Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Travelling in Cairo, Egypt

Here I will introduce you into getting around in Cairo. First of all, how will you get arround; the best is to get arround on foot, but after some time, you get tired. And if you're female walking alone, you will attract too much attention. When you get tired, you can use some of available transports as Taxi, Metro or Bus.

In Cairo, you can get around in taxi which you can hail from any corner of any street. Little black and white cabs are everywhere. Driving in Cairo is difficult so you can be thankful after taxi drives you to your desired destination. But, it's not all that great! Sometimes taxi meter doesn't work so you will decide with driver about the price. Whach out if the price is faire! Sometimes they like to separate families or pairs (single men sit in the front, single women in the back). Sometimes a driver pick up extra passengers along the way. A reasonable taxi fare from the airport to the center of town and vice versa is around 25 Egyptian Pounds.

Another transportation method is metro, the only metro system in Africa and you will enjoy in ride. First carriage is for women only and it runs on time (until midnight). Another advantage is that metro is cheap. You need to buy your ticket at the station and hold on to them until you exit at your destination.

Third transportation is bus. They have buses and mini-buses which are good option to get arount the city if you speak and read Arabic and are on a tight budget. You can buy your ticket on board and they can be prepared to get up close and personal with your fellow passengers. Buses and mini-buses depart both terminals and end up in the center of town at Midan Tahrir, the transport hub of Cairo. They cost less than 1 Egyptian Pound.

Although arriving in Cairo can be a little overwhelming it isn't a dangerous place. You may get ripped off but violent crime is extremely rare. Don't worry too much about spending your first night in a hotel recommended by your taxi-driver that on hindsight cost you 5 times it should have.

You probably ask yourself where to stay. Cairo has plenty of accomodation options. You need to decide if you want a hotel near the Pyramids, near the airport (Heliopolis), in the center of town or in some of the finer, quieter neighbourhoods like Zamalek. Good hotels from TourEgypt are on the more luxurious side, till cheap hotels for those with low budget are mostly in central Cairo, between Midan Tahrir and the train station. Use the Lonely Planet Guidebook to find where they are.

This is all for now. I will write more about Cairo later.

No comments:

Post a Comment