Long considered to be the jewel of the orient, Cairo is an international city overflowing with an interesting mixture of different cultures. It is a city steeped in the early civilizations of the ancient pharaohs, blended with the history of Christian and Islamic cultures. It is all brought together by the modern sights and luxuries of a sophisticated and cosmopolitan city.
Egyptian Pound - EGP
1 EGP = 100 Piaster
Fire Service: 125
Tourist Police: 126, +20 2 391 9144
Middle East Times
Opening hours are generally 9am-6pm, but will vary slightly for each business or museum.
Metropolitan area: 20,439,541
Cairo Tourist Office
5 Sharia Adly, near Midan Opera
8:30am-8pm (9am-5pm during Ramadan)
+20 2 391 3454
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The great pyramids of Giza are the most famous attractions in Cairo. But there are many delightful places to experience and explore, from the mosques of Islamic Cairo to the churches of Cairo's Coptic population, or to the temples of the city's Jewish community. Be prepared for an expansive history lesson and cultural education of the religious and cultural blending that has taken place in this fascinating city.
Cairo also swells with markets and bazaars to explore. Drink in the flavour of everyday life of the denizens of this metropolis. And for the chic visitor, there are luxury hotels and boutiques to explore for unforgettable jewellery, clothes and antiques. The extensive array of international cuisine that marks this city provides a taste for whatever any traveller may desire, and of course the option to experience the delicious and unforgettable cuisine of Egypt.
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The Pyramids at Giza have been the longtime favourite tourist attraction of greater Cairo, but with the rich textured religious history of this city, there are many sights and areas of town worth exploring. Visit the opera house, take a ride on a camel, interact with local merchants, or even get a guided tour through the city! It's all possible, the only limits are the ones you create for yourself, whatever your choice, the city will welcome you with open arms!
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There is a limitless array of international cuisine to choose from in every price range in Cairo. This is definitely not a place where you need to worry about going hungry! There are several different neighbourhoods in Cairo, hence the neighbourhood location for each restaurant is listed after the address. This will be important to know when taking a taxi.
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There are both Western style and Egyptian cafés in Cairo. Tourists might feel most comfortable at the Western style cafés, as the Egyptian cafés are very traditional and only patronized by men.
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There are two main types of bars in Cairo: traditional Egyptian style bars, known as “caféterias” and typical Western style bars. The “caféterias” have solely male customers and serve small plates of food. Both men and women are welcome and will feel comfortable and at ease in the Western style bars, which often serve food as well.
There is a pulsing variety of vivacious nightlife in Cairo. Most of the large, upscale hotels have nightclubs attached to them, and most of these are a safe bet for a good night out.
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Cairo is a wonderland of shopping, with the endless souqs to explore, as well as the sophisticated high-end shops that exist in most of the 5-star hotel arcades. It is always expected that you will bargain over prices in the markets, and in most shops bargaining is also widely practiced. Most shopkeepers give discounts if you buy more than one item, and give a greater discount with each additional item that you buy.
Kahn al Khalili, a bazaar dating from the 14th century, is the largest and most famous souq in all of Cairo. A good place to go for local culture and people-watching as well as for souvenirs and trinkets. The Street of the Tentmakers is Cairo’s only remaining medieval covered market. This is a good place to shop for traditional printed fabrics. (Located in Islamic Cairo, at the north end of Al-Khayamiya street)
Cairo is an excellent place to buy traditional arts, crafts, and glassware, as well as Nubian pieces. Marketing Link - 27 Yehia Ibrahim, Apt. 8, Zamalek - is a fair trade store with handmade items from all over the Middle East. Head to the Midan Libnan area (Mohandiseen) for upscale clothing and furniture stores, and to Zamalek, an area popular with foreign nationals for a variety of elegant shops. Sharia Gam’at al-Duwal al-‘Arabiya (Mohandiseen) is an up-and-coming strip-mall area for those nostalgic for the familiarity of Western style, neon shopping arcades.
Gold and silver are also popular purchases in Cairo. The Gold Market area is in the souq of Kahn al Khalili, along Al Muizziz li-Din Allah and Sikket al-Badestan streets. Gold tends to be sold for similar prices as elsewhere in the world, but silver is a particularly good bargain in Cairo. Go to Mohammed Amin Silver - 70 Al-Muizz li-Din Allah- for unusual antique pieces from around the Middle East, and try George Aziz (14 Sikket al-Badestan, Khan al-Khalili souq) for contemporary silver styles.
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Cairo International Airport
Cairo International Airport is located 25 km northeast of the city centre. There are 2 terminals: Terminal II is the new terminal and services most international flights, while Terminal I, the old terminal, is the hub for EgyptAir and services both their domestic and international flights. There are large official taxis (called “limousines”) that charge a fixed rate for a trip to the city centre. A taxi for the same ride will involve some heavy haggling, so the official taxi may be the easier option.
There are two city busses and a mini-bus that takes you to and from the Airport. Bus number 356 is the designated airport service, which is a large white, air conditioned, luxury coach. It runs to the city centre at Midan Abdel Moniem Riad (behind the Egyptian museum) and charges extra per large luggage item. Local bus No 400 also goes to the city centre, as well as minibus No 27. The bus stand is at the far end of the car park.
Address: Heliopolis, Cairo
Phone: Terminal one: +20 2 265 3308 / Terminal two: +20 2 268 4248
The local buses are like a carnival ride, as they rarely come to a full stop to let passengers on and off! There is a mini-bus that has set routes like the normal bus, but they are smaller and carries fewer passengers, but on the other hand -actually stops properly to let people on and off!
Taxis are inexpensive in Cairo, and the way that most tourists navigate the city. It is important to fix a price before you get into a taxi, and always haggle over the price. Attempting to take advantage of naive tourists is a favourite pastime of Cairo taxi drivers.
The Central Post Office is located at Midan Ataba and is open 7am-7pm.
Address: Midan Ataba, Cairo
Phone: +20 2 2396 1695
This pharmacy is open 24 hours:
El Ezaby Pharmacy
Address: 6C-Asmaa, Fahmy District, Cairo
Phone: +20 2 19600
220V AC, 50 Hz
Country Code: +20
Area Code: 02