Health & safety
The biggest source of irritation in Cairo is the bogus guide who uses remarkable ingenuity to steer you into ‘no-hassle, government emporiums’. Scams include telling you they are off-duty guides from your hotel wanting to improve their English; insisting the museum is shut for a conference but they know a good place that’s open; and offering cheap taxi services to places they have no permit to go. In some places, it can be difficult to walk more than a few metres without being accosted aggressively for such ‘services’. The best advice is to plan where to go and how to get there before leaving the hotel.
Women travelling alone are vulnerable to unwanted attention in Cairo. Most hassle, however, tends to be verbal and can be avoided to some extent by dressing conservatively.
Fire department (180)
Tourist police (126)
Al-Ezaby Pharmacy Bulaq; Heliopolis (414 8467; 1 Sharia Tayseer; 24hr)
Al-Salam Hospital (524 0250, emergency 524 0077; Sharia Syria, Mohandiseen)
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