Cairo help, please

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Aug 14th, 2005, 06:25 AM
  #1
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Cairo help, please

On our upcoming tour of Egypt we have some free time in Cairo and would like to visit the Coptic area, the Bazaar and dine in a local restaurant. Is it advisable at this time to do this on our own, or book a private guide for this excursion?
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Aug 14th, 2005, 07:48 AM
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I would do it on your own. Especially the bazaar. Otherwise you are paying for your "guides" cut in any purchase you make their (or anyplace) and the guide will take you to the shops where he gets a cut in whatever you buy. And they might not be the best shops.
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Aug 14th, 2005, 07:57 AM
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Depends on your Nationality....if American I would book a private..Much to see if you know how to get there. Traffic is horrid if you plan to drive yourself. We did not care for the Bazaar..Time is better spent in the Museum, and safer.
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Aug 14th, 2005, 08:07 AM
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mimi, we also have some free time for one day in Cairo. It happens to be our first day and I wanted to spend it by seeing some of the Coptic churches and some interesting cemetaries in Cairo. I also wanted to have a day for cultural acclimation, meaning the ins and outs of ettiquet, getting comfortable with local behavior that might be a little out of place in the UK or USA (let's face it NO ONE on earth lines up for things in such an orderly fasion We did opt to hire a guide (an American woman living in Cairo) just for one day, she's going to come to our hotel and pick us up in the AM and take us to some places not covered in our tour. With such a limited window of free time, I wanted to be able to make the best of it, and felt that a local would be able to more efficiently be able to direct us to the sights and some of the more residential neighborhoods.

We leave in September, if you are leaving after that time, I will be posting a trip report.
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Aug 14th, 2005, 05:09 PM
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We were in Egypt in 1999, opted out of the tour from Cairo to Alexandria since it didnt make sense to spend 6 hours on bus. we got a cab at our hotel, asked to be taken to the tent makers bazaar, found a mosque with caretaker willing to show us around, toured the bazaar, had coffee, bought pillows - which i still have on my porch, and generally wandered around. we were the only americans around. everyone was very friendly - all in all we had a fine time and saw a part of Cairo no one else on our tour saw. When our group's scheduled tour of the market and mosque were cancelled, we were glad we had gone on our own. I know it was 6 years ago, but I'd do it again without hesitation. Just dress appropriately and take a scarf for the mosque.
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Aug 16th, 2005, 03:55 AM
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We were in Cairo this past Egypt with free time and an agenda similar to yours. We hired a driver from our hotel (Mena House), and he took us to 3 mosques and the Coptic Area one day and to the Bazaar the next day. It was very efficient (and nice) to be dropped off in front and have our ride waiting for us when we were ready to leave. Our driver also answered our questions and suggested places to dine and visit (not shopping). The other option,which was not available to us that day, would be to hire Debbie Senters (http://casualcairodetours.pyramids.net) to take you around. We used her for a day trip to Alexandria and had a very enjoyable time.
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Aug 16th, 2005, 03:57 AM
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Oops, first sentence should read: We were in Cairo this past April.....
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Aug 27th, 2005, 04:56 AM
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Yes, I agree with the previous suggestions to hire a car with driver from the hotel (you may not need a guide, usually drivers are enought to take you to the places you are interested in )
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