Cairo, the capital of Egypt and one of the largest cities in Africa. The city has an enduring appeal and is one of the major tourism destinations in the world. Cairo is best known for its diverse culture and a vibrant history that goes back to over two thousand years. Situated on the banks of the river Nile, the city was home to the Egyptian Civilization, one of the greatest and most powerful civilizations to have ever existed. After the downfall of the Egyptian civilization, the city became a Roman trade outpost till the 7th Century AD, when the Arabs took over the land. The millennium that followed saw the rule of the Fatimids (969–1171), the Ayyubids (1171–1250), the Mamluks (1250–1517), the Ottomans (1517–1798), and then experienced 150 years of French and British colonial administration. The influences of the rich history and a diverse culture gives each area and district its distinct identity, especially the Christian and Islamic influences that can still be seen in the city today. Cairo is an overwhelming city and boasts numerous sights like the preserved the fabulous medieval Islamic city, Coptic sites in Old Cairo that were home to some of the earliest Christians and many historic churches, the iconic Sphinx, Khufu’s Great Pyramid and other attractions like the Egyptian Museums, ancient Egyptian burial ground called Saqqara, Khan el-Khalili which is an ancient shopping area that dates back to 1382, Nile Cruise, bustling markets and some of the oldest churches and mosques. Cairo is an enigmatic city that has been shrouded in a glorious past, diverse cultures and some of the earliest and the greatest architectural marvels, making Cairo an unforgettable experience. Each one of you should visit Cairo at least once and experience all that it has to offer considering the best time to visit Cairo.
Cairo Travel Tips
Essential travel information and Cairo tips for your visit
- Cairo Time Zone - EET (Eastern European Time) UTC+02:00
- Currency – Currency in Cairo is Egyptian Pound
- Electricity - Egypt uses 220 V, 50 Hz alternating current as the power. Plugs and sockets have ungrounded 2 pin connections (Type C) and have grounded / earthed 2 pin connections (Type F).
- Languages - The official language in Egypt is Standard Arabic. Egyptian Arabic is however the national and spoken language. English and French are also spoken in Cairo.
- Internet – 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi connections are available in almost every hotel in the city. There are numerous Cafes providing free Wi-Fi to the tourists.
- Security – Police: 122, Ambulance: 123, Tourist Police: 126, Traffic Police: 128
- Tipping – Tips is widely accepted in Egypt and tipping is a part of the daily routine. Small bills like 1LE and 5LE are useful for tipping in Egypt.
- Egypt is a Muslim Country; hence it must be kept in mind to respect their faith. The city is a bit conservative and Public Displays of Affection, such as kissing and/or fondling your partner in public, wearing revealing clothing are frowned upon here.
- It is best to inform the hotel about your plans in advance and let the hotels do the arrangements. The hotels have cab drivers they deal with on a regular basis. This can avoid unforeseen scams and rip offs.
- It is not advisable to drink tap water. The tap water is fine for daily chores such as taking a shower and brushing your teeth. However, drinking it can cause stomach infections. It is best to avoid drinking tap water and switch to packaged drinking water instead.
- Make sure to carry lots of water with you as Egypt is a hot and dry city.
- Due to the recent political instability in Egypt, there has been an increase in the country’s security. Entering a new city might lead to delays as personal belongings such as camera bags and carrier bags are searched before gaining admittance.
- It is very hard to find toilet papers in Egypt. Instead, the toilets use bidet spray nozzle. Remember to carry your own toilet paper along to avoid any inconvenience.
- While visiting a mosque, women must make sure to cover their shoulders, legs, and hair.
- For men, wearing Sleeveless shirts, tank tops and gym attire is not acceptable.
- Keep all your cash and valuables under lock and key in your hotel room. Avoid carrying and exhibiting them in busy streets.