Cairo Warnings and Dangers
Cairo is filled with historical sites and things to do, but heed the warnings and dangers to stay safe in Cairo.
Tips for Women
A woman in Cairo should avoid traveling alone, as some men may see this as an invitation to harass. If you must travel alone, be aware of your surroundings and do not go into isolated places. When alone, women should also avoid taxis. Also, women should dress conservatively, as the local custom dictates that women dress modestly. Even by the pool, local women tend to remain covered up, so if you are a woman in a bikini you may attract a lot of stares and ogling. Another good tip is to be assertive when someone is doing something you don’t like. If someone touches you inappropriately or catcalls, say “no” or “bas” (which means stop) loudly and with force.
If you are a woman traveling with a husband or boyfriend, remember that public displays of affection are not tolerated. Avoid kissing and touching beyond holding his arm. Women, and all visitors, should remember that Cairo is a Muslim city with Muslim rules and customs which should be respected.
The Cairo Airport can be chaotic. Make sure all your papers and tickets are in order, and always confirm the details of your travel. Some travelers report police officers in official uniforms demanding money to reach certain areas of the airport. You can choose to pay these officers what essentially a bribe or find another person to assist you. When you leave the airport, multiple taxi drivers will try to get you to ride with them and may try to take your luggage. Be assertive and calm so you can find the best rate.
Hawkers and Hassle
Beware of scams when you are visiting the pyramids or museums – some people pose as ticket takers or tour guides and request money from you, but they are not who they say they are. Some shop owners may aggressively try to sell you souvenirs. In either case, always remain firm and assertive and never give your ticket or money to someone without getting what you are paying for in return.
The roads are very congested in Cairo. If you avoid driving yourself and want to take a taxi, always agree on the price and distance before you get into the cab to avoid being ripped off. You also need to be aware of traffic if you’re a pedestrian, as you can’t be sure vehicles will stop for you. Keep in mind the amount of traffic if you’re traveling to the airport so you have plenty of time to get where you need to be.
Better safe than sorry – when it comes to water in Cairo, do not drink tap water and always buy bottled water. The water in Cairo is often over-chlorinated or smells like sewage. If you’re taking a trip on the Nile, do not touch the water with your bare skin.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Cairo.