"Cairo- Umm el Dunya" Top 5 Page for this destination Cairo by uglyscot
Cairo Travel Guide: 3,992 reviews and 9,544 photos
The first thing that struck me when I arrived in Cairo was the chaos. The airport itself, depending on whether you arrive at the old or new terminals, has nothing to welcome you. If there is a health scare [bird flu, swine flu or cholera etc] the route to immigration is accompanied by checks by medical staff in white coats and masks, and equipment to stick in your ears or take shots of your eyes. Then a card to fill in with details of name, passport and where you will be staying.
After passing that hurdle, is the queue [length depends on how many flights have just landed],and then you inch forward, reach the booth and hand over your passport and entry card. It will be stamped and passed to someone at a computer, and then returned to you. Some of the officials are dour and difficult, but others are prepared to chat before letting you pass. Then head for the carousel where your luggage will probably be coming through.Cairo is the one airport where baggage handling is fast. If you find the luggage is well on its way, it's wise to check at the end of the carousel as the staff pull off the unclaimed luggage and leave it in a heap instead of allowing it to circle endlessly.
After that head for the exit where customs check is usually just an officer asking where you are from, but if you have a lot of luggage or something that looks unusual, you may be questioned or asked to open your bags. Outside you face a barrage of people coming to meet arriving passengers, touts looking for those needing taxis- better to arrange with a limousine firm inside the building.
The ride into Cairo gives you a good idea of the congestion, confusion and noise that you will face during your stay. The pollution, the dirt and noise are counterbalanced by the vibrant , lively never ceasing activity around at least 20 hours a day.
One aspect of life that is smooth is finding food. Restaurants abound both in Downtown Cairo and areas like Duqqi and Mohandaseen.
Have a nice stay.
First stop for any visitor to Egypt is the Giza Plateau. The sheer mass of the pyramids is awe inspiring. The whys and hows about their construction is mind boggling.
Only problem is the people who try to sell or offer goods and services, when all I want to do is take in the majesty of the site. They definitely are off-putting as most VTers who have been here mention.
Islamic Cairo is best done on foot. Many of the mosques are within walking distance of each other. In fact anywhere in Cairo it is possible to find charming little mosques or water fountains [sabila]. The Citadel, Rifai Mosque and Mosque of Hassan are all in one area; many of the mosques are functional as well as being tourist attractions.
Restaurants open and close with regularity, so many of the places mentioned in the tips may no longer exist or function under a different name.
No visit to Cairo is complete without seeing the Museum. I reckon it needs about 9 days to see it all, but my favourite areas are:
The massive statues of the Old Kingdom
The Tutankhamun treasures
Akhnaten and Nefertiti
Hatchepsut, Tuthmosis III and Amenhotep of the New Kingdom
Photography is no longer permitted inside the Museum.
Recently a cafeteria, children's museum and bookshop have been opened.
- Pros:Lots to see and do. Not too expensive.
- Cons:Noisy, polluted and terrible traffic and driving. Beggars and bakhsheesh.
- In a nutshell:a city that never sleeps
Because of an emergency closure at our start, we missed our connection in Cairo. The airport staff were extremely... more travel advice
In winter, especially January, the temperature drops and becomes quite cold. the locals don sweaters and jackets and... more travel advice
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