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Cairo, Post-Revolution

Cairo's anarchy-inducing rush hour might be one aspect of the city still unsafe for travelers. (stock photo)
Cairo's anarchy-inducing rush hour might be one aspect of the city still unsafe for travelers. (stock photo)

Cairo, Egypt, is a riveting blend of ancient and modern. I was apprehensive traveling here, though, because of reports of lingering unrest in Cairo after the country’s recent revolution. Yet I found the Egyptian people very friendly and did not feel threatened or unsafe at any time – especially for a female traveling solo.

Now's a great time to go: tourism is down, and there are no long lines at the major tourist venues. Prices have dropped as well.

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Be sure to visit both the Islamic and Coptic (Christian) sides of city. The Islamic side of the city includes the Citadel, and nearby is the “necropolis” where the living reside with the dead in a city-like cemetery. Islamic Cairo is best done on foot, as many of the mosques are within walking distance of each other. The Citadel, Al-Rifa'i Mosque and Mosque of Hassan are all in one area.

A different atmosphere prevails in the Coptic area of Cairo, where churches, cemeteries, museums and synagogues are squeezed in a clean, quiet district. Instead of mosques, churches are everywhere, and you’ll find Roman architecture rather than Egyptian. The Coptic area seems to be calm with an environment of serenity compared to the rest of the city; even the people in the souvenir shops were less threatening, I thought.

No visit to Cairo is complete without seeing the Egyptian Museum located near Tahrir Square, where you’ll view the Tutankhamun treasures, statues of the Old Kingdom and Nefertiti, and mummies of Hatchepsut and Amenhotep.

The ride into Cairo gives you a good sense of the city's congestion, pollution, confusion and noise – counterbalanced by its vibrant, unceasing 24/7 activity.

The Airport Shuttle Bus is a less-expensive way to get in from the airport. There are also black-and-white taxis and plain white taxis. The white taxis are a better choice, as they have meters and air conditioning and you don’t have to bargain over the fare.

In general, the best way to get around Cairo is by taxi. It only costs a few Egyptian pounds for a short journey. There are certain times of the day that should be avoided, however: between 7:30-9:00 a.m. and 3:00-5:00 p.m.

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Cairo's anarchy-inducing rush hour might be one aspect of the city still unsafe for travelers. (stock photo)
Cairo's anarchy-inducing rush hour might be one aspect of the city still unsafe for travelers. (stock photo)

Cairo, Egypt, is a riveting blend of ancient and modern. I was apprehensive traveling here, though, because of reports of lingering unrest in Cairo after the country’s recent revolution. Yet I found the Egyptian people very friendly and did not feel threatened or unsafe at any time – especially for a female traveling solo.

Now's a great time to go: tourism is down, and there are no long lines at the major tourist venues. Prices have dropped as well.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Be sure to visit both the Islamic and Coptic (Christian) sides of city. The Islamic side of the city includes the Citadel, and nearby is the “necropolis” where the living reside with the dead in a city-like cemetery. Islamic Cairo is best done on foot, as many of the mosques are within walking distance of each other. The Citadel, Al-Rifa'i Mosque and Mosque of Hassan are all in one area.

A different atmosphere prevails in the Coptic area of Cairo, where churches, cemeteries, museums and synagogues are squeezed in a clean, quiet district. Instead of mosques, churches are everywhere, and you’ll find Roman architecture rather than Egyptian. The Coptic area seems to be calm with an environment of serenity compared to the rest of the city; even the people in the souvenir shops were less threatening, I thought.

No visit to Cairo is complete without seeing the Egyptian Museum located near Tahrir Square, where you’ll view the Tutankhamun treasures, statues of the Old Kingdom and Nefertiti, and mummies of Hatchepsut and Amenhotep.

The ride into Cairo gives you a good sense of the city's congestion, pollution, confusion and noise – counterbalanced by its vibrant, unceasing 24/7 activity.

The Airport Shuttle Bus is a less-expensive way to get in from the airport. There are also black-and-white taxis and plain white taxis. The white taxis are a better choice, as they have meters and air conditioning and you don’t have to bargain over the fare.

In general, the best way to get around Cairo is by taxi. It only costs a few Egyptian pounds for a short journey. There are certain times of the day that should be avoided, however: between 7:30-9:00 a.m. and 3:00-5:00 p.m.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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