Getting Around in Egypt

Getting Around in Egypt is pretty straightforward.
Although it may seem very different from what most travelers are used to back home, the Egyptian transportation system is efficient, and you should not face trouble finding your way around and reaching any destination.
If you are not planning to rent a car or drive your vehicle in Egypt, taxis are the easiest way to move around in cities.
For traveling between cities, you choose between buses, trains, and the domestic air carriers operated by the national airline Egypt Air.

In a country that covers a total area of more than a million sq km, domestic flights come in handy to save time and sometimes even money.
Air travel is at the center of it, all for those looking to save time with a full itinerary. 45-minute domestic flights connect the majority of the country’s main attractions, from temples to resorts.
The Egyptian national airline, Egypt Air, operates all domestic flights in Egypt and serves 11 significant airports: Abu Simbel, Alexandria, Assiut, Aswan, Cairo, Hurghada, Luxor, Marsa Alam, Marsa Matrouh, Sharm El-Sheikh, and Taba.
Check Egypt Air’s website for more info about the flights’ schedules and tariffs.

Covering a more limited network from Cairo to Alexandria, the Delta, and the Canal Zone, along the coast to Marsa Matrouh and up the Nile Valley to Luxor and Aswan, Egypt’s air-conditioned trains are high for the long haul, providing a comfier alternative to traveling by road. Schedules and fares are posted on the Egyptian Railways website, where you can also buy tickets online.
The most comfortable option is a first-class train, waiter service, reclining armchairs, and on-board movies. If you are looking for absolute luxury, then the opportunity for the more expensive sleeper trains. Passengers get a comfortable two-bed cabin with a sink, plus breakfast and dinner, and access to a dining car and a bar.
Main stations have several booking windows, one for each class and a group of destinations, so check that you are joining the right queue. You can pay for train tickets in Egyptian pounds, except for the Cairo-Luxor-Aswan deluxe sleeper train paid in foreign currency (US dollars, euros, or pounds sterling) El-Watania sleeper office.
Except during busy periods, it’s usually accessible to reserve-able seats up to seven days in advance or gets 1st class tickets on the day of travel or the day before. The deluxe overnight sleeper train from Cairo to Luxor and Aswan usually has places available if you book a day or two in advance. Still, at peak tourist times such as Easter, it can get fully booked by tour groups, so pre-booking is recommended.
Check the Egyptian Railway website for more info about the Train’s schedules and tariffs.

There’s an extensive network of buses running between the major cities in Egypt.

There are six leading operators, based in Cairo, that mostly form a network that covers all of Egypt.

They are as follows:

  1. The Upper Egypt Bus Company covers all points along the Nile valley and the Fayoum and Inner Oasis, and the Red Sea coast, e.g., Hurghada, Safaga, and Marsa Alam.
  2. The East Delta Bus Company covers the Sinai Peninsula and the Canal Zone.
  3. The West Delta Bus Company serves Alexandria, North Coast, Siwa Oasis, and the Nile Delta Towns.
  4. The El-Gouna GO Bus Company with Their buses cover Hurghada, Safaga, and Marsa Alam.
  5. The Blue Bus Company serves many cities all over Egypt.
  6. The Super Jet Bus Companies includes most of Egypt.

The stations are located in various places such as Almaza (Heliopolis), Turguman Square, Tahrir Square, Giza Square, Six October, and Cairo airports.

Independent Bus companies such as Superjet, Blue Bus, and Go Bus – Which We Recommend – only to name a few – usually provide air-conditioned buses with different seat categories, with some refreshments, toilets, and an in-ride movie.

Buses are by far the best transportation means for day trips. They are very affordable, but you have to think of making your reservations at least one day in advance.

In general, buses tend to stop frequently. Therefore, if you are traveling long distances, the railroad or domestic flights operated by Egypt Air might be considered better options.

The easiest way to move around major Egyptian cities is by using the always abundant public taxis; each city has its color of the public taxi, yellow and black in Alexandria, and black and white in Cairo.
Cairo, Alexandria, and Hurghada also have a fleet of metered, air-conditioned Uber Taxis with which you should book & know the standard fee of your Uber taxi VIA Mobile application before your journey.
Uber Taxis is a better experience with GPS, Safety, and Online Payment, also that you will receive receipts via your registered Email.

Renting a car in Egypt is easy; all the international car hire agencies have offices in Egypt’s airports and towns. Rates are comparable to international car hire charges, and many companies offer online reservation facilities. Visit the agencies’ websites for more details on the car rental procedures.
To rent a vehicle and drive in Egypt, you’ll ask to provide an International Driving License.
Egyptians drive on the right-hand side of the road, and the official out-of-town speed limit is 90 km/h.
Here are some driving tips:

  • If you are thinking of driving around the cities, keep in mind that traffic is dense, especially in Cairo.
  • In the deserts, driving off-road without a guide is not advisable.
  • One last tip about driving: always keep your identity papers and driving license at hand; you might ask to show them at police checkpoints.

Hundreds of steamers operate along the Nile, with over two hundred in Upper Egypt alone. Most sail from Luxor to Aswan (or the other way) on a three- to five-day trip that stops at the temples of Esna, Edfu, and Kom Ombo. These luxurious, floating giants will forever change your outlook on travel.

Feluccas, or small sailboats, also serve as transportation. This crowd favorite allows you to experience the changing moods of the Nile while lolling in blissful indolence. Many visitors opt for a felucca cruise between Aswan and Luxor.

Additionally, local ferries cross the Nile and Suez Canal at various points. There are fast and slow ferries from Nuweiba in Sinai to Aqaba in Jordan. There is also a sporadic and slightly less reliable boat service from Aswan to Wadi Halfa in Sudan.

The less populated locales in Egypt are usually easily covered on foot. In larger cities, however, local transport is useful. Learn to recognize some Arabic numerals to take full advantage of the cheap buses, minibusses, and trams covering most of Alexandria and Cairo, which also have river taxis and an excellent metro/subway system.

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