Egypt

Egypt Part 1: Flights and hotels to consider when travelling to Egypt in 2018

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“Not all those that wander are lost” ~JRR Tolkien

Hey guys!

I’ve decided to turn each location into multiple posts so I can focus on each part of the content thoroughly and then the last post for that location will be an overview. This way anyone can read the post that they are most interested in vs having to read a long post and skimming to the part that they need to know more about. I’m going to write this trip from the perspective of leaving the United States of America vs other parts of the world. Hence air flights, connecting flights, etc. will be different depending on where you are originating.

Egypt the place of mysteries, holder of one of the seven wonders, and the sands of ancient times. Pharaohs building amazing feats of engineering brilliance, boy kings with the power of the people, ancient women with influence over history, and stories of gods that walked the earth. Sands that have hidden artifacts for millenniums.

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Getting there: Finding best flights or airlines to accommodate you budget/timeline

~FYI : There are direct flights from New York to Cairo. ~

Airlines to use:

Connecting flights need to be booked as well but you can plan a few hours/days in between if you want to visit those cities on top of Egypt.

  1. Delta Airlines

    • From USA to Amsterdam, Paris, or Rome
      • Amsterdam has the best layover airport in comparison to the other two because of comfortable airport for sleeping or relaxing between flights
  2. United Airlines

    • From USA to Frankfort, or Munich
      • There are two flights per day to Cairo, so its easier to get anther flight if you miss your first connecting flight
  3. American Airlines

    • From USA to London, or Madrid
  4. Turkish Airlines

    • From USA to Istanbul
      • 4 flights a day to Cairo, again easier if you miss your first connecting flight due to timing issues
  5. Air Canada

    • From USA to Canada then the Cairo
      • Flights can be cheaper internationally from Canada vs the USA
  6. Gulf Carriers

    • Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways
      • From USA to Middle East
        • Definitely a budget friendly option since they aren’t a well known Airline in the USA
  7. Egyptian Airlines

    • It’s a connecting flight into Cairo
      • I’ve been told that they are nice airline that is similar to western carriers
      • The only exception is that they do not allow Alcohol

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Cairo International Airport:

Proper procedures to follow, and scams to avoid

  1. On the flight into the country you will get a form to fill out for the traveler’s stamp/arrival stamp that is required.

    • They put the stamp on your passport and is essentially a tax
    • You have to pay in US dollars and it’s roughly $60 (as of 2017)
    • There are no ATM’s that you can withdrawal US money in the country so have it before hand
  2. Luggage

    • People will offer to carry your luggage but will require you to tip them
      • Locals say that the equivalent of $1-2 dollars is more than enough
  3. Alcohol

    • You can import or export western alcohol as long as it’s within the international amount that is allowed
      • They have a shop in the airport called the Duty Free Shop where you can buy alcohol tax free
      • There is roughly a 200% tax for all western alcohol bought within the country at bars, restaurants, etc.
  4. SCAMS TO AVOID:

    • Taxi drivers
      • Since it’s a third world country a lot of citizens are trying to make money all the time to feed their families so they can get aggressive to travelers
        • Local advice is to stay in groups with westerners or to have a guide pick you up at the airports. It will stop the hassler’s to leave you alone.
      • Locals also say that they can try to make the fare price as high as possible because they will speak another language to keep you confused.
      • Or also take you the long way around to make you pay more. Especially when seeing historical sights.

Hotels with great reviews and local recommendations:

Cairo

4 seasons hotel

  1. 4 Seasons Hotel

    • Roughly $185 a night
    • Casino inside
      • Can only use USD to play inside
    • Nice hotel slightly outside of bustling city
    • SpaKempinski
  2. Kempinski Nile Hotel

    • Roughly $100+ a night
    • Restaurant on second floor
    • Chocolate Bar – Dessert Bar (unique amenity)
    • Rooftop pool with a beautiful view of the Nile River
    • SpaCairo marriott
  3. Cairo Marriott

    • Roughly $125 a night
    • Hotel on island in central Nile river
    • Older but just as nice as other hotelsnile ritz
  4. Nile Ritz Carlton

    • Roughly $200 a night
    • Spa
    • 9 Restaurants inside Hotel
    • Overlooks the Nile river and the Egyptian Museumsemiramis
  5. Semiramis Hotel

    • Roughly $120 a night
    • Centrally located hotel on the list
      • Nile river on one side and Tahir square on the other
    • British and American Embassy nearby
    • Restaurant
      • Birdcage is highly recommended by localhilton
  6. Ramses Hilton

    • Roughly $100 a night

Alexandra – coastal Hotels are the best choice

  • A lot of sister hotels from the list above in Cairo with more reasonable prices
    • Avoid anything named after Pharaoh or Alexandria hotel (not as well maintained, etc.)

I know that it seems like an overwhelming amount of information about some of the highest recommended hotels and flight choices but I got most of this information from a local that lived there for years and now runs a company that escorts travels throughout Egypt regularly. This is the list of his recommendations. I plan on going into more detail about Alexandria’s choices when I get to that part of the trip on a different blog.

A lot of these hotels have amazing views and even more amenities that will make your trip even more relaxing and enjoyable. A podcast that I’ve been listen to from a local guide mentioned that having a hotel in the city can have great benefits like closeness to popular attractions, etc. but it can also be more traffic heavy with travelers and actual traffic. Each trip is different and every traveler has their own idea of what is ideal for them.

Hopefully this has been able to open your eyes to the beginning of planning your travels.

Happy travels everyone!!

~Julie

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Let me know if there is another other adivce you have heard on your travels about this location.

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