Top Tips to Know Before Travelling to Cairo

Cairo's skyline presents a dazzling mixture of old and new architecture
Cairo's skyline presents a dazzling mixture of old and new architecture | © clu
Photo of Sarah Marzouk
3 September 2021

From Pharaonic eras to Coptic, Islamic and contemporary times, Cairo has long been a city rich in cultural heritage. To discover the secrets of the city without running into trouble, you’ve got to know at least some of the basics. Below are the top tips you need to know before visiting Cairo.

Make the most of your Cairo experience by joining Culture Trip’s specially curated 10-day Egypt adventure, which includes a visit to the historic centre as well as the Sphinx and Giza Pyramids.

Know what you want out of the trip

How long are you planning to spend in Cairo? The answer is key when deciding how you’re going to spend your time here. Whether it’s discovering the secrets of ancient Egypt, exploring Islamic Egypt or perhaps sampling local food, time management is of the utmost importance. To get the best out of your trip, consider carefully what you want from your time – especially if you’re not staying for long.

Plan you time carefully when visiting Cairo, there’s plenty to see and do | © agefotostock / Alamy Stock Photo

Get a tour guide

If this is your first time in Cairo and you don’t know much about the area, get yourself a tour guide. Or you can use Showaround, a website that links you with locals who can help you move around the city and visit the best places. This will save you much time and effort.

Not sure what to see in Cairo? Get a tour guide to show you round | © Prakich Treetasayuth / Alamy Stock Photo

Know what to wear

Egypt is a nation where many traditions and beliefs dominate daily life. For ladies, wearing revealing clothes is often not recommended. You’ll probably end up walking a lot, too, which requires comfy clothes and shoes. This is especially the case in desert and sandy terrains such as those around the Pyramids of Giza. In the end, it all depends on where you’re going, so ask your guide or learn more about the place you’re visiting beforehand.

If you’re heading to the Pyramids of Giza, make sure you wear appropriate shoes | © Art Kowalsky / Alamy Stock Photo

Know the different means to get around the city

Getting around Cairo isn’t too tough — you just need to know which transport to use, which all depends on your budget and where you’re going. There’s a large network of roads and a wide variety of public transportation systems; select from metro, bus, and private options including Uber, Careem and Nile Taxi.

Try the local food

An important part of any visit to Cairo, Egyptian cuisine includes everything from street food — think foul, kebda (liver) and kushari — to traditional options, such as feteer (pie) and mulukheya.

Kushari is a pasta, rice and lentil dish typical of Egyptian cuisine | © Simon Reddy / Alamy Stock Photo

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