance - it was kind of the HQ for the camels. They tried to persuade us, but we just refused. We had to walk some 500 m to get to the entrance area. Even to reach to that point, a man approached us on his camel with his offers.

amlapura's Profile Photo
Jun 29, 2008

Perfume with no smell

You visit Cairo and inevitably see the mighty Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx. But somehow you'll be led to the perfume shop nearby. It seems to be a bargain (something like half the price of the original French version) but somehow when you are back home the smell of your perfume is gone. Must have been left behind with the genie. If you must still buy suggest you just get the bottle and fill in your favourite perfume yourself. Pictured here is the man making a perfume bottle at the factory. But the beauty of the pyramid lingers on - a truly ancient monument wonder!

ashafruddin's Profile Photo
Mar 25, 2008

Pick Pockets Galore

I personally didn't get picked, but I saw at least 2 instances where locals were following / scouting subjects and then attempted to pick their pockets. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially in the market areas!

Dec 23, 2007

Things To Do in Cairo

Things to do

Khan el Khalili

If you are acquainted with souks and bargaining, Khan-el-Khalili may be just one more commercial area. But if you want to feel the pulse of arab deals and feel the real Cairo you must not skip this...
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Egyptian Museum of Antiquities

The Cairo Museum contains the world's most impressive collection of ancient Egyptian art. The beautiful edifice itself, designed by the French architect Marcel Dourgnon, was built in 1903, during...
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'Egypt is the Nile' and since the height of the annual inundation of the river was crucial to the economy forecasting it has always been a matter of great interest. The pharonic nilometer was a...
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Agricultural Museum

In the Agricultural museum, it is interesting to see the kind of food the ancient Egyptians eat. There are so many grains and fruits remaining from 4000 years ago and more. We know the pyramid...
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Things to do

Wekalet El Ghoury - Wekalet el Ghouri Arts Center

Egyptian Tanoura Show is different from the Turkish Whirling Dervishes! The Tanoura Show originated in egypt and is usually performed by Egyptian Sufi Muslims and the Tanoura is similar to the...
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Things to do

Islamic Cairo

Mediaeval Cairo, often referred to as Fatimid or Islamic Cairo, is extremely fascinating, as this part of the city has changed little in perhaps 500 years. It was the centre of Cairo for eight...
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Getting to Cairo


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