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“My favourite part of Cairo”
Review of Cairo

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Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
40 reviews
197 helpful votes
“My favourite part of Cairo”
Reviewed 31 May 2007

Have written other items on this subject, and am keen to get visitors interested in discovering the wealth of history and great buildings in this part of Cairo.

All these monuments are within 10 - 15 minutes walk from Khan Khalili. Nashseen (the copper district) is lined with monuments, many have been renovated and deserve a visit.

So please take the time to read up on this area and walk these old streets and expierence something rich and alive, and area full of monuments, but at the same time a living place, always busy and always different.

Helpful?
4 Thank cairowendy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester
1 review
11 helpful votes
“Some tips about traveling in Cairo”
Reviewed 20 April 2007

If your are planning to visit Cairo I would like to give you some advice that I would want to have before.
Have some knowledge of Arabic, such a how numbers are written, to know how much to pay when prices are on display. Everybody expect to receive tips from foreigners, for whom the prices are much more higher than for locals. This could be distressing, so be prepared and find out how much are fair tips or costs.
You do not have to pay to enter most mosques, so don't be cheated by men who ask you to do so. In those touristic places where you have to pay they will give you a ticket with the price on it, otherwise is not legal.
Agree the cost of taxis before getting on board.
Be careful on crossing streets as there are no traffic lights and drivers just do not care about pedestrians, so cross along locals. If your are not truly adventurous take a tour rather than travel independently.
Avoid eating raw vegetables and in drink bottled water.
Be ready for the cultural shock.
Enjoy!

Helpful?
11 Thank Xochipani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
80 helpful votes
“Useful Tips and Safety Tips for Egypt”
Reviewed 17 April 2007

Useful Tips and Safety Tips for Egypt


Water

If purchasing bottled water in shadier areas or markets remember to check the seal if it has been opened if so it was probably filled from tap water which could be contaminated resulting is something as little as dieria or it could result in something very serious. When you find this kind of bottle do not comment on it simply try to find one that isn’t open or go to another store. Do not bring the issue up to the shop clerk since in the case that this is not the case they will be very offended.

A no brainier don’t drink any tap water since there cleaning plants are tend to be inferior to that of first world nations.

Save some cash

If staying at a nice hotel the mini bars tend to be very over priced so go to a local convenient store to stock up. They sometimes leave bottles on the night table and these are almost never free. Once everyone in the room during the night leaned up and went for the drink on the nightstand in the morning we found out that each bottle cost $7.50. So they actually purposely put it there so in the night you unknowingly go for it.

Being Polite

Do not make comments on the faults of the area such as dilapidated buildings ect… because they will take deep offense to these remarks because they are very patriotic and would think that you are very stuck up.

Tipping is essential! They often live on the tips and you will hear this a lot. This is very true to keep them selves competitive they have very low prices leaving very little for them selves and only asking enough to pay for the resources used in the trip/guide/ferry ect…

General Safety, When walking Around

It is best not to taunt in a country like Egypt with large and expensive accessories, if you are intent to wearing these kinds of things avoid it at night. If you are still wearing these kinds of things stay in very good areas (wealthy areas) ect… never leave things without accompaniment especialy electronics like cameras since these are hard to come across there and are very easily sold underground.

Photos

People there like to be in the photo and often they will jump in, the problem is they will want a dollar for it even the ones that jump in. If you notice that someone is trying to get in the photo and you don’t want them there then simply guester them away with a polite please.

Bazaar Safety and Bargaining Tips

It is a wise move not to follow shopkeepers into areas with no people or into there private residence. A member of our party did and due to promises of very nice antiquities, and found him self in a small room on a second floor where he found him self in a very tense situation. Now tips for bargaining.

1.Only ask the price if you really want to purchase that item, because they are quite forceful sometimes and won’t let you go, all for something you don’t even really like.
2.Do not show strong emotion as to how much you like it, like a gasp or a “o my god look at this isn’t it beautiful” since this will tell them that you really want it and they won’t give you a deal since you will leave with the item anyways. If you’re a poker player this your time to shine.

3.If an item is for sale for $50 USD and you want to purchase it at $35 USD then ask $20 USD. You will generally go through a back and forth offers he will generally say $40 USD then you raise your original to $25 ect… If your not quite to the point at which you want it (the price) start leaving. They will usually crack. There is a risk though because in rare cases they won’t crack and the item is lost.

4.When you want to purchase something, sometimes they will pull out a calculator and ask you to punch in the price that you think is fare. This is a trap often you will guess to high and pay to much. Don’t fall for this and ask him to tell you the selling price and stop screwing around.

5.In some less wealthy areas in the country you will find that the shopkeepers are unbelievably pushy and can even get aggressive since they need the money. In some cases they even have to draw a line that they can’t cross or penalties would be administrated. They will often beg you to cross the line to see their merchandise. It is best not to shop in these areas to avoid unpleasantness

Dressing Appropriately

This is only apply able to the women, because Egypt is a Muslim country high cut skirts and very provocative clothing is not very appropriate. A year before I had visited a couple Russian tourists were attacked because they where wearing extremely provocative clothing at the Giza Pyramids. Also remember to bring a shall if visiting a mosque to cover your hair.

Money

It is probably best not to exchange your money to their local currency because if you have to much left overs you have to exchange it back losing even more money to service charges. It is better to have US dollars since they are excepted all over for the most part and if you have left overs it is more universal and thurhaps can be used on another vacation.

Thank you for reading my review for Egypt I hope you find it useful, I wish you a happy trip to Egypt yours truly
BRJ

Helpful?
34 Thank tellitlikeitis949
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
15 helpful votes
“Charges when using ATMs and VISA”
Reviewed 5 March 2007

Just a warning about ATM and Visa fees in Cairo. I made two withdrawals from ATMs in the Egypt, one in Cairo and one in Luxor. The first was for 500 Pounds Egyptian ($87.87 US) where I was charged a $5.88 withdrawal fee and the second for 100 LE ($17.57 US) where I was charged $5.18 withdrawal fee. These fees are much higher than what I have been charged for withdrawing in Euros in Portugal, Italy and France.

Also for every charge I made on my Visa, the establishment also charged me the 3% service charge usually paid by the vendor. Oh, and they don't accept American Express anywhere. Funny how the tour companies and guide books don't mention that.

Helpful?
9 Thank Grownup_Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Batangas City, Philippines
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
37 helpful votes
“Amazing Impression”
Reviewed 18 August 2006

It's been three years since I visited Cairo and the desire to return is often overwhelming still. There is so much to see. The city is vast and best seen from up high at The Citadel, a rather boring military history museum but for the architecture and decor itself. My friend in Cairo didn't understand why I kept looking at the floors and ceilings instead of at the displays!
And it is like that everywhere in Cairo. There is magic and almost mystical experience in its antiquity, and there is beauty even in the modern architecture rising from the ruins of the old.
I visited several ancient mosques. Some cater to the tourist trade and I attempted to avoid these, but I was not allowed admittance to some of the mosques I would like to have seen. The christian district also has beautifully constructed churches, both old and new.
The crowds of people walking, the incredible throng of traffic honking constantly and creating lanes where there are none in total organized chaos, is the first striking impression of downtown Cairo. There are no traffic rules. There are very few traffic lights. There are police and military everywhere with rifles, generally nonchalant, leaning against walls smoking, seemingly not paying the least bit of attention. It's pretty funny. They are friendly and nice.
I stayed at the Semiramis Intercontinental right by the Nile and it was first-class. With advance reservations they handled both my pickup at the airport and the customs procedures and paperwork.. It was relatively quick and certainly easy for me.
Since I spent my time in Cairo with a middle eastern friend, I had the advantage of an interpreter. He befriended a young cab driver whose services we used for a couple of days - all day for about $25, and that was more than he requested.
Haggle for everything! You can get anything at the market for less than 1/2 what they ask. You are expected to haggle and negotiate. Turn around and walk away and they will drag you back and wrap your package, probably cursing in arabic. Sometimes it's best not to understand the language!

Helpful?
10 Thank exoticpeace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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