How to Get Around in Egypt: Public and Private Transportation

getting around egypt

Egypt has much to offer tourists, from the emblematic pyramids in Giza, to coastal resorts such as Sharm El Sheikh in addition to a number of fascinating cities to explore.

With so much to see and do, travelers will want to plan how to get around in Egypt in order to make the most of their trip.

Whist driving in Egypt is possible, many tourists prefer to make use of private and public transportation systems.

This guide to getting around in Egypt explains the best transport options available depending on the area of the country and the distance to be covered.

How to Get from Cairo Airport to the City Center

Cairo International Airport is the most important of all Egypt’s ports of entry for overseas visitors. From the airport, most tourists head into the city center, either to reach accommodation or to take connecting transportation.

Hiring a private car with a driver is the most convenient option for tourists

There are several companies offering car and driver services around Cairo Airport, the vehicle is booked in advance and should be waiting to collect the passenger on arrival.

One major advantage of using a private vehicle rather than a taxi is that the price is agreed beforehand, this avoids passengers being overcharged. It is also one of the quickest ways to get to the final destination as the driver will go straight to the address provided.

Pre-booking a private vehicle is the recommended option if traveling to Egypt with children.

Taking a taxi from the airport to downtown Cairo city

Travelers who have not arranged a private vehicle with a driver can instead take a taxi from the airport to the city center. There are plenty of taxis waiting outside the arrivals hall, official Cairo taxis are black and white.

To avoid being overcharged, it is important to agree on the price before setting off. It should cost no more than 50 to 100 Egyptian Pounds (3 to 6 USD).

Ride-hailing mobile apps are operational and can be used instead of a traditional taxi service. Careem is a popular option.

Public transportation from Cairo Airport to the city center

The least expensive way to get from the airport to the urban center is to take the public bus, costing around 8 EGP (0.5 USD).

The bus has several stops and takes over an hour to get to the center so it is the slowest version. Public transportation is used widely by locals.

Traveling Long Distances in Egypt

With interesting cities and attractions distributed throughout the country, visitors may wish to cover long distances in order to see as much of the country as possible.

Several transportation options are available for getting from A to B comfortably.

Air travel: taking domestic flights in Egypt

To get from one part of Egypt to another quickly, flying can often be the most practical solution. The main domestic airline is EgyptAir which connects most major airports.

Many tourists going from Cairo to Luxor, for example, prefer the 1-hour flight to a 7-hour car journey.

How to get around Egypt by road

Hiring a car

Drivers can rent a car to drive around Egypt. Anyone intending to do so should familiarize themselves with the road regulations and will need to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP).

Motoring in Egypt offers greater flexibility than Egypt public transport but can be challenging for foreigners who are not used to the driving conditions.

Long distance coach journeys

Tourists who prefer not to get behind the wheel can cover longer distances by coach. This is a popular means of transportation as coaches are generally economical and have air conditioning.

Tickets can be purchased online. The bus from Cairo to Hurghada takes 7 hours and costs 225 EGP (14 USD).

Traveling by train in Egypt

Whilst coaches are usually more comfortable than trains in Egypt, the advantage of using the rail network is that heavy traffic can be avoided, especially if visiting places close to Cairo.

First, second, and third-class tickets are available. It’s usually worth paying a little extra for a seat in first-class, darga ula, to enjoy air conditioning, padded seats and drinks, and snacks service.

Sleeper trains can be a good way to travel through the night, they have bunk beds and offer meals.

Traveling Short Distances in Egypt

There are plenty of private and public transportation systems in Egypt suitable for getting around the main tourist attractions within towns and cities.

Currently only Cairo has a metro service, whilst both Cairo and Alexandria have tram networks. Elsewhere, the following modes of transport can be used:

Taxis, ride-hailing, and taxi tours in Egypt

As mentioned above, taxis can be a convenient provided that the fare is agreed upon before beginning the journey.

Taxi tours are a hassle-free way to see several sights in one city or area. A day tour in Aswan costs from 300 to 400 EGP (18 to 25 USD).

Careem and other ride-hailing apps are also practical for covering short distances quickly in the city.

Minibus services in and around Egyptian cities

Minibusses, known as microbuses, are privately owned vans and very common, especially in urban areas.

There are no official stops, rather the minibusses can be flagged down and drop each passenger off at their requested destination. Most microbusses have seats for 14 travelers.

Getting around in Egypt on foot

It is possible to walk from centrally located accommodation to certain tourist attractions in Egypt. Carrying a map is recommended.

In some cities, such as Cairo, guides offer walking tours which are a good way to explore the area and benefit from expert local knowledge.