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> 10-hour layover in Cairo, is it worth it?
danblank
post Dec 15 2009, 11:39 AM
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I'm flying from the US to Tanzania in two weeks, carrying a US passport. On the way out, I have a 10-hour layover in Cairo. On the way back, I have a 24-hour layover, and will be coming back with a friend who isn't flying out with me, so we'll definitely be using that stopover to see the big attractions, i.e. the Pyramids. The question is, would it be worth it for me to also set out in the city for the first layover (from a standpoint of, things worth seeing that I won't obviously do the second time around, if I'd be too frantic to enjoy it, and if it would be cost effective). I've tried, unsuccessfully, to contact the Egyptian consulate on information as to whether the via you get is single-use or multi-visit. Does anyone know that? How far from the city center/attraction is the airport? How much would a taxi cost (if there's no public transport option)? Thanks!
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starlagurl
post Dec 15 2009, 12:00 PM
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You are right, based on this discussion over at Virtual Tourist, I would definitely not attempt to see the pyramids: http://forum.virtualtourist.com/discussion...discussion.html

I would concentrate more on experiencing some sort of souk or eating some authentic food somewhere.

Instead of going right into the city centre, I'm sure you could find somewhere close by.

I wish I could help you out with the visa, but I'm not sure. The immigration officials at the airport should be able to tell you.

This guide should help you decide what kind of public transport to take to the city centre: http://www.ihatetaxis.com/airport/CAI/guide


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danblank
post Dec 15 2009, 12:08 PM
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Great, thanks for the quick reply. I'll be saving the Pyramids for when I have a full day, and when my friend will be along for the ride. Going somewhere not downtown could be a great idea. Thanks again!

QUOTE(starlagurl @ Dec 15 2009, 12:00 PM) *

You are right, based on this discussion over at Virtual Tourist, I would definitely not attempt to see the pyramids: http://forum.virtualtourist.com/discussion...discussion.html

I would concentrate more on experiencing some sort of souk or eating some authentic food somewhere.

Instead of going right into the city centre, I'm sure you could find somewhere close by.

I wish I could help you out with the visa, but I'm not sure. The immigration officials at the airport should be able to tell you.

This guide should help you decide what kind of public transport to take to the city centre: http://www.ihatetaxis.com/airport/CAI/guide

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starlagurl
post Dec 15 2009, 12:14 PM
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No problem, Dan!

There are a couple of other people who have been to Egypt floating around here, so I'm sure they will help you soon!


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jeremystravels
post Dec 15 2009, 01:59 PM
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I think you could make 10 hours to the pyramids and back. Out of a 10 hour layover, you'll probably spend at least 3 of those in the airport coming and going, so you only have 7 hours from airport exit to airport entrance. It'll probably take 2 hours round trip with decent traffic to get to the pyramids, so you can have time to go see them and get food but it will be a bit rushed. I think if you have a 24 hour layover you'll be good to see a lot of things. Maybe try on the 24 hour layover to go see other Pyramids way on out like Saqqara, Memphis, and Dahshur which is an easy 6 hour day trip outside of Cairo.

That's what i'd do, at least. It would be fairly expensive for the taxi's but is pretty worth it. I think a Taxi for us from Central Cairo to Saqqara, etc was 250 pounds ($50) for most of the day. Probably more from the airport though.


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danblank
post Dec 15 2009, 02:42 PM
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Thanks. If I do decide to leave the airport the first time around, I'll still be skipping the Pyramids since I'll be seeing them when my friend is with me on the way back, but the more remote ones are also a possibility for then as well. What I'm after is if there's things that I obviously wouldn't do with my one day (so therefore my friend wouldn't be upset about missing) and is worth the cost, whatever it may be, to get a visa and leave the airport.

By the way, I checked out your link, and that looks absolutely amazing. I took a year off after graduating to travel, and while I kept a blog (on Travelpod) I wish I had the enterprising ideas you had to sponsor the trip. The dare idea is absolutely brilliant, and I think my friend and I will incorporate it to rack up beer debts between each other. Thanks again.

QUOTE(jeremystravels @ Dec 15 2009, 01:59 PM) *

I think you could make 10 hours to the pyramids and back. Out of a 10 hour layover, you'll probably spend at least 3 of those in the airport coming and going, so you only have 7 hours from airport exit to airport entrance. It'll probably take 2 hours round trip with decent traffic to get to the pyramids, so you can have time to go see them and get food but it will be a bit rushed. I think if you have a 24 hour layover you'll be good to see a lot of things. Maybe try on the 24 hour layover to go see other Pyramids way on out like Saqqara, Memphis, and Dahshur which is an easy 6 hour day trip outside of Cairo.

That's what i'd do, at least. It would be fairly expensive for the taxi's but is pretty worth it. I think a Taxi for us from Central Cairo to Saqqara, etc was 250 pounds ($50) for most of the day. Probably more from the airport though.

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jeremystravels
post Dec 15 2009, 02:51 PM
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Thanks for checking out my blog! I am really looking forward to my trip next year. I am debating having a dare process on my blog like the person I spotlighted did. Have you thought about visiting the Cairo Museum? It is really nice and is certainly worth a look. You could definitely do that in a few hours on the 10 hour layover. Normal taxi costs are around 45 pounds ($8) to the city center from the airport, but the touts will want 2-3x as much, so just keep your ground and someone will cave.


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danblank
post Jun 1 2010, 10:58 PM
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QUOTE(patricia23 @ Jun 1 2010, 10:52 PM) *

A must see “the Pyramids at Giza and the Great Sphinx” are part of the ancient Giza pyramid complex – a site which has been granted UNESCO World Heritage status and is a true marvel of the ancient world.

Patricia, thanks for the response, though I've been back from that trip for about four months. As it turns out (for the benefit of anyone in a similar situation I was in), Egypt Air does an exceptional job of taking care of their customers on short layovers. On the way out, when I had a 10-hour layover, they took a group of us out to look at the Pyramids (though we didn't enter the complex) on a free tour that included stops at a perfumery and papyrus shop. They also treated us to a traditional Egyptian dinner, and all for free. On my return -- when I had about 24 hours -- they put me and my friend up in a hotel (in which the room and meals were all free), handled our visa and all our transportation, and set us up for a guided tour of the Pyramids and a dinner cruise on the Nile. If you're flying Egypt Air and have a brief layover in Cairo, make sure you find a representative in the airport and enjoy all the great free things coming to you.
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jacquimcd
post Jul 29 2013, 04:19 PM
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Thank you so much for that info! I had the same experience in Dubai when I had a layover there. I am about to have a layover in Cairo and your blog was the most helpful!

Now I am even more excited to go!

Happy travels!
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