Cairo is the capital of Egypt and with more than 16 million people it belongs to the world’s most densely populated cities.
Located on the Nile River, Cairo is the center of history and culture, so some of the well visited tourist attractions in relation to its past are The Egyptian Museum, the Giza Pyramids and Saqqara Pyramid Complex. The 19th century palaces really astonish the experienced travelers.
Besides being connected to the past, Cairo is also a very modern city. While in Cairo, tourists are amazed with the center of town, as well as with the shopping at the Khan al-Khalili bazaar. New Cairo is cleaner and safer part of the city where upper class families live and it is in constant development.
Warnings & Dangers in Cairo
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
Even though there is a possibility of a terrorist attack in Cairo, the authorities are doing their best to make the city as safe as possible. Security measures are at the highest level and tourists are protected by special police force. Violent crime risk is not so high, but petty theft risk is increasing, so it is better not to show off your money in public.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
The most advisable thing in relation to Cairo is not to drive there. Besides that it is not recommended, it is also unnecessary, since the public transport is great. The traffic is hectic and traffic violation tickets are huge. There are situations when you can bump other cars that are blocking your way or your side-view mirror may get hit. Be aware of the fact that Cairo drivers do not use headlights.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH
Millions of travellers come to Cairo to see one of the world’s seven wonders – the Great Pyramids – and certainly bring money with them, so thieves, that use different strategies to rob people, are attracted by them and they frequently operate here. The stealing of wallets and valuables from distracted tourists who are focused on the beauty of the sights, is the easiest way to get money, so bear in mind the fact that you can become an easy prey if you do not look at your personal belongings.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
There are various natural hazards that might happen in Cairo, due to its location, and some of them are sand and dust storms, floods and landslides.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
There have been reports of some kidnappings in distant areas, but it was usually the case of kidnapping Egyptians, and not tourists. In major cities like Cairo, there is no threat of being kidnapped. Muggers frequently tend to steal sports cars and they have arms with themselves. The best solution is to give them the car, because that is the only way not to be harmed by them.
TERRORISM RISK : HIGH
Even though it is low, the threat of terrorism in Cairo exists. The usual strategies include explosive devices, car-bombs, and drive-by shootings at the crowded areas, particularly in front of the main tourist’s sites. Tourists are not the direct target, but may become victims.
SCAMS RISK : HIGH
Taxi scams are the most frequent ones as many drivers overcharge tourists if they notice that you do not know the city and most taxis do not have meters, so the driver determines the price. The best way to protect yourself from this scam is to agree on the price before you get in the taxi. A taxi may also stop at some type of perfume shop or any other shop that he/she get the provision from and there you will be forced to buy something.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : HIGH
Unlike in many other countries, female travelers are not advised to come alone in Cairo. Even though many of them spend their holiday without having problems, there have been reports of women being attacked. Women should be dressed modestly. In each train, there is a separate car for them, usually placed in the middle of the train.
So... How Safe Is Cairo Really?
Even though Cairo is a very attractive to tourists, the number of them is decreasing due to the constant threat of terrorism and the level of overall risk.
Cairo is an extremely fun city which offers a lot in terms of business, shopping, amusement and history with many churches and other historical buildings, especially in Old Cairo.
If you want to feel safe while in Cairo, you should follow some advice, such as avoid eye contact with strangely looking people, keep an eye on your possessions and be rude, because the politeness is only perceived as weakness.
While you practice common sense and take safety precautions, there is no possibility of becoming an easy prey in Cairo.
- Visas - If you come as a tourist, there is a 30-day visa which can be obtained at the airport and it costs $25 USD. Another solution for getting a visa is in the Egyptian embassy before coming to Egypt. For all the information, you can visit certain sites online.
- Currency - The Egyptian pound is the official currency in Egypt. ATMs and cash machines are available in all the major cities in the country. Since you need to exchange your money, the most advisable is to do that at the airport, where you might not get the best rates, but you will certainly avoid false banknotes.
- Weather - The weather in the desert is characterized by hot days and cool nights. Winter lasts from November to April and summer season is from May to October. The best time for visiting Cairo is period from November to March, when sporadic hot winds blow from the desert and cover the whole of Cairo in a dust. These dust storms are great for tourists to see. Tourists need to be aware that all the hotels have air-conditioners, but very little of them have a heater.
- Airports - The most often used airport when coming to Cairo is Cairo International Airport which is the second biggest airport in Africa. There are numerous international airports in Africa, such as Alexandria International Airport, Marsa Matrouh International Airport, Hurghada International Airport, Sharm El Sheikh International Airport and Taba International Airport among many others.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance policies are designed to provide you with protection whilst away from home and if you have awareness of the potential issues and dangers in Cairo, you will definitely get the essential cover for you or your family.