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Visas & Taxis in Egypt

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Visas & Taxis in Egypt

1. Posted by C.Glynn (Budding Member 26 posts) 7y

C.Glynn has indicated that this thread is about Egypt

Question #1: Is it as easy as they say? Getting the visa at Cairo airport? Or should I get one before hand?

Question #2: Taxis. How hard is it, really, to get from the airport to your hotel? Any advice on dealing with the drivers.. such as agreeing on a price BEFORE hand ;)

Regards,
C.Glynn

2. Posted by Overlandin (Budding Member 82 posts) 7y

Hey there,

Assuming you do not need a visa in advance (depends on your nationality) - yes it is very easy to get your visa at the airport. As you arrive into the arrivals hall you head to the money exchange desk (to the right of the immigration queue) and purchase the visa (which is a small sticker) and then you go to the immigration desk to be stamped into the country.

As for taxi's it is also not hard at all it just depends on how tired you are and how much bartering you want to do. Definitely agree on a price beforehand although that is no guarantee that they won't ask you for more later. However you can of course say no. Many hotels (especially the budget to mid range ones) will collect you from the airport for about the same price as you will pay in a taxi.

Just so you know.... last November I paid EGY60 to get 3 of us from the airport to Mohandesseen which is a fair distance.

Good luck!

3. Posted by C.Glynn (Budding Member 26 posts) 7y

Thanks for the advice Overlandin.

After a 10-12 hour flight I may be a BIT drowsy... we shall see how it goes. Asking hotel to send to collect us sounds like an option. hadn't thought of that actually.

4. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

Egyptian taxi drivers can be (I'm not syaing they all are - but every one I've travelled with has been) sharks.
I've done taxis in many parts of Egypt. There's one golden rule. It's easy and it's free..........
Get the price of the trip before you get in. Double check that's what the driver said. Then you'll be OK.
I got stung (very painfully) just once - back in my novice travelling days - we all do it, then I got the tip I'm giving you. It doesn't just work in Egypt, it works everywhere. But the Egypt taxi drivers are amongst the worst for conning people, that I've ever experienced.
Have a great 1.

5. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

Sounds like you haven't experienced Israeli taxi drivers yet, redpaddy. They make Egyptian taxi drivers look really tame in comparision and that is quite a feat.

C. Glynn, in Egypt everything has 2 prices, Tourist price and Egyptian price. Tourist prices are similar to what you'd pay for the same service at home, which no normal Egyptian could ever afford. If you are not used to the prices in Egypt you might be charged the tourist price, so beware. This especially goes for the taxi to and from the airport: They will try to charge you as if you were in New York and quote you prices which would be normal for a taxi driver in New York, but not for Cairo.

As a rule one Egyptian pound in Egypt is just as valueable to an Egyptian as one USD is to you in the USA. You can pretty much buy the same things for 1 LE in Egypt as you can buy for 1 USD in the USA.

So if an Egyptian asks you for 5 USD you can be pretty sure that the real price is around 5-10 LE, which is approx. 1 USD.

6. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

Quoting t_maia

Sounds like you haven't experienced Israeli taxi drivers yet, redpaddy. They make Egyptian taxi drivers look really tame in comparision and that is quite a feat.

I've never experienced the 2 price thing you talk about. I have done various places in Egypt and not come across this 2 price strategy. To take it a step further, I have travelled with Egyptian friends in taxis - and done the same trips on my own. Identical price every time. Perhaps you just ain't got the knack of telling a cab driver that he's ripping you off. It happens everywhere in Europe too. Morocco's the same. No tourist rate for me there either.

[ Edit: Edited on 18-Jul-2009, at 03:25 by Redpaddy ]

7. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

Well, I do have the knack for it. I've walked away from a yelling and cursing taxi driver who tried to convince me that I had to pay double the fare. But I knew I was right, so I gave him the correct fare (5 Egyptian pounds plus 1 pound as safety margin and as pay for his cussing, I learned quite a number of Arabic swear words that day!) and just walked away.

8. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

I just hate taxis. Only take em if there's nowt else as an alternative, or Im in a desperate rush. Just hate em.

9. Posted by Mohax1 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y

visa ..easy to take from airport 15 usd as American citizen
taxi is easy to take from airport to your hotel
to down town 60 le
better to establish the price with the driver in advance...and do not give him till he take you to your hotel.
try not to follow taxi drivers in their offers....and wait till you are in your hotel to ask about any info, cause you hotel is more responsible about their info.
have a nice trip
greetings from Egypt
Mohamed

10. Posted by vickim (Full Member 125 posts) 7y

Try to find out if you hotel can pick you up even if it costs you more. It is just so frutsrating at the start of your trip to have to deal with Egyptian taxi drivers when you get off the plane.