Are you an expat or nomad looking for the perfect destination to explore the Middle East? Look no further than Cairo, the bustling capital of Egypt. With its historical landmarks, vibrant culture, and delicious cuisine, Cairo is the ideal destination for those seeking a city with something for everyone. From the majestic Pyramids of Giza to the bustling souks of Khan el-Khalili, this city guide will provide you with the information you need to make the most of your stay in Cairo. With tips on how to get around, the best places to visit, and the best places to eat, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable experience in this ancient city.
What are the Best Places to Work Remotely In Cairo?
Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, offers a range of options for remote workers looking for a productive and comfortable environment. Here are some of the best places to work remotely in Cairo:
- The District: Located in the heart of Cairo, it offers a vibrant co-working space with modern amenities, high-speed internet, meeting rooms, and a community of like-minded professionals.
- Greek Campus: Situated in Downtown Cairo, this co-working space provides a creative and collaborative environment with various seating options, meeting rooms, and a café.
- RiseUp Hub: Known for hosting entrepreneurship events, RiseUp Hub offers a co-working space with a lively atmosphere, amenities, and networking opportunities.
Cafés with Wi-Fi:
- Urban Station: A popular café chain with multiple branches in Cairo, Urban Station provides a comfortable workspace with reliable Wi-Fi, power outlets, and refreshments.
- Beanos Café: Located in Zamalek, Beanos Café offers a cozy environment, Wi-Fi access, and a diverse menu of food and beverages.
- Greco Café: Situated in Maadi, Greco Café combines a relaxing atmosphere with a strong Wi-Fi connection, making it suitable for remote work.
- Bibliotheca Alexandrina: Although located in Alexandria, it is worth mentioning for its grand architecture, serene environment, and extensive library resources. It offers a dedicated workspace and free Wi-Fi.
- Al-Ahram Library: Situated in Cairo’s Zamalek district, this library provides a tranquil setting, study desks, and Wi-Fi access for remote work.
Hotels and Business Centers:
- JW Marriott Cairo: This hotel offers a business center with well-equipped workspaces, high-speed internet, and meeting rooms for remote workers.
- Fairmont Nile City: With its stunning Nile view, Fairmont Nile City provides a quiet and upscale environment for work, offering a business center and comfortable seating areas.
- The Greek Campus: Apart from being a co-working space, The Greek Campus hosts various tech and innovation events, making it an ideal place to connect with professionals from different industries.
- The District: In addition to its co-working facilities, The District frequently hosts workshops, seminars, and networking events for entrepreneurs and professionals.
Remember to check the availability of these places and their specific policies regarding remote work, especially considering the dynamic nature of the work environment.
Culture In Cairo
Cairo has a rich and vibrant culture shaped by its long history, diverse population, and influences from various civilizations. Here are some aspects of the culture in Cairo:
Cairo is deeply connected to Egypt’s ancient civilization and is home to iconic landmarks such as the Giza Pyramids, the Sphinx, and the Egyptian Museum. The city takes pride in its ancient history, and the cultural heritage is celebrated through festivals, museums, and historical sites.
Islamic Influence in Egypt
As the capital of Egypt, Cairo has a strong Islamic heritage. The city is dotted with beautiful mosques, including the famous Al-Azhar Mosque and the historic Mosque of Ibn Tulun. Islamic traditions and practices are an integral part of the daily life of many Cairo residents.
Bustling City Life in Cairo
Cairo is a bustling metropolis with a fast-paced lifestyle. The city never sleeps, and the streets are always busy with traffic, people, and various activities. Cairo’s downtown area is known for its vibrant markets, street food, and shops selling traditional crafts and souvenirs.
Family Values in Egypt
Family plays a central role in Egyptian culture, and this is reflected in Cairo as well. Family ties are strong, and Egyptians often prioritize spending time with their loved ones. Extended family members often live in close proximity and frequently gather for meals and social events.
Hospitality and Warmth in Egypt
Egyptians, including Cairenes, are known for their warm hospitality and friendly nature. Visitors to Cairo can expect to be welcomed with open arms and may experience acts of kindness from locals. Egyptians are often eager to engage in conversations and share their culture with others.
Arts and Literature in Cairo
Cairo has a vibrant arts and literary scene. The city is home to numerous art galleries, theaters, and cultural centers showcasing Egyptian and international artists. The Cairo Opera House hosts various performances, including ballet, opera, and classical music concerts.
Festivals and Celebrations in Cairo
Cairo celebrates various religious and cultural festivals throughout the year. The most important Islamic festival, Eid al-Fitr, marks the end of Ramadan and is celebrated with family gatherings and feasts. Other festivities include Coptic Christian holidays, such as Christmas and Easter, as well as national holidays like Revolution Day and Independence Day.
It’s important to note that Cairo is a multicultural city, and cultural practices and customs may vary among different communities and neighborhoods. Nonetheless, the overall culture of Cairo reflects the unique blend of ancient traditions, Islamic influences, and modern urban life.
Food In Cairo
Cairo is a city of adventure, culture, and delicious food. From the bustling street markets to the upscale restaurants, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or a full-on dining experience, Cairo has you covered.
Start your day with a delicious breakfast of shawarma, falafel, or koshari. These traditional Egyptian dishes are full of flavor and spices, and many are vegetarian-friendly. As you explore the city, you’ll find local restaurants serving up a variety of international and Egyptian fare. If you’re in the mood for a sweet treat, be sure to try the baklava, kunafa, or halva.
For a truly unique experience, take a trip to one of the city’s many floating restaurants. Here you’ll find a variety of seafood dishes as well as spectacular views of the city. And if you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, the Zamalek neighborhood is full of high-end restaurants serving classic Egyptian and international cuisine.
Healthcare in Cairo
Cairo is an ideal city for nomads and expats looking to explore a new culture while still having access to world-class medical care. The city boasts some of the best healthcare services in the region, with a number of world-class hospitals and clinics offering a variety of medical and surgical treatments for both local and international patients. What’s more, Egypt is a popular destination for medical tourism due to its competitively priced healthcare services. Many of the hospitals in Cairo offer state-of-the-art medical care for a fraction of the cost of similar treatments in the West.
For expats, the Ministry of Health in Cairo also offers comprehensive health insurance plans, including coverage for hospitalization, outpatient care, and prescription drugs. The hospitals in Cairo are equipped with the latest medical technology and staffed by highly trained and experienced medical professionals, providing peace of mind for those seeking medical care.
In addition, the Egyptian government offers a variety of free health services to those in need, including vaccinations, preventive care, and emergency services. Travel insurance is also a great option to avoid some inconveniences such as longer wait times for public healthcare.
Staying Fit and Healthy in Cairo
If you are a nomad or expat looking for a way to stay active and healthy while in Cairo, there are several options available. Joining a gym or fitness club is a great way to stay fit while in Cairo. There are a number of gyms and fitness clubs for both men and women, so take advantage of them.
Taking advantage of the Nile River that runs through Cairo is also a great way to stay active. The lakefront is a great place for a run or bike ride and the views of the city are stunning. Visiting the local markets is also a great way to stay healthy while in Cairo. The markets are full of fresh fruits and vegetables, so it’s a great way to get in your daily servings of fresh produce.
Finally, if you are looking for a way to stay active and meet new people, joining a local sports team is a great option. There are a number of sports teams in the English (US) language, so find one that fits your interests and join in the fun. If yoga is more your speed, there are a number of yoga studios located throughout the city.
Things to Do In Cairo
Cairo, Egypt’s sprawling capital, offers a plethora of attractions and activities for visitors. Here are some things to do in Cairo:
- Giza Pyramids and Sphinx: Explore the awe-inspiring Giza Plateau, where you can marvel at the iconic Pyramids of Giza (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World), including the Great Pyramid of Khufu, and the enigmatic Sphinx. Take a guided tour to learn about ancient Egyptian history and architecture.
- Egyptian Museum: Visit the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square, which houses an extensive collection of artifacts, including the treasures of Tutankhamun, mummies, ancient statues, and hieroglyphic tablets. It’s a must-visit for history enthusiasts.
- Islamic Cairo: Explore the historic district of Islamic Cairo, where you can visit stunning mosques like Al-Azhar Mosque and the Mosque of Ibn Tulun. Wander through narrow streets, admire the beautiful architecture, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.
- Coptic Cairo: Discover the ancient Christian heritage of Cairo in Coptic Cairo. Visit the Hanging Church (Saint Virgin Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church), explore the Coptic Museum, and wander through the charming streets of this historic neighborhood.
- Khan El Khalili Bazaar: Immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere of Cairo’s famous market. Khan El Khalili offers a maze of narrow streets filled with shops selling traditional crafts, spices, jewelry, textiles, and souvenirs. Bargaining is a common practice here.
- Nile River Cruise: Enjoy a relaxing cruise along the Nile River, which flows through Cairo. You can choose from a variety of options, including daytime or evening cruises, and enjoy scenic views of the city’s skyline while savoring a delicious meal.
- Old Cairo (Masr Al-Qadima): Take a stroll through the historic streets of Old Cairo, where you’ll find landmarks such as the Ben Ezra Synagogue, the Church of St. Sergius and Bacchus, and the ancient Roman fortress of Babylon.
- Salah El-Din Citadel: Visit the Citadel of Cairo, a medieval fortress situated on a hilltop. Explore the impressive architecture, visit the Mosque of Muhammad Ali, and enjoy panoramic views of Cairo from the citadel’s vantage points.
- Al-Azhar Park: Escape the bustling city and relax in the tranquil Al-Azhar Park. This beautifully landscaped park offers gardens, fountains, and stunning views of Cairo’s skyline. It’s a great place to unwind and enjoy a picnic.
These are just a few highlights of what Cairo has to offer. The city is a treasure trove of history, culture, and vibrant experiences that cater to various interests. Exploring the streets, interacting with locals, and embracing the city’s rich heritage will undoubtedly make your visit to Cairo a memorable one.
Best Time to Visit Cairo
If you’re looking for the ideal time to visit Cairo, then November to March is the best choice. During this season, the average temperature of the city is around a pleasant 20°C (68°F) with sunny days and nights. April and May are also excellent months to visit Cairo, as the days are warm and sunny, and the temperatures range from 25°C (77°F) to 30°C (86°F). However, the summer months of June through August can be unbearably hot, with temperatures reaching up to 40°C (104°F). For those who don’t mind a little bit of heat, September and October can be a great time to visit Cairo, as the weather is still warm and humid, but not as hot as during the summer months.
Cost of Living in Cairo
The cost of living in Cairo can vary depending on your lifestyle, preferences, and the area of the city you choose to live in. Generally, Cairo offers a relatively affordable cost of living compared to many other major cities. Here are some examples of common expenses in Cairo:
- Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center: Approximately 4,000-8,000 EGP (Egyptian pounds)
- Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside the city center: Approximately 2,500-5,000 EGP
- Meal at an inexpensive restaurant: Around 40-70 EGP per person
- Meal at a mid-range restaurant: Approximately 100-200 EGP per person
- Basic groceries for a week: Roughly 500-800 EGP
- One-way ticket on public transportation: About 3-5 EGP
- Monthly public transportation pass: Approximately 200-300 EGP
- Taxi start fare: Around 5-7 EGP, with additional charges per kilometer
- Utilities (electricity, water, gas, etc.):
- Monthly utilities for a small apartment: Approximately 400-800 EGP
- Internet (monthly): Roughly 200-500 EGP, depending on the plan
- Entertainment and Leisure:
- Cinema ticket: Around 60-100 EGP
- Fitness club membership: Approximately 300-700 EGP per month
- Cultural event or exhibition admission: Varies, but typically between 50-200 EGP
It’s important to note that these are rough estimates and prices can fluctuate over time. Additionally, luxury or high-end options may have significantly higher costs. Keep in mind that personal spending habits, dietary preferences, and lifestyle choices can greatly impact your overall expenses in Cairo.
Visa Requirements in Cairo
Visa requirements for Cairo, Egypt, vary depending on your nationality, the purpose and duration of your visit, and the specific visa regulations in place at the time of your travel. It’s important to check with the Egyptian embassy or consulate in your home country or visit the official website of the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the most up-to-date and accurate information. For example, a yellow fever vaccination certificate is also required for travelers coming from certain countries. Here is a general overview of the visa requirements for Cairo:
Many nationalities are eligible for a tourist visa on arrival, which allows for a stay of up to 30 days. However, it’s recommended to check if your nationality is eligible for this option beforehand, as it can vary.
Some nationalities may require obtaining a tourist visa in advance from an Egyptian embassy or consulate before traveling. For example, U.S. citizens must have a visa to enter Egypt while citizens of Bahrain, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates do not require a visa.
If you’re traveling to Cairo for business purposes, you may need to obtain a business visa. This generally requires an invitation letter from a company or organization in Egypt.
Business visa requirements may also include supporting documents such as a letter from your employer, proof of business activities, and financial documentation.
If you’re planning to work in Cairo, you’ll typically need a work visa. This usually involves sponsorship by an employer or organization in Egypt, as well as the submission of relevant documents and fees.
Work visas often require coordination between the employer and the Egyptian authorities, and the process can be complex and time-consuming.
If you’re planning to study in Cairo, you’ll generally need to apply for a student visa. This typically involves securing admission to an educational institution in Egypt and providing the necessary documentation, such as acceptance letters and proof of financial means.
Other Visa Types:
Cairo may have specific visa categories for purposes such as research, journalism, or religious activities. These visas have their own requirements and may necessitate additional documentation.
It’s crucial to thoroughly research and understand the specific visa requirements based on your nationality and purpose of travel. Always check with the appropriate Egyptian authorities or consult with the nearest Egyptian embassy or consulate in your home country for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding visa requirements for Cairo.
Jobs & Work Requirements in Cairo
Cairo is a bustling metropolis and the largest city in Egypt. It is a major hub for the region’s economy, with a wide range of industries including banking and finance, manufacturing, and retail. This makes it an ideal destination for nomads and expats looking to explore the Middle East.
There are plenty of job opportunities available in Cairo, with positions in IT, teaching, hospitality, and business. The employment process is similar to that of other countries, with applicants needing to submit a CV and cover letter to prospective employers. Most employers require a minimum of two years’ work experience in the relevant field, as well as fluency in English and/or Arabic.
The minimum wage in Egypt is currently set at EGP 1,200 (around $76) per month. However, expats may be able to negotiate a higher salary depending on their experience and qualifications. Working hours in Cairo typically range from 8am to 5pm, with a one hour break for lunch.
For those looking to make the move to Cairo, there is plenty of potential for growth. With its vibrant culture and booming economy, it is an ideal destination for nomads and expats looking to experience all that the Middle East has to offer.