How to get around Egypt?
The best way to get around Egypt is by air although there are reliable bus and train services, as it's often far from one tourist center to another. Domestic flight service is mainly provided by Egypt Air, but Nile Air has a few services between Cairo and other major cities. You can book tickets online and may get a cheaper flight if you book a long time ahead. And if you change your location to Egypt at the top of the website, the price will be shown in Egyptian Pounds and be much less than the same flight costs when you give a location outside of Egypt. Take earplugs if you want to have a rest or sleep during your trip because the sound of ads and music videos is loud on the plane.
Taking a bus is the major way for locals to get around Egypt. You can get to most cities and towns by bus, at a reasonable cost. It's safe, reliable, and the best way to some rural districts beyond the Nile Valley. Five major companies monopolize long-distance bus services and each serves a separate area of the country. Eastern Delta serves the Canal area, Mansoura and Damietta; Middle Delta runs to Kafr El-Sheikh, Manufiyyah and Tanta; Western Delta serves Damanhur, Alexandria, the NW coast and Siwa; Southern areas serves all areas in the Nile Valley and along the Red Sea Coast; Sinai Buses Company serves all areas of Sinai. However, buses aren't fast and are often delayed. If you are going to or from Cairo, you can waste at least an hour in city traffic. Bring a blanket or scarf to keep warm on account of the low air conditioning temperatures on the bus.
There is an efficient north–south railway linking the Nile Valley, Delta and Canal Zone. You can enjoy a pleasant trip from Aswan in the south and Alexandria in the north by train. Mainline trains run from Cairo to Aswan via Luxor; Alexandria via Tanta, Suez and Ismailia; Damietta via Mansoura; Sallum via Mersa Matruh. There are fast a/c trains from Cairo to Alexandria or Aswan, including sleepers and normal non-a/c local services, while from Cairo to Luxor/Aswan, foreigners are only allowed to travel on four "tourist trains" (two of which are sleepers), so don't board the wrong train. Most trains leave from the main downtown station in Ramsis Square. There is a useful information office, and tickets are sold there, or you can check the schedule and book tickets at the Egyptian Railways website https://enr.gov.eg.
You can hire a car with a driver or self-drive to explore Egypt as petrol is cheap and by car is more flexible going from town to town. The maximum speed limit in the city or town is around 60km/h (37mph), 90km/h (56mph) outside town, 100km/h (62mph) on the high-speed way and 30km/h (18mph) for stretches of roads. But locals don't always obey the rules and highway limits are ignored, so you must be very cautious and avoid night driving. Read more: Most Frequently Asked Questions About Egypt.
How to get to the city center from Cairo International Airport?
Cairo International Airport is the gateway to Egypt and has nonstop flights to major world cities in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. You can fly direct to Cairo from New York, London, Paris, Toronto, Berlin and more cities. When arriving at the airport, you can get to the city center or some attractions in many ways:
You can go to the Bus Station located in the parking area in front of Terminal 1 and take the city buses to downtown. If you arrive at Terminal 2 and 3, then you should take a shuttle bus to Terminal 1 first. No. 111 bus runs to Shubra and No. 324 bus towards Imbaba. And both these two and No.381 bus stops at the center of the city, and you can walk to the Egyptian Museum and Tahrir Square within 15 minutes from here. The price is EGP 5 / USD 0.3 for a single ticket and it takes about an hour to the downtown.
Taxi or Uber
You can take a taxi in the arrival hall. The old black and white taxis usually do not have a meter so you can negotiate with drivers before travelling, and they are usually not air-conditioned. The white taxis have meters. Increasingly, yellow air-conditioned taxis are becoming available. It costs EGP 70–80 (about USD 4) to Tahrir Square in central Cairo, and takes up to 90 minutes to the pyramids, maybe longer during the peak time. Or you can call an Uber and wait at the parking area, but many drivers don't speak English, so it's best to send a message with your location to them to find you.
Pre-arranged Shuttle Service
A door-to-door service via pre-arranged shuttle is the best way to get to the city center, especially for a group or family. Most airport transfers cost between USD 15–20 each way. The service not only runs to Cairo city center but also to Heliopolis, Nasr City, Giza, Mohandessin, Zamalek, Maadi and the Pyramids area. The best known two providers are:
London Cab: here.
Cairo Airport Shuttle: here.
You also can rent a car online or at the airport. Avis has a desk in Terminal 1 hall 3. Budget, Avis, Sixt and Hertz have desks in Terminal 3. The prices are fixed depending on the destination and the car category.