Planning a visit to the land of the pharaohs? Get ready to have the trip of a lifetime because it would probably take a lifetime to visit everything in Cairo, Egypt.
So here are a few do’s and don’ts to get you by a little easier. Save your energy and time for all the places you need to visit.
Try all the famous Egyptian cuisines from koshary and molokhya to every street food there is.
Bargain anything and everything. You will be surprised at how low the prices can go.
Learn a little Arabic. It will help you through a lot.
Make use of your comfortable sneakers. Between the unpaved streets, the dirt, and the walks you’d rather take than get stuck in traffic; only sneakers will be practical.
Give tips and carry around cash. Not all Egyptian stores use credit cards.
Always carry hand sanitizers and toilet papers; they aren’t common in Cairo’s public bathrooms.
Do most of your food shopping from supermarkets instead of touristic sites and you will end up saving a lot.
Always carry a bottle of water to keep you hydrated and avoid tape water as a drinking source.
Mingle with Egyptians. You wouldn’t get the full experience of visiting a country if you don’t mingle with its people, so don’t miss out on exploring another aspect of Egypt: its citizens!
Don’t try to cross the street on your own unless you’re accompanied by someone from Egypt. You’d have to do stunts like crossing the street with cars rushing all the time, which only Egyptians can pull off. This may be alarming at first but you will get used to it
Don’t use the subway during rush hour. In fact, don’t use transportation in the rush hour, which can probably last for more than an hour. Cairo is one of the most populated cities with over 2 million commuters a day, and the city is always alive be it 3 in the morning or in the afternoon. However, away from rush hour, the subway is the most practical means of transportation around Cairo.
Don’t pet street animals.
Don’t rely on the GPS but ask the locals instead. Endless number of times has the GPS located my destination in the middle of the Nile (:’D) so ask locals to reach your destination. However, be sure to ask those who look smart, so you don’t get lost should they choose to improvise instead of saying “I don’t know”.
For women, dress a bit modestly, especially that it’s the capital city.
And finally, our biggest don’ts:
Don’t miss out on this country.
Don’t leave a spot unexplored. It’s many worlds from different eras all mixed up in one land.