After a gorgeous week on a Nile Cruise, we were back to our hotel in Hurgada but didn’t want to leave Egypt without seeing the pyramids! We had the chance to meet a guy in Louxor who booked for us a mini bus with two drivers who have been our guides through this crazy city: The Cairo! The first day we visited the Egyptian Museum, the Citadel and the Islamic Cairo. The second day we woke up in Guiza, visited the Pyramids and quickly the Old Cairo.
17 millions of people… That’s a lot, and a city full of trafic! We left Hurgada at 3.30am to arrive around 9. After one hour in the trafic we did a first stop at the Egyptian museum. It was reconstruction but totally worth it. Those rooms are just amazing, and the light from outside entering on those statues, sarcophagus, potteries, jewelleries, frescos, papyrus and hieroglyphs, is just magic! The furnitures made by wood and glass give you the sensation to be stuck in the past, when the archeologists discovered all those treasures.
Talking about treasures you also have the ones of Tutankhamen! The only thing I didn’t like was the Mommy part. You pay an extra fee to see corpses of kings and queens who built giants graves to finally finish in a museum… And if you want to see mummies you have some in the general exhibition anyway.
Egyptian Museum entrance fee: 160£
Visit duration: around 2h
Momy part extra: 180£
Photo rights: 50£
Mini bus for the 2 days: 50€/pers
Contact: Ahmed +20 103 090 2104 (whats app)
Time from Hurgada to Le Caire: around 6h (with one stop)
After that nice visit, we asked our drivers to leave us to the Saladin Citadel, one of the highest point of the city where you have several museums and Mohamed Ali’s mosque you can visit. We didn’t have a lot of time, so we just walked around and enjoy the nice view from there.
Citadel entrance: 140£
Taxi from the citadel to Al Azhar mosque: 50£ for 6 people
We wanted to cross it and walk directly to the islamic part of Cairo, but the way was closed so we took a small cab for 6 and went around El Azhar mosque, in the heart of this magic area. Small streets, lot of Corans to buy, and smiles to share! We split our group, ones have been to a Derwish dance show and we went to Khân al-Khalili with my mom to buy so,e stuff and enjoy a time in a very local « cafe » smoking water pipe and drinking a coffee.
– 100£ for a dress
– 40£ a pant with camels
– 20£ for 10 bookmarks
All the prices are negociable, usually when they anounce you a price you can devide by 2!
We had booked an hotel with an hotel with a gorgeous view on the pyramids and we were at the main entrance at 8.30am (it opens at 8am but we had to find an ATM before). We had a bad experience at the ticket office: we bought a 500£ ticket and when I asked if it included the great pyramid, the guy told me to go to the other line, where you have to buy a 360£ ticket… But once at the entrance of Keops pyramid, they told me I shouldn’t have buy two tickets: Keops was included in the 500£ ticket! I managed to have my money back, but had to pay 5€ baksheesh (1€ per person who helped me…) This is VERY annoying, kindless isn’t free in this country…
Anyway, after visiting the only room available in Keops pyramid, through a very small tunnel (very fast) we bought a tour with our friends in horses, camel and carriage. At the entrance you can see the official fee: 350£ for one hour tour, but as always you can negociate (our friends alone on a horse or camel paid 300£ and we paid a carriage 200£ for two). It was a fun experience, they lead you to a nice view point, but I was frustrated not to have more time there, looking at the details of those amazing and mysterious constructions. We didn’t have time neither to visit Khufu boat museum…
So after this view point they lead us to the Sphinx where our mini bus was waiting for us.
Old Cairo: Coptic part
We had only 1h to visit the Old Cairo, it’s really to short! We just had time to enter to the small labyrinth you can access from Mar Girgis’ street and visit quickly the Church of St George and its shrine, Saint Barbara, Saint Virgin Mary’s Churches, and Ben Ezra Synagogue. We didn’t have time to visit the Coptic Museum or the Babylon Fortress, but we quickly saw the Hanging Church. Everything was free and really gorgeous, those orthodox buildings are so diferent than ours… I think you can spend much more time there to fully enjoy this old Cairo.
I really loved my trip in Egypt, even if I didn’t really felt free to go where I wanted… Cairo wasn’t part of the plan but I think we did pretty well, but I would love to go back there and take my time to fully visit this crazy city (maybe using transports instead of taxi because of the trafic…). Also I would like to go back to Egypt and visit Dashour pyramids and the one of Saqqarah, close to Memphis.
Our best moments: