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Layover In Cairo: The Ultimate Guide 2022

21 August, 2021by Bounce

Egypt’s capital is known for its pyramids and the remains of fascinating ancient Egyptian civilization. But this colossal city has more to offer than just its past. A lively modern metropolis, Cairo is a place you could spend a lifetime exploring and still never run out of things to do.

If you find yourself on a layover in Cairo Airport, you can get a glimpse of what the city has to offer. Even a very short stopover can be enough to experience a little of Cairo. So drop off your bags at a Cairo luggage storage location and plunge into the city. When you see how much there is to do here, you’ll be glad you did.

6 hour layover in Cairo

Cairo airport is just under 14 miles from the center of the city. The journey by taxi takes around 30 minutes, but can take over an hour during peak times. Currently, the only other way from the airport to the city is by bus, which takes a similar amount of time. The bus stops at Ramses Railway Station, which is close to the heart of the city.

You’ll need to leave yourself enough time to get through customs, drop off your bags at a Cairo bag storage, and allow time to return to the airport. So on a short Cairo layover, you’ll need to be conscious of the time if you want to see some of the city. You won’t have time to see the pyramids, but you may get the next best thing at the Egyptian Museum. The world’s foremost collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts, the museum can be reached from Ramses Train Station by a 20 minute Metro ride from Al-Shohadaa Station right next to Ramses, to Sadat Station next to the museum.

Given the extensive collection, you could spend days wandering the halls of the museum if you really wanted to. However, two hours is enough to see the highlights and get a deeper understanding of Egyptian history.

  • Take the bus to Ramses Train Station.

  • From there, take the Metro to Sadat Station and the Egyptian Museum.

  • You’ll need a couple of hours to do justice to the museum.

8 hour layover in Cairo

Eight hours in Cairo gives you more leeway. If you’re a big fan of Egyptian history, you could spend the extra two hours more fully exploring the Egyptian Museum. But if you prefer something different, you could travel one Metro station over to visit the Cairo Tower. This 600-foot tower is the tallest building in North Africa, and it offers stupendous views over the city, including the pyramids of Giza. The tower is also home to a revolving restaurant where you can eat while you take in the incredible view. An hour is usually enough to enjoy what the tower has to offer, though if you stay for a meal, you’ll want to spend longer.

  • Take the Metro one stop from the Egyptian Museum to the Cairo Tower.

  • An hour is plenty of time to enjoy the magnificent view unless you decide to eat in the revolving restaurant.

10 hour layover in Cairo

If you have a little longer to make your connection, you can dive a little deeper into the heart of Cairo. From Cairo Tower, you can take a short Metro ride and a roughly 20 minute walk to reach the Abdeen Palace Museum. This former palace holds over 500 rooms, and was once the home of the Egyptian royal family. To this day, it’s still one of the official residences of the president of Egypt and is used for state functions. The museum lays out this history, and functions as a crash course in more recent Egyptian history that can help you understand more about the way Egypt is today. It’s also just a beautiful building to wander around. In fact, this may be one of the most opulent palaces in the world.

  • Take the subway and a 20 minute walk to Abdeen Palace Museum.

  • See the former residence of Egyptian royalty and learn about the modern history of the country.

12 hour layover in Cairo

With a 12 hour long layover in Cairo, you have time to explore one of the city’s most fascinating areas. The bazaar at Khan el-Khalili is one of Cairo’s top attractions, and it’s not hard to see why. The lively stalls and ancient cobblestone streets make it a beautiful place to explore, but be prepared to interact with street traders who are more than willing to drive a hard bargain. Still, it’s a deeply atmospheric place to visit, not to mention the best location in Cairo to shop for souvenirs of your trip. You could easily spend a couple of hours wandering through the stalls and indulging in this classic Cairo experience.

  • Take a bus to Khan el – Khalili to experience Egypt’s bustling modern life.

  • Shop for souvenirs and wander ancient city streets while you take in the lively atmosphere.

  • Be prepared to haggle with traders.

24 hour layover in Cairo

A 24 hour layover in Cairo really lets you explore. On an overnight layover, you’ll need to book a hotel. But you’ll also be able to enjoy a leisurely dinner in some of the city’s best restaurants. Egyptian cuisine can be a sensory experience, and Cairo offers everything from high-end fine dining to tiny family-run eateries where you can try traditional Egyptian food the way the locals eat it.

Of course, Cairo’s most famous attraction is one of the world’s favorite historic sites, and with 24 hours in the city, you’ll have time to visit. The Necropolis of Giza and its stunning pyramids is a true bucket-list destination and can be reached from the city in only around 20 minutes by taxi. Alternatively, you can take a guided tour that will not only bring you to the pyramids, but explain more about their intriguing history and purpose. You’ll want to spend at least three hours visiting the various pyramids, the stunning Sphinx, and the on-site museums. But if you’re a real archaeology buff, you could easily spend days here. Either way, it’s an iconic spot that will make you glad you had a long layover in Cairo.

  • Enjoy some of the best food Egypt has to offer in Cairo’s restaurants.

  • Take a 20 minute taxi ride to the Giza necropolis to see the stunning pyramids.

  • Allow at least three hours to explore the pyramids, or longer if you’re particularly interested.

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