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Show reviews that mention. All reviews day trip boat ride tagine be aware wild monkeys bread fruit half way local guide long drive olive trees argan oil per person atlas mountains mint tea wear trainers spectacular views. Selected filters. Updating list Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile Beautiful but Date of experience: June Thank alisonbHNE. Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile Beautiful. Thank ljchad. Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile Very nice. Thank Bohdima.
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From this point on, the Wall slowly started to fade away while stone and rocks were taken from the Wall for building projects and homes. The Cultural Revolution definitely took its toll out on the wall when local people and local governments were encouraged to help dismantle the Great Wall. It was not until that President Deng Xiaoping started a restoration and protection project of the Great Wall. The geography of Northern China ranges from mountainous in northeast Liaoning and Hebei provinces, through the grasslands of Ningxia , semi-arid desert of China's loess plateau, and borders the sand dunes of the Tengger desert of Inner Mongolia.
It is the area around Hebei and Beijing that most people associate with the Great Wall, but most of the Great Wall lies in the desert regions of the country. Chinese wildlife is diverse, considering all of the different habitats available along the length of the Great Wall. From the rare Siberian tiger in the northeast to the protected and rare Giant Panda which lives in southern Gansu, Sichuan, and Shaanxi, you never know what you might see on a given day. Wild mammals can be found in the north, such as the Manchurian weasel, brown and black bears, northern pika, and mandarin vole.
Deer species include Sitka deer, roe deer and the long-sought-after spotted deer, which has many uses in Chinese medicine. The birds of the region include various pheasants, black grouse, pine grosbeak, various woodpeckers, mandarin duck, and the fairy pitta, a rare migratory bird.
Cranes are especially revered in China. Common, demoiselle, white-napes, hooded, and red-crowned cranes all breed in China. You can find many tonic plants along the Great Wall, such as the rare ginseng Panax ginseng. Chinese medicine has had many thousands of years to discover and use these tonic plants for the benefit of mankind.
Northern China has all four seasons and they arrive with a vengeance. Reach the bus departure point by exiting from Exit A of Jishuitan subway station, Line 2. Walk east for meters, around 5 minutes, past all bus stops until you reach the Deshengmen arrow tower on your left. Bus leaves exactly North behind of the tower.
The station is right behind the stop for bus Ignore any scammers that may approach you as you walk to the bus. Be wary of men in blue jackets posing as transit workers. They will walk all the way up to the bus door and in front of real transit workers to direct you to an overpriced shuttle or tax so you must buy a ticket on the bus. The train has very large viewing windows, allowing you breathtaking views of the scenery and the Great Wall even before you arrive at Badaling. Upon arrival at Badaling station most passengers alight at this stop make a left turn and walk m to the Great Wall entrance.
Get to Mutianyu is a little bit more complicated, but if you follow these directions, you shouldn't have problems arriving there. You can also stay on until the final stop, and then hire a minivan from there, but it will be more expensive. Also beware of people that offer to help you at Dongzhimen, that are in league with the taxi drivers and will point you to the wrong bus , for example , and you will end up having to backtrack to Huairou and pay double for the taxi Great Wall Trek China Expeditions is known to do this.
There are also scammers who dress up like they work for the bus system as ticket collectors. For bus there should be no ticket collectors, just ignore anyone but the bus driver, and put 12RMB into the box by the bus door. The last buses to Beijing Dongzhimen from Huairou city are the at while the service of the ends at You can also get to Mutianyu via a hike from the Jiankou section of the wall.
Some offer self-guided tour packages including transportation from Beijing to Jiankou and pickup from Mutianyu to get back to Beijing. As the Great Wall of China is rather on the long side, there are a large number of places to visit it. The hike is still a challenge with plenty of very steep hills, so don't get disappointed if you took the cable car up and see a huge crowd - once you get a bit into the wall the crowd thins quickly, and even on a weekend you can find yourself alone on a whole section of the wall.
On weekdays, there are much less vendors chasing you on the wall; they stay in the little town area. Make sure you wear the proper shoes such as tennis shoes or sneakers. The stones the wall is made of have been polished by millions of tourists like you, and are very slippery. If you wear flip-flops, you'd be looking for a disaster. Walking barefoot or in a thin sole shoes would be very uncomfortable because the stones get very hot in the sunshine. As well as taking out a good bit of uphill, it puts you right into a quiet area of the wall.
Once you get off the cable car a left turn will lead you to the regular entrance. But a right turn will provide a pleasant walk along the wall for a while until the path becomes closed. This plus the wind from the mountain, you will cherish every layer of clothes you can have.
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The vendors will be here to sell everything you may have forgotten, although the price is not reasonable. The winter sun and, if you're lucky, the snow will give you amazing views on the walls. If, after exiting the cable car, one turns to the left and hikes up stairs for about an hour, one can reach the unrestored, "wild" wall. As of March , a 60cm high wall at tower 20 has been built in order to discourage passage, however, you can jump over.
Signs will tell you that visitors are not admitted to this area of the wall. A man may ask you for money to allow passage, however he is not an employee of the facility, therefore feel free to ignore him. The terrain gets rougher, there's bushes growing in the way and some parts are so destroyed, one has to actually climb to go on. Please note that mobile phone reception drops off sharply here and there's only very few to no people around, so in case of an emergency, you'll be on your own.
Good hiking gear advisable. Frozen and slippery in winter. Loose Rocks. If you are further interested in this unrestored "wild wall", the ideal way to experience it is a hike from the Jiankou section to Mutianyu. Allowing a more in depth exploration of the untouched overgrown decrepit walls and towers, it also enables you to go down the stairs of the restored section instead of the long arduous climb up. Because several English-language guidebooks now recommend Mutianyu over Badaling as less crowded and less overdeveloped, a few tour companies notably G Adventures and Intrepid Travel have switched to Mutianyu as their preferred Great Wall segment for their China tours.
If at all possible, try to book an escorted group tour with a Mutianyu visit as an integral component. That will provide the most convenient and seamless experience, since small tourist motorcoaches with the appropriate paperwork can take you directly from a Beijing hotel to a small parking lot very close to the cable car base station. The driver will wait with the motorcoach while your tour guide takes your group up to the Great Wall, then when you are all done, you get back on the motorcoach and go directly back to Beijing.
The total price is RMB for admission, shuttle bus to the ski lift both ways, ski lift and toboggan ride, as of Sept This option is overall the best, you should save your walking energy for on top of the wall, which is very long. Alternatively the min. However the climb is fairly steep, and does not offer views until you reach the great wall itself. If you're not afraid of walking through some shrubbery, and you've got some grip on your shoes, continue on past the restored section and head to the highest local watchtower. You will be greatly rewarded for your effort! There are two different cable cars in Mutianyu which are operated by different companies.
One is a cable car to get to a high part of the great wall, the other is a chair lift to another point on the wall where you can toboggan down. They start at roughly the same point at the entrance to the area, however they operate in different directions. Return tickets are significantly cheaper than buying a single trip, however, the two tickets cannot be combined, i.
Note that the walk on top of the Great Wall involves significant amount of climbing steps, which vary from short steps a large part of the way, to some sections with quite steep steps. Do not miss the stone museum just past the main ticket office on the right, which features beautiful caves with lighted rock art. Entry is free. If you miss the bus, there is accommodation to be found near the shops in Huairou. There is a tourist information office that remains open during normal office hours, though it may seem closed due to lack of visitors.
They will be able to help you find accommodation that is licensed to take foreigners, should you need it. Stay in the valley the night before, then hire a taxi out direct to one of the nearby Great Wall sections in the morning. The Schoolhouse a restaurant and lodging company in Mutianyu also offers a schoolbus that goes to and from the Kempinski Hotel in Liagmaqiao area of Beijing to their restaurant that is a minute walk from the Wall on Saturdays and Sundays.
It departs Beijing at and the Schoolhouse at Reservations must be made online at The Schoolhouse website by on the Thursday before you want to take it. If you are worried about taking a public bus but don't want to pay for a whole tour, this can be a good reliable option. It's far less crowded than Badaling and Mutianyu To get the second bus stop, turn left out of Hairou bus station up to next light crossing, turn left again about m until you get to the bus station.
The bus are not very frequent every hour. Huanhuacheng-Shuishangcheng is the last stop. It says there is a direct bus from Dongzhimen to Shuangshangcheng on the WE, but it will leave only if enough people more than Difficult to count on it so. However, to climb on the wall, you can also go to the parking in front of East entrance, then take a small trail at the left of the toilets without passing the entrance gate so : you'll be able to access the wall without paying the entrance fee.
It has three layers, and there are nine holes which look like nine eyes on each side. It is so dangerous that even eagles have to fly facing upward to reach the top.
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This portion of the Wall was opened to the public in after repair. Bring a jacket against the wind or cold in the chillier seasons. In summer you will need lots of water, but there are plenty of vendors at the most visited sections. Be prepared for the possibility of sudden, short, but rather violent thunderstorms. Do not leave any trace of your visit. Even if it is not an uncommon sight, resist the urge to add your name to the carvings in the wall, or take a piece home as a souvenir.
If the wall should be damaged by your actions, the authorities may very well take action with fines and other punishments. Hiking as a recreational sport is not well understood yet in China so the etiquette of crossing state and private land has not yet been established. Remember that the Wall is mostly mud and poorly supported stones, and that you are on your own if you're outside the maintained areas.
Even if you are not walking on the wall, you will find few trails to follow and at some parts, the area the Wall traverses are vertical, treacherous and very unsafe. Besides that, it is difficult to obtain clean drinking water and some areas may even have no water at all. Other areas will have man made obstacles, like roads and motorways that have solid fencing. Villages where you could get supplies may be few and far between.
Some may take you miles away from the Wall. Poor cartography is still a problem here since maps of less than , are not easy to get a hold of due to the military applications of such maps. Besides that, guides who know the areas along the Great Wall are few and far between.
You will be on your own should something happen to you. Scams - Beware of bus scams that may ruin your day. Also try to avoid organized tours to the Great Wall costing Yuan. These are advertised by people handing out flyers around the Forbidden City in Beijing  for example the real bus service to the Great Wall only costs 20 Yuan!
Also, the driver might just stop and set you off before your destination. Walking safely don't run around as you may trip which may result in an injury as the steps are uneven. Phones use your phone only for taking images, stop tweeting or updating your Facebook status and actually admire the scene for once as you may never get an opportunity like this again this will also save you battery which you can then use in case of an emergency.
The last bus leaves at There are plenty trains going to Badaling station. Very cheap and super easy from Beijing station. For other sections hopefully you've come with a tour that is picking you up from that section. Ming Tombs Many tour operators or private drivers will combine the wall and the Ming Tombs in a day trip.
The Ming Tombs are nothing special and are quite plain. Tourists usually skip them unless they are Chinese history buffs. Mount Everest is the world's tallest mountain.
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It straddles the border of China and Nepal and can be visited from either side. A brief introduction:At an elevation of 8, Commanding reverence from fellow giant peaks nearby, Mount Everest is shaped just like a majestic pyramid propping up the sky for the Earth. Surrounding Mt. Everest, 4 Mt. Makalu, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Cho Oyu and Mt. They are escorted by another 38 peaks above 7, meters above sea level. Analyses of geological structure indicate that in the Mesozoic Era about million to 70 million year ago, the region where Mt.
Everest stands now was part of the ancient Mediterranean Sea. Beginning from the late Tertiary Period of the Cenozoic Era, the region gradually rose. Chinese scientists have concluded that Mt. Everest is still rising at a speed of 3. At the top of Mt. Everest, there always hangs a wisp of cloud. It flies eastward in the fast western wind just like a flapping flag. At times, the cloud will change from surging waves into a thin cooking smoke, or from galloping steeds into the mysterious veil of a goddess.
Gazing at Mt. Everest, one will immerse in a solemn ethereal mood. In recent years, mountain climbers and explorers have focused on Mt. The weather is relatively mild and steady with less rain or snow early Mar. These are the 2 best seasons for tourists and mountain climbers. It is also the 19th largest city in the world, and among the world's most densely populated cities. On the Nile river, Cairo is famous for its own history, preserved in the fabulous medieval Islamic city and Coptic sites in Old Cairo.
The Egyptian Museum in the centre of town is a must see, with its countless Acient Egyptian artefacts, as is shopping at the Khan al-Khalili bazaar. No trip to Cairo would be complete, for example, without a visit to the Giza Pyramids , and to the nearby Saqqara Pyramid Complex , where visitors will see Egypt's first step pyramid built by the architect Imhotep for the third dynasty Pharaoh, Djoser.
Though firmly attached to the past, Cairo is also home to a vibrant modern society. The Midan Tahrir area situated in downtown Cairo area, built in the 19th century under the rule of Khedive Ismail, has strived to be a "Paris on the Nile". There also are a number of more modern suburbs including Ma'adi and Heliopolis , while Zamalek is a quiet area on Gezira Island , with upmarket shopping. Cairo is best in the fall or spring, when the weather isn't so hot. A felucca ride on the Nile is a good way to escape from the busy city, as is a visit to Al-Azhar Park.
Since the revolution in , the tourists have fled Cairo to a large extent. This has created an opportunity for unique experiences of Cairo's and Egypt's cultural treasures without the crowds. Finding yourself alone inside a pyramid is now a real possibility. Prices are also lower. Cairo is vast ; with more than 17 million people, it's the largest city in Africa and the Middle East. The central core consists of the following districts:.
Situated along the Nile, Cairo has ancient origins, located in the vicinity of the Pharaonic city of Memphis. The city started to take its present form in AD, when the Arab general Amr Ibn Al-Ase conquered Egypt for Islam and founded a new capital called Misr Al-Fustat , "the City of the Tents", due to the legend of Al-Ase finding, on the day he was leaving to conquer Alexandria , two doves nesting in his tent.
Not wanting to disturb them, he left the tent, which became the site of the new city in what is now Old Cairo. The Tunisian Fatimid dynasty captured the city in A. Confusingly, this also the Arabic name of the entire country of Egypt. These deadly dust storms are a cool change for the city of Cairo and are remarkable for all visiting tourists to see.
You don't need an umbrella: even the rainiest months of the year rarely top 17cm. If visiting during winter, be aware that many buildings, including some hotels and hostels, are equipped with air conditioners but no heaters. Today's Greater Cairo is a city with at least 17 million inhabitants, where skyscrapers and fast food restaurants nestle up to world heritage monuments.
Originally, Cairo was the designated name of the city on the eastern bank of the Nile, and this is where you'll find both the modern Downtown , built under influence of French architecture, today the centre of commerce and popular life, as well as historical Islamic and Coptic sights. Outside the core on the eastern bank, you'll find the modern, more affluent suburbs of Heliopolis and Nasr City near the airport, and Ma'adi to the south. In the middle of the Nile is the island of Gezira and Zamalek , more Western and tranquil than the rest of the city.
On the western bank is lots of modern concrete and business, but also the great Giza pyramids and, further to the south, Memphis and Saqqara. The city might seem like a lot to handle, but give it a try, and you will find that it has a lot to offer for any traveller. This is the most common form of saying "hello" to anybody. It creates a friendliness between you and people you don't know, builds rapport, and helps build respect! It is also considered polite to say this if you approach someone, instead of just asking them for something or speaking to them directly.
When leaving, you can say the same "Es Salamu Aleykom", or simply "Maa Salama", literally: "with safety" or "with wellness" which is used to mean to say "goodbye". More educated Egyptians will say "bye-bye" derived from the English "goodbye" or "buh-bye" when leaving others.
Smiling : Most people appreciate a smile, and most Egyptians smile when they speak to someone for the first time. People who don't smile while they speak are considered arrogant, rude, aggressive, unfriendly, etc. However, be careful not to be too friendly or too smiley, especially if you're a female speaking to an Egyptian male, as they might mistake you for trying to befriend them or asking for them to flirt or hit on you.
Even in a male-to-male conversation, being too friendly might give the other person the chance to try to take advantage of you some way or another. Always use common sense. Handshakes are the more customary greeting among acquaintances. When a more close relationship is formed, it is more common to kiss on one cheek then the other while shaking hands. Most Egyptians tend to have a loud voice when they speak, which is common to some other countries in the region.
They are not shouting, and you will know the difference. Egypt is a predominantly Muslim country, so say nothing that might be perceived as an insult to Islam or the Egyptian culture. The same applies to any mention of the Middle East as a whole. Your best option is to not discuss religion or politics from a Western point of view at all as this could lead to a series of unfortunate events. Women and men should wear modest clothing. It is considered disrespectful to the mainly conservative Muslim inhabitants to see visitors walking around wearing clothing which reveal thighs, shoulders, bare backs or cleavage, except at beaches and hotels.
Men should also not walk about bare chested or wearing very short shorts outside of hotels or beach resorts. People do generally tend to dress more liberally at beach resorts, nightclubs, social outings, weddings, or when engaging in any sport, but there are no places to practice nudism or naturism as being nude in public. Do not enter a mosque with any form of shoes, sandals, slippers, boots, etc.
Always take them off before entering as they carry the dirt from the street, and the mosque a place of prayer should be clean. However, you can keep socks on. Also, avoid walking in front of persons in prayer. The reason is because when people kneel, they kneel to God. If you stand in front of someone while they are praying or kneeling, it is as if they are kneeling to you or worshipping you, a complete taboo and against the basic foundations of Islam.
Otherwise, it is quite acceptable for visitors or Christian Egyptians to carry on as normal in the streets or shops that operate during prayer times. Like most other countries in the Muslim world, the Middle East, and even some non-Muslim conservative countries, affection should not be displayed in public. A public hug is less offensive, especially if greeting a spouse or family member you haven't seen in a while.
You will notice male-to-male kissing on the cheeks when Egyptian men meet their friends, family, or someone they know well. This is not to be confused with the male-to-male kissing of some homosexuals in some western countries. Some Egyptian men like to walk next to their male friend with their arms attached together like a loop inside another loop. Again, this is not homosexual behaviour. Egypt is a Muslim and conservative country. Any display of homosexuality is considered strange, weird, disrespectful and may lead on most occasions to hostile reactions.
Depending on the situation and the place and time, it could be anything from weird looks to physical abuse. Therefore, gays and lesbians should be discreet while in Egypt. Sometimes, men walk in the streets holding hands, and sometimes they even kiss when they meet, and unlike the west, this does not have any sexual meanings. It is a sign of a normal friendship, so do not think it a sign that they are homosexual. The gay scene in Egypt is not open and free like in the West. Homosexuals have been arrested by the police and detained and even tortured in Cairo in the past for engaging in homosexual activity.
Human rights groups have condemned such actions and the Egyptian government has been under pressure from different sources including the USA to stop this degrading treatment of homosexuals. The most famous arrests were in on a boat called the Queen Boat located on the Nile River in Zamalek district.
Further arrests have occurred since then, but the exact situation of homosexuals in the last few years is uncertain. If you are planning a trip to Cairo whilst you are on holidays at the seaside, Nile Air and Egyptair offer connections between Cairo and Hurghada or Sharm el Sheik. Go ahead and exchange some money in the airport - best to do this before going through customs. ATMs for all major cards are available in the arrival halls.
Visas are available at the bank counters before immigration. Visitors are allowed to buy duty free articles on arrival. If you are visiting European or American friends, they are always keen to get your passports to get more booze and cigarettes than the excepted quantity at customs. At the airport, the additional quantity is 4 bottles of alcohol. At the checkout, a customs official will check your passport and give approval for the purchase. You can be accompanied by the person picking you up. The airport has three terminals, the latest of which was opened in Egypt-Air and all Star Alliance members now operate all flights to and from the new Terminal 3.
Most other airlines arrive at Terminal 1. Terminal 2 is closed since for renovation works. A free shuttle bus runs between the two terminals and the bus station every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day. Taxi drivers trying to lure you at the airport will try to tell you otherwise regarding the shuttle bus, but if you go outside the terminal, you will find the free shuttle bus.
At Terminal 3 it is located at the arrival level at the end of the bus lane turn right after the exit. Unfortunately the bus stops are not marked. Sometimes you have to change busses at the bus station due to the driver's coffee break. More recently as of June , you can also use the new APM automated people mover which is free, clean and fast.
Note, however, that stations are not located inside the terminals. If you are at terminal 3, you have to leave it through the front door and turn right. Walk to the end of the building and turn right again. Then you might need to ascend or descend a ramp, depending on the level you are at departure or arrival. At the end of the ramp you turn left and you'll get to the station some 50m ahead, on your left. Signs are not clear at this point, but the APM is working and is very convenient to transit between terminals. At terminal 1 you need to leave through the main exit and turn left to get to the station.
The airport is on the north-eastern outskirts of the city at Heliopolis. If you want to spend the night at the airport, there are currently three hotels available:. Getting to downtown Cairo can be a pain. Since the revolution white meter taxis are available at the Terminals. The fee is EGP3.
Do insist on using the meter. Do not accept a fixed price as they tend to be double the fare by meter. Report taxi drivers who refuse to use the meter to Airport Security or Tourist Police. Refuse to pay the "ticket" EGP5 airport parking fee for the driver. If you are going to downtown Cairo, you may be able to share a taxi with other tourists or backpackers. Another option is to use transportation arranged by your hotel or hostel, though this service is often not complimentary. With the introduction of Uber and Careem transportation in Cairo became much less of a problem.
The cars are very clean and most of the drivers are very professional. The cost of the trip in either service is often lower than the white taxi fare, but this depends on the traffic. It is easy to order Uber or Careem in the airport and the driver will contact you once they arrive at your terminal. The most convenient way, however expensive, is by one of the numerous "limousine services". Pick-Up points are in front of the terminals curb side. The prices are fixed depending on the destination and the car category.
Mitsubishi Lancer. For the adventurous, catch a public bus to Midan Tahrir or Midan Ramses from the bus station buses number , , 27 should lead there , which is conected to the terminals by the free Shuttle Bus. Ask a local if unsure, but avoid the notorious non-A. C green buses. In some cases, the bus destination and, or number will be in Arabic. If this is the case, be prepared to ask a driver or passengers if the bus stops at your destination. Buses run every 30 min, take min and cost LE 2.
At least on the non-A. C bus, you may be charged an additional LE 1 if you bring aboard large or bulky items. To get from downtown to the airport, board an A. C bus at the bus terminal just north of the Egyptian Museum under the highway bridge. Inquire thoroughly and allow ample waiting time. In one case, the waiting time was 40 minutes, the transfer to the airport bus station took 90 minutes, and the charge was only 1LE. When returning to the airport for departure be sure of which terminal you are departing from 1 or 3 and allow plenty of time hours to be safe to get to the airport, as the roads can be very congested.
The new airport road connects the airport with the intersection of the Ring Road and Suez Road and has no traffic jams. If you depart on Friday morning or mid-day, the trip to the airport will be quick, as roads are deserted while people go to the mosque for Friday prayers. If you only have light luggage an alternative to avoid the traffic is to get the Metro to Al Ahram in Heliopolis at the end of line 3, and get a taxi to the airport, which should take 20 minutes and cost about 25LE. However this is not recommended if you have a large suitcase, the Metro is usually very crowded and the interchange between Lines 1 and 3 at Attaba Station is a gauntlet of stairs and escalators.
Saudi Arabian Airlines leaves from Terminal 1 Hall 2. You must bring a printout with you of your itinerary or ticket to show the security staff to pass through the checkpoint. You will pass through a second security checkpoint just before boarding your aircraft. Allow plenty of time for getting through the security checkpoints and checking in, as lines can be long.
Note that there is no baggage room at the airport. You can avoid the queues by using the Exclusive Service, which will do all the check-in and emigration formalities for you while you wait in a comfortable lounge and then lets you jump the lines at the first security check and passport control. Both terminals offer a good variety of duty free shops and restaurants payment in US dollars.
In Terminal 1 are some Egyptair duty-free shops opposite the gates. More shops and designer outlets are on the first floor. The lounges, a pub, Mcdonald's and Coffee Shops such as Starbucks are on the second floor. Terminal 3 has a central market place and food court. The shops in the concourses are limited.
Gates in both terminals open maximum one hour prior to departure. Observe the flight data displays for delays as seating in front of the gates is very limited.
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Trains run to Cairo from most other regions and cities within Egypt. Trains in Egypt rarely run on schedule and are almost always at least 15 min late, if not later. Visitors wishing to connect with trains to Luxor , Aswan , and the rest of upper Egypt should take the Metro from Midan Ramses Mubarak Metro Station, on line one to Giza Metro-Train Station which should take approximately twenty minutes. Learn Eastern Arabic numerals Eastern Arabic numerals, instead of Arabic-Hindu numerals as used in the west, are used to indicate train numbers, departure times, seat numbers, and other key information.
You may need to ask for help. The ticket agent or other friendly person might write the departure time in Arabic-Hindu numerals for you, though you may still need help finding your train car and seat. You can also use this chart below of Eastern Arabic numerals in the top table below to guide you.
It is best to purchase tickets in advance to be assured of a seat. It is also important for travellers to ensure with the ticket office that the train is not a local train used by Egyptians to visit all of the small destinations south wards in the Nile Valley , but only the major cities. For comfort visitors should also preferably insist on a first class seat but nothing less than a second class. Online ticket purchases are now available from here , learn more about the system from Seat 61 - see the "how to buy tickets" section. Note that tickets bought online are entirely in English, which can make it a bit tricky to match your train to the Arabic information on the departure board - allow plenty of time!
Especially in the summer months, trains running between Cairo and Alexandria sell out, so advance purchase is advised. Sometimes it is possible to buy train tickets in the morning, for a train later the same day, or if it is not busy, you might get on the next train. There are multiple windows for different classes and destinations, so check that you are in the correct line.
Alexandria is served by a large number of departures through the day. El-Espani and Turbine Turbo are the best services, going non-stop to Alexandria and taking 2 hours and 40 min. The next best service is Al-Fransawi French , which stops at the major Delta cities on the road. The Express French and Turbo trains to Alexandria have first and second class, all air conditioned. Refreshments are available for purchase on the train. First class is recommended, but second class is also reasonably comfortable.
Trains heading to Luxor, Aswan, and other Upper Egypt destinations also depart from the rail station in Giza. There also is a PM departure from Cairo. Check the website for more departures, including one three days a week from Alexandria. It's relatively expensive at 60 USD for a bed in a double-person cabin one way.
Tickets are bought at the office to your left as you enter the train station from the Metro and taxi station. The tickets are payable in US dollars, euros, or British pounds only. There are no exchange offices at the train station itself. It is also possible to make reservations in advance, by calling or faxing your request to Abela, and then pay for and pick up your tickets at the station. Since these trains are designated for tourists, you will stay in special cars guarded by armed plainclothes policemen.
Going to Upper Egypt, the alternative to the expensive sleeper or flying is the ordinary trains. One of these departs at There is also a night train leaving Ramses Station at with both first and second class carriages. First class costs approximately Egyptian pounds and has 3 large, business class style seats per row and air conditioning. There is plenty of leg room and the seats recline for a good sleep. However, the lights are on all night and you'll probably be woken several times for ticket checks.
Allow plenty of time to find your platform. There is very limited English signage and you'll need to rely on station staff to point you to the correct platform. It is advisable to check with several people as you may be given contradictory information. See also: Cairo to Jerusalem by bus. Buses arrive to Cairo from virtually all over the country. The two main destinations are Midan Ramsis and Cairo Gateway, formerly known as Turgoman, but vehicles also sometimes stop at other destinations, notably Abbasiya. Cairo Gateway is a new, modern indoor station located approximately m from the Orabi Metro Station, within the new Cairo Gateway Plaza.
Uncomfortable, but cheap, micro-buses leave from Cairo to a large number of destinations. They are faster and might as such be an option for shorter trips, but have a terrible toll of accidents.
There are also other places these buses leave from depending on your destination, ask locals. Be aware that at least for the Sinai, foreigners are prohibited to use the micro-bus system. Driving in Cairo is not recommended or necessary. The traffic is, at the least, overwhelming for the common traveler. Recently, many automated traffic lights have been introduced in almost all the districts of Cairo. Traffic violation tickets are strictly adhered to in the daytime and double parking penalty can reach up to EGP. Sometimes police officers are directing traffic at busy intersections.
In downtown Cairo, drivers will sometimes bump other cars that are blocking their way. Also, do not be upset if your side-view mirror gets hit. At night, many drivers do not use headlights, so use extra caution or avoid driving at night. In Egypt, vehicles travel on the right side of the road.
Instead of making a left turn, you will often need to make a U-turn and backtrack, or you can make three right turns. Parking houses or official parking spots used to be rare. Now with the mega parking lot of Tahrir Square the issue has been largely solved in Downtown area. The four-level garage, which is located in front of the Egyptian Museum, was officially opened in January, In addition to street valets who can help watching your car shall you decide to park in the street, there is the Rakna literally means parking application.
Rakna is the Uber of valet parking. They currently operate in Downtown and Zamalik. You will find that it's useful to have several maps handy if you are looking to get around Cairo on your own. Spellings of street and place names can vary from map to map and from map to actual location, and not every street will appear on every map.
Line 1 Red is the oldest line of the Cairo Metro, with its first kilometre 18 mi segment having opened in The line is The line can carry 60, passengers per hour in each direction. Line 2 Orange is the second line of the Cairo Metro. It serves 20 stations, of which 12 are underground. It is mostly in bored tunnel, with two exceptions: a short section at the northern end approaching Shubra El Kheima which is elevated, and a section just south of this by cut-and-cover. Line 2 uses the third rail electrification system instead of the overhead line used in the first line.
The communication extension for line 2 was provided by Alcatel in Line 3 Green presently operates from Attaba to Ahram Heliopolis , with construction under way for the remaining line to the northwest of Greater Cairo. The line will cross under the two branches of the River Nile, as does Line 2. The total length of the line will be approximately 50 kilometres 31 mi , most of which in bored tunnel, and will be implemented in four phases. The Cairo Metro has stations in Dokki and Maadi, among other places.
The Metro is also a hassle-free way to get to Giza to see the Pyramids, although you'll need to complete the trip taking a bus all the way change to bus for "Al-Haram" at the Giza train station. Plans have been made to add new lines to include Mohandiseen and Zamalek, as well as the airport; however, little progress seems to be made on this. Note that there are two cars of each train reserved for women, which are located in the middle section of the train.
The metro stops running at approximately midnight and starts up again around 6AM. There are no timetables, but departures are very frequent. The metro is better to use if you wish to avoid traffic jam. It is secure, costs one pound per trip and has a clear European navigation system. Solid-White Taxis: These are modern sedans equipped with meters that are usually used, AC, and run on natural gas.
Most tourists will pay less using these taxis than they'll be able to negotiate with their non-metered brethren. They can be hailed from the street, and are common enough to be used perhaps exclusively given a little patience by any traveler. Compared to the black and white taxis, all tourists will find them more comfortable, and most - less expensive. Note that at times of heavy traffic drivers will be reluctant to use the meter for short journeys. The white taxi replaced the iconic black and white taxi that no longer exists in Cairo.
Ordinary Egyptians do not state prices beforehand. Instead the correct sum is paid through the window after leaving. Some drivers might protest as they expect tourists to pay more than standard. You can use the "walk away" technique. As long the driver does not leave the car, you are all right. If this happens, consult someone nearby. As a tourist, you might prefer to state a price beforehand, which may prevent ripoffs, but will require you to quote above local prices.
Try to avoid those loitering outside 5-star hotels and restaurants to minimize this. Using a big hotel as your destination may also inflate the price. Always choose the taxi, and never let the taxi choose you and always insist that the taxi driver uses the price meter. They also usually expect more money 2 or 3 LE for ferrying more people. They rarely accept more than 4 people to a taxi. Also add LE driving late at night. Beware of paying a fare with a large bill 50LE, LE, LE - it is likely the driver will claim not having any change, and may try to switch the note, claiming you only gave him 10LE.
In General: Never continue travelling in any vehicle which you deem to be unsafe or the driver to be driving recklessly, especially in the dark on unlit roads, or in single track highways where overtaking is dangerous.
If you feel unsafe simply tell the driver to slow down, if he does not do this immediately ask him to stop and simply get out and walk away. Uber and Careem: Uber and Careem work very well in Cairo if you have a smartphone with a 3G connection. No hassles with negotiating over prices or with being overcharged, drivers who nearly always speak some English but even if they don't, they already know where you need to go.
Bother companies, Uber and Careem, accept credit card payment and cash payment. It's a great solution to the hit-and-miss quality of Cairo's regular taxis. The large red, white and blue public buses cover the entire city and are much cheaper, but are usually crowded.
A perfect escape, great for children - Riad Cascades d'Ouzoud
However, there are the similar air-conditioned buses that charge 2 L. They can be found in the main squares in Cairo. Also found in main squares are the smaller mini-buses that are usually orange and white or red, white and blue. Because of problems with sexual harassment women travellers are advised only to take the small micro-buses and buses which prohibit standing.
Apart from the main bus stations, buses can be hailed from street-level. Buses are seldom marked with destination, instead passengers shout out or use a number of sign-language like hand codes their destinations and if the bus goes this place it will stop. On micro-buses, the fare starts at 50 piastres and goes up to 1 LE. Travellers unfamiliar with Cairo can ask bus drivers or passengers to let them know where their stop is.
Simply politely blurt out the name of your destination to the bus driver or a friendly looking passenger and they will take care of you. Late night bus riders : take note, bus frequency, length of route, and in some cases, fees can vary during the late evening hours onward. In some cases, a route may terminate, without notice, short of your destination. When this takes place, locals reply upon private citizens hoping to make some additional money, to get them to their final destination.
As always, use caution, if you should choose to accept private transportation. One final note on late night bus transportation, since many mini- buses will not depart until the bus is nearly full, you should be prepared for a lengthy period of time, while the driver waits for enough people to board. One of the largest is conveniently located behind the Egyptian Museum in Midan Tahrir. Note that there are actually two stations - the main bus station for the city buses, and the micro-bus station behind it.
Travellers who want to visit the Pyramids, for example, can catch a seat in a micro-bus for approximately 2 pounds. Visitors wishing to go to the pyramids and see a bus or micro-bus driver shouting Haram, should always before boarding make a pyramid triangle with your hands to ensure that the driver is driving to the actual pyramids themselves, and not just to the district of Haram, which although is fairly close to the pyramids, can terminate a fair distance from the pyramid entrance. There are also bus stations in Midan Ramses, under the overpass. Access in Cairo is patchy. Anyone with moderate to serious mobility issues should expect to spend a lot of time in taxis.
Wheelchair users, beware as many buildings have step-only access. Pavements are variable, even around the popular tourist attractions. There is often an incredibly steep drop from the curbs and where there are ramps they are better suited to pushchairs than wheelchairs.
Expect potholes, gulleys, poorly cordoned-off building works and street works, and cars parked across the pavement, where there is a pavement at all. The white stick is recognised and help is often offered. The help that is offered can be a little misguided at times but it's usually well intentioned. Although more expensive by far, it is probably best to arrange taxis for major trips such as visiting the pyramids via your hotel. Picking up a taxi on the street can be hit and miss. Do not expect to be dropped off at the exact spot that you asked for; you will often be taken to somewhere nearby.
Always fix a price before you get into a taxi. Concessions on tickets cannot be taken for granted. A visit to the pyramids is a must. It is important to note that the site is amazingly up and down. A good level of mobility would be required to attempt it by foot. If you are visually impaired or in any other way disabled it may be possible to gain permission to touch the pyramids. The outside of the pyramids are usually off limits to tourists and surrounded by a cordon. To arrange permission to touch a pyramid, approach one of the many tourist police dotted around the site. Since the revolution with decreased tourism it is a lot easier to do things like climb on the pyramids, go inside the Sphinx fence or inside the pyramids - for a charge!
In Egypt there's a coffee shop on every corner, sometimes you could even find them in the middle of the road. They're all similar but different in many ways. Mostly men sitting smoking shishas water-pipes , Playing backgammon, cards, drinking tea, and reading newspapers. These coffee shops are called Ahwas. Some are huge and fancy, and some are just plastic chairs and tables in the middle of the road.
They are often very cheap and relaxing. Smoke a shisha water pipe and watch the world go by. Great cheap entertainment. Ride a felucca along the Nile River. A great way to relax and enjoy a night under the stars in Cairo. To charter your own, negotiate a fair price of no more than 20 to 30 LE for about a half hour for the boat, or 50 LE for an hour, no matter how many people are on it.
Pay after your ride, or you may get much less than you bargained for. Note:Like most zoos in the undeveloped countries animals are suffering there. You can also take a stroll along the Corniche el-Nil, and there is a river promenade on Gezira Island. Or if the family, and especially children are fed up looking at monuments and museums, a ten minute trip from the Giza Pyramids by micro-bus, taxi, or car, will take you to two of the biggest and best theme parks in Cairo, Dream-park , and Magic land , both in nearby Sixth Of October City.
Citystars is Egypt's premier shopping mall and is quite comparable to a foreign mall. It offers most international brands and most international food chains. It offers a cinema and amusement park. Ride in the shadow of the Great Pyramids or further afield to Saqqara or Abu Sir or camp out over night with a barbecue and fire. Popular with expats who keep their horses at livery, FB Stables is also great for a 'tourist' type ride to view the Pyramids from the desert.
Longer rides to Saqqara and Abu Seer can be arranged in advance, as can sunrise, sunset and full moon rides. Other than the horses and good company, one of the best things about FB is their amazing rooftop terrace with bbq with unrivaled views over the Pyramids - a great place to relax with a drink whilst watching the Sound and Light show. Accesible from Cairo are a number of other pyramids beyond the Great Pyramids of Giza. The Pyramid of Meidum is a collapsed pyramid which displays the inner structure amidst an impressive slope of sand.
A real contrast from Giza in its quiet remoteness and freedom from touts, one can explore both the exterior and interior of the site with only the company of an armed policeman. Open until 4pm, entry to the sight, including the interior of the pyramid costs a mere 20 L. A day trip encompasing all these sights is a real highlight on an Egyptian trip. According to a recent survey by the Egyptian government in May , there are at least 3 million expat foreignors working in Egypt.
This is strange considering that Egypt is a developing country, with a high rate of local unemployment and suppressive economic conditions, especially after the 25th of January revolution, which has seriously affected the economy. However, there are no strict labor requirements like other developed countries that receive immmigrants such as the EU, Canada, or the USA.
Even so, the law is not very often applied as employers easily play around the law to hire their needs from foreignors. That being said, it really depends on the kind of job and field you are applying for. They're hired because they're cheaper than hiring locals. Some well-to-do families also like to hire foreign workers to work in their houses as cleaners, houskeepers etc. The majority come from poorer African countries or places like the Phillipines and Indonesia. If you come from the West however, the situation may be very different depending on your qualification.
The most demanded are those who come from native English speaking countries i. The most demanded jobs for these people are English teachers at schools and some university professors. There are many foreign schools in Cairo and some other big cities that prefer to hire native English speakers as part of their school staff. The reason obviously being that the ability to teach English with a native accent and more importantly their foreign qualifications. Other opportunities may arise in similar institutions if your native language is French, less if it's German, and even less if it is some other European language.