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57°
Monday, 22.12.2014
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City map Cairo

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    Good to know

    Cairo – a brief overview

    With more than 20 million inhabitants, suburbs that sprawl out into the desert and some of the most wondrous ancient sights on the planet, Cairo is at once overwhelming and intoxicating. Home to the Pyramids, the Citadel of Saladin and one of the oldest Christian churches in the world, there’s no shortage of wonders to marvel at.

    Then there’s the people themselves, almost universally friendly and ready to share a cup of mint tea, and the huge Khan el-Khalili bazaar where everything from King Tut cologne to a copper table can be had. In short, Cairo is intoxicating chaos: beautiful, frequently frustrating but always memorable.

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    Top 10 sights in Cairo

    ListMap
    Kairo, Lufthansa, Travel Guide, Travelguide

    Pyramids of Giza

    Al Ahram
    Giza
    Cairo
    Egypt
    Show on map

    The only one of the seven ancient wonders of the world still standing, the Pyramids of Giza and the nearby Sphinx are still enchanting. The only blot is the crowds of hustlers that blight the area – avoid them if you can.

    Egyptian Museum

    Midan al-Tahrir
    Cairo
    Egypt
    Tel: 02 579 4596
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0900-1900

    Home to the treasure of Tutankhamun and much more, the Egyptian Museum boasts 120,000 artefacts dating from the earliest days of the pharaohs as well as from the reigns of Cleopatra and Alexander.

    Al Azhar

    Al Azhar
    Cairo
    Egypt

    Show on map

    A cluster of five historic mosques surrounded by a set of ruined ancient walls, most of Al Azhar dates from the Fatmid period. The oldest of the mosques was erected in 973AD while the youngest was completed in 1073.

    Tahrir Square

    Midan el-Tahrir, Downtown Cairo
    Cairo
    Egypt
    Tel:
    Show on map

    The scene of the 2011 protest that toppled former president Mubarak, Tahrir Square is a large central island usually ringed by traffic and thronged with people. Facing the Justice Ministry, it’s an interesting place to people-watch.

    Saladin Citadel

    Al Abageyah
    Qesm Al Khalifah
    Cairo
    Egypt
    Show on map

    A 700-year-old fortified outcrop which once housed the palace of crusader nemesis-in-chief Salah Al-Din, building work commenced during the 12th century and continued until the 19th.

    Bab Zuweila

    Al-Muizz li-Din Allah
    Darb Al-Ahmar
    Cairo
    Egypt

    Show on map

    All that remains of the southern part of the city that the Fatmids once called Al-Qahira, Bab Zuweila is an ancient gate thought to bring luck by locals who cover it with small offerings such as scraps of cloth.

    Islamic Art Museum

    Bab El Khalk Square
    Cairo
    Egypt
    Tel: 02 390 1520
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0900-1600

    One of the world’s finest collections of Islamic art with a huge collection of artefacts dating from the seventh to the 19th century.

    City of the Dead

    Al Abageyah
    Qesm Al Khalifah
    Cairo
    Egypt
    Show on map

    A huge necropolis that flanks the Citadel, the City of the Dead might sound grim but is actually lovely and filled with architectural gems such as the stunning Mosque of Qaytbey.

    The Hanging Church

    Mari Gerges Street
    Coptic Cairo
    Cairo
    Egypt
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0900-1700

    Named for its location – suspended over the southern gate of a Roman fortress – the seventh-century Hanging Church is the oldest in Cairo. Whitewashed and plain from the outside, inside it’s covered in stunning frescoes and holy icons.

    Al Azhar Park

    Salah Salem Street, El-Darb El-Ahmar
    Cairo
    Egypt
    Tel: 02 510 7338
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-2200

    Filled with flowerbeds and pretty promenades, Al Azhar Park is where Cairenes come to relax. Perched high on a hill close to the Citadel, it’s particularly spectacular at night when the panoramic city views come into their own.

    Good to know

    Country overview

    Country overview

    From iconic pyramids that rise from ancient sands and bustling medieval bazaars full of colour, to the endless desert dotted with oases of palm trees, busy cities and modern coastal holiday resorts offering some of the best diving in the world, Egypt is a living museum and a land packed with amazing attractions.

    Observing the call to prayer at sunset or bartering for a bargain in Cairo’s ancient Khan al-Khalili bazaar, taking tea and talking with one of its garrulous residents in a random coffeehouse or simply stopping awhile in a rural village, silent but for the chatter of hooves on tarmac, will give a glimpse of a country full of character, colour and fortitude.

    Geography

    Traditional home of the roaming Bedouin, most of Egypt’s landmass is comprised of flat, mostly featureless desert, supportive of minimal vegetation.

    The Mediterranean Sea forms Egypt’s northern border, bringing cooler weather to the seaboard city of Alexandria and providing a coastal getaway for Cairo’s residents. To the east, lies the mountainous Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel and the Palestinian Territories; to the south, the deserts of Egypt quietly roll into the deserts of Sudan; to the west, the Great Western Desert forms an almost seamless wilderness through Libya and beyond.

    Sinai is divided from the main landmass of Africa by the country’s busy shipping lane, the Suez Canal.

    For centuries, however, it was the River Nile, plied by felucca (traditional Nile sailing boats), that provided the main conduit for trade along the country’s length. Railways and roads now compete for that distinction, but the Nile remains an important economic and cultural artery.

    The Nile perfuses the Delta north of Cairo, supporting 90% of the population in a flood land of cotton and rice-growing crops. The river’s potency has been reduced since the building of the Aswan Dam; on the positive side, the dam has provided the country with a safe and reliable electricity supply – and has had the side effect of keeping the crocodiles out.

    General knowledge

    General Information

    Population: 85294388

    Population Density (per sq km): 85

    Capital: Cairo (El Qahira).

    Language

    Arabic is the official language. English and French are widely spoken.

    Currency

    Egyptian Pound or ginee (LE; symbol E£) = 100 piastres. Notes are in denominations of E£200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 1, 50 piastres and 25 piastres. Coins are in denominations of 25, 20, 10 and 5 piastres.

    British pounds sterling, Euros and the US Dollar are accepted everywhere although change may be given in Egyptian pounds.

    Electricity

    220 volts AC, 50Hz. Sockets take the continental European-style two-pin plugs.

    General business opening hours

    Government offices are open 0900-1600 (some until 1700) except Fridays and sometimes Saturdays. Muslim businesses may be closed for Friday prayers, Christian businesses on Saturday afternoons and Sundays. All offices keep shorter hours during Ramadan.

    Public holidays

    Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2014-December 2015 period.
    Note: Muslim festivals are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given below are approximations. During the lunar month of Ramadan that precedes Eid al-Fitr, Muslims fast during the day and feast at night and normal business patterns may be interrupted. Some disruption may continue into Eid al-Fitr itself. Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha may last up to several days, depending on the region.

    2014

    Coptic Christmas Day: 07. January 2014
    Milad un Nabi (Birth of the Prophet Muhammad): 13. January 2014
    Coptic Easter: 20. April 2014
    Sham el-Nessim: 21. April 2014
    Sinai Liberation Day: 25. April 2014
    Labour Day: 01. May 2014
    National Day: 23. July 2014
    Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan): 28. July 2014
    Coptic New Year: 11. September 2014
    Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice): 04. October 2014
    Armed Forces Day: 06. October 2014
    Islamic New Year: 25. October 2014

    2015

    Milad un Nabi (Birth of the Prophet Muhammad): 03. January 2015
    Coptic Christmas Day: 07. January 2015
    Coptic New Year: 14. January 2015
    Coptic Easter: 12. April 2015
    Sham el-Nessim: 13. April 2015
    Sinai Liberation Day: 25. April 2015
    Labour Day: 01. May 2015
    Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan): 18. July 2015
    National Day: 23. July 2015
    Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice): 23. September 2015
    Armed Forces Day: 06. October 2015
    Islamic New Year: 13. October 2015

    Enjoy

    Nightlife in Cairo

    ListMap

    Cairo’s nightlife is seriously buzzy with everything from boat-borne clubs to laid-back bars available.

    Many of the best are in expat favourite Zemalek, while all the big hotels have luxe lounges and terraces of their own.

    Sequoia

    53 Abu El Feda street,
    Zamalek
    11211 Cairo
    Egypt
    Show on map

    Tucked away on a Zamalek outcrop, Sequoia has a good cocktail menu and free-flowing shisha.

    Cairo Jazz Club

    197 26th of July Corridor
    Agouza
    Cairo
    Egypt



    Show on map

    Despite the name, this smoky little haunt doesn’t always play jazz but is usually good fun.

    El Horreya

    El Mazloum St. 2
    Cairo
    Egypt
    Show on map

    A student favourite, El Horreya is great for a relaxed beer or glass of fresh hibiscus juice.

    El Fishawy

    5 Sikkit Khan el-Khalili
    Cairo
    Egypt
    Show on map

    Right in the heart of Khan el-Khalili, tea with mint comes on tap but there’s no alcohol.

    Enjoy

    Restaurants in Cairo

    ListMap

    Egyptian food is delicious and nowhere does it better than Cairo. While rumours of the odd stomach upset aren’t unfounded, most visitors eat their fill without having a problem later.

    If you try nothing else, make sure you taste the lemon-mint and hibiscus juices – both are heavenly.

    Naguib Mahfouz Coffee Shop

    5 El Badestan Lane
    Khan El Khalili
    Cairo
    Egypt
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Fresh juice, traditional puddings and live music make this a cosy place to spend the evening.

    8

    1089 Corniche El Nil
    11519 Garden City
    Cairo
    Egypt
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Authentic Sichuan food with a dedicated dim sum night every Friday.

    Abou El Sid

    157 Shar'a 26th Yulyu, Zamalek
    Cairo
    Egypt
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    The décor is slightly kitsch but nowhere does Egyptian meze better.

    Café Riche

    Bab Al Louq
    Abdin
    Cairo
    Egypt
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    First opened in 1908, this Cairo institution does hearty meat dishes and strong local coffee.

    Discover

    Calendar of events

    Cairo International Film Festival

    9 – 18 November 2014
    Website

    Venue: Various locations.

    Screens films from around the world and attracts some leading box office stars from Western and Middle Eastern cinema, with the aim to promote and enhance the Egyptian, Arab and African film industry.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

    Enjoy

    Hotels in Cairo

    ListMap

    Cairo’s hotels tend to be either super-luxe, five-star affairs or bargain basement bunk-ups with questionable hygiene and few mod cons.

    Finding the middle ground isn’t easy but it certainly can be done.

    Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza

    1089 Corniche El Nil
    11519 Garden City
    Cairo
    Egypt
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Perched on the banks of the Nile, the Four Seasons is comfortable and stylish.

    Golden Tulip Flamenco Hotel

    2 Shar'a El Gezira El Wosta, Zamalek
    11211 Cairo
    Egypt
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    The décor is a bit dated but it’s comfortable, clean and very conveniently located.

    Semiramis InterContinental

    Corniche El Nil
    11511 Cairo
    Egypt
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Set in a modern high-rise, this huge hotel is slightly impersonal but spacious.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Monday, 22.12.2014 05:00

    cloudy

    temperature


    14°C


    57°F

    wind direction

    wind speed

    3.75 mph

    humidity

    68%

    7 days forecast

    Tuesday

    23.12.2014

    20°C / 9°C

    68°F / 48°F

    Wednesday

    24.12.2014

    19°C / 9°C

    66°F / 48°F

    Thursday

    25.12.2014

    20°C / 11°C

    68°F / 52°F

    Friday

    26.12.2014

    20°C / 12°C

    68°F / 54°F

    Saturday

    27.12.2014

    20°C / 10°C

    68°F / 50°F

    Sunday

    28.12.2014

    19°C / 9°C

    66°F / 48°F

    Monday

    29.12.2014

    20°C / 10°C

    68°F / 50°F

    Climate & best time to visit Egypt

    Egypt is a huge country with plenty of variety in its climate; when it’s chilly and wet in Alexandria, it can be ravishingly hot in Aswan.

    The best time to visit most sights, including the pyramids and the Valley of the Kings, or diving in the Red Sea, is from February to April and October to November. During these months the heat reminds you that it’s the ‘Land of the Sun’, but not too hot to be enjoyable. At this time, the skies and sea are a perfect blue. The downside is that these are the most popular times of the year for visitors.

    In April, the hot, dusty khamsin wind blows from the Sahara, making touring of sights potentially troublesome; during an intense sand storm, vision may be reduced to a few meters. During the hot, dry summers (June-August) there’s always the risk of dehydration and heat exhaustion, which might confine visitors indoors during the early afternoon.

    Winters (November-February) are usually mild and often overcast, leaving the desert and its ancient monuments looking lacklustre. Rainfall is negligible except on the coast.

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    31 °C

    87.8 °F

    1 °C

    33.8 °F

    35 °C

    95 °F

    0 °C

    32 °F

    39 °C

    102.2 °F

    4 °C

    39.2 °F

    43 °C

    109.4 °F

    7 °C

    44.6 °F

    47 °C

    116.6 °F

    11 °C

    51.8 °F

    46 °C

    114.8 °F

    10 °C

    50 °F

    46 °C

    114.8 °F

    18 °C

    64.4 °F

    43 °C

    109.4 °F

    17 °C

    62.6 °F

    43 °C

    109.4 °F

    14 °C

    57.2 °F

    43 °C

    109.4 °F

    12 °C

    53.6 °F

    39 °C

    102.2 °F

    5 °C

    41 °F

    32 °C

    89.6 °F

    3 °C

    37.4 °F

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    7 mm

    4 mm

    4 mm

    2 mm

    0 mm

    0 mm

    0 mm

    0 mm

    0 mm

    1 mm

    3 mm

    5 mm

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    7 h

    7 h

    8 h

    9 h

    10 h

    11 h

    11 h

    10 h

    9 h

    9 h

    8 h

    6 h

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    59 %

    54 %

    53 %

    47 %

    46 %

    49 %

    58 %

    61 %

    60 %

    60 %

    61 %

    61 %

    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ depositdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan31 °C1 °C18 °C9 °C59 %7 mm17.1 h
    Feb35 °C0 °C20 °C9 °C54 %4 mm17.5 h
    Mar39 °C4 °C23 °C11 °C53 %4 mm< 18.6 h
    Apr43 °C7 °C28 °C14 °C47 %2 mm< 19.2 h
    May47 °C11 °C32 °C17 °C46 %0.5 mm< 110.2 h
    Jun46 °C10 °C34 °C20 °C49 %0.5 mm< 111.9 h
    Jul46 °C18 °C34 °C21 °C58 %0 mm011.3 h
    Aug43 °C17 °C33 °C21 °C61 %0 mm010.9 h
    Sep43 °C14 °C32 °C20 °C60 %0 mm09.4 h
    Oct43 °C12 °C29 °C17 °C60 %1 mm< 19.4 h
    Nov39 °C5 °C24 °C13 °C61 %3 mm< 18.1 h
    Dec32 °C3 °C20 °C10 °C61 %5 mm16.4 h
    year47 °C0 °C27 °C15 °C56 %26 mm39.2 h
    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing Code: +20

    Telephone

    Public telephones take cards available from pharmacies, tobacconists and newspaper shops, and are a convenient way to call home. Telephones in hotels can be expensive.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming exists with many international mobile phone companies, although coverage is limited to Cairo, Alexandria and major towns along the north coastline of the Red Sea and the Nile. If you’re in Egypt for some time, it is much cheaper to buy a local SIM card, either Vodafone or MobiNil, if your mobile phone is unblocked.

    Internet

    There are internet cafés in the main cities, including Cairo, Alexandria, Dahab and Luxor. Even small, more remote towns including Siwa will have at least one venue, usually in the market area. Connection is usually reliable. Tourists can also access the Internet in hotels, with in-room Wi-Fi available, though often at a hefty price.

    Enjoy

    Shopping in Cairo

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Most people make a beeline for Khan el-Khalili, the sprawling central bazaar where anything from King Tut cologne to a gorgeously wrought copper table can be had. It can feel overwhelming at times but, conveniently, streets are named after the items on sale which makes navigation a little easier. Elsewhere, try Heliopolis for malls selling most of the big international names and don’t miss Zamalek’s Nefertiti – it does the best organic body cream in the world.

    Markets

    Khan el-Khalili is the main market but you’ll find street vendors practically everywhere. Try the cornice for flower sellers hawking fragrant jasmine garlands.

    Shopping Centres

    Heliopolis’ CityStars is the main mall and sells everything imaginable, as well as boasting several good cafés and a cinema. Alternatively, Giza’s First Mall stocks the big designer names.

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Islam is part of all aspects of daily life with many social conventions stemming from the teachings of the Koran, the Muslim holy book. Hospitality is a significant element, especially to visitors. Shaking hands is the normal greeting but male visitors should wait for a woman to offer her hand first.

    Dress should always be conservative and women should cover upper arms and legs. This is particularly important when visiting religious buildings – when hair should also be covered – and conservative towns. Dress standards tends to be a little more relaxed in modern nightclubs, restaurants, hotels and bars in Cairo, Alexandria and other tourist resorts.

    Official or social functions and smart restaurants usually require more formal wear. Smoking is widespread..

    Photography

    Tourists are required to pay a fee if wishing to take photographs inside pyramids, tombs and museums. Ask permission when taking pictures of someone, especially women. Some traditionally-dressed locals demand money when they ‘pose’ outside historic sites, especially temples and pyramids.

    Good to know

    Health

    Main emergency number: 123

    Food & Drink

    You should avoid uncooked vegetables and peeled fruit that may have been washed in tap water, and make sure any poultry or egg-based dishes, and any seafood or shellfish, is thoroughly cooked. Hotels and restaurants are generally safe to eat and drink in, but it is advisable to avoid street vendors.

    Use only bottled water for drinking and, to be on the safe side, when brushing teeth. When buying bottled water, check the seal of the bottle is intact. A popular scam is for unscrupulous individuals to collect used bottles from rubbish bins, refill them with tap water, attempt a reseal and sell them as genuine clean bottled water. Also, avoid unbottled beverages and ice except in top hotels and restaurants. Milk is unpasteurised and should be boiled.

    Other Risks

    Immunisation against polio is advised because of the persistence of polio in Egypt. Precautions against hepatitis E should be considered. Immunisation against hepatitis B and tuberculosis is sometimes advised. Bilharzia (schistosomiasis), a tropical disease caused by parasites burrowing into the skin, is known to be present in the Nile Delta and the Nile Valley. You should avoid swimming and wading in their waters. Avoid touching any stagnant water as this, too, may result in bilharzia.

    Avoid long exposure to the sun, which can be intense. Use plenty of high factor sun cream, wear light cotton clothing, a hat or scarf covering your head, and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and sunburn. It is a good idea to pack rehydrating salts.

    Contractual physician of Lufthansa

    Mona Prof. Dr. Abu-Zekry
    1 Sheriffein Str.
    Cairo
    Egypt
    Tel. +2-0239-24195
    7 El Zuhur Str. Mohandessin
    Egypt
    Tel. +2-0237-600101

    Please note that Lufthansa accepts no responsibility for the treatment nor will it bear the cost of any treatment.

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