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Old 08-27-2017, 09:32 AM
 
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I am looking into a 10 day trip to Istanbul and Cairo.

Initially it was JFK > Istanbul > Cairo > JFK

Two questions came up.

Is Cairo now relatively safe for a trip to the great pyramids after there is perhaps some political settlement achieved? Anyone here recently visited Cairo?

Souviners and gifts (specially breakable ones) bought from Istanbul may either get damaged or hard to drag along during the air transit and trip to Egypt - so why not go to Egypt first and then Istanbul? Does it make any difference?
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Old 08-27-2017, 10:48 AM
 
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It depends purely on which you want to see first, something amazing and beautiful (Istanbul) and something totally crappy and filthy (Cairo).
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Old 08-27-2017, 05:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
It depends purely on which you want to see first, something amazing and beautiful (Istanbul) and something totally crappy and filthy (Cairo).
I thank you for this.
Instead of watching the touristic videos made to advertise a certain place, I usually watch videos made by the actual tourists.

I watched a few on Yourtube about visiting Cairo, and I thought the place looked very filthy. And I think now you confirmed my suspicions. Perhaps I have to think again if I really wanted to visit Cairo with family n kids?
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Old 08-28-2017, 08:43 AM
 
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Don't go by what you see in videos. They can be deceiving. And as usual "third world" propaganda. The chance of getting abducted or getting killed is even less than getting killed in a plane crash.

In fact its Turkey that's looking less secure than Cairo. Their ticket prices have drastically come down. So you could very well do a JFK-Doha-Cairo and back.
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCardinals View Post
I thank you for this.
Instead of watching the touristic videos made to advertise a certain place, I usually watch videos made by the actual tourists.

I watched a few on Yourtube about visiting Cairo, and I thought the place looked very filthy. And I think now you confirmed my suspicions. Perhaps I have to think again if I really wanted to visit Cairo with family n kids?
Cappadoccia in Turkey? Also very touristy, but your kids will looove the balloon ride at sunrise. Simply breathtaking. Also plenty of historical landmarks to visit in the area.

Last edited by botticelli; 08-28-2017 at 10:32 AM..
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:55 AM
 
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I can't speak to recent civil unrest/political issues nationwide in Turkey, but Istanbul is AMAZING. Incredible architecture - everything from the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque to Roman ruins and fortresses/castles - and the food is wonderful too. We spent an entire week in Istanbul and I'd love to go back.
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Old 08-28-2017, 10:08 AM
 
12,292 posts, read 18,409,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCardinals View Post
I am looking into a 10 day trip to Istanbul and Cairo.

Initially it was JFK > Istanbul > Cairo > JFK

Two questions came up.

Is Cairo now relatively safe for a trip to the great pyramids after there is perhaps some political settlement achieved? Anyone here recently visited Cairo?

Souviners and gifts (specially breakable ones) bought from Istanbul may either get damaged or hard to drag along during the air transit and trip to Egypt - so why not go to Egypt first and then Istanbul? Does it make any difference?
Egypt is generally safe for tourists, has been for years. It's just logistically a mess for travelers....but it's safe. There have been posts on this from visitors, do a search.

Why don't you stay in one place or the other? Why both? There is enough to do in Egypt, maybe not Cairo, but in the upper nile region down south. Egypt has some amazing sites besides just the Great Pyramids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoCardinals View Post
I watched a few on Yourtube about visiting Cairo, and I thought the place looked very filthy. And I think now you confirmed my suspicions. Perhaps I have to think again if I really wanted to visit Cairo with family n kids?
It's filthy and polluted and overcrowded, yeah. It's a 3rd world country with all the extremes. You deal with that when you travel outside the US, it's simply part of travel....but it's also part of the cultural experience. It's not Disney World out there. It's cleaner however if you go to some of the southern Egypt sites. I always tell visitors never to spend more than 3 days or so in Cairo.
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Old 08-28-2017, 12:59 PM
 
Location: State of Denial
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Skip Cairo and concentrate on Istanbul. You won't regret it.
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Old 09-05-2017, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
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Cairo WAS filthy in parts (think piles of garbage piled up in the streets and camels and sheep roaming around) but it was an amazing experience! We did a long Labor Day weekend there in 2016, with a brief layover in Istanbul (on Turkish Airlines). I would highly recommend it - seeing the pyramids and the city life was incredible! We felt safe enough, considering there were metal detectors going into our nice hotel (Hotel Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah) and bomb-sniffing dogs to sweep our car (with raising bollards blocking the drive until we were cleared) each time we drove in!
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Old 09-05-2017, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
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Kids? How many and how old? Are they already intrepid travelers?

I have been to both places and Istanbul/Turkey is the easier family trip. If you decide to do Turkey, I would use up the extra time to see Cappadoccia and Ephesus/Bodrum. Bodrum is on the coast and a lovely place. However I could spend my whole trip at the bazaar and the spice market. And almost any merchant in Istanbul will be happy to mail your purchases home to you. I have purchased many things and had them mailed with no problem from Istanbul. Even bought a rug once. Because mailing is so easy, if I decided to go to both places, I would do Istanbul first.

I would guess if you went to Cairo you would want to go to Memphis and Sakkara too. This is still doable but to the average American, Egypt can be overwhelming. I love Egypt and would never pass up a chance to go there but others I have traveled with in the past found bits and pieces of the experience to be too much. It is a lot different than what you are used to. Again, I could spend my whole trip in the Khan El Khalili bazaar. You can make it easier by staying at an American type hotel. And if I wanted to spend my whole trip there, I would add in a Nile Cruise(Cairo to Luxor) and a few days at Sharm El Sheikh and swim in the Red Sea and do some snorkeling.

Now you have a few more ideas on how to make the trip more kid friendly. In both these places you will be followed by begging children. Sometimes they try to sell you stuff like kleenex. I know you want to give them some money but if you do this you will immediately swarmed by dozens of them. You have to be stern and say no. And mean it. Don't be afraid but be observant and aware of your surroundings. Leave the expensive jewelry at home. You want to look like poor tourists, not rich ones!
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