The main access to the pyramids of Egypt is through the city of Cairo, which, despite the chaotic traffic, where car horns hog the streets during days and nights (believe it or not!), walking there is very peaceful. There are lots of stores in the streets and sidewalks around the downtown, but you hardly ever find a mall or a big supermarket, but we’re going to tell and give tips about the places we visited in that big city.
The great Pyramids of Giza
Yeah, the pyramids are not located in Cairo, like the most of people think (and so do we, lol). They are in the city of Giza, 20 kilometers far from the center of Cairo. That’s a place where everybody dreams of visiting, and our turn to make it true has come! We were looking forward to be there!
During our route by subway and bus, a lot of people could see we were visitors and started chatting and giving us tips about how to get there, and go to the gate of local residents, that is closer to the Sphynx and less rowdy than the main entrance. That’s a great place to deal the hansom cab ride, horse or camel-drawn, with the staff registered to the government, as they look after the animals very well. That’s such a worthwhile experience, super cool! Besides the driver who followed us, was our photographer and played the guide. But be sure to bargain, because they started charging 1,400 EGP (325 Reais) for the ride, price for which we would just walk, but we dickered for a discount and closed for 200 EGP (45 Reais), the same nearly 2-hour ride.
The beauty of the pyramids is outstanding, and we could see that human beings would really be able to build them, that’s not impossible as said on TV, even more with the amount of people involved then, around 90,000 people and almost 30 years, as said on the guides.
For who sees the sphynx, it really makes you think about the reason why it was built, but I personally think that they wanted them to protect the great pyramids somehow. A gigantic sculpture which amazes us, once it’s sculpted in a single rock. There is no evidence about who told to build it, not even why, but some speculations say it was the Pharaoh Khafra, in 2,500 B.C.
The famous kiss on the sphynx
Pyramid Giza and sphynx
Walk during the first day, we went from Tahrir Square until Al-Azhar park, but we don’t recommend it so much! Once there aren’t so many things to be seen during our range, here’s a tip: get an Uber or a taxi until there, which is faster and safer.
Inside the park, we saw a lot of couples who go there to date, and take some photos, and we did it too! And walking through the fountains, a lot of people came to ask us to take photos with them, I thought it was weird at first, but in the fourth time I could see that Egyptians like foreign people. We felt important then! We stayed there for an entire morning, that place is too beautiful, great to take children and have a great picnic. There are snack bars, pizza bars and a great restaurant there.
The entrance fee is only 20 EGP (5 Reais), for maintenance and conservation of the park.
View from the Restaurant inside Al-Azhar Park
Hall of Fountains
The Museum of Cairo
We could see that, at the museum of Cairo, they have the antiquities from the past found, which carry the greatest value for the history of Egypt. In the outer part, you can see some pieces, and some guides offered themselves up to follow you, but you have to pay them, of course.
In our visit, the museum had an inner reform, and some sections were disorganized. We suggest you to reserve about 2 hours to visit it, the entrance fee was 160 EGP (37 Reais), with no taking photos, but if you an extra fee of 50 EGP (12 Reais), so they allow it. To visit the mummies, one more ticket must be paid aside, with the cost of 80 EGP (20 Reais).
Front Yard of the Museum of Cairo
Inside the Museum of Cairo
Tahrir square and the Nile
Tahrir Square is the central point of the city, where there’s a big traffic circle and flag of the country, and also where the museum of Cairo is located, and the accesses to subway and bus. Some meters far from that square, you can see the famous Nile River, where there are boat rides and a lot of couples meet each other to date, some pubs/boats are anchored and offer the local food, drinks and lots of fun.
Tahrir Square and the Museum of Cairo Background
Surrounding Tahrir Square
Sunset in the Nile River
Subway, Bus and Train
The means of transportation are great, and we had the opportunity to use the three ones, the subway, the bus and the train, which we used in the route from Cairo to Luxor directly from the Ramses Railway Station, we bought online through the site Egyptian National Railways, to use the first class wagon, very comfortable and peaceful, with the price 7.00 USD (28 Reais), and if you buy at the counter, you will pay 80 USD (320 Reais).
We used the subway and the bus inside the city, to go from the airport to the pyramids, it’s very safe and cheap, we paid 3 EGP each person (70 cents of real) for each range.
Tip: To go from Tahrir Square until the airport by bus, you just have to go to the bus station behind the museum of Cairo, under the overpass. The range lasts about 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the station beside the airport, where you have to switch the bus that will take you to stations 1, 2 or number 3, depending on the type of your flight.
Train Station in Cairo - Countryside
Bus in Cairo
Where to stay in Cairo
We chose to lodge by Booking, and we found a great location in downtown, where we stayed quite close to Cairo museum, subway and downtown.
Here is our Airbnb link, where you can have a discount too!
Means of Transportation
The city has public transportation, such as subways, trains, mini vans and buses. There are also lots of taxis in the streets and Uber. They’re usually very cheap, effective and safe.
Safety of the city
We thought it’s very safe during the time we stayed there. We saw some cops in the streets, and guards in all of the touristic attractions. We walked a lot through all over the city and it was very peaceful, the people are super friendly and helpful.
For you to travel in peace, it’s important to have a travel insurance which keeps you safe and has a comprehensive coverage. We always ensure with April Brasil Seguro Viagem, which covers all around the world, it has an app that is easy to access, for you not to keep all that paperwork when you need to use it, the best part, you can access it from everywhere in the world with service in Portuguese.
So, don’t waste time and hire something safe, and we have a discount coupon, we’ll leave the link below too! Run and use it.
DISCOUNT COUPON: COUTRIPS10%
Internet for your trip
To keep your connection during all the trip, you need a great SIM card, with a worldwide coverage, internet 3G and 4G. For that, we used Easysim4u, the best internet SIM card in the world for your trip. And see that we have been through some countries and we always had the coverage of the plans of Easysim4u. Don’t waste time, run and hire your SIM card for your next trip.
Here’s the link for you to access and ensure your connection to the internet in the world.
Kind of currency
The local currency of Egypt is Egyptian Pound, and the exchange in dollar for April/2019 is $1.00 to 17.00 pounds. We recommend to exchange the currency in a safe place such as an airport or at Exchange, a bank in the city. It’s always good to have the local currency.
Expenses in Cairo
Our expenses in currency (REAIS) in Cairo during 5 days for the couple were the following:
Feeding: R$195.00 (market, snacks and drinks)
Tours: R$120.00 (temples, pyramids)
Transportation: R$380.00 (flight, bus, subway and train)
Lodging: R$250.00 (booking)
That was the cheapest country we have visited so far, considering we have passed through a lot of ones, it’s worthwhile to be visited, we super recommend it!
Seeing that part of world where has so much history is a dream come true, and is still being explored. By the way, seeing the pyramids and the sphynx closely was amazing.