Transport in Cairo
The fastest and most comfortable way to get Egypt is by plane. The International Airport of Cairo is located 22 Km outside Cairo’s Downtown. There are many connections between Cairo and the main European cities, as well as some cities of Asia like Hong Kong. The main national airlines are “Egypt Air” and “Air Sinai”, which have many connections with several cities in Egypt.
Cairo has a great population (around 15 million inhabitants); therefore, the city needs many means of transport. Transport in Cairo is composed by an extensive road network, rail system, subway and maritime service.
Metro of Cairo
Cairo is the main hub of the communications network of Egypt. There are many roads that connect this city with most cities and villages of Egypt. The long distance bus service, connects Cairo with several cities and villages of the country, as well as some international destines like Libya or Jordan.
Cairo is connected with several other cities in Egypt by train. The main train station is “Ramses” and is located at “Midan Ramses”. There are first class trains, which connect Cairo with Alexandria, Luxor and Aswan.
There is a public bus service, which offers several lines that allow reach almost any zone of the city. The bus service of Cairo has several classes and prices, depending of the route. There is also a service of Mini-buses, which is less comfortable, but the network is more extensive.
The cheapest way to transport in Cairo is the service of Micro-bus, nevertheless, it is also the most uncomfortable and unreliable; since it is managed by private individuals, just as the taxis, which were usually former models of cars. But, since 2006; there is a new organized private taxi service, which is composed by yellow cars more luxurious, reliable and modern (Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Optra, Volkswagen Parati; some of them with conditioned air). Most cab drivers speak English and an average cab ride cost around $3.
Boat in the Nile River
Cairo owns also the only metro system of Africa, which was inaugurated in 1987. This metro service is composed by two operational lines and it is managed by the National Authority for Tunnels. The first line of metro runs from the industrial Helwan at south to the Downtown and the second line run from Heliopolis at northeast to the Downtown. A standard trip by metro costs around $0.20, but the price can vary depending of distance. An important detail is that all trains have two cars in the middle, which are reserved for women, but women are not obliged to travel in these cars (it is only an option). There is also a small tram line, which connects the Downtown of the city with Heliopolis.
The ferry is also a popular mean of transport in Cairo and Egypt. There are several ferries available along the Nilo River. The river terminal of the city is “Maspero”. The boats departs from the university and continue south to Manial, Rhoda, Giza and Masr al-Qadima (in the Downtown).
Another option is rent a car; but, driving in Cairo can be a terrible experience, mainly if you don’t have patience. Most drivers don’t respect the rules of transit; therefore, usually there is a great chaos in the street, mainly in the peak hours. There are several “Rent a Car” agencies like Hertz, Avis or Alamo, which have offices both in the city and the airport. If you want to drive in Egypt, you need an international driver’s license and 25 years old minimum.
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