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Transportation in Cairo

Cairo is Egypt's transport hub, and the warm climate, rich traditions and diverse history make Cairo a tourist hotspot. Passenger trains connect Cairo to several major cities. An intercity mass transit system was started in 1987, which carries 2 million passengers everyday. Recently, a second line was added to the first, which connects the western suburbs to Giza on the West Bank. A third line connecting the airport to the city centre and terminating at the busy suburb of Imbaba, is presently under construction.

Getting around Greater Cairo is easy by bus or taxi, whilst exploring the main tourist areas is best done on foot.

You will find our Cairo Transportation Guide useful for getting to and around this ancient city. Taking one of our Cairo tours is a great way of getting around, seeing the sights, and learning about their extensive history and culture. We also have some useful travel information for getting to and from Egypt in our Egypt Transportation Guide.

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Cairo Transportation Guide

The Nile is a life line for economic activity; goods shipped on it are received at Cairo's river port. From the capital, goods are forwarded to Mediterranean coastal cities like Port Said and Alexandria by road, railway and inland waterways.

Getting to Cairo

By Train

Ramses Train Station is a charming colonial building and Cairo's main terminus. The tourist information office functions from 9 am to 72 pm.There is also a left-luggage room which charges 2.50 LE per piece per day.

A train journey to Luxor, with its spectacular views of the Nile, is a must. There is a day train to Luxor and Aswan (No. 980) leaving Cairo at 7 am.

The Abela Egypt Sleeping Train leaves Cairo at 8 pm, arriving Luxor at 5:05 am and Aswan at 8:15 am next morning. The one way tariff, at US$53/74 per person in a double/single cabin includes dinner and breakfast, a delightfully old-world style of travel.

Tickets must be paid for in cash only, either in US dollars or Euros and should be purchased few days in advance. Other trains to Luxor and Aswan are No. 996 leaving at 10:00 pm and No. 1902 at 12:30 am. It is a 10- hour journey to Luxor and 13 hours to Aswan. First and second class fares are 67 /45 LE and 81/47 LE respectively.

By Air

Cairo International Airport is 20 km from the city centre. Egypt Air, the national airline operates national and international flights from Terminal 1. Other international carriers (except Saudi Arabian Airlines) use Terminal 2. Egypt Air has several city offices in Cairo.. The airport arrivals hall has several ATMs and foreign exchange booths.

From the airport, black and white taxis to the city centre charge between 45 LE to 60 LE. City- airport fares cost less at 30 LE= 35 LE. An economical option is to catch the air-conditioned shuttle No.356, to Midan Abdel Moniem Riad, behind the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo, a 1-hour ride for 2 LE. They charge an extra 1LE per bag for large luggage pieces. Buses depart every 20 minutes from both terminals, from 7 am till midnight.

For transport from the airport to the city (or from the city to the airport), we recommend Green Path Transfers, who offer eco-friendly airport transfers in hundreds of destinations around the world.

By Bus

Two main bus stops in Cairo connect the city to the rest of the country, the Midan Ramsis and Cairo Gateway (earlier known as Turgoman). The latter is a relatively new station about 500 m from the Orabi metro station. From these bus stops downtown Cairo and Zamalek are a quick 5 LE and a 7-10 LE taxi ride, respectively. Some buses also stop at other destinations, Abbasiya in particular.

Getting Around Cairo

By Bus and Minibus

Midan Abdel Moniem Riad is the main bus stop for in-city buses. The public buses which are painted red, white and blue are cheap but often crowded. The smaller, air-conditioned ones charge 2 LE for a trip but are more comfortable as they do not allow standing passengers. These buses can be boarded at the main squares. Here, you'll also find orange and white or red, white and blue minibuses. Sexual harassment in the larger buses is not uncommon and it is therefore safer for women to use the air-conditioned buses where standing is prohibited or the minibuses.

By River Bus

River buses depart every 15 minutes for Doqqi, Manial, Giza and Misr al-Qadima (Old Cairo). The Maspero river bus terminal is in front of the Radio and TV Building and boats ply between 7 am and 10 pm daily. Most trips last about 50 minutes and cost 50pt.

By Taxi

The ubiquitous black and white taxis in Cairo are convenient, but watch out for uncooperative drivers. Most of them do not charge the metered fare. Also, they can be extremely fussy about returning change. Carry sufficient small change and present the exact fare if you want to avoid a lot of tiresome haggling.

Taxis parked near 5-star hotels may charge more. Hail a passing taxi instead, though if your destination is a five star hotel that too is likely to up the fare! Communicating with drivers in English can also occasionally be a problem.

By Metro

The subway system in Cairo is efficient, cheap and clean. A ticket covering up to nine stations costs only 50pt. Remember that the first carriage is only for ladies.


Rail Service

ERNST ( Egyptian Railways National Service & Tourism)
Various
Tel: 00202 - 25749474 or 00202 - 25749274

Airline

Egypt Air
International Airport
Tel: 00202 - 24830888 or 00202 - 26823271

Taxi Service

Cairo Cab
Will collect you
Tel: 00202 - 25285980 or 00202 - 25285979