5 hours to kill-cairo
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Feb 16, 2007 4:43 AM Last Post By: Casual_Cairo
Feb 12, 2007 12:59 AM
5 hours to kill-cairoGreetings travellers,
I arrive in Cairo at 6.30am in the morning (Wednesday.. in March) and the fly out to Sharm El Sheik at 1.30pm that afternoon. Does anyone have any recommendations on what I could do for the roughly 5 hours I could use in Cairo. I really dont fancy sitting around the airport for my first hours in egypt.
I was thinking it might be possible to either go to the pyramids or the museum- perhaps by hiring a driver to take me on a round trip??
Does this sound reasonable as far as time goes? If anybody could recommend a reputable driver that would be greatly appreciated. As I am a female travelling alone, I wonder if this is a bit ambitious to do in the short time I have? Would anyone recommend just asking a taxi driver at the airport to take me? Also any suggestions on how much you'd expect to pay either to the pyramids or museum/return trip form the airport would be great..
Any suggestions or comments would be awesome, cheers! And happy travelling!!
Feb 12, 2007 5:56 PM
1I think the idea of going to the Museum is great. If you arrive at 6:30 a.m. you can get out of the airport by 7:30 anyway, and hire a taxi to take you down to the Museum. You might tell them you are headed to the Nile Hilton to avoid the normal taxi driver that will want to take a tourist shopping instead of where you want to go. The Nile Hilton is next door to the museum and a safe port when you are tired of the museum or just need someone to speak English with to get you back to the airport.
The Museum will open at 8:30 I think (9:00 latest) and 2 hours should be enough to let you feel as if you saw it. You can go over to the Nile Hilton when you are done and organize a taxi to take you back to the airport. You will need to be back at the airport for your domestic flight by 12:30, so don't leave the Hilton later than 11:30 and it might be better to go at 11 on a Wednesday to be sure.
Lastly, before you leave the airport, confirm with someone you trust which terminal you need to go to for your flight out. I think it will be Terminal 1, but don't believe me without checking for certain. Also make sure your luggage is being transfered for you on to Sharm, so you know you don't have to mess with that.
The Museum is totally doable in the time you are looking at, as long as you do it with reliable transportation and don't try to cut costs by using buses or cheap taxis.
Feb 14, 2007 2:16 AM
Feb 16, 2007 4:43 AM
3You are welcome. Have a good time and don't be afraid. To be 100% sure you make it to the Museum/Nile Hilton, you should know that there are desks in the airport for "limos". These are not stretch limos like you might think. They are simply 4 dr sedan cars with seatbelts and drivers that might speak some English. The cost of taking one of them will be more than a black and white taxi, but if you are the slightest bit nervous about going into Cairo for this, the money for them might be money well spent.
At the desk, you generally pay before you leave the airport and you'll get some receipt and then the driver will be expecting some tip at the end too, but again, the most it will probably cost might be as much as $20 (and probably less than that).
The last thing I can think of to tell you is to exchange some money at the airport before you come outside. There will be banks open, and since you are going to be staying in Egypt for some time, exchange enough to get you through anything you want for the day. I would suggest changing $100. That will give you plenty for your museum ticket, the limo/taxi and transport back to the airport, along with enough to buy a donut or something to eat at the Hilton if you get hungry.
The exchange banks at the airport give the same exchange as any other bank, contrary to what a lot of people think. You should be getting something like 5.69 or 5.70 to the dollar and there should be no service charge. If you don't feel comfortable exchanging your money at the airport for some reason though, make your deal for the transport to the Hilton in dollars, then at the Hilton use the bank there or the AMEX office to exchange money. You MUST have Egyptian money to buy your ticket into the museum.
I would rather see you exchange money at the airport though because the AMEX office doesn't open until 8 or 8:30 and the other bank could be having a shift change right when you get there in the morning and you don't want to have to mess with waiting to get the money. If you did do this though, there are numerous ATM machines in the Hilton that you could use to get Egyptian money from, if you have to.
Sorry this turned into quite the ramble, but I was just trying to think of every detail I'd want to know if I was doing something like this with limited time in a strange city.
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