"Cairo- Umm el Dunya" Top 5 Page for this destination Cairo by uglyscot

Cairo Travel Guide: 4,030 reviews and 9,776 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

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.

Cairo Museum

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
The mummies
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 and Cons
  • 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
  • Last visit to Cairo: Apr 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (81)

Comments (35)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    Thanks for your story! Peace to Cairo! ><><><><><><

  • mavl's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2009 at 7:03 PM

    thanks for visiting my dahshur page, your egypt pages are great, all of them!

  • MM212's Profile Photo
    Oct 6, 2009 at 6:41 AM

    So it's time to go back!!!! ;-)

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Apr 9, 2009 at 4:38 AM

    I did not know there was a Cairo Zoo...very nice and comprehensive Egyptian pages! Impressive work...Umm ali is delicious, indeed! Norman :)

  • K.Knight's Profile Photo
    Sep 13, 2008 at 3:57 PM

    Hi Shane, what a great Cairo page. Anne and I will be in Cairo in July 2009, we have already booked, and I will be using your tips to plan my stay. Thanks!

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2008 at 1:56 PM

    Have had enjoyed yr info and insight thanks Shane!

  • Mar 29, 2008 at 10:35 AM

    I love to be here again!

  • SWFC_Fan's Profile Photo
    Oct 28, 2007 at 3:43 AM

    Super Cairo tips, Shane! I'm visiting for the first time next month and trying to decide whether Zamalek is the best place for me to stay. Thanks for your excellent tips and photos!//Nice update! I'll keep an eye out for the Umm Ali! Thanks :-)

  • benazer's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2007 at 11:43 AM

    The man in brown jacket wasnt there,I would not point my camera to someone and take his picture.

  • SullyBiz's Profile Photo
    Aug 21, 2007 at 6:48 AM

    Thanks for the bday wishes. And your pages are amazing. I think I have to go to Egypt now.


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