Top 25 FAQs About Cairo - Everything You Need To Know

Top 25 FAQs About Cairo - Everything You Need To Know
Trip101 Editorial
Trip101 Editorial 

Considering the prevalence of architectural marvels all across Cairo’s neighborhoods, it’s no wonder that it has earned the nickname “The City of a Thousand Minarets.” It features breathtaking mosques, hammams (Turkish baths), and fountains that lure travelers from all around the world. The Giza pyramid complex, the last one standing among the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, is also a must-visit spot for tourists. Cairo, however, offers so much more than just breathtaking sights. It also boasts delicious Egyptian fare, unique experiences, and amazing culture. If you’re planning a visit to the capital of Egypt soon, here is everything you need to know about Cairo.

1. What is Cairo famous for?

Cairo is home to the Giza pyramid complex, also known as the Giza necropolis. Located just around 11 mi (18 km) from the city center, this famous site includes three pyramids: the Pyramid of Khafre, the Pyramid of Menkaure, and the Pyramid of Khufu. The latter is also known as the Great Pyramid of Giza and is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

2. Is Cairo good for tourists?

Cairo offers stunning archaeological sites and enjoyable activities that make it one of the best places to visit in Egypt for tourists. The museums alone provide tourists with a unique experience of going back in time and showing them the rich culture of the country. From touring the Pyramids of Giza on ATV quad bikes to indulging in local delicacies, there is no shortage of fun things to do in Cairo.

It also helps that the locals are known for being incredibly friendly and hospitable. Adding to the low crime rate of the country, it’s a fantastic travel destination all in all.

3. Is Cairo safe at night?

Cairo at night is generally safe for tourists, even those who are traveling solo. The city’s crime rate is low and the locals are amazingly helpful, especially to tourists. Just like any other travel destination, however, Cairo is not crime free. Tourists are still advised to take usual precautions during their nightly excursions. Securing one’s valuables, avoiding large crowds or political demonstrations, and not talking to suspicious strangers are some of the best practices to apply.

4. What should I avoid in Egypt?

Since knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing the best things to do in a certain destination, here is the first thing to avoid when in Egypt: not showing respect to the country’s traditions. Egyptians are known to be very friendly and open to tourists, but they are highly conservative and traditional as well. Tourists, therefore, are expected to avoid immodest clothing, public displays of affection, and public drinking.

Salting the food served by the host, taking photographs of certain public infrastructure without permission, and using drones should also be avoided.

5. What should female tourists wear in Egypt?

Egypt does not have a law regarding dress codes. As an Islamic country with conservative citizens, however, it maintains modesty when it comes to clothing. Women, in particular, should wear loose and non-transparent clothing that covers their upper torso, arms, and thighs. Tight shirts and short skirts are acceptable but are likely to garner unwanted attention, especially in crowded areas that aren’t the beach.

6. Is Cairo safe for solo female tourists?

Featuring hospitable locals and an overall low crime rate, Cairo is a safe travel destination for solo female tourists. They are more likely to attract attention, especially those with blonde hair, but the chances of being targeted for a crime are low.

That said, female tourists are still advised to take certain precautions to avoid untoward incidents. Dressing appropriately, rejecting invitations for unofficial tours, and avoiding overly crowded places are some of the best ways to ensure one’s safety in Cairo.

7. How many days in Cairo are enough?

For tourists who want to experience the best of what Cairo has to offer, three days is enough. The first day can be spent learning all about the history and culture of the city by visiting museums and exploring famous archaeological sites. On the second day, they can try out some unique experiences in Egypt, such as sandboarding at Faiyum Oasis, touring the Pyramids of Giza on ATV quad bikes, cruising along the River Nile, and attending a ghost tour in Alexandria. They can save the shopping experience and the nightlife scenes on the third day. The city has a plethora of vibrant bars as well as shops that offer the best things to buy in Cairo.

8. What food do they eat in Cairo?

There are plenty of places to eat in Cairo that serve delicious Egyptian fare, which relies heavily on poultry, vegetables, and legumes. Typical meals in Cairo include ful medames and falafel. Koshari, the national dish of the country, is also available on the streets. Other must-try dishes in Cairo are hummus, shawarma, and kebda.

9. What is the best month to visit Egypt?

Between October and April, the country of Egypt gets temperatures that are quite cool but still guarantee sun. It’s the best time to explore the busy streets and join some of the best tours in Cairo. The warm, sunny weather is perfect for a camel ride all the way to the pyramids. Tourists can also join a cruise along the River Nile aboard a traditional felucca wooden sailing boat and marvel at the major attractions in the city.

10. Is Egypt an expensive place to travel?

Compared to other countries in the neighboring continents, Egypt is relatively a cheaper travel destination. It features plenty of affordable accommodation options, such as budget hotels and Airbnb vacation rentals. Visa and SIM cards are also inexpensive, just around 25 USD and 20 USD each, respectively. Modes of transportation in Egypt are easily available, with taxis being the cheapest option. One can also hire a driver at around 90 USD to take them to various points of interest. As for meals, tourists can enjoy delicious local options, including street foods that cost as low as 1 USD each.

11. When is the cheapest time to go to Egypt?

During the summer months, which last from May until October, the weather in Egypt can be dry and scorching, making it an off-season for the country’s tourism. This is the best time to travel as tours and other activities cost less, not to mention that hotels and flights also get cheaper and are more easily available.

12. What do people in Cairo do for fun?

You’ve probably tried boating and kayaking on a river, but have you tried cruising through the waters on a felucca? Coming in various shapes and sizes, the Egyptian felucca is a wooden boat that provides a fun way to experience the River Nile. It is a traditional vessel without compartments but features a wide space for sleeping and even eating on the floor. Going on a felucca ride is only one of the non-touristy things to do in Egypt. People in Cairo also love shopping at Khan el-Khalili, watching shows at Wekalet el Ghouri Arts Center, and hanging out at Al-Azhar Park.

13. How far are the pyramids from Cairo?

The Pyramids of Giza, one of the things Egypt is famous for, lies about 11 mi (18 km) southwest of downtown Cairo. The site sits on the Giza Plateau at the edges of the Western Desert. Built by the leaders of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, this complex attracts tourists from all around the world. It is accessible to tourists as there are available bus routes that run from central Cairo to the pyramids. Tourists have the option of taking a microbus as well. The trip usually takes about 30 minutes.

14. What are some facts about the Great Pyramids of Giza?

The famous Giza pyramids complex features three great pyramids that were built to honor certain pharaohs. Among the three, the Pyramid of Khufu allows visitors to take guided tours inside. It also features subterranean chambers, albeit incomplete, and Khufu’s sarcophagus, in whose honor the structure was built. The tombs of the laborers who built the complex are found near the structures.

The Great Pyramids of Giza has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. It was made with a century’s worth of architectural knowledge and skills, resulting in a very accurate design. Special mortar was also used during the construction.

15. Why are the Great Pyramids of Giza so famous?

Among the many reasons why travelers from different corners of the globe visit Cairo, the main one is to marvel at the Great Pyramids of Giza. This site not only stuns tourists with its complex design but also allows them to step through a portal to ancient times, all the way back to Egypt’s glory days. The Pyramid of Khufu also houses the King’s Chamber where the sarcophagus of the pharaoh lies. Its relics and artifacts also compel historians and archaeologists to study more of its secrets.

16. Where can I go in Cairo at night?

In Cairo, the fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down, as evidenced by the vibrant night scenes all around the city. The Giza Pyramids, for instance, feature sound and light shows that narrate the story of the three great pharaohs. Tourists can also head to the Cairo Opera House, which showcases the country’s finest musical groups. Partying the night away at Cairo Jazz Club and doing some late-night shopping at the Cairo Old Market are also some of the best things to do in Cairo at night.

17. How do you get around in Cairo?

Cairo features various modes of transportation, with taxis being the cheapest and the Cairo Metro the most efficient. The lines of the metro system carry passengers all the way to some notable places such as the Egyptian Museum and the Nile Valley. The city also has an extensive road network, not only making major attractions easily accessible to tourists but also connecting them to the neighboring cities. Other types of transport also include microbuses, trams, and limousine services.

18. What part of Cairo should I stay in?

Zamalek and Gezira are two neighborhoods that share the city’s main island in the Nile. Unlike other parts of the city, these neighborhoods are not dotted with major tourist attractions. But it’s also for that reason that it is one of the best places to stay in Cairo. The island features a residential nature with a wide variety of dining scenes. It is also centrally located so tourists can still enjoy easy access to downtown Cairo and Giza.

19. What are the best cheap hotels in Cairo?

If you’re one to spend less so you can travel longer, then staying at cheap hotels is the best way to go. One of the city’s most affordable accommodations is City View Hotel. Featuring a prime location at Tahrir Square, this hotel offers air-conditioned rooms for as low as 40 USD. Each room also comes with a private balcony that delivers lovely views. Other Cairo hotels for budget travelers also include Swiss Inn Hotel, Lotus Hotel, and Golden Hotel.

20. What are the best hotels in Cairo with views of the pyramids?

If you can’t get enough of the country’s famous site, stay in one of the hotels in Cairo with pyramid views. One of these hotels is the Best View Pyramids Hotel. This 3-star property has a sun terrace that provides a great vantage point for viewing the pyramids. Mena House Hotel and Four Seasons Hotel Cairo At The First Residence also feature rooms that deliver stunning vistas as soon as you wake up.

21. What is the most popular food in Cairo?

The city has plenty of restaurants and food stalls that serve Ful medames, one of the most popular and favored street foods in Egypt. It is a typical breakfast meal in the city and is made of cooked fava beans or broad beans. Usually served out of a large metal jug, this Middle Eastern dish provides many health benefits. Other popular foods in Cairo also include koshary, falafel, and molokhia, which is a leafy soup that is an almost sacrosanct dish for many Egyptians.

22. Is it cheap to eat in Cairo?

Not including the pricey tourist restaurants, there are plenty of affordable food options in Cairo. Typical fast food meals usually cost around 5 USD. Casual restaurants and street food stalls are also available, especially in the downtown area. Some cheap eats include ZEN Cafe & Lounge, Koshary Abou Tarek, and Zooba.

If you prefer sit-down meals, there are also restaurants with dishes that cost around 5 USD to 12 USD per person.

23. What ancient city is near Cairo?

Memphis, the first capital of ancient Egypt, was the archaic city near Cairo. It was one of the oldest and most important cities in the country as it served as a religious cult center. At present, it stands as an open-door museum with ruins, rock tombs, ornate mastabas, temples, and pyramids. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

24. Who was buried in the Great Pyramid of Giza?

The Great Pyramid of Giza serves as the final resting place of the pharaoh Khufu. He was a powerful ruler who led the country’s Fourth Dynasty. Queen Henutsen, who was also his wife, shares the royal tomb with him as well. The chamber contains the remains of the sarcophagus, which sits at the central axis of the pyramid.

25. Do you need a guide in Cairo?

Hiring a guide for your adventure in Cairo is not needed per se, but having one can be very helpful, especially if it’s your first time in the city. They have the knowledge and experience to help you reach the major tourist spots easily. And the best part is, you can also gain valuable information about the places you’re visiting and ask for tips on certain experiences while you’re out and about. For the best experience, hire a private guide so you can avoid tourist traps and discover more hidden gems away from the crowd.

Cairo, Egypt (The Capitol)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user AshyCatInc. used under CC BY-SA 4.0
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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