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Transports in Egypt

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Wondering how to move from one area to another during your stay in Egypt? Find an overview of the Egyptian transport network in this article.

During your stay in Egypt, you will probably have to move from one place to another, whether to go to work, shopping, sightseeing, etc. Feel free to choose from the different means of transport available: bus, trains, taxi, subway, and even the tramway in some regions. In general, these vehicles are rather comfortable, although the level of comfort varies from one type of transport to another.

Plane

Egypt hosts not less than 91 airports, including 6 international airports. EgyptAir, which is the main airline company, offers domestic flights within the country. It is deemed to be an alternative to long trips which can be quite uncomfortable by train or bus. City trip fares are rather affordable, ranging between an average of 280 to 300 Egyptian pounds. However, fares are likely to vary according to the season and availability of flights. Therefore, advance booking is highly recommended given the demand.

Taxi

The Egyptian car parks comprises a large number of individual and collective, official and unofficial taxis. In fact, the taxi is deemed to be the most common means of transport in major cities.

Individual taxis are available almost everywhere. To hire them, you just have to waive at the driver. However, you are advised to inquire on the fare in advance, especially if you have friends or contacts in the country. Make sure to negotiate with the driver before boarding the vehicle.

As regards the collective taxi, it is generally available on the the major intercity routes, thus allowing you to travel from one city to another more rapidly than by bus or train. These taxis, mostly big Peugeot 504, can be found near subway, train and bus stations. Drivers usually announce their destination on a high pitch and are likely to start once their vehicle has reached the passenger quota (three to four persons).

In general, collective taxi fares are lower than those of buses and trains. However, they have no fixed schedule and start once they have enough passengers.

Trains

Egypt also hosts a huge railway system, stretching over some 6,700 km, and which transports at least a million passengers daily. There are three types of trains in Egypt, all of which are very accessible and affordable. Most tickets are printed in English and are available with the train controller. In fact, you will not be able to purchase your tickets at the station counter. Moreover, tickets are often controlled aboard.

If you have to make a long trip across the country, especially from Cairo to Louxor and Aswan, you can rely on the sleeper train. However, the sleeper train has a high and fixed rate. Advance booking, that is at least two days before the scheduled travel date, is highly recommended.

Tramway

Tramway is not very common in Egypt, except in Alexandria. Indeed, this major city has a rather developed and efficient tramway system.

Bus

Egypt has a very developed bus network, serving most cities, as well as villages. There are different types of buses in the country, some of which are more comfortable than others. In all cases, the bus remains the most affordable means of transport in Egypt.

Tickets can be purchased either at the bus station or on board from the conductor. If you are planning to travel from Assouan to Abu Simbel, for instance, or in the Sinai region, advance booking is highly recommended.

Micro-bus

The micro-bus is halfway between the bus and the collective taxi. It is a sort of small truck which can transport a dozen passengers at a time. Often, it ends up carrying the double allowed quota. The micro-bus is particularly available in major cities such as Cairo and Alexandria, as well as in a few smaller cities. Micro-bus fares are quite similar to those of the collective taxi, although these serve fewer destinations.

 Useful links:

Egyptair www.egyptair.com
Egyptian National Railways enr.gov.eg
Ernst – Sleeping trains www.wataniasleepingtrains.com
Alexandria Passenger Transportation Authority – tramway schedule (El-Nasr line) www.alexapta.org/en/lines_details.php?ID=1
Alexandria Passenger Transportation Authority – tramway (El-Raml line) www.alexapta.org/en/lines_details.php?ID=2

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See also

As the Egyptian capital city, Cairo hosts a wide public transport network which will allow you travel anywhere across the city at affordable rates.
As a major tourist and port city, Sharm el-Sheikh is a popular destination with expatriates. Many professional opportunities are available there.
Foreign nationals intending to travel to Egypt, whether for a long or short stay, are required to apply for an appropriate visa beforehand.
There are four main types of taxes in Egypt: personal income tax, corporate income tax and GST. All three of them apply to foreign nationals.

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