“Do I need a guide in Cairo?”  The short answer is “Yes, you need a guide in Cairo”  You need a guide if you want to get the most from your time in Cairo.  If you are staying in Cairo for a month and have lots of time to go exploring then you will probably find your way around but you will also need lots of information, time, energy, heat tolerance and patience.  I definitely recommend you take a guide to the Giza Plateau – not for the history but for the hassle.  This was my experience at Giza in October 2012.


      • Distance to various sites, due to traffic chaos you will wonder “am I ever going to get there?” and “I’m not even sure if we’re going in the right direction anyway!”
      • Trying to figure out why the taxi driver you have stopped refused to take you
      • Not knowing how much you should be paying the taxi
      • The fight to tell the driver you DON’T want to visit the perfume shop before going to the Gt. Pyramid
      • Uncertainty about where to find what you want to see when you get there
      • lack of up to date public information as to what is open and closed on a given day or time.  I recently went to see two palaces that had been announced in the media as open only to discover they were closed – temporarily…
      • Cairo is a vast city and though perfectly safe for tourists, it is best to stay within tourism boundaries.  It is safer if you know where you want to go and arrange it beforehand.  Like anywhere else in the world, what do you do if you get into a taxi and at some point are not sure which direction you are taking or you get an uncomfortable feeling about the driver?

I have wasted days, and returned home exhausted from trying to find tourist sites in my efforts to gather information to make getting around Cairo easy – you need a guide!

My best advice at the moment for tourists having only 3 – 5 days or less to spend in Cairo is to book your tours in Cairo to the sites you want to see and ask your tour operator or travel agent to let you know if there are other interesting sites you have not specifically enquired about.  That way you travel in comfort, arrive fresh at the places of interest,  have energy to spend exploring the sites themselves, and stand a better chance of continuing your journey satisfied and relaxed.


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