Cairo is a city steeped in history. For centuries, Cairo was passed as a territory from empire to empire. It is sometimes referred to as the “Venice of the Middle East” for its beautiful riverside views and stunning architecture.
For travelers looking to adventure in Cairo, follow this guide for some great tips on planning your trip and being safe along the way.
Being an urban center, Cairo is one of the busiest and most densely-populated cities on Earth. Traditional Egyptian culture and modern influence from the West are evident here, and vary from district to district.
This is the center of Cairo. This nexus area links up to about every single district in the city. It also hosts the world-famous Egyptian Museum, where King Tutankhamen and other pharaohs and their possessions are featured. Many Western styled restaurants can be found in this district, including some popular world chains like McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendys. Hotels around this area tend to be in the upper price ranges, so it would be advisable to find a cheaper alternative unless you have a lot of money to spare.
Cairo’s transportation district, it is the gateway to railroads, air fields, and shuttle services. Many popular retailers have set up shop in the Midan Ramses over the last couple of years, so it would be a good place to go if you want to find a local cell phone, store-bought souvenirs, or medication.
The Giza district is on the western half of Cairo. It features a wide variety of interesting shops and restaurants, located closely to the Pyramids of Giza, which are a couple of kilometers outside of the area. Several highways link up with greater Cairo and provide easy access to the center of the city.
Perhaps the most historic district of the city, Islamic Cairo has a central bazaar called the Khan el Khalili. Medieval architecture and Turkish influence is notable here. Many historic sites make Islamic Cairo one of the greatest attractions of the entire metropolitan area.
It is important to be safe while traveling in a foreign country. While Egypt is arguably the least dangerous place in Africa to travel, there have still been major plots by Islamic fundamentalists against foreigners and tourists since the 1970’s. It is important not to wander into strange districts or cities outside of Cairo without knowledge of the area from a travel agent or tour guide. Many areas are still closed off to foreigners and tourists because of past violence by fundamentalists and zealots.
Make sure that you avoid any kinds of pudding, cold or wet vegetables, and tap water as a foreigner. The locals have built up a resistance to the microbes in these dishes, but foreigners could at least get an upset stomach or diarrhea from consuming these types of foods. It is advisable to pack medicine ahead of time, or at least to purchase medicine from a local Egyptian drug store in Cairo. Entocid and Atinol should help with most common stomach problems.
Nearby are the Cleopatra Hospital and Dar El Fouad Hospital in Cairo, both of which have English-speaking staff members who will care for tourists if they come down with a sudden illness.
You can learn more about Egypt and read loads of restaurants reviews and more at Egypt’s number one online guide Totally Egypt