Advice from a local: Is it safe to travel to Cairo?

November 12, 2018
Urban Adventures

When it comes to travelling on our tours, we put safety first, which is why we wanted to address travel advisories recently released by the UK and US governments, advising against travel to certain parts of Egypt. We spoke with our Cairo Urban Adventures team, who have said that Cairo is not one of those regions — in fact, in October 2018, US First Lady Melania Trump even visited the pyramids area herself for a day trip.

“When you’re looking at all the travel warnings of Egypt, it’s easy to miss how rarely they concern Cairo. As Cairo is somewhat safer, it is left unmentioned in many travel advisories,” reports our Cairo Urban Adventures team. “Please rest assure it’s safer now than before after the Arab Spring; things are back to normal and there have been no demonstrations for nearly four years now.”

In their safety and security section, the US government describes the crime levels in Cairo and Alexandria as “moderate.” Note that most crimes that target foreigners are crimes of opportunity such as pickpocketing. Cairo is a busy city with lots of tourists and most of the hotels are running at almost full occupancy.

Egyptian pyramids and tour guide

Have the Best. Day. Ever. with us at the Pyramids | Photo by Cairo Urban Adventures

Headed to Cairo soon? Check out what our local tour guide Sameh had to say about his hometown.

What’s your favourite activity to do in Cairo?

Definitely has to be camel riding at the Pyramids of Giza — it’s an unbeatable experience! Also, sailing on a felucca down the Nile in Aswan City is not a bad idea either…

Where should a visitor go in Cairo if they want to experience the local culture?

No doubt Old Cairo and Khan el-Khalili bazaar are the real authentic areas of Egypt. You get to see old churches and mosques, and then you can rest in one of the oldest coffee shops in Egypt in the bazaar.

What is your favourite food from Cairo? Or Egypt?

Koshary, which is a traditional Egyptian dish made from pasta, rice, beans, chickpea and noodles, all covered with tomato sauce and vinegar. Yum!

What is your favourite part of Cairo to show off to new visitors?

There are many places to visit and see, but I like downtown area and The Egyptian Museum, a great place to go in the morning. In the evening, I like to walk through Islamic Cairo and enjoy the views of different mosques, which date back to the 12th to 15th centuries.

What is it like to live and work in Cairo?

Cairo is a capital of Egypt so it is always crowded, but we’re used to it. There is a lot of energy in the city, and we like it that way. It is crowded and busy but there is always something to do. Cairo is the other city that never sleeps!

What safety tips would you give people travelling to Cairo?

My Cairo safety advice would include:

1. Be careful when you cross the street — the traffic can be crazy!
2. Carry a photocopy of your passport and leave your original one in a hotel safety deposit box.
3. Make sure you have your hotel’s phone number and address whenever you’re out and about.
4. If you want go anywhere by taxi, make sure you use the white taxis.
5. Use local money to buy goods or souvenirs from the market.
6. Do not take pictures of the locals unless you ask them.
7. Do not take pictures of the police checkpoints.
8. Do not give money to children in the street.
9. Do not drink alcohol in the street.

Check out our day tours in Cairo to see what kinds of adventures with locals you could have in this magical city.