What to do with just 1 day in Cairo?

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Jun 2nd, 2004, 04:22 PM
  #1
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What to do with just 1 day in Cairo?

A colleague and I will be in Cairo on business later this month and have only one full free day, plus maybe a few hours on another day, for sightseeing. Neither of us has ever been there. For those of you who have been to Cairo, how would you spend the day if you were in my position?
(I'm a seasoned traveler, in case that matters.)
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Jun 2nd, 2004, 04:57 PM
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Early AM see Pyramids. Then onto Museum - spend most of rest of day there with perhaps a brief walk through of old Coptic area of city.
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Jun 2nd, 2004, 11:37 PM
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Agree with gail above, if you have only 1 day see the Pyramids first thing.

The Museum can take up as much time as you wish - you could get in close to lunch and be there till the evening

Evening / night at Khan-el-Khalili is great - the place comes alive at night. THE place for trying out apple flavoured hookahs / shishas.
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Jun 2nd, 2004, 11:38 PM
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Alternatively you could also take a walk along the Nile corniche as the sun goes down.
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Jun 3rd, 2004, 02:26 AM
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I agree Pyramids early,If you want to get inside the great pyramid they only allow 150 people in the a.m. and same in p.m. If you have the budget we paid a private guide to secure our tickets as they are hard to come by,you wind up in the burial chamber of the king.Museum in p.m. should not be missed.
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Jun 3rd, 2004, 05:24 PM
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Thanks for these ideas. I wasn't sure whether to go to the pyramids in the morning or evening -- consensus seems to be morning. And we're staying at the Nile Hilton, so that will be easy access to the museum. Thanks for the advice about walking along the Nile Corniche. Definitely up my alley.
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Jun 4th, 2004, 01:44 AM
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Crossing the street in Cairo is a death-defying experience. Even though your hotel is close to Museum, please be careful. It seems that traffic signals, highway markings, etc are merely for decorative purposes in Cairo - we were told it is some kind of macho thing to run lights, scare pedestrians, race other cars, drive 4 across on a 2-lane highway. It is a sign of "wimpiness" to use headlights at night.

It is actually rather amusing to see the traffic - part of the local culture - as long as you do not get run down (At least drivers seem to respect sidewalks - unlike in my city, Boston, where they are sometimes used as convenient parking spaces)
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Jun 4th, 2004, 02:14 AM
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We stayed at the Nile Hilton recently. It is so close to the Egyptian Museum, you dont even need to cross a street.

At the Hilton, ask if you can have a Nile View. It does not cost much more, and sitting on the balcony watching folks walk along the Corniche and the river traffic was unforgettable.

Also, if you go to the Ramses Hilton (about 2 blocks away but take a cab as you DO have to cross streets to go there), you can see the pyramids from the rooftop bar. Amazing to see them as the sun was setting.

We had a wonderful dinner at Arabesque. It is about 2 blocks behind the Nile Hilton, walkable. Very local, but upscale. It looks suspect as you must walk through a hallway picture gallery to get to the entrance, but it is very sophisticated with excellent food & service.

You can smoke the shisha at the Ibis cafe, outside, at the back of the hotel.

We did not have a set plan when we arrived in Cairo, we just asked for a guide at the front desk of the Hilton when we arrived, and one was provided.

Or you can simply go to the taxi stand behind the hotel, and negotiate with a driver there. Very simple to do - all speak some english.

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Jun 4th, 2004, 03:55 AM
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Queenie - I think it is a toss-up whether it is safer to walk or take a taxi in Cairo - transportation is truly an adventure!

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Jun 4th, 2004, 04:26 AM
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Crossing the street in Cairo is not as dangerous as it first appears; it is an art, however. Spend a few minutes watching locals. The secret is to find a space in the oncoming traffic and step into it stop between 'lanes' until the next space appears and step into it. Repeat as necessary.

Actually, drivers will cut you a lot more slack than you will find in Rome, New York or Paris; they don't know whether you're smart enough to avoid being hit and will slow down for you. Once you've mastered this, you will believe that you can do anything - except maybe drive there.

Do not miss the Khan, it's an experience yoou will never find in Europe or America.
 
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Jun 4th, 2004, 05:01 AM
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When it comes to crossing the street - look for some elderly folk. Grab hold of their air or stay real close and walk when they do / stop when they do.

As someone recently mentioned to me - it's not that they won't get run over, but they're old enough to know how to do it without getting killed, apparently.

Do the Pyramids early, then head off to the Museum, old Cairo late in afternoon, and do get over to the Khan el Khalili Bazaar to shop and eat.

Your hotel can arrange a guide and driver and an air conditioned vehicle at a very moderate price for your convenience (dont forget to tip guide and driver).
 
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Jun 4th, 2004, 09:42 AM
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Why all the fuss about crossing streets in Cairo? I thought it was a breeze!

Perhaps its all relative - I just happen to be from Bombay, and in all Indian cities, you do learn the fine art of dodging them cars ;-)
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