The main airport servicing the city of Cairo is the Cairo International Airport (CAI). Located in Heliopolis, 9.3 miles northeast of the city center, if you have not booked a private transfer through us then you have a few options. Buses, taxis, limos and car rentals are all available at the airport.What types of transportation can I find at the airport?
Buses run from the airport to destinations in Cairo and are operated by CTA City buses. There is a free shuttle bus that runs between the terminals (outside the arrivals halls) and takes passengers to the bus station on site. Take bus #356 to the city center (Tahrir Square), #362 to Elmounib or #799 to Shubra - Ramsis. The buses depart every 30 minutes and the total journey takes between 60 and 90 minutes, the cost is around 2LE.
Also, an express bus operates from the airport to Alexandria, departing every 30 - 60 minutes from 4 am until 7:30 pm.
Taxis are available 24/7 and can be found outside the Arrivals hall. The journey takes around 30 minutes and costs between 50 - 80LE. Most of the official Cairo taxis are black and white.
Uber and Careem are available in Cairo and the cost can often be lower than a taxi ride into the city. Simply download the apps on your smartphone, input your pick up and drop off information and pay via the app with a credit card.
There is a wide range of international rental car companies offered at the airport including Budget, Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Dollar, and Sixt. Rental car desks can be found inside the terminal buildings.How do I get around the city using public transportation?
The capital city of Cairo offers an extensive and efficient metro system. There are three lines covering the main districts in the city, Line 1 (Red) runs for 27.5 miles serving 35 stations and passes through downtown, Coptic Cairo, and Maadi, Line 2 (Orange) runs for 13 miles and serves 20 stations passing through downtown and across to Gezira Island, and Line 3 (Green) runs from Attaba to Ahram (Heliopolis) and will eventually link to the airport with a total length of 31 miles. The cost of the metro is approximately 2LE per trip and operates from 6 am until midnight with departures every 3 -5 minutes. Visit wwwcairometro.gov.eg for more information.
Taxis are plentiful in the city of Cairo and one of the most convenient and affordable ways to get around the city. Two types of taxies operate in the city, the old black and white cabs or the newer yellow or white ones, the difference being the older cabs do not use a meter and the price should be negotiated before getting in, newer cabs run on a meter and charge fares that start around 2.50LE and go up 1.25LE per 0.62 mile. Taxis can be hailed from the street, at taxi stands throughout the city or found outside most transportation hubs and major tourist attractions.
Uber and Careem are widely available in the city and provide ano hassle ride that is ordered through your Smartphone. Simply download the apps and enter your pick up and drop off location, then pay via credit card in the app.
Buses are available in the city but are not always tourist friendly as the destinations and bus numbers are not shown or only shown in Arabic, there are no bus route maps anywhere in the city and they are very crowded. It is the cheapest form of transportation with rides that cost around 1.50 - 2.50LE and there are many bus stations located all over the city
A great way to cruise along the Nile River is onboard a`felucca` (privately operated wooden boats), they are available from the Dok Dok landing point situated in Garden City and a 30-minute cruise on one will cost around 20 - 30LE or 50LE for an hour.
There is also a river bus that operates on the River, departing from the Corniche which is situated close to downtown and travels to Giza. Boats depart every 15 minutes and the cost of a 30-minute trip will run around 1.50LE.Should I rent a car in Cairo?
Renting a car in Cairo is not recommended, the city is constantly filled with heavy traffic congestion, little to no parking and aggressive drivers. The city offers good transportation options so there is really no need for the extra hassle of having your own car.Is Cairo a walking city?
The city of Cairo is incredibly crowded and may seem overwhelming to a tourist who wishes to see the city on foot. Don`t let this deter you from walking around and seeing the great sights and surroundings of this spectacular city. There are great neighborhoods to explore on foot such as Coptic Cairo and Islamic Cairo and of course walking around the Great Pyramids of Giza is a must. A walk around the popular Al Azhar Park is a pleasant experience in one of the only green areas in the desert city, also walking around the famous Khan el-Khalili market is an amazing Egyptian experience. Gezira Island is exceptionally great for walking around the authentic streets and visiting The Cairo Tower.Is Cairo a dangerous city, is there anything I should be aware of?
The city of Cairo is a safe city to visit. The usual caution and street smarts should be practiced when visiting any major city. Keep your belongings secure at all times as pickpockets are not uncommon in crowded areas, on board public transportation (especially buses) and markets. Do not wander into unlit or unpopulated areas late at night and keep your wits about you.
Safety tips in Cairo include: Do not drink the tap water! And do not eat unpeeled fruits and vegetables.What are some popular areas for shopping?
Most of the shopping in Cairo takes place in the spectacular `Souks`(local markets) these ancient shopping bazaars are amongst some of the most famous in the country. Khan El Khalili Market situated in the Hussein District in the city, ancient narrow alleyways and streets filled with shops dating back to the 1400`s, explore the gold and silver workshops, the spice market and Fishawi`s Café, the oldest and most famous coffee shop in the city. Tawfikeya Market is held near 26th of July Street in downtown featuring shops and street vendors that open in the early morning.
Cairo offers a few malls including City Stars which is a premier shopping mall offering international brands and Western food chains. Geneina Mall, Nile Mall, and Nile Hilton Mall are among some of the other malls found in the city.
The Island of Gezira includes the upscale Zamalek district which boasts unique boutiques and some of the top dining destinations in the city. The area offers a European atmosphere with wide tree-lined boulevards decorated with mansions and galleries.What is the currency? Can I pay/tip in US dollars?
The official currency in Cairo is the Egyptian Pound (LE). US Dollars are accepted amongst other currency and also preferred by the locals. You will need to exchange your dollars for pounds upon arrival; there are ATM machines at the airport and throughout downtown Cairo. You can also exchange your money at the local banks and five-star hotels. For a detailed guide on how to tip in the country, please see our tipping guide. EgyptIs there a certain dress code when visiting mosques?
Visitors should remove their shoes before entering any mosques, wearing shoes inside is a sign of disrespect. Do not walk in front of a person who is praying, this is a big taboo. Try to dress modestly when out and about visiting the many religious sites in the city and do not reveal too much skin.What is the food like?
The city of Cairo offers numerous restaurants with a good range of traditional and western style cuisines including Egyptian, Lebanese, Arabic and oriental. Many of the upscale eateries are situated on Gezira Island, inside hotels or on the Nile Riverboat cruises and many of the budget-friendly eateries and western food are generally found in the downtown area.
Plenty of fast food joints are situated throughout the city along with big name American restaurants like TGI Friday`s, Chili`s and Fuddrucker`s. Cafes and coffee shops `Ahwas` in Arabic, are very popular in the capital city, where visitors and locals can be found sipping on Cairene coffee and smoking sheesha`s (water pipe).
Fruit juice stalls are a also a staple in the city during the hot summer. Fresh pressed juices including orange, lemon, mango, and strawberry blended together to make a refreshing tasty drink.
Some traditional Egyptian dishes to try include fuul (beanpaste), taa`miya (falafel), muzagga (moussaka), kushari (rice, macaroni, lentils and chickpeas in a tomato sauce) and fetyeer (pancakes with various fillings).What is the nightlife like?
Cario offers various nightlife options throughout the city including restaurants, bars, clubs and the popular coffee houses with `sheesha`pipes. Most hotels will offer the majority of nightlife venues and downtown is one of the best places to go for a night out on the town. Zamalek Island offers a more upscale nightlife scene, the sleek and stylish neighborhoods here offer up-scale dining options, ritzy bars,and exclusive clubs. There is a casino located on the southern tip of the island and The Cairo Tower offers a revolving restaurant with spectacular views of the city.
Another great way to see the city at night is to board a River Boat Cruise along the Nile, taking a dinner boat cruise is one of the most popular evening events in the city. They boast lavish decorations, a rich dining experience, and cocktails while seeing the spectacular capital city sparkling in lights.I don`t speak Arabic will there be many people who speak English?
The official language spoken in Cairo is Arabic. English is spoken and understood by most individuals in the service industry, however, if you travel to the areas of Upper Egypt you will most likely encounter individuals that do not speak or understand English. We suggest you get a good English/Arabic Guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, please, thank you and numbers 1-10.What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?
In case of an emergency, dial 122 for the police, 123 for an ambulance and 180 in case of a fire.
Cleopatra Hospital tel. 20-127-511-7431
Coptic Hospital tel. 20-2-258-998-866
Cairo University Hospital tel. 20-2-236-435-24
Dar El Shefa Hospital tel. 20-106-580-3258