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Old Sep 19, 11, 7:37 am   #1
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Long transfer time in Cairo

I have a 17 hour layover in Cairo (daytime) and was wondering if it's worthwhile leaving the airport and exploring the city. Are there any transfer programs offered at the airport?
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Old Sep 19, 11, 12:04 pm   #2
 
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I wouldn't recommend doing that these days.

I am not sure but I heard from many recent visitors to cairo that the city these days is unsafe.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 11:11 pm   #3
 
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I would recommend a visit around the city. In the day, you could get in a visit to many sights and Giza Pyramids.

But I would also recommend getting informed with someone in or around the community to make sure you do not get caught up in any protests.

Alternately, a concierge at a Heliopolis hotel may be able to organize a day tour for you. If you book with a reputable chain, you should have a guide that speaks English and keeps you out of any harms way:

Check out my trip report from May here: Egypt - Travel AFTER the Egyptian Revolution of Jan 25, 2011 You can skim to the Cairo section for current photos from then.
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Old Sep 21, 11, 1:22 am   #4
 
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Dear worldtraveller73, many thanks for your very interesting report, which convinced me to get out of the airport and see the city instead of hanging out in transit.
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Old Sep 21, 11, 8:31 am   #5
 
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17 hours is plenty of time. If you've never been to the city before as was suggested you should visit the pyramids. You'll probably have time to squeeze in the egyptian museum in tahrir square or the citadel. But you'd have to check beforehand if there're any planned strikes in tahrir square which has been considered the heart of the revolution. Have a good safe trip!
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Old Sep 23, 11, 6:32 pm   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madame R View Post
Dear worldtraveller73, many thanks for your very interesting report, which convinced me to get out of the airport and see the city instead of hanging out in transit.
It's my pleasure. It's a fabulous place and I think if you keep your wits about you and your head up, it can also be a perfectly safe place to visit. I just wouldn't go without educating yourself and familiarizing yourself with the local conditions.
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Old Sep 23, 11, 9:49 pm   #7
 
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I was in Cairo this past June and loved it! Booked several tours with www.memphistours.com
Very professional company, driver and tour guide. E-mail them with your requests and they will respond very quickly.
I wouldn't recommend going out on your own though... Cairo is the craziest city I have ever been to and it is not easy to navigate on your own.
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Old Sep 24, 11, 7:11 am   #8
 
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Is a 4 hour connection in CAI (intl to intl) enough time to get out of the airport and see any sights? Either downtown CAI or any pyramids?

I've never been to Egypt and wouldn't mind seeing something while I'm there.

My current layover is scheduled for 0545-0945 on Monday morning.

Thanks,
RM
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Old Sep 24, 11, 4:01 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobOnLI View Post
Is a 4 hour connection in CAI (intl to intl) enough time to get out of the airport and see any sights? Either downtown CAI or any pyramids?

I've never been to Egypt and wouldn't mind seeing something while I'm there.

My current layover is scheduled for 0545-0945 on Monday morning.

Thanks,
RM
I don't think that would be worth the hassle of trying to get into the downtown area.

You might be able to take a shuttle to one of the airport hotels / resorts around Heliopolis, but whether this is worth it for a visit to the pool or a better international breakfast only you can say.

Many of the inner city sights and the pyramids are on the opposite side of town, which is at least a 30 - 50 minute drive.
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Old Oct 7, 11, 7:04 am   #10
 
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Egyptair - stop-over in Cairo

If you are flying with Egyptair and have more than 8 hours between your flights, they will arrive a hotel outside the airport (most likely the Baron hotel in Heliopolis which is full of transit passengers at any time) and also the visa for you. Upon arrival you can go to a special desk and they will collect your passport and boarding pass. After about 1 hours you will be transferred to the hotel, meals are included. You can then do whatever you want - I wouldn't go to the overpriced Pyramid tours, but rather to see downtown Cairo. You can also go by subway to Tahrir square and get a glimpse of the post Arab Spring revolution atmosphere. It's quite safe to walk around. When you return to the airport you collect your passport and boarding pass and go through immigration without getting a stamp in your passport. This information is not on the Egyptair website.
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Old Oct 7, 11, 10:10 am   #11
 
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Fabulous! I'm glad that it worked out for you and that it was a safe journey.

Now you can say that you have been to where modern history has taken place!
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