In fact, there are three main types of Taxis in Cairo. The first type is the old black and white taxis. These have no meter, and the price of the trip usually known fact by everyone. It depends on the length of the journey and the traffic. Simply stand at the side of the road. At the sight of an approaching taxi point one hand towards the road. The taxi driver will slowly cruise past you. As he does, yell out a district or landmark near your destination (eg. Al Azhar). If the driver inclined to head there he will stop for you.
Solo males should sit in the front seat next to the driver. It is customary for solo females to sit in the back seat. Once inside, name your specific destination. Only tourists discuss price at this point. To do so ensures that the driver will spend the entire trip haggling for a high fare. If the driver insists on knowing how much you will pay, name your price. Moreover, if he, or in the rare case, she, doesn't like it you can get out and find another cab. Suppose you followed these instructions and the driver protests vehemently. In that case, he either determined to gouge you or you have genuinely underpaid him.
If you are certain that he tries to gouge you, threaten to take the matter to the tourist police. Something all cabbies fear, and he will usually back down. Keep in mind that many factors affect rates such as traffic, number of passengers and luggage. Also the time of day and remoteness of destination affect. However, please note that the majority of taxi drivers are polite and shy. In fact, they satisfied with what they get, providing the fair offered is close to reasonable. Where you hail your cab does make a difference. The myriad of taxi drivers relaxing on their hoods in front of Cairo's five-star hotels can afford to rest.
They usually charge double, sometimes triple. The going rate and even Egyptians made to pay this rate. Walk 100 yards from the hotel and stand by a busy street and the prices plummet. Beware of the black and white big Peugeot 504 service' taxis. These extra roomy cabs are great if you have a large group or lots of luggage. In fact, they also charge twice the going rate and adamantly demand LE 10 for short hops.
The second type is the new white taxis. These are the revamped versions of the black ones. They have air conditioning, a meter and are newer safer cars. However, when you don't know the way they tend to take the longer route to get you to pay more. Its not uncommon to tip the drivers of those taxis. Those two types of taxis you can stop on any main street.
Try not to catch taxis right outside of hotels though as they tend to overcharge you. The last type of Taxis is the yellow ones. These also have a meter but you call them by phone through a company. They will come to you wherever you are. These are the most expensive ones of course. You can ask the front desk at your hotel to call them for you. It is best to call a couple of hours in advance.
In fact, there are two types of buses in Cairo. They are the standard bus and the more expensive air conditioned CTA (Cairo Transport Authority). You can catch either of them in the designated bus stops.
Every drivers worst nightmare; they drive horribly so you have to be ready for a wobbly ride. They are faster than regular buses and can go to smaller streets though. It is easier to use these than buses if you dont speak Arabic.
In fact, Cairo has two metro lines. There is one under construction. It will take people from the airport to Lebanon Square. The metro lines extend vertically and horizontally across the city. The metro system runs indeed efficiently. It is without doubt the quickest and cheapest way to transverse the city, costing just 1 L.E. Of course the metro wont get you everywhere but it will get you around. It is very cheap, fast, safe and recommended to use. Note that there are two carts of every train are only for women.
That is not for religious reasons, but to encourage women to use the metro. It is since they usually experience some harassment on buses. Also, women can ride on all the carts not just the ones designated for them. So if you are a man try not to get in one of these carts. However if you look foreign most women would probably not comment. They just assume you aren't aware of the rule. Using the metro in city is the same as anywhere in the world. You go to the station, get a ticket, find the right track, and get on the train. Metro tickets can purchased at any of the kiosks in the station.
The metro operates daily from about 5:30 am to half past midnight. Intervals between trains vary throughout the day, but waits are never more than 15 minutes. Breakdowns are infrequent, but trains sometimes linger at stations for no apparent reason. Delays also caused by riders holding the doors open for friends behind them, sometimes far far behind them. The two metro lines vary slightly.
The older French-built line running from El Marg to Helwan has 32 stops. Its downtown stations are underground while the rest are on the surface. The underground platforms are comfortably warm in the winter. Moreover, they are stuffy, humid and hot in the summer when the only breezes come from passing trains. The newer Shoubra-Cairo University line is better. It has 18 stops. Consider yourself lucky if your daily commute uses this line. Here under are Some useful exits:
This station is under Tahrir square and just minutes from the Egyptian Museum, Ritz Carlton and Nile Corniche. Moreover, its tunnels double as a pedestrian underpass. This is where the two metro lines meet.
Sayeda Zeinab Station:
This station further south is a useful departure point. It is within walking distance of the ninth century Mosque of Ibn Tulun. A further walk will take energetic tourists to the Citadel, Al Refa'i Mosque.
Mar Girgis Station:
This stop is for the Coptic Museum, the churches and monasteries of Old (Coptic) Cairo. It is also for Synagogue of Ben Ezra.
El Maadi Station:
Good for visits to this affluent suburb, but most of the district requires a car. However, the fifth century Church of the Holy Virgin is only a 15 minute walk from the station.
This is the last stop. Once a health resort of some renown with curative sulphur springs the suburb has now become an industrial area.
Cairo Railway Station itself is worth a visit. The building is of historical interest being the first terminal in the Middle East. It built in the reign of Khedive Ismail in 1851. Round the corner is the little-known Railway Museum. It is a two-story building that dates back to 1933 and covers transportation in Egypt from ancient to modern times.
Mohamed Naguib Station:
Exit here for Abdeen Palace which built in the reign of Khedive Ismail between 1863 and 1879. It took over by the government after the 1952 Revolution. Moreover, It recently converted into a national museum.
Exit this station for the Opera House. There is an Opera ticket counter in the subway and one exit leads directly into the Opera House garden. Opera House garden adorned with statues of Egyptian celebrities in the field of culture.
The station to exit for the Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Giza Street.