Cairo, Egypt Travel Advice and Everything You Need to Know
“Wow! Cairo Egypt! I couldn’t help laughing as our cab swerved in and out of traffic, driving far faster than was prudent and beeping needlessly at every passing car, thinking to myself, “This man is either completely brave or absolutely crazy!” It wasn’t just him, though. It was a family of five perched dangerously on the back of a rusted old motorcycle, and an elderly woman darting from across the highway, narrowly evading passing automobiles. And, gently but steadily, that fearlessness seeped into my heart” “It’s good to read all about Cairo, Egypt Travel Advices before you do” By one of our dear travelers Mr. Val S
Cairo has that impact on every visitor that passes by it; it wakes all of your emotions and instills in you a sense of empowerment that leaves you feeling genuinely alive. It just takes a day or two to get used to the continuous traffic and blasting of engines; Also you see the fascinated people who scream joyfully “welcome to Egypt”; Many children will ask to have a selfie with you. And it doesn’t take long to fall head over heels in love with Cairo!
Cairo: Know Before You Go
Prices and Money to use in Cairo, Egypt
Egypt’s currency is the Egyptian Pound (LE) or (EGP) which is the first thing you need to know. The exchange rate was at 15.65 LE to $1 USD at the time of writing (December 2020). We’ll be talking about prices in Egyptian Pounds, so bear in mind that when something buys 100 LE, that’s roughly $5 USD.
The Egyptian Pound is made up of 100 Piastres, and the banknotes are identical in appearance, so get to know them both.
Prices appear to have risen dramatically. They haven’t, though. Since 2016, the value of the Egyptian Pound has plummeted, and prices have risen to reflect the shift. However, Cairo is still an affordable choice to spend your holidays.
Entry Visa at Cairo int Airport
The second piece of advice that you might need to know about Cairo, Egypt is that United States, the United Kingdom, EU nationals, New Zealand, Macedonia, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Serbia, Norway, Australia, Canada, Croatia, Georgia, Japan, and Ukraine are among the nations that can get a visa on arrival at Cairo Int Airport of entry. The visa costs $25 USD per person and may be acquired at currency exchange counters before passing through passport checks. Don’t fret if you don’t even have any US dollars; you may exchange whatever currency you have there.
The language they speak in Cairo, Egypt
Language is on the top of the list of Everything you need to know about Cairo, Egypt. Egyptians speak mainly Arabic, so the best advice before you travel to Egypt is to study a few basic phrases to help you navigate about and it would be absolutely fun to take this experience! “Al Salam Alaikum” (pronouned sall-em wall-a-come) is a pleasant manner of greeting someone. The word “shukran” (sounds “shoo kran”) means “thank you.” The word “Ma’-Elsalama” (sounds “ma sale lem-a”) means “goodbye.” And “baksheesh” means “tip” – you may need it from time to time especially at restaurants.
Religion in Cairo, Egypt
For 90 percent of the overall population, Islam is the dominant religion, with Sunni Muslims making up the majority. When leaving the house, Muslim ladies are required to cover up to the ankle and wrists, as they are among most conservative nations who dress modestly. Upon attending mosques, visitors are simply asked to cover their heads. Again, our advice to you is that you travel to Egypt not to alter the existing culture or yours; you’re here to learn and experience this lifestyle for a short period. This was everything you need to know about Cairo regarding religion.
Cairo Weekend Holiday
Friday is a Muslim holy day and it is an official weekend holiday when people dress well and go to mosques to perform prayers, therefore many businesses will be closed. On Fridays, public buses operate irregularly, if ever.
Is Cairo, Egypt Safe?
Safety of Cairo and Egypt is a frequently asked question, so in the following passage is everything you need to know about the safety of Cairo. Don’t believe all you’ve learned about just how “threatening” Egypt is, and don’t believe anything you read. Although some areas, such as the Northern Sinai Peninsula, are still a little pretty shady (But it’s ok to cross the Sinai Peninsula by countryside from Israel to arrive in Cairo, Egypt). As soon as you arrive in Egypt, you’ll discover that almost all of Egypt is full of friendly wanting to learn about you and snap a selfie with you, and random people across the city who will be genuinely involved in making sure you’re comfortable and feeling secure.
Females may read a bunch of blog postings before going that spoke of “passive-aggressive inappropriate touching” (when males pretend to brush against your bum) and constant catcalling. these blogs advise women to avoid direct eye contact with males since it may be interpreted as flirtatious! This is absolutely not true.
The only physical contact you could have with males is pleasant handshakes, and the harshest catcall could be “how many hearts have you shattered today?” Only when you are besieged by schoolchildren wanting pictures and then your cheekbones will be in real distress from smiling in selfies; although, how cute they are.
Advice for the best time to travel Cairo, Egypt
As you plan your trip to Cairo, the first thing you would need to know about Cairo is when should I have my flight? What is the best shot? The months of October to April are typically seen to be the finest for visiting Egypt, and Cairo will be no exception. During summertime, the climate is less pleasant than winter, especially for desert excursions. Winter highs vary from 57 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit, while summer highs can reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall is in short supply.
Tourist attractions are less congested and costs are typically lower during the off-season, which runs from May to September, although you’ll probably want to find a pool during midday.
Ramadan in Cairo, Egypt
TIP: Whenever you travel Egypt especially during the holy month of Ramadan, you’ll notice a significant difference in the mood. It is the best! The decoration, the food, the festivals, the fresh drinks that makes up for the thirst after the sunset, are very few highlights from the normal Ramadan day. Muslims must fast from daybreak, sunrise, to dark throughout that month, which falls in the Muslim calendar’s ninth month. Most firms operate on a limited schedule since they only work 6 hours per day to make the fasting more comfortable for the employers.
How Long to Spend in Cairo
The ultimate duration of the visit is an important piece of information of everything you need to know about Cairo, Egypt Travel Tips. You probably need to stay in Cairo for three days to see the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Egyptian Museum, Coptic Christian Cairo, the Citadel, Islamic Cairo, and the Khan el-Khalili market. If you plan to visit Cairo only during your visit to Egypt, these are the top attractions.
If you have more time, consider staying at a hotel with a view of the Pyramids in Giza. The sight of the sun coming up over the world’s largest ancient marvel is one you’ll never forget.
How to Budget for Your Trip to Cairo
Would this trip be so much expensive? I am a budget traveler, will I be able to see much of Egypt? The budget is probably on the list of everything you need to know about Cairo, Egypt. One of the best travel tips about Cairo, Egypt is that it’s definitely one of the least expensive places you’ll ever visit. The tourist business in Egypt plummeted just after the 2011 revolution, usually consists of four years of severe hyperinflation. As a result, when it comes to preparing a budget for Cairo, Egypt, you’ll most likely spend far less than you think and you will see so much of the city with a minimum budget.
You will pay less than $5 USD for a 45-minute Uber journey from Cairo to Giza. Your Western minds can’t fathom how the cost of both petrol and time could possibly justify the driver’s journey!
For roughly the same amount as the cab, you can eat enormous, wonderful dinners. It’s worthwhile to choose luxury lodgings in Egypt since your money will stretch much farther than it would in your home country! For a fraction of the price of a similar trip in the United States or Europe, you may take a luxurious ride down the Nile or live with an all on the Red Sea.
What to wear in Cairo, Egypt
Firstly for women, they are should cover their knees and shoulders, although Cairo; Egypt may be quite hot, but most of the people and the culture share a very conservative and modest background! While visiting mosques, long, comfy slacks, button-down shirts, long skirts, and a light scarf to cover your hair is important to show respect to the holy place.
Secondly, for men, you can wear anything in Cairo, Egypt but when you visit a holy place like a mosque or a church, you must cover your knees.
Getting Around Cairo
The Cairo International Airport (CAI) serves as the main airport in Cairo, Egypt. It’s around 13 miles northeast of Cairo, Egypt center which is where you’ll most likely choose for your accommodation. If you need to know about transportation in Cairo, proceed reading in this Cairo, Egypt Travel Tips article and you will find the answers.
Giza is only a short drive from Cairo and it is full of touristic sites, so it’s simple to accomplish as a day vacation if you’re concerned about the time, though we suggest spending roughly a few days in Cairo, Egypt to visit both cities.
Uber is now available in Cairo, Egypt! Also, there is so many taxis, however, like in other major cities throughout the world, taxi drivers prefer to keep tourist rides off the meter. Unless you pay a guide to accompany and wait for you, traveling around Cairo is quite affordable regardless of the mode of transportation that you choose to take.
If you hire a car (or even if you just wind yourself in a car late at night), you’ll discover that many individuals drive with no side-view mirrors or no headlights. Some Egyptians think that headlights make night driving more difficult, and have also been known to become annoying for other drivers.
Advice for sites to visit while traveling Cairo, Egypt
Scroll further for everything you need to know about the popular activities and everything you need to know about Cairo, Egypt.
Giza Pyramids – Of course, no vacation to Cairo would be complete without a stop at the Pyramids. They’ll definitely be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
With approximately 160,000 items, the Egyptian Museum has the world’s most complete collection of pharaonic antiquities. (From 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day.) Admission fees: 200 LE per individual. You will love it! On Thursdays and Sundays, the exhibition features from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., although entry is more costly. You’ll have to spend an extra 50 LE for photography and 300 LE for video if you want to use a camera to take photos.
Coptic Cairo is a distinct district inside Old Cairo that has six churches dating from the early Christian Era, which occurred between the pharaonic religion and the arrival of Islam. You will find there a comforting spirit that you never knew you needed! Especially at the place where Mary the virgin and baby Jesus were taking a shield from the oppressive king that has been following them.
Between 1176 and 1183 AD, the Citadel of Cairo was erected to protect the city from the Crusaders. It functioned as the Egyptian government’s seat until the nineteenth century when Khedive Ismail moved to a brand new palace. Three mosques and three museums, as well as breathtaking perspectives of the city below, are there in the present Citadel. So because courtyards offer shade, arriving early is advisable. (Open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except on Fridays when it closes for prayer.) Each visitor must pay 150 LE to enter.
Sultan Hassan’s Mosque-Madrassa
Sultan Hassan, who governed over the land twice, the very first time since he was just 13 years old, established this mosque. Work began in 1356 AD and the mosque building took three years “without a single day of slackness.”
Khan El-Khalili Market
Khan El-Khalili is a massive bazaar where visitors may buy traditional Egyptian items. Keep in mind that the original price they provide is almost never the final price!
Amr Ibn Al-Aas Mosque
The Amr Ibn Al-Aas Mosque, which dates from 641–642 AD, was the first mosque built on the African continent.
Must-Try Foods in Cairo, Egypt
Koshari – you may believe the person who invented this meal hadn’t gone grocery shopping in a while and dumped everything they had remained in the pantry into a pot. Known as a “poor man’s food,” because it is really affordable. Koshari is a mix of rice, macaroni, lentil, chickpea, onion, and tomato sauce dish that tastes similar to spaghetti (but better).
Hamam Mahshi – don’t be put off by the fact that this dish is stuffed pigeon. Sure, pigeons are referred regarded as rat birds in the United States; But they also can’t live without bacon, from garbage-eating pigs. You must sample this specialty before leaving Cairo, Egypt!
Fiteer Baladi is a layer of buttery, delectable filo dough eaten plain or loaded with savoury or sweet ingredients. It’s Egypt’s equivalent of pizza (but a little less healthy, if that’s even possible).
Shawarma is a Middle Eastern staple, and for good reason: it’s tasty and inexpensive! However, some may claim that Egypt has the nicest shawarma. While visiting the city, be eager to taste some.
Taamia is a falafel they prepare it using split fava beans instead of chickpeas, and it’s pretty similar to the original falafel.
Ful is a modest traditional dish with cooked fava beans, oil, cumin, and other spices, and occasionally served with tahini. Eat as a dip with flatbread or a chili! All Egyptian classes appreciate it in breakfasts and dinner.
Advice for best places to eat while traveling in Cairo Egypt
Everything you need to know about Cairo, Egypt foodies, and restaurants.
We recommend the following places to eat
It is a lovely restaurant downtown that offers all Egyptian types of food like Molokhia, Mahshi.
Koshari El Tahrir
Koshari El Tahrir, serves only Koshari.
It is also on Gezira Island, serves a variety of Egyptian specialties. Try the Classic Koshari, Ful, and Spicy Pepper Taamia – this substantial meal is less expensive than a McDonald’s burger!
Try Naguib Mahfouz Restaurant for stuffed pigeons in the midst of the busy Khan al Khalili market. If pigeon isn’t your thing, you will be happy with everything else on the list.
A luxurious restaurant located inside the Cairo Marriott, offers an upmarket, flawless 5-star dining experience while enjoying piano music. Begin with a glass of Egyptian chardonnay and a typical French onion soup, followed by a somewhat spicy Nicoise salad. The rack of lamb or the fillet of fish in hollandaise sauce is both excellent main courses. And don’t leave without trying one of their crème Brulee trios!
The Garden Promenade Café
The Garden Promenade Café at the Cairo Marriott gardens is a favorite venue for a leisurely lunch or supper among Cairo’s elite. They serve traditional American cuisine while overlooking the castle and the courtyard.
TIP: In Cairo, waiters are expected to get a 10% tip, however, many restaurants may add a service fee to your bill. If that’s the case, you may consider tipping your waitress a little more.
Where to Stay in Cairo
Marriott Omar El Khayam
In Cairo, there is lots of accommodation, but just one provides 5-star luxury; In a beautiful paradise on an island in the heart of this enormous, thriving city. On Gezira Island, the Cairo Marriott Hotel lies on 6 acres of beautiful grounds; The hotel is providing a peaceful respite from the city’s bustle. Here is everything you need to know about Cairo Marriott.
The actual building dates back to 1869 by Egypt’s monarch, Khedive Ismail. In the 1970s, the Marriott took over administration of the estate and has done an outstanding job of protecting the palace’s history, vintage spirit, and beauty while providing modern-day amenities.
Ornate gold mirrors, soft carpets, complex latticework, and stunning artwork throughout the antiqued restaurants, ballrooms, and lounge spaces create the illusion that you have gone back in time and achieved royal rank. It’s no surprise that large conferences and extravagant weddings are frequent here. The house is simply gorgeous!
Marriott Mena House
Start your day with a morning coffee on your wide terrace with glimpses of the Great Pyramids view; Then head downstairs to the hotel’s magnificent breakfast buffet. Traditional Egyptian flavors, a variety of charcuterie, cheeses, and bread, and you can find everything else in between!
You may not choose to leave with those amazing, mouthwatering, and diversified restaurants; Also there are bars, a cutting-edge fitness center, a soothing pool, and even on-site casinos; If you opt to leave the Marriott Mena House, we’ll offer you all of the details you’ll have to explore the city’s sights.
There is too many other 5* hotels we advice while traveling to Cairo and we can list them below:
Retz Carlton Hotel
Sofitel El Gezira
Four Seasons Nile Plaza
Also, there are 4 stars hotels like:
Barcelo Pyramids, Novotel El Borg, Oasis Hotel and many others we can simply send you if you need more advice on your travel to Egypt. Contact us