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Cairo Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your Cairo vacation


jessi
Things to know 2 stars
If you arrive in Cairo you should be aware of the fact that they want your money. Already at the airport you have to make sure that you do not pay too much for your visa that you need to purchase in order to enter the country (if you are part of the EU). Back home in Germany people told me not to pay more than twenty Euros. I actually paid fifteen Euros. So make sure that you do not pay more. You have to bargain everywhere. Always keep in mind that they charge you way too much even if they say that they offer you the best price.

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AliJo
Left Luggage in Cairo 3 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I had a very difficult time trying to find a left luggage office in a train station in Cairo. My husband and I had to check out of our hotel in Giza at midday, and we had to wait till 11pm to catch our overnight train to Luxor, which leaves from Giza station. We assumed that there would be a left luggage office at Giza station, but we were wrong! After some searching, we finally found a left luggage office at Ramses main station. It turned out to be quite a hassle to transport the luggage from Giza into the centre of Cairo, and then back to Giza again to catch our train. If you are already in central Cairo, then leaving luggage at Ramses station is a good option; the left luggage office in Ramses station is dirty but secure. But if you're not already in central Cairo, I would recommend asking your hotel to keep your luggage for you and paying the necessary fee to avoid the inconvenience.

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AliJo
Taxis in Cairo 3 stars
Taxis in Cairo are quite cheap by comparison, although as a tourist you will pay more than the average Egyptian! Be aware of this in advance. It's best not to haggle over the price of the taxi when you get in. Instead, ask the driver to take you where you want to go, and once there, get out of the taxi before you pay. Have in mind a fair price for the trip, have exact change, and hand the driver the money through the window. It's very likely that he will ask for more money, and he may even shout. If you're sure the price is fair, just walk away. This is the only way I've found to avoid paying exorbitant prices for taxis in Cairo!


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spaluc
Grocery stores 4 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This may seem strange, but, in Cairo, I found that it was cheaper to eat out than to cook for myself.
In the local grocery, I had to pay 36 pounds for .25 kg of swiss cheese, 12 pounds for 1/2 dozen eggs, 29 pounds for small jug of olive oil, 13 pounds for a 1/2 chicken, and 3 pounds for an American or European candy bar.
I visited the grocery for only five items: tea, sugar, milk, water, and Egyptian candy--basically all my between-meal-time necessities. If you want to live cheaply, it is definitely better to go out and spend 5 pounds on some sandwiches or kabobs than to spend 50 pounds on everything you need to cook.


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spaluc
Be Cautious 3 stars
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
In every store and restaurant in Cairo, there is an Egyptian price, and a foreigners' price. You should never go in a store or restaurant without knowing the relative price of the items you are purchasing. Of course, new arrivals cannot help getting ripped off several times before they learn, but it is helpful to have even a vague idea of the cost of several important food and leisure items.

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spaluc
Tourist Restaurants 2 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
If you eat at a tourist restaurant, you should expect to pay much more. Here is a short list to give you an idea:
McDonald's value meal -- 18 pounds
Meal at Teriyaki Japanese Grill -- 30 pounds
Hardees value meal -- 20 pounds
Meal at sports cafe -- 50 pounds
A beer or alcoholic drink at an American Hotel -- 100 pounds
One meal and two drinks at an upscale restaurant -- 300 pounds


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spaluc
Egyptian Restaurants 5 stars
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Here is what you should expect to pay for food items in a small Egyptian restaurant or food stand:
1 sandwich (no meat) -- 1 pound
1 sandwich (with meat) -- 3 pounds
1 plate of noodles and sauce -- 3 pounds
1 cup of tea -- 1 pound
1 shisa -- 1 pound, 50 piastres
1.5 liter bottle of water -- 1 pound, 75 piastres
12 ounce coke -- 1 pound
20 ounce coke -- 2 pounds
4 oranges -- 1 pound, 50 piastres
Sack of flat-bread (5 pieces) -- 1 pound
One plate of broasted chicken, rice, greens, veggies and bread -- 6 pounds, 50 piastres.
One meal at a fine dining restaurant with beverage and dessert -- 30 to 60 pounds


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melissa
La Cuisine restaurant 3 stars
La Cuisine is an open buffet-style restaurant in Cairo, which we chose because there were quite a few people in our party and we wanted a wide range of food that would appeal to everyone. The buffet was pretty standard Egyptian tourist fare, lots of lamb dishes and cold salads with a yogurt base, but the food was very well prepared and there were plenty of options for vegetarians. Drinks were extra on top of the buffet price, but were very reasonable. The dessert buffet was included, and offered both traditional Egyptian sweets as well as fresh fruit. Prices were very reasonable, service (for drinks and extras) was average.

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melissa
Tricks to look out for 2 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Here are the two main things we were warned about by our local tour guide in Cairo:

1. Be careful about buying camel rides. Many of the guys on camels will offer you a ride for 50 pounds (about $8), and then they take you way out in the desert and ask for the money, but when you try to give them 50 Egyptian pounds, they say no no no, the price is 50 *British* pounds (about $100). It's your fault for not clarifying this before the ride, and of course if you don't pay they'll just leave you out there in the desert, so you pay, but now the cost is $200 because the other thing you forgot to clarify is that it was $100 *one*way*. A round trip costs double.

2. Don't give your camera to anyone you don't know. Many tourists will ask one of the site security guards to take their picture, not realising that it's a thief dressed up like a security guard, not a real guard. We actually saw one person get their camera stolen by one of these "guards," and so we were very diligent indeed. Best advice is just not to trust anyone you don't know personally.


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melissa
Don't listen to anyone 2 stars
There is a big problem at Cairo tourist sites with vendors being aggressive and downright pushy about their wares and services. If you're a seasoned traveler you can deal with it, but I can imagine it's pretty intimidating for first-timers. My advice to you is this: don't get into conversations with people you don't know. If someone starts shouting "hello, hello!" at you, just ignore them and keep walking. Don't even make eye contact. If you even look at them or say hello, they think they've got you hooked and they simply will not stop pushing the hard sell until you buy something. It's really unpleasant, and you don't want to spend your day arguing with vendors and wasting your money, so it's best just to ignore them and get on with your day.

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melissa
Wish I'd stayed longer 4 stars
Cairo is quite a vibrant and energetic city, and I wish we'd been able to stay for a week or more. It's a wonderful combination of Arab and African influences, mixed in of course with the amazing heritage of the ancient Egyptians. I loved just driving around through the streets and feeling the energy of the place - but of course there's plenty to do there, as well. Pyramids, The Sphinx, museums, shopping, dining... it's all in Cairo and it's all very inexpensive. I'm already planning a second trip back there to do some heavy-duty shopping.

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Scarlett3001
Adventurous bus tour through Kairo city 4 stars
During our city tours through Kairo by bus we got a good impression how people live in this city. Driving through the streets, you see some stores of large, European or American companies. But the pictures really shaping the city are unfinished houses, persons with donkey carts and children running around the streets. It is fascinating (and somehow sad) to see how Kairo develops into a metropolis, but most of the people still live in poverty there. Because of hygienic reasons you should only eat boiled or fried food there and drink only buy bottles to drink.

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Aditi
Attractions around Cairo 1 stars
Apart from the city of Cairo what other tourist attractions must one see around Cairo? Also what are the good markets/shopping areas. Nothing very expensive, but I would be looking for authentic Egyptian artifacts.

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