Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?
Unless you are used to driving around Cairo, it is highly recommended that you choose a taxi cab or the metro service rather than owning and driving your own vehicle. The roads in Cairo are always crowded, just like during rush hour, and people drive very aggressively. Parking is also a big problem, so most prefer to not drive their own vehicles.
How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?
In order to drive legally in Egypt, you need to obtain an Egyptian international license from the local police station and carry a driver's license from your home country. Also, all vehicles must carry a fire extinguisher and a red hazard triangle.
What side of the road do people drive on?
Similar to the United Kingdom, people drive on the left side of the road.
Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city.
Taxis are a very efficient way to get around the city, but you may find you will have to negotiate price with the driver. It's no problem if you have a lot of luggage or even large boxes. If this is the case, the driver usually just tosses them on the roof rack and off you go.
The Metro is a breath of fresh air in the vast confusion of the city. Signs are in English and Arabic, and ticket purchases and route stops are straightforward. The first car of each train is reserved for women, but women can ride in any car. Only the north-south route is complete and the directions are named by the last stop on the route. El Marg will take you north, and Helwan will take you south.
Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.
To get out of the city and travel to surrounding towns, it is recommended that you travel by bus or taxi service. The buses in Cairo are air-conditioned and very comfortable, and you may reserve your seat up to two days in advance.
In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?
Egypt has one of the highest incidences of road fatalities per miles driven in the world. Driving in Cairo is a huge challenge even for seasoned residents. As mentioned above, if you do not have to drive, it is recommended that you don't.
Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?
You may purchase your tickets for the Metro at any of the stations.
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