Arriving in Cairo

Oct 22nd, 2000, 03:13 PM
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Arriving in Cairo

We arrive in Cairo about 1:30 A.M. I've heard that we can buy liquor at the duty-free in the arrival lounge, even at that hour? It would save carrying it from the West Coast and during our lay-over in Amsterdam. Also, is the exchange rate the same for traveller's cheques as for cash?
Oct 26th, 2000, 09:09 AM
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Dunno about the exchange rate, but duty free shops are definitely open 24hours at the airport.
Nov 6th, 2000, 02:43 PM
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Do not count on anything at the airports...this includes changing Egyptian pound back to your currency......they would not do it for american $ anyway.
Nov 6th, 2000, 04:05 PM
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Hi Carol,

Are you joining a tour group in Cairo? If so you may want to do what we did in Oct. and buy your liquor in the duty free shop on your layover in Amsterdam - we did it at Heathrow. That way if you have a group to meet up with you will not miss them or hold them up. Remembering the Cairo airport late at night, even if you're on you own I wouldn't want to have to wander around at that hour. We bought flat plastic containers from an outdoor store at home and when we got to Cairo we emptied the liquor into them and just threw them in our carry bags for the entire trip. Saved lots of $ & hassle along the way - just got juice/mix from the boat (frig in rooms) and treated all our new friends for evening drinks. Some yummy Swiss duty free chocolate rounded out our happy hours.
Re the bank, they do charge for travelers cheques. We took more cash than normal and wore it in money belts inside our pants - came in very handy. I got some Egyptian $ before leaving home so I wouldn't have to worry about dealing with airport banks late at night. Usually airports give you lousy exchange rates. Used the bank at the Mena House and credit cards. Ended up cashing in the cheques on our return but felt it important to have some in case of robbery.
Happy travels
Nov 6th, 2000, 10:48 PM
Bjorn Alvik
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Hi, Carol.
Don't bother with Egyptian tax-free if you can avoid it. If you don't care about what kind of liqour, its OK. You will find very few different brands.
When arriving, you also have to change a minor amount to get into the country. The best thing is having someone from the Travel Agent meet you and take care of that business including baggage pick-up and hotel transfer. It is really crowdy down there....
Bjorn, Norway
Nov 8th, 2000, 04:39 PM
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Lee --
Did you find that drinks were very expensive in the hotels/nile cruise? I admire your cost saving measures but I'm wondering if lugging around a container filled with vodka is more trouble than it's worth. I leave for Egypt/Jordan in a month and am looking for all the tips I can get. Thanks!
Nov 14th, 2000, 04:41 PM
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Hi Molly,
We only ordered two screwdrivers at the bar of the Mena House and I can remember my husband's surprise at the bill. It was more expensive than Manhattan! Because liquor is not allowed to Egyptians (officially that is) it is very expensive because of the supply and demand situation & blackmarket). Didn't order on the boat, but heard folks comment on the high price before we went and during cruise.
If you get the flat plastic containers to put your purchase in it really isn't that heavy. It's the bottle that really weighs so much not the liquid. Do get good quality containers. Ours are made by Platypus (Seattle, WA) bought here in Canada.
The best thing we took for the entire Egyptian trip was our 'camelback' made by the same company. We use them for long hikes at home and they're great. Holds 3 1/2 litres of water (come in various sizes) and one has a hose with mouthpiece at shoulder height so we could just sip on our cold water all hot day long. Instead of having to lug around bottles of water everyday, we just filled the camelback each morning with cold water (buy it in the ship's diningroom and keep a good supply in your room frig). Never had to hassle trying to find water on the street or worry about the trick of refilling containers with dirty water. The backpack also has small pouches for the supplies you want to carry daily - kleenex, bacterial wipes, camera/film, my wonderful umbrella-saves your life, fan, etc. Well worth picking one up as it's so nice to have your hands free for shopping!!! Happy travels

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