Cairo International Airport is the main gateway to Egypt and is located about 15 miles northeast of the city in northern Egypt. Cairo’s three terminals receive flights from all major world cities including those in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. You can reach central Cairo by bus, while numerous taxis also run to the city and its hotels. Limousines are also available. The airport is located close to the city center and taxis, limos and regular buses are available for transfers into the city.
Cairo has many modes of public transportation that both residents and tourists can ride to get anywhere they need to go.
Busses: Cairo’s bus system consists of a number of different lines of service. The different services cost different amounts of money to ride. There are standard and mini-busses run by the Cairo Transportation Authority (CTA), and there are also “micro-busses” which are run by a private company. The unfortunate part about the micro-busses is that they are cheap but unreliable. Bus 111 goes from outside Terminal 1 at the airport to Ramses station and beyond. It’s the cheapest way to get out of the airport and hop on a metro without dealing with taxis. Fare is usually less than 1 LE. While getting in, tell the driver/conductor to let you know when to get off. Sign language, with some key English words is usually sufficient.
Metro: The city has an extensive subway system that runs on a regular (and reliable) schedule. The schedule is as follows: Winter: 5:30 a.m. until midnight. Summer: 5:30 a.m. until 1 a.m. The subway trains run every six minutes during both the winter and the summer. There are currently two lines. It is the fastest and cheapest way to travel in Cairo (cost 1 LE). Metro has three main lines:
Line 1 (red) is the oldest line of the Cairo Metro, with its first 29-kilometre (18 mi) segment having opened in 1987. The line is 44.3-kilometre (27.5 mi) long, and serves 35 stations. This line carries trains with 3 units (9 train cars), which have a headway of 3:30 to 4 minutes, and a maximum speed of 80 km/h (50 mph). The line can carry 60,000 passengers per hour in each direction.
Line 2 (orange) is the second line of the Cairo Metro. The line is 21.6-kilometre (13.4 mi) long of which 13 kilometres (8 mi) is in tunnels. 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. The minimum headway for the line is 2 minutes 40 seconds to 3 minutes. The first tunnel to be built under the Nile River carries line 2 across the river.
Line 3 (green) presently operates from Attaba to Ahram (Heliopolis), with construction under way for the remaining line to the northwest of Greater Cairo. Eventually it will link Cairo International Airport all the way to Cairo University and Imbaba. 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.
Phase 1 from Attaba station to Abbassia station opened on 21 February 2012, with five stations and a total length of 4.3 kilometres (2.7 mi). Phase 2 to Al Ahram Station was opened on the 7 May 2014 by Adly Mansour, with four additional stations and an added length of 7.7 kilometres (4.8 mi), for a total length of 12.0 kilometres (7.5 mi).
Egyptian Railways is the backbone of passenger transportation in Egypt, with 800 million passenger miles annually.
Air-conditioned passenger trains usually have 1st and 2nd class service, while non-airconditioned trains will have 2nd and 3rd class. Most of the network connects the densely populated area of the Nile delta with Cairo and Alexandria as hubs.
The Alexandria-Cairo-Luxor-Aswan link is served daily in both directions by air-conditioned sleeper trains of Abela Egypt. This service is especially attractive to tourists who can spend the night on the train as it covers the stretch between Cairo and Luxor. A luxury express train also connects Cairo with Marsa Matruh towards the Libyan border.
The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound E£ or ج.م – can also be abbreviated as EGP and sometimes, LE or L.E. (which stands for livre égyptienne, French for “Egyptian pound”). The 1/100th unit of EGP is the Piastre. The approximate official exchange rate for $1 USD is E£17.25 EGP as of Nov. 2016 for more info check this link (http://www.cbe.org.eg/en/Pages/default.aspx)
There is no limit on the amount of currency which the visitors may bring to Egypt, however, they must declare the currency and amount upon arrival and departure with bank receipts. There may be restrictions on the amount of currency that can be taken outside of Egypt so it is best to check with your hotel or a local bank to confirm the amount, but generally it should not exceed E£5,000.
Peak tourist season in Egypt runs from mid October to May, during winter and spring. From May until October daytime temperatures are relatively high, especially in Luxor and the southern parts of the country.
Egypt is one of the hottest and sunniest countries in the world. With the exception of a strip along the Mediterranean coast, Egypt has a desertclimate, being entirely within the Sahara. The Mediterranean coastal strip has an average annual rainfall of 100–200 mm. In central and southern Egypt several years may pass without any significant rain.
Winters are generally warm in the south of Egypt, but temperatures fall abruptly at night, especially in the desert. In summer southern Egypt is very hot with low air humidity.
The wired and wireless telecommunication industry in Egypt started in 1854 with the launch of the country’s first telegram line connecting Cairo and Alexandria. The first telephone line between the two cities was installed in 1881. In September 1999 a national project for a technological renaissance was announced reflecting the commitment of the Egyptian government to developing the country’s IT-sector.
Cellular GSM services were first launched in Egypt in 1996. As of June 2011, it is currently offering 2G/3G service, while LTE is under trials. Egypt has 3 companies offering cellular services:
- Orange Egypt, owned by Orange S.A.;
- Vodafone Egypt, owned by Vodafone and Telecom Egypt; and
- Etisalat Egypt, owned by Emirates Telecommunication Corporation.
Egypt Post is the company responsible for postal service in Egypt. Established in 1865, it is one of the oldest governmental institutions in the country. Egypt is one of 21 countries that contributed to the establishment of the Universal Postal Union, initially named the General Postal Union, as signatory of the Treaty of Bern.
Egypt has one of the oldest civilisations in the world. It has been in contact with many other civilisations and nations and has been through so many eras, starting from prehistoric age to the modern age, passing through so many ages such as; Pharonic, Roman, Greek, Islamic and many other ages. Because of this wide variation of ages, the continuous contact with other nations and the big number of conflicts Egypt had been through, at least 60 museums may be found in Egypt, mainly covering a wide area of these ages and conflicts.
The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), also known as the Giza Museum, is a planned museum of artefacts of ancient Egypt. Described as the largest archaeological museum in the world, the museum is scheduled to open in 2015. The museum will be sited on 50 hectares (120 acres) of land approximately two kilometres from the Giza Necropolis and is part of a new master plan for the plateau.