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Planning a visit to Cairo area

Old Oct 19th, 2009, 03:38 PM
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Planning a visit to Cairo area

I have just confirmed my airline reservations and am planning our Cairo visit. We have from early 7am on Sept 7(Tuesday) to a very early departure on Sept 12 (Sunday). Do we have time for a quick trip to Luxor or should we just stay in Cairo.?

Planning on staying at the Marriott Zamalek. Which room type do you recommend? Should we use transport by the hotel or just a taxi? Four of us traveling together.

thanks!
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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 08:17 PM
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Hi Patiricia

I think what you are saying is that in effect you will have 5 days in Egypt - since you have an early departure on the 12th Sept?

In that case then I would suggest you contact a tour provider (based in Egypt) to organise your tours etc for you.

I would suggest you do try and put a day in luxor in if possible, and you can do that by either flying down to Luxor or by taking the overnight train.

For example. you could do the following

7th Sept, take a day visiting Giza (pyramids and Sphinx), saqqara and memphis. and then take the overnight sleeper train down to Luxor.

8th Sept, arrive luxor and start with a tour of the West bank of the nile (valley of Kings, Hatshepsut, colossi of memnon). Get some lunch in Luxor City and then in the afternoon take the East Bank of the Nile Tours to Luxor and Karnak Temples. Take the overnight sleeper train back up to Cairo

9th Sept, I would then do the Citadel, Museum and Khan el Khalili, with Lunch during the day.

10th Sept, you could take an overday tour to Alexandria as it will be nice in September.

11th Sept, you could then do a tour of the Old and Islamic Cairo Areas.

Then obviously you will be checking in for your flight very early morning on the 12th so I would make sure you book your room at the hotel to ensure you have the night of the 11th, as otherwise you will have to check out around lunchtime on the 11th and you wont have the hotel for the rest of the evening.

This way your accommodation costs would be less as your transportation to and from luxor would include your beds. and so you would only need 3 nights hotel in Cairo

I normally recommend a Tour company called Egypt Quality Tours as they do dedicated tailored private tours with private cars etc. You could contact them and they might be able to arrange all of this for you, including your train and your accommodation in Cairo.

Either way I definately recommend a day in Luxor.

Best regards

Scotsgirl
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Old Oct 20th, 2009, 07:54 AM
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I would agree with scotsgirl that you can fit in a trip to Luxor, but I would probably skip Alexandria on this trip. First of all, are you arriving by overnight flight on the 7th? When we arrived in Cairo from California, we slept away the entire first day (we arrived at night, slept through the night and all the next day....I think if we had arrived in the morning, we could have forced ourselves to do some sightseeing first, but of course, arriving at night that was not possible).

I agree that it is possible to do all the "necessary" sightseeing in Luxor in one full day, although Luxor is nice, so staying overnight would not be a bad idea.

I might suggest:

Arrive in Cairo early on the 7th....do some sightseeing if you can stay awake (Giza, Sakkhara, Memphis as scotsgirl suggested).

On the 8th, stay in Cairo (too soon to be traveling again) and do the Egyptian Museum, Islamic and Coptic Cairo.

Either take the overnight sleeper train to Luxor (we did, and really enjoyed the trip) or fly to Luxor in the morning. Sightseeing in Luxor on the 9th and 10th. Back to Cairo late on the 10th, either by train or fly.

11th - Khan al Khalili and anything you missed in Cairo on the first leg.
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Old Oct 20th, 2009, 12:20 PM
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Wow, wonderful replies, thank you. We will be coming from safari in Botswana so will be in the same relative time zones anyway, shouldn't be too bad for sightseeing the first day. I think going direct to Luxor might be better (suggested by Casual Cairo) as it is the end of Ramadan. One night in Luxor and a later flight back or the one way train. What is the train like? My hubbie loves train travel but I am not so keen unless it is luxurious. What about hotels in Luxor?
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Old Oct 20th, 2009, 07:19 PM
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>>

It is NOT luxurious. It's fine, it's comfortable, the service is good, but luxurious -- no.

We stayed at the Steigenbarger Nile Palace in town, and thought it was very nice. The room is nice sized, kind of "Marriott-like" furnishings. Very good fitness center and nice pool (with good poolside restaurant). There are other hotels that people like outside of town, but we definitely wanted to be in town. Even nicer than the Steigenbarger is next door, the Sonesta St. George. We didn't stay there becuase they were in the midst of construction that we thought would be bothersome. We walked through the main floor, though, and it seemed very nice.

If you're in the same time zone, and can get to Luxor easily, I think doing Luxor first is a good idea. Arrive in Luxor on the 7th and relax (go to the market in the evening). Sightee in Luxor on the 8th and part of the 9th, then fly to Cairo the night of the 9th (the airport in Luxor is just 20 minutes from town -- very modern airport), so you have two full days in Cairo the 10th and 11th.
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Old Feb 10th, 2010, 12:11 PM
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We have decided to change our trip around a bit and go to Luxor on the 10th and stay one night, and back to Cairo mid-day on the 11th. We have a 5am flight the next day so I am thinking of staying nearer the airport. Any thoughts on the Fairmont Towers or other hotel nearby? i think we will just want to relax by the pool, have dinner and a quick sleep.
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Old Feb 10th, 2010, 09:34 PM
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The Staybridge Suites might be worth looking at.
We are trying to decide between this and the Marriott for our last day as well
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Old Feb 12th, 2010, 09:31 AM
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The Staybridge is new, but won't have the ammenities of a regular 5* hotel. I think it may have a pool or share one with the Holiday Inn next door to it. The best news is it is attached to City Stars Mall, which is our SUPER MALL - 3 Starbucks inside and MORE!

Any of them (JW Marriott, Fairmont or Staybridge) would be fine for getting to the airport when you have to leave.
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Old Feb 13th, 2010, 11:28 PM
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Thanks Debbie. We have decided on Staybridge for our first night to save on a long drive into town at night. We plan to leave for Aswan the next morning around 11.30 am. Doubt we will have much time in the SUPER MALL though

The 2 bed unit in the Staybridge is working out much more economical for the 4 of us than the JW Marriott, and you apparently share facilities with the Intercontinental next door.
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Old Feb 26th, 2010, 08:07 AM
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There is so much to see in Cairo to keep you busy. I think that Luxor deserves a holiday on its own. Due to the heat most good guides will advise you to go on excursions early in the day. Maybe you would consider a 7 day Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan and back to Luxor. These cruises are the best way to see a large number of interesting sights. I advise you to do your research before travelling to Cairo. You can contact a great friend of mine for more advise before travelling. I recommend him as a tour guide as sometimes the quality of guides in Cairo is a bit hit and miss. A good guide will advise and recommend a suitable itinery to suit your needs. email [email protected] Consider the egyptology museum, the Citadel, pyramids and sphinx, then have a day at Memphis and Saqqara, Dashur, Coptic Cairo,Zoo, I love Egypt and have been for the last 4 years and still have not seen all that I intend to see.
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Old Feb 26th, 2010, 12:53 PM
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about the email address i provided it should read [email protected] sorry for my mis spelling.
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