Getting around in Egypt is pretty easy. Although it may seem very different from what most travelers are used to back home, the Egyptian transportation system is efficient and you shouldn’t face trouble finding your way around and reaching any destination. If you’re not planning to rent a car or drive your own vehicle in Egypt, taxis come as the easiest way for moving around in cities. For traveling between cities, you have the choice between buses, trains, and the domestic air carriers operated by the national airline EgyptAir.
The easiest way to move around major Egyptian cities is by using the always abundant public taxis; each city has its own colour of public taxi; yellow and black in Alexandria, and black and white in Cairo, for instance.
Cairo has also a fleet of metered, air-conditioned Yellow and White Taxis with which you should book your taxi one hour before your journey (Tel: 16516-19155-19730). Ask your hotel desk for assistance.
Taxis can provide receipts, but make sure the receipt printer is working before you take off. It is also preferable to agree with the taxi driver on the expected fee.
Renting a car in Egypt is easy; all the international car hire agencies have offices in Egypt’s airports and towns. Rates are comparable to international car hire charges and many companies offer online reservation facilities. Visit the agencies’ websites for more details on the car rental procedures.
In order to rent a vehicle and drive in Egypt, you’ll be asked to provide an International Driving License.
Egyptians drive on the right-hand side of the road, and the official out-of-town speed limit is 90 km/h.
If you’re thinking of driving around in the cities, keep in mind that traffic is dense, especially in Cairo.
In the deserts, driving off road without a guide is not advisable.
One last tip about driving: always keep your identity papers and driving license at hand. You might be asked to show them at police checkpoints.
There's an extensive network of buses running between the major cities in Egypt. Bus companies such as Superjet, Delta and Upper Egypt – only to name a few – usually provide air-conditioned buses, with some refreshments, toilets and an in-ride movie.
Buses are by far the best transportation mean for day trips. They are very affordable, but you have to make reservations at least one day in advance.
In general, buses tend to stop frequently. Therefore, if you are traveling long distances, the railroad or domestic flights operated by EgyptAir might be considered as better options.
Bus travel time (in hours) between major cities in Egypt
Cairo-Sharm el-Sheikh: 9:00
Cairo-Marsa Matrouh: 6:00
Aswan-Abu Simbel: 5:00
In a country that covers a total area of more than a million sq km, domestic flights come in handy to save time, and sometimes even money.
The Egyptian national airline, Egyptair, operates all domestic flights in Egypt and serves 11 major airports: Abu Simbel, Alexandria, Assiut, Aswan, Cairo, Hurghada, Luxor, Marsa Alam, Marsa Matruh, Sharm el-Sheikh, and Taba.
Please find below a sample list of domestic flights durations (in hours):
Cairo-Sharm el-Sheikh: 1:00
Luxor-Sharm el-Sheikh: 0:50
Check EgyptAir’s website for more info about the flights’ schedules and tariffs.