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Old 11-07-2011, 03:44 PM
 
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What is the best way to go about it? I'll be in Egypt a couple of days in December. Hotel is booked already, but i'm curious how I should tour. We'll just be in Cairo, should we:

1. Prebuy the tours
2. Buy from the hotel OR
3. Wing it and get uncertified local guides there?

I've seen an agency called Viator (viator . com) which works as a centralized place to buy. They assign local certified guards, it's worldwide so I'm thinking it is legit but I'm curious what you guys have done.
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Olympus Mons, Mars
5,677 posts, read 8,592,236 times
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In Cairo you can do it yourself, more fun that way. To head to Memphis (ancient capital of Egypt), Saqqara and Giza (pyramids) I would hire a taxi for the day from your hotel (I paid something like 250 Egyptian pounds - roughly 5.8 to a dollar) and came with a guide and driver. You can get to Giza by yourself (I did when I went a second time to the Pyramids) but you have to catch a bus at a chaotic area and it's sort of confusing...taxi is much better and cheap enough.

Within Cairo, the Coptic areas and around the Nile and the Bazaars are all walkable or easily reached by Metro. All you need is a Lonely planet guide. Riding the Cairo metro is an adventure by itself If you don't want to walk just ask your hotel for a day tour of Cairo when you get there, those Viator tours are all overpriced and result in the same thing but with huge margins to some company.
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Old 11-08-2011, 09:52 AM
 
12,265 posts, read 18,397,848 times
Reputation: 19088
Quote:
Originally Posted by superseiyan View Post
What is the best way to go about it? I'll be in Egypt a couple of days in December. Hotel is booked already, but i'm curious how I should tour. We'll just be in Cairo, should we:

1. Prebuy the tours
2. Buy from the hotel OR
3. Wing it and get uncertified local guides there?

I've seen an agency called Viator (viator . com) which works as a centralized place to buy. They assign local certified guards, it's worldwide so I'm thinking it is legit but I'm curious what you guys have done.
You can try to do it yourself. But be aware Egypt is somewhat overwhelming, disorganized, and confusing for a first timer. This ain't western europe where everything makes relative sense. Nothing makes sense here, things don't work, chaos is normal operating procedure. That's part of the fun for most of us, but a tour guide isn't a bad idea for this part of the world. I would advise going with an agency you prebook in the US. Wing it with a local guide you hire on the spot? - cheapest option but there are risks of not good service and also just blatant ripoffs. Using a hotel hired guide? - more reliable but also much more expensive as you are paying the hotels commission.
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