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2 weeks in Egypt

Adana, Turkey
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2 weeks in Egypt

Hello helpful travelers,

I am going to be in Egypt for two weeks from 12/25/07 to 1/08/08.

I realize that this is a very tight time frame, and really want to make the most of it.

I am traveling with my mom and her boyfriend (they will be staying for four weeks longer than I), and we would like to do it mostly independently. However, we will be wiling to pay for short-term or day travel groups where it will minimize hassles and maximize time to experience the sights.

I would appreciate any advice on what absolutely cannot be missed, what is overrated for time/money, and hotel/guesthouse recommendations. (we have a homebase that is a timeshare).

Also we are arriving at 2:30 AM and I believe we will need to make a reservation at a hotel near the airport for this night.

Also, any cultural tips and alerts for scams to watch out for would be very much appreciated.


Liverpool, United...
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1. Re: 2 weeks in Egypt

2 weeks is actually a good amount of time and with good planning you are sure to have a very good trip.

You mention a time share, as a homebase, is this in Cairo or in a resort ? best to make use of it if you can,

In Cairo I always recommend to have a central hotel, as being on the edge our outskirts of the city will just mean that you waste a lot of time in the heavy traffic. So Zamalek area is a good choice, on the Nile and within easy reach of most places of interest.

A very popular small and friendly hotel is the Hotel Longchamps, have a look at the reviews on this website.

You will need a guide and/or driver to visit the Pyramids of Giza, Sakkara Pyramids - it really is only possible with a car. City of the Dead is very interesting and a bit off the beaten track, so this would be better with a local guide.

These places are very interesting, and if you have good guide books and don't mind dealing with taxi drivers you can manage it on your own ;

- Citadel

- Sultan Hassan Mosque

- Ibn Touloun Mosque / Gayer Anderson Museum

- Ancient Egyptian Museum (Tahrir Square)

- Coptic Cairo (Old Cairo) at Mari Girgis

- Al Azhar Park

- Islamic Cairo (around Khan Khalili market) needs 2 days

Luxor and Aswan should be included, the most pleasant way is with a Nile Cruise, but some people also do in on land with a private guide a car.

The weather will be pleasant at that time of year, good for walking and being active. In Cairo it could be cold indoors, so consider this when you decide what to bring with you, - in our winter time it is often warmer in the street that it is inside buildings !

Advise you to arrange the private guides in advance, as the good ones are quite busy and have to arrange their time.

Flying to Luxor/Aswan is the best method and can be very cheap if you book well in advance with Egyptair, they have a website.

If you decide to say in a hotel in Aswan, the Sara Hotel looks very good and cheap, take a look at the reviews.

Please search in the site reviews and insider pages to know more about the attractions mentioned above.

Hope to have been of some help.



2. Re: 2 weeks in Egypt

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Adana, Turkey
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3. Re: 2 weeks in Egypt

Hello, and thank you for the advice. I found that the time shares that we will have are Ra Suder (Sp?) for the first week and Hurgadah for the second week.

From these locations is it going to be reasonable to see all of the highlights that you mentioned. I can't find any information on Ra Suder, but I have found some on Hurgadah.

We would like to try to squeeze in a visit to Petra, would this be better reserved for one location over another?

Sorry, I just bought my ticket two days ago, and I am all excitement and no information.

Wendy, I saw on one of your inside pages that there is an airport shuttle, would this be running at 2:30 AM when we arrive? And will a smaller hotel (looking at Osiris and Longchamps) be willing to hold a room until that hour of the night?

And especially thanks for the heads up about the chilly weather, I would never have expected that, I was concerned about getting a room with A/C!

Kuala Lumpur...
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4. Re: 2 weeks in Egypt

Hi there,

First of all, you dont have to worry about getting transportation even early in the morning as there is always airport limousine and taxi. The shuttle bus that Wendy mentioned have a counter at the airport on Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. You could book them thru' email at:

cairoshuttle@hotmail.com and tel. No: 012 2424992 (add 0202 for Egypt).

As for the hotel, I am sure they will hold the room for you when you already have a confirmed reservation with them and I would advise that you send them your arrival time so that they are aware of it and print it and bring with you just in case there is a problem!

Hote Osiris email:



and website:

Website: www.osiris.fr.fm

Longchamps hotel email.


Some trip reports that good to read.


Liverpool, United...
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5. Re: 2 weeks in Egypt

Hello again,

I believe your mean Ras Sidr, it is a small resort in Sinai, about 2.5 hours away from Cairo, if you look on a map of Egypt you will find it, from Cairo you go in the direciton of Suez, but before Suez there is a route which uses a tunnel (under the sea) to get into Sinai, and then it is a short drive. This is the same route which is used when going to Sharm El Sheikh and other places in South Sinai. Rasr Sidr is a small resort, mainly holiday villages along the coastline and little else really. People from Cairo like to go there for the weekend or for a week and many people own a chalet there. It is a good place for snorkelling and also windsurfing. There are coaches from Cairo, and I could check that out for you, if you would like.

Hurghada is a city, large resort on the Red Sea, mainland, with all the facilities of a city and good transport connections, you can fly there from Cairo with Egyptair or take the bus, but it is over 6 hours. Tourists normally go to Luxor from there. Suggest that you take a look on the Hurghada Forum (guess there must be one ?) or the Luxor Forum.

I would imagine it would be tight trying to fit in Petra as well, but others may be better able to advise you, as I have never been there.

As Cairo is the city that never sleeps don't think you will have any trouble getting from the airport in the middle of the night, at least the streets should be quieter !! you can try with the shuttle service, send them an email, but if you book at the Hotel Longchamps they can normally provide airport pickup, they mention 65.00 LE on their webpage, and I would suggest that as a good way of handling it.

For the flight from Cairo to Hurghada, you should book this well in advance, as it will be cheaper, it gets much more expensive nearer the time, Egyptair has a website, www.egyptair.com

Would be happy to help you with any further enquiries.

Also, as you need to know more about Egypt to plan your trip, why not invest in a couple of guide books, so you can prepare yourselves from now, Amazon have a lot of good guides - Dorling Kindersley Eye Witness Guides are very good, and they have one for Egypt (lots of nice pictures and easy maps), also check out Rough Guide and Lonely Planet. Information is power !!



Kuala Lumpur...
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6. Re: 2 weeks in Egypt

If you type 'trip report' you will get a lot of trip reports posted by TA members and you will an idea of places that you should be visiting on your own or with good tour guide.

Winter in Cairo it could be very cold, so bring some winter clothes with you.

If you decide to visit Luxor and Aswan in winter, better book in advance as Luxor and Aswan is a winter destination as the weather during this time is beautiful and the prices is very high compared during summer which is cheaper as the weather is burning hot!!!


1. Have a lot of small change with you for 1LE if you are riding

taxi or for tipping if you need too.

2. Cairo is a modern city but it is still conservative compared to

city like Sharms or Hurgada, Luxor or Aswan. So wear decent

not over exposed.

3. If you dont like something offer to you just say 'lak shukran'

means thank you and walk away.

4. If you are visiting the mosque, pls wear long skirt or medium

length skirt or pant or capri and elbow long sleeves blouse. No

shorts or sleeve less blouse or t-shirt and as for the man also

no shorts into the mosque.

5. Always bargain if you are riding a taxi and stick to it! If he is nice

you could always give extra tips.

6. If you are visiting the Egyptian museum do skip the Mummy Hall

as it is not worth paying 100LE as you could see the mummy at

the animal mummies and it is almost the same.

7. Many tourist visit the Dead City as it is strange or shocking to

find that people live amongst the dead. It is only a big area full

of graves like homes and people or the caretaker leaves there.

If you have ample time and curious, go and visit this place but

go with a guide and never go on your own. I would skip this trip

as you could see them on the way to Citadel from the Pyramids.

8. Places need guide or tour to avoid hassles is Pyramid areas.

If you ride camel, bargain the price, I saw a report somebody

ride a camel at the Pyramid for one hour and half for only 40LE.

9. Places to visit:

a. Egyptian museum

b. Citadel especially Mohamed Ali Mosque.

Note: do tip the people who take your shoes for you and if not

do bring a plastic bag with your for your shoes.

c. El Hussein or Khan El Khalili

d. Gayer Anderson

e. Ibn Tulun Mosque

f. Opera House

g. Pyramid areas

h. Alexandria (if you have time)

i. Abdeen Palace Museum

Behind Abdin Palace, Qasr Abdin Square, Downtown

Open daily from 9 am–3 pm.

This is one of the most famous palaces and was built during the

reign of the Mohammed Ali Pasha Dynasty. The palace

accommodates many sections that present Egyptian history from

1872 up to today.

j. Al Azhar Park

k. Coptic Museum

l. Islamic Ceramic Museum

Gezira Art Centre, 1 Al-Sheikh Al-Marsafi St, Zamalek

Description : Open daily from 8:30 am–3 pm

m. Dinner cruise along the Nile. Recommended The Nile and

Pharoah dinner cruise behind Sheraton Tower and Four

Season hotel in Giza.

n. Hanging Church the oldest church in Al Fustat (Old cairo)

o. Cairo Tower

p. There is a place if you have ample time to visit but have to go

with a car where you could see the whole cairo and relax and

have dinner or tea is at the The Mokattam Corniche. Go in the

evening it is really beautiful. There are plenty cafes and


q. Taking a felluca near the Grand Hyatt Hotel for 30 - 50LE

per boat along the Nile, take it late afternoon and bring

food or drinks with you and enjoy the view.


Travel by Metro from downtown to places like:

1. Coptic Museum (Mar Gigis station)

2. Opera House (Station Opera Gezirah) from here about 15

minutes you could walk to the Cairo Tower, Gezirah.

3. Egyptian Museum (El Tahrir station) if you stay in downtown

just walk to it (e.g. hotel like Nile Hilton, Ramsis Hilton, Helnan,

Semiramis hotel)

4. Khan El Khalili (Ataba Station)

Hope this help.

Adana, Turkey
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7. Re: 2 weeks in Egypt


Thank you for the awesome help! I hope to fit in as much of that as humanly possible. I am so excited, I have been wanting to go to Egypt for years, and my mom has wanted to go since she was in grade school.

I did finally buy a guide book, and will copy out the advice you all have provided here, as tips from actual travelers are indispensible.

I will ne checking back as the time gets closer.

Thanks so much for the help, it is appreciated more than you could know!

Liverpool, United...
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8. Re: 2 weeks in Egypt

You are very welcome, glad that you now have a guide book, it will help you a lot, getting some information before you arrive and while planning the trip will help you to make a good schedule for your trip.



Adana, Turkey
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9. Re: 2 weeks in Egypt

I have been devouring my guide book, online resource, etc. I can at least put all of these exotic sounding names on a map, and now realize how much ground I need to try to cover in my brief time span.

I had no idea about the convoys and retstrictions in certain areas.

Is it worth the trouble to try and visit sites where tourists are under heavy control?

And with so many glorious and iconic places to visit, how do you decide which sites are a no miss ?(I know that we must get to Abu Simbel, as this is the site that piqed my mom's interest in Egypt many years ago.)

Where are the best sites to actually view the interior of temples? I am claustrophobic, and from what I have read there are places I will definitely have to pass on, but are there others that I may still be able to enjoy?

I would love to fit in a cruise (felucca?), but would like to minimize it to 3- 4 nights which would be the best place to start/end this trip?

If we decide to get a guide/trip/cruise where is the best place to find reputable companies/indiviuals?

And what is there in Cairo or elsewhere is Egypt that may be overlooked by tourists that one should see? What are locals do for fun? How could we learn something of there culture while we are there?

Thanks so much for helping!

Liverpool, United...
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10. Re: 2 weeks in Egypt

Very glad that you went ahead and got yourself a guide book, much better for you to read in advance and then do your planning. Egypt is not an easy tourist destination so it needs some effort from you.

My main knowledge is on Cairo, and Sharm El Sheikh, for Luxor and Aswan you perhaps should post on their forums.

Having a private guide seems to be a good idea for those who have a limited time and what to see a lot, but making their own choices, and that sounds like you !

Search here for previous posts and I am sure a lot of info. will come up.

Please include Islamic Cairo - really major, and often missed by people rushing to the Pyramids ! Al-Azhar Park is very pleasant and you can get great view from there.

Khan Khalili is fun at any time of the day, if you are there in the evenings you will find a lot of Caireans out for the evening and this may be interesting for you.

Happy planning.