Well folks, it is time for another challenge! We have $100USD and a little under two full days to explore a city. We arrive early morning day one, stay one night, and then leave late the next night. And today I thought I would take us to a new continent, and to the capital of Egypt – Cairo!
Yes, the home of the pyramids, the Sphinx, the Nile River and the Egyptian Museum! And I talk of these things because they are the main reason to visit the Egyptian capital, and this time I am doing things in reverse and STARTING with the attractions, to make sure we get to see what we MUST see before getting to the transport, accommodation and food, because if need be we can party all night (and skip on the sleep!) but we will find something.
So let’s start with sight number one – and probably something that can take a whole day for us – the pyramids. The general entrance price these days, according to Dr Google, is a little over $10USD. But there are fees to go inside the pyramids, you can mix and match. Let’s see if we can devote $30 of our budget. This means we need to take local bus there and back (which I did last year). Bus journeys are VERY cheap, so for the whole time, including to and from airport, with perhaps a short taxi ride in there somewhere if we need to, we will devote $10. So we are presently at $40. For reference, the bus takes you pretty much to the ‘door step’ of the pyramids in Giza, but it does take an hour or so from the centre of town.
On the pyramids day we will also take a walk around Cairo and see the Muhammed Ali Mosque, which is truly impressive site and not one that will cost us a single Egyptian Pound.
The second day we are sticking to the centre of town. The Egyptian National Museum costs around $13USD and is a must-visit for anyone coming to Cairo. To see this incredible collection of ancient artefacts in the country they actually came from is a real delight, and has more than enough ‘wow’ factor to help the visitor get over the fact that they are in a (*yawn*) museum.
Seriously, if you like mummies, Egyptian history, and let’s face it, who doesn’t? Then you MUST visit the Egyptian National Museum in Cairo. You may well be amazed almost as much as when you first stand below the Great Pyramid of Giza.
My final recommendation for Cairo is to take a trip up to the top of the Cairo Tower for views across Cairo and of course, the mighty Nile River! At less than $3 USD it is a real bargain and so far we have only spent $56 to cover transport and seeing the sights!
Now we need to find ourselves some lodging. The question is, keeping in mind we need to eat as well, can we squeeze our budget to give us our own room? There are certainly a few places offering beds in dorms for well under $20USD, although Egypt is not the bargain basement it was in 1999 when I spent less than $4USD a night (albeit not in the cleanest or most comfortable place I have ever stayed in it must be said)!
Well, I tried booking dot com, but didn’t really find something that fitted the bill, so I turned to Hostel World where I found a few hostels which offered single rooms for good prices – including the Australian Hostel. With a 9/10 rating and singles at present for $17USD. That’s a discount of around $10USD on their normal price. If we can snag that bargain for what looks like a simple but comfortable room, then we are at $73USD in total.
That leaves us $27 for food over two days. The rate for the hostel includes a free breakfast, so we need to pay for two lunches and two dinners. Or one dinner if we take dinner on our flight out! That should be doable – when I was there we filled ourselves up on 35 cent falafels, and even though it is 23 years later, I’m sure for a few bucks we can find ourselves a fair feed especially if we stick to the local fare. Of course, we are not going to be dining out at any fancy restaurants. There are plenty small places to get cheap, good filling meals in a city like Cairo, so all in all you’ll do well for food with a little under $30 for a couple of days.
This plan gets you to the things you really will want to see when in Cairo, and done in an efficient, quick and economical manner. Thanks for popping by today, take care wherever you may be, and May the Journey Never End!