After dealing with the security of solo female travelers in Egypt, I decided to talk about transportation in Egypt.
We can read a lot about tourists limitations in Egyptians transportation. Between allocated trains and an interdiction to use local buses, what is really true ?
Taxi on the way
As everywhere, taxis are often a source of irritation and scam. You will have to be patient with your driver.
To avoid any conflict
– Ask activate the taximeter
– Fix a price before getting into the vehicle.
Example of prices
Cairo airport to the city center – 50 EGP
Aswan airport to the city center – 50 EGP
Dahab bus station to the city center – 10 EGP
Taxi for a day
It is possible to hire a taxi with driver for a day or special private tours.
Ask for advice directly at the hotel. The will have the best prices.
But drivers can bring you to tourist traps or shops. If you are not interested then politely refuse.
Example of prices
Trip in Aswan: Philae Temple, High Dam, the unfinished obelisk – 150 EGP
It is the easiest way to visit Cairo when you are staying 20 minutes walk near a station. It is also less stressful because you don’t need to negotiate with a driver who incredibly increases prices.
A ticket is valid for a complete journey on the same way. It does not matter the duration or if you have to change for another line – 1 EGP.
Buy them at the ticket office. You can’t miss it, it will be indicated by a massive TICKET placard.
If you want change, it’s a good opportunity.
WARNING There are detectors on each metro station. Don’t be surprise if someone is asking you to open your bag. Even if it’s rare and that the security level is not that high.
Girls, remember that is better to use cars reserved only for women.
Normally, buses and minibus can’t be used by tourists.
Buses in city centers
I did not use them, so I can’t really give any advice on them.
The only fact is they are packed, people jump into / out them and I did not get the display 🙂
Because I did not need them, I did not spend a lot of time to learn about it.
I used one once from pyramids of Giza to Giza metro station. Minibuses are mainly available on main roads and join the main spots on them.
Jump in a minibus
There are not real bus stops. Signal the driver and he will slow down, without really stop.
Yell the name of your destination. In my case it was “Giza” but to be sure I also asked for “Metro”.
If he is going there, he will tell you to jump in; if not, try with the next minibus.
Pay the driver by giving him the money at the beginning of the journey. He will let you know when you’ll reach your destination. He will rarely entirely stop and you will have to jump out.
A journey from the pyramids to the metro costs 3 EGP.
Long journey buses
Main stations in Cairo
Almaza in Heliopolis
Cairo Gateway in El-Torgoman
WARNING Keep your passport and your bus ticket easily accessible during the whole journey. Roadblocks are common and an identity check is performed every time.
I recorded some schedules to travel in Sinai in April 2016. Schedules change frequently, it is best to find out on your arrival but this will give you some idea.
Cairo – Dahab
08:00, 13:00, 08:00, 22:00, 24:00
Dahab – Cairo
09:00, 12:30, 15:00, 19:30, 22:00
I used East Delta for my return – 110 EGP each way.
Dahab – Taba via Nuweiba
Dahab – Sharm El Sheikh
08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 10:30, 12:30, 15:00, 16:00, 17:30, 20:30, 22:00, 22:30
Sharm El Sheikh – Dahab
7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 14:30, 17:00, 20:30, 22:00, 00:30
Dahab – Luxor
Sharm – Cairo
7:30, 15:00, 23:00
To help to schedule my trip, I used the following websites:
WARNING These website are not 100% reliable as schedules frequently change but it is a good start.
Since I visited Egypt, there is a new website that permits to buy your ticket online. Not all journeys are available for sure.
Buy your ticket
The easiest way is to go to the bus station or deal with your hotel. This service is mainly free.
Seats are not easily available for foreigners, at least for night buses. It is advised to buy your ticket the day before at the latest.
Take your seat
Seats in buses are allocated. The ticket was in Arabic and I didn’t get it.
Second row, on the left: Departure time (Here it was 22:01 and not 10:01), on the right: Date of departure.
Third row on the left: Seat number. Be aware than in buses numbers are written with in Indian.
Forth row on the left: Cost of your ticket.
There are many cruises on the Nile. I tested one from Aswan to Luxor. Many stops between temples and cities with some relaxing time.
Three nights, all meal included – 1600 EGP. Entrance fees not included.
On the Nile, in main cities, it’s possible to rent this service to reach different islands.
I have not used them. According to me they are too noisy, too crowded and absolutely not ecological.
30-40 EGP per hour.
Feluccas were my favorite. Big sailing boat moving in the wind, typical of Egypt. Not a sound, environmentally friendly and so peaceful.
It’s possible to rent it with a driver for few hours or even few days to navigate on the Nile.
Ask your driver to see his license for a daily trip to avoid to be stuck at a check point.
In Aswan on sunset, it was stunning.
40 EGP per hour.
To link islands, small shuttle boats exist for locals. It is possible to use them by paying a little extra.
1 EGP for locals, 2 EGP for tourists.
Ladies, you will have to use the seats on the front of the boat.
In Egypt, it will mainly not be possible to use a coach that is not reserved for foreigners only.
You will have the choice between first and second class or sleeping coaches.
One way Cairo – Luxor on second class costs about 150 EGP and a sleeping coach 850 EGP.
Seats are limited. No seats left on the same day in first and second class so I had to by a sleeping coach as I had to be in Cairo the day after.
Egyptair is the only provider of internal flights.
At the airport, there are two security checkpoints. One to check your ID. Liquids can go through.
There is another checkpoint just at the gate where liquids are prohibited if they do not fit on the 100ml size.
There are some alternative kind of transport between small motorized vehicles, horses and carriages.
Obviously, there is also the Camel option in tourist areas or small towns – 60 EGP per hour.
I hope all this information will help you preparing your stay in Egypt.
Bon voyage 🙂
Do you have any other advice to add to this article?
Bad surprises when you used public transportation?