Thursday, May 26, 2022

How To Get Around In Cairo

EgyptCairoHow To Get Around In Cairo

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If you want to move around Cairo on your own, you’ll find that having numerous maps handy is a good idea. Street and place names are spelled differently from map to map and from map to real location, and not every street will show on every map.

BY METRO

The first and largest metro system in Africa is located in Cairo. While Cairo’s metro system is contemporary and stylish when it is fully operational, the two lines are all much too restricted in scope. However, they are a huge help in the regions they serve, and the flat fee of EGP1 every journey is a steal. Visitors wanting to utilize the metro in Cairo should avoid being discouraged while purchasing a ticket at a ticket window. Egyptians do not queue, so be prepared to negotiate your way through the mob to the ticket window gently but assertively. If you plan to take the metro many times throughout the day or within a few days, it is advised that you buy numerous tickets to avoid waiting in “line” on your return or subsequent travels. Shohadaa (Martyrs) (previously Mubarak), at Midan Ramses, Sadat Midan Tahrir (sometimes closed), and Attaba (Ataba;) are the main interchanges.

Stations for the Cairo Metro may be found at Dokki and Maadi, among other locations. The Metro may also be used to go to Giza to visit the Pyramids, however it is usually quite packed during peak hours, so you’ll have to take a bus the rest of the way (change to bus for “Al-Haram” at the Giza train station). You may also go to Heliopolis (Masr el-Gedida) by taking line 3 to Al Ahram (Korba) and Koleyet El Banat stations (Merghani).

It’s worth noting that each train has two cars dedicated for women in the center section; one is reserved for women exclusively until 9 p.m., while the other is reserved for women at all times. Around 12:20 a.m., the metro stops running and resumes around 5:15 a.m. Lines 1 and 2 do not have schedules, however departures are frequent. Another metro of line 3 comes every 8 minutes. If you want to escape traffic jams, the metro is a better option, as long as you are willing to ride it when it is very full (for lines 1 and 2) and take additional precautions to prevent pickpocketing. It features a straightforward navigation system and costs one pound for one journey.

BY TAXI

Solid-White Taxis: These are contemporary sedans with meters that are typically utilized, with or without air conditioning, and operate on natural gas. Most visitors will save money by using these cabs rather than bargaining with their non-metered counterparts. They can be called from the street and are prevalent enough that any traveler might use them solely (with a little patience). All visitors will find them more pleasant than black and white cabs, and most will find them less costly.

Taxis in bright yellow are becoming more scarce. Usually only accessible via reservation, however fares are sometimes picked up on way. The meter, like the solid-white taxis, begins at EGP2.50 and increases at EGP1/km after that. Drivers are not permitted to smoke in their vehicles. Known as “City Cabs” or “Cairo Cabs.” Call 0104343438-19155 from inside Cairo.

Older black-and-white cabs are becoming more scarce. Because they are generally the oldest drivers, communication may be difficult, and the meters are exceedingly obsolete and seldom utilized. For locals, however, prices are predictable, and every Cairene knows how much to expect based on the time and distance. Because drivers often hesitant to deliver change, it is strongly suggested that you have precise change before entering.

Ordinary Egyptians do not announce prices in advance. Instead, after departing, the right amount is paid via the window. Some drivers may raise objections because they anticipate visitors to pay more than usual. The “step away” strategy may be used. You’ll be OK as long as the driver does not get out of the vehicle. If this occurs, get help from someone nearby. As a visitor, you may choose to offer a price ahead of time to avoid ripoffs, but this will force you to quote costs that are higher than local pricing. To keep this to a minimum, avoid lingering outside 5-star hotels and restaurants. Choosing a large hotel as your location might further increase the cost. Always pick the cab rather than allowing the taxi to choose you.

For ferrying additional persons, they normally ask extra money (EGP2-3). If you don’t discuss the price ahead of time (which is the best option), be prepared to abandon ship and/or haggle hard if the cabbie raises the rate after you’ve gotten in the vehicle. A cab will seldom take more than four persons. Add EGP5-7 if you’re traveling late at night, especially if you’re in an older cab without a counter.

In general, never continue to travel in a vehicle that you believe is hazardous or in which the driver is driving recklessly, particularly in the nighttime on dark roads or on single-track highways where overtaking is perilous. If you feel frightened, just advise the driver to slow down; if he does not, ask him to stop, and then get out and walk away; however, be cautious not to wind yourself in a remote location where finding another mode of transportation would be risky and difficult.

BY BUS

The city’s enormous red, white, and blue public buses, which cost EGP1, cover the whole city and are substantially cheaper, however they are generally packed and sluggish. Similar air-conditioned buses, on the other hand, cost 2 or EGP2.5. They may be seen in Cairo’s biggest squares. Smaller minibuses, generally orange and white or red, white, and blue, may also be spotted in major squares. Women are recommended to ride exclusively on tiny microbuses and buses that do not need standing due to issues with sexual harassment. The fare on microbuses begins at EGP0.5 and goes up to EGP2.5.

Buses may be hailed from the street level, in addition to the major bus terminals. Buses are seldom labelled with destinations; instead, passengers yell out their destinations (or use a variety of sign-language like hand codes) and the bus will stop if it gets there. Travellers who are unfamiliar with Cairo might ask bus drivers or passengers to direct them to their destination. Simply say your destination’s name to the bus driver or a friendly-looking passenger, and they will take care of you.

Late-night bus users should be aware that bus frequency, route length, and, in certain situations, fares might change from late evening to early morning. In rare situations, a route may abruptly end before reaching your goal. Locals depend on private people looking to earn some extra cash to deliver them to their ultimate location when this happens. If you prefer to use private transportation, proceed with care. One additional comment regarding late-night bus transportation: since many mini-buses do not leave until almost full, you can expect to wait a long time while the driver waits for enough passengers to board.

Throughout the city, there are a number of significant bus stations (mawqaf, pl. mawaqif). In Midan Tahrir, one of the biggest is conveniently placed beside the Egyptian Museum. It’s worth noting that there are two stations: the main bus station for city buses and the microbus station behind it. For example, visitors visiting the Pyramids may purchase a seat on a microbus for just 2 pounds. Visitors to the pyramids who see a bus or microbus driver shouting Hàràm should always make a pyramid triangle with their hands before boarding to ensure that the driver is driving to the actual pyramids, not just to the Haram district, which, while close to the pyramids, can end a long way from the pyramid entrance.

Midan Ramses also has a bus stop beneath the flyover. Ramses offers bus service to Heliopolis, City Stars Mall, and other locations not served by the Tahrir bus stop.

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