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Getting Around
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Getting Around in Egypt

By Air

The domestic air network is fairly extensive and covers most major towns in Egypt. The national carrier, EgyptAir, has the most regular services and is the easiest place to start looking before you go. They provide services from Cairo to quite a few towns and places of interest around the country, the most common being Luxor, Aswan Abu Simbel, Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh, Alexandria, Marsa Matruh, Marsa Alam and Kharga oasis.

By Water

There are slow and fast ferry services linking Hurghada with Sharm el-Sheikh in Sinai (1 hour 30 minutes by fast ferry or 6 hours by slow ferry). The traditional Nile sailing boats, feluccas, can be hired by the hour for relaxed sailing on the Nile. Regular Nile cruises operate between Luxor and Aswan, and sometimes between Cairo and Aswan.

By Rail

A comprehensive rail network run by Egyptian National Railways offering a high standard of service is operated along an east-west axis from Sallom on the Libyan border to Alexandria and Cairo, and along the Nile to Luxor and Aswan. There are also links to Port Said and Suez. There are frequent trains from Cairo to Alexandria, and also several luxury air-conditioned day and night trains with sleeping and restaurant cars from Cairo to Luxor and Aswan for the Nile Valley tourist trade.

For the overnight train, bookings should be made one week in advance through a travel agent or through Abela Egypt, Ramses Station, Ramses Square, Cairo. On Egyptian State Railways, children under four years travel free. Children aged four to nine years pay half fare. Holders of Youth Hostel cards are entitled to reductions. On ENR trains, a First Class ticket costs only a few dollars more than a Second Class ticket and you will find it much more pleasant and comfortable.

Note that toilet facilities on Egyptian trains are at best rudimentary, even in First Class. Therefore, it is advisable to prepare toiletries for long journeys.

By Road

In Egypt, traffic drives on the right. There are motorways in and around Cairo but the standard of driving is notoriously chaotic and lawless. Besides the Nile Valley and Delta, which are served by an extensive road network, there are paved roads along the Mediterranean and African Red Sea coasts. The road looping through the Western Desert oases from Asyut to Giza is fully paved. Private motoring in the desert regions is not recommended without suitable vehicles and a guide. Along some roads, the government often imposes convoy conditions for the protection of tourists; this has been recently suspended but check locally for any reinstatements.

The speed limit in Egypt is usually 90 kph (56 mph) on motorways and 100 kph (62 mph) on the desert motorway from Cairo to Alexandria (there are substantial fines for speeding).


Egypt has an extensive long-distance bus network, operated mostly by government-owned companies. Their names are Pullman, West Delta, Golden Arrow, Super Jet, East Delta, El Gouna, Upper Egypt Bus Co and Bedouin Bus. Popular routes are operated by more than one company. Some bus companies allow you to book seats in advance; some sell spots based upon availability of seats.

Main routes are from Cairo to St Catherine's Monastery, Sharm el-Sheikh, Dahab, Ras Sudr, El-Tour, Taba and Rafah; from Suez to El-Tour and Sharm el-Sheikh; and from Sharm el-Sheikh to Taba, Neweiba, El-Tour, Dahab and St Catherine. Coach services operate between Cairo and Agami, Marakia-Mrabila, Marina-Aidda Sidy Abd El Rahman, Matrouh, Ma'amoura Beach and Hurghada.

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