City Guide Cairo, Egypt

Visiting Cairo

Even though when most people think of Cairo they think of ancient civilizations and pyramids, much of Cairo is actually quite modern with wide streets. The River Nile runs through the Egyptian capital, the biggest city in the Middle East and Africa. The city also has two islands in the middle of the river. Altogether, Cairo has a population of 6.8 million approximately, with many people moving up from rural villages along the Nile.

Read Cairo Guide»

Hostelworld Podcasts

Check out our city guide podcasts to get the lowdown on cities all over the world in terms of what to see and do.<

View All Podcasts »

Hostelworld Videos

Watch our travel videos from around the world with tips on what not to miss and much more.

View All Videos »

Hostelworld Pocket Guides

Hostelworld Pocket Guides

Download our free pocket guides for cities all over the world that are packed with money-saving tips and more.

View all guides »

Cairo City Reviews

  • 90%


    Cairo for single women travellers

    As a female traveller in Egypt I got a lot of attention ('Hello, where are you from? You alone? Do you have a boyfriend? So pretty!' etc). However I never felt unsafe. Tourism in Egypt has dropped since 2011 so people here are just anxious for business and sometimes get pushy. Bargain! It is easy to get ripped off if you do not bargain, often the first price is not the final price. Be aware of what a taxi fare or product is actually worth, but expect to pay a little more than a local would.

    Insider Tip:Eat the local food! Egypt has plenty of tasty, cheap local food options. It is a great way to meet locals and to get an insight into their lives. Obviously you have to be aware of local hygiene standards (eg. sometimes salad will be washed with tap water instead of bottled water) but most of the time if they have an English menu, it will be safe enough. I tried pigeon (which was OK) and camel (yummy!)

  • 90%


    Everyone should go to Cairo!

    Right now is a great time to go to Cairo and Egypt as a whole. Because some are still worried about going there, there are hardly any tourists at the places where you had to previously wait for hours. I was a bit nervous about going there at first, but I soon realized that there was nothing to worry about. Everyone is so friendly and will try to make your stay as pleasant as possible. If you have been wanting to go to Egypt, I would definitely go!!

  • 40%


    The most repressive place I have ever seen.

    This city is crowded far beyond comfort. It's not like New York where people ignore you; here, you tend to be the center of attention wherever you go. This was by far the most nerve-wracking experience in Egypt. It is both repressed and depressed, culturally and economically, and the pessimism that Egyptians feel about their future is tangible in everything they said to me.

  • 50%


    Cario, Egypt

    If you've got a friendly chump's face like me, people will think you're an easy mark and come and try to befriend you with the intention of taking you on a free mini tour to their friend's shops so you can "Just look, not buy. No hassle my friend!" I fell for this once on my first night, and I genuinely thought he wanted a chat and to have a cup of tea with me! Should've listened when they told me "nothing's free".

    Insider Tip:There are some strange quirks of Arabic that I picked up in Cairo. "No hassle" is Arabic for "I am going to hassle you for 5 hours buddy!" "Just look, not buy" means "I expect you to buy." "My Egyptian hospitality" means "My shrewd sense of business and trade turns this cup of tea into a transaction." "Welcome to Egypt" means "The tourist trade used to be a gold mine and you alone are going to pay for this 4 year drought that followed the revolution" All good fun really, Cairo is an awesome place to visit.

  • 40%


    Cario, Egypt

    Cairo is a city that, in recent years has experienced a drought in tourism. Cairo does remember however, what it was like in the boom times. This leads not only to desperate vendors, but desperate AND pushy AND relentless. But it's not all bad. To me, a 26 year old man, it is a VERY safe place. I can walk around without fear of getting mugged. Getting mugged off though is a different story. No one is your friend but everyone insists that they are.

    Insider Tip:If someone invites you to their shop/house/dwelling for their "Egyptian hospitality" this means they want to get you to buy something. One guy invited me back to his shop for some tea. It was my first night there so I fell for it. He tried to get me to buy his papyrus. I said no thankyou and he said "Look only". I offered him money for the tea and he said "It's free, it's my Egyptian hospitality". Subtext: buy my stuff then I make a profit on that tea. Just firmly say no and leave/avoid the whole situation.

Egypt: Itinerary

Cairo is an interesting muddle of ancient houses and soaring modern buildings which blend to form an unusual skyline. Split into east and west sides by the River Nile which runs through the city centre, there is more to this Egyptian city than pharaohs and pyramids.

Read More »

View All Egypt Itineraries »

Please give us your feedback