The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Sights & Travel

Guide to Cairo International Airport

Guide to Cairo International Airport
    written by
    Cairo 360

    who’s travelled in and out of Cairo International Airport can attest to the chaos and confusion of this beloved airport. Composed of three terminals, each with a seperate departure and arrival building, renovations began on the airport back in 2002. This led to
    the terminals to be referred to as ‘the new airport’ and ‘the old airport’. When
    the super swanky Terminal 3 was opened last year, renovations began on Terminal
    1 and 2, leading the names to change to ‘the new old airport’ and ‘the old new
    airport,’ thus permanently confusing taxi drivers and prospective travellers
    everywhere. Fortunately, Cairo 360 is here to give tips on how to navigate the
    sprawling airport grounds.

    How to Get There:

    Located on
    the outskirts of Heliopolis, Cairo International Airport is accessible from
    Heliopolis via Salah Salem Road and Nasr City via Nasr Road. The airport is now accessible via a new 9km-long road that connects it to the Ring Road, a quick and feasible route to take from Maadi. Otherwise, be sure to give yourself at least 90
    minutes to reach the airport, especially during rush hour.


    While all hotels and travel agencies can
    arrange private limousines to and from the airport, prices start at around
    100LE. A normal black and white taxi with a functioning meter or a Cairo Cab car (call 16516) will cost around
    35LE from Zamalek, 45LE from Maadi (if the route is empty, make sure you take
    the Autostrad to save money). The recently launched London Taxi service (call 19670) offers shuttle service to and from
    the airport in imported London
    taxis with space for five passengers and five baggage items. Prices are steep;
    with a single trip from Zamalek to the airport reaching 167LE (a roundtrip
    costs 253LE) and you need to make reservations at least four hours in advance.
    The service has a booth inside Terminal 3.


    and West Delta buses offer direct
    routes from Alexandria
    to the airport for 25LE until 3PM, 28LE after 3PM. Superjet buses leave every
    half hour from 00:30AM until 7:30PM, while West Delta Buses leave every hour
    from 4AM till 00:30AM. The airport also offers a shuttle bus service ( Call 2653937) that leaves every half hour with set prices that can be
    booked for a whole group: Downtown Cairo costs 35LE (70LE for a group fee)
    Maadi or Haram for 45LE (90LE for a group) and Nasr City for 30LE (60LE for
    group). If you need to transfer from one terminal to another, the
    airport offers a free shuttle bus to Terminal 2 and 3 every half hour. If
    you’re pressed for time; be sure to haggle fiercely with one of the parked
    taxis before accepting a ride; airport taxis are notoriously expensive and few
    have functioning meters.

    Once you’re There:

    The airport
    has three official entrances, one off the Ring Road, the second off Nasr Road
    and the third off Salah Salem Road. The first two entrances will take you to
    Terminal 3 departure hall (the ‘old new airport’) and Terminal 2 departure hall,
    while the Salah Salem entrance will take you to Terminal 1 departure and
    arrival, Terminal 2 arrival and Terminal 3 arrival. Confused much? We all are;
    which is why it’s imperative that you know exactly which terminal you’ll be
    travelling from. Don’t rely on airport security or your taxi driver; call
    090077777 from any landline or 2777 from your mobile phone to find out your
    exact departure time and location.

    It’s highly
    advisable that you don’t park your car inside the airport, as an overnight stay
    can easily charge you more than 60LE. Entrance to the airport costs 5LE per
    hour. Free Wi-Fi internet is available in Terminal 1 departure hall and
    Terminal 3 departure hall. Terminal 2 is currently closed for renovations.

    Where to Eat:

    The airport
    has come a long way in the past decade, and now has its very own Air Mall, which has an air-conditioned Segafredo cafe in its centre, as well
    as Cielo and oriental restaurant Kenoz. On the other side of the mall, Chez Eddy provides charming outdoor
    seating, from which you can sit and watch the arrivals at Terminal 2.

    Across from
    the Air Mall at the Orouba Street exit,
    Quattro Pizza and Pasta offers
    internet and a photocopying machine. It’s also next door to a car mechanic in
    case you’re stuck with a dead engine. And for some inexplicable reason, there’s a Ragab & Sons supermarket behind the Air Mall; just in case you
    feel like shopping for groceries before take-off.

    Terminal 1
    now boasts its very own Starbucks, McDonalds, Coffee, Bean &Tea Leaf and Beano’s in its departure hall (once you’ve passed the check-in
    counter); though few outlets are open for a late-night departure. Terminal 3 is
    more promising, with quick snack options such as Hippopotamus Grill, Burger
    and Café Puro.

    Where To Shop:

    The very
    swanky and impressive Terminal 3 departure hall has a Diwan Bookstore and a Hudson’s
    bookshop, which sells snacks, souvenirs as well as some magazines and
    newspapers, in English, French and Arabic.

    Terminal 3
    has two duty free shops after the check-in counters, both filled with sweets,
    perfumes, make-up and a limited selection of alcoholic beverages. The shops
    also display brands such as Hugo Boss,
    Longchamp, Swarovski, Rolex and Raymond Weil. A word of warning: if
    you’re buying a suit, the store does not have appropriate garment bag stock,
    which means your suit will probably get creased. There are also Daly Dress and Concrete branches inside the terminal if you need a last-minute
    change of clothes.

    exchange bureaus and ATM machines are available throughout the airport’s
    terminals, as well a small Banque du
    office next to Ragab & Sons.

    Where To Stay:

    The Hotel
    Novotel Cairo Airport
    located inside of Cairo
    Airport between Terminal
    1 and Terminal 3 departure, making it a perfect location for a transit stay or
    for a sleep before an early flight out. Though the Iberotel
    Le Passage
    is located right next to the airport, you’re better off
    staying at the Fairmont Heliopolis on Salah Salem Road,
    just fifteen minutes away.

    For more
    information, check out the airport’s website and
    be sure to double-check your departure and arrival times on your carrier’s
    website as well as the number listed above. Have a smooth flight!