Metro Cairo - map, prices, tickets and features
The population of the city of Cairo is now 12 million people, and another 5 million come here every day to work. Naturally, such a big city can not do without a subway.
Metro Cairo is indispensable for its residents, but for tourists it is not very convenient. Most of the sights on the Cairo metro are not reachable. For example, the Cairo citadel and the mosque of Muhammad Ali are located five kilometers from the nearest station, and tourists have to go by taxi. The Egyptian pyramids in Giza are also far from the stations, from the nearest station "Giza" to the pyramids of 10 kilometers.
Metro Cairo can reduce the cost of travel to the sights of the city and give an opportunity to save money on a taxi , but this is not a "panacea", like, for example, the Vienna metro or Beijing subway .
The reason for this - the small size of the Cairo metro, it covers only a third of the city. There are only three branches here. The first (red) has a length of 44.3 kilometers, runs along the right bank of the Nile, it has 35 stations. The second (orange) has a length of 21.6 kilometers, crosses the Nile and leaves for Giza, there are 20 stations.
And the third (green) branch is being actively constructed, it now has a length of only 4.3 kilometers and 5 stations. This third branch will go to the east and end at Cairo International Airport. The completion of the construction is scheduled for October 2019, and the metro will be the most convenient way to get from Cairo airport to the city . See the scheme of the metro Cairo .
The first trains of the Cairo metro begin traffic at 5:15 am. The last trains stop at 0:30 at night. The start and end time varies within 15 minutes and depends on the time of the year. In the summer, the subway begins work earlier, in winter later.
The fare and how tickets look like
The Cairo metro station costs 1 Egyptian pound , regardless of the destination station. The system is the same as in Moscow, only the price is 4 times cheaper.
But before you enter the subway, you need to buy a ticket, and this task is difficult. Egyptian Arabs are not accustomed to stand in lines, so "bursting" to the box office throughout the crowd. Do not even try to orient yourself in this crowd, it is completely chaotic. In the photo on the left you can see what the cash register looks like, and there are few people here, it is much more.
Having made your way to the cash register, you need to put money into the window. How many Egyptian pounds will be pushed into the window, so many tickets will be exchanged by the cashier. Trying to buy two tickets for a 10 pounds bill and getting a change is almost useless. Screaming is meaningless, the cashier still does not hear anything behind the thick glass. You can try to show the number of tickets on your fingers, but the chances of success for this method are still meager. Therefore, it is recommended to stock up on small money.
Tickets look antediluvian by modern standards. These are small colored scraps of paper. This ticket needs to "feed" the turnstile and then do not forget to take it when it gets out of it. The ticket must be presented at the exit from the subway, otherwise you will have to pay a fine of 15 Egyptian pounds.
Features of the Cairo metro for tourists
In connection with the frequent cases of sexual harassment in the subway of Cairo, special wagons were introduced here, where only women and children can be. In the Arab tradition, a person is considered to be a child up to 12 years old.
Such cars are marked with special icons, see do not confuse. Finding a man in such a car is an administrative offense with all the ensuing consequences.
Such women's cars are divided into two types: the first - are permanent, and the second - only from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm. In any case, look at what car you go into, it's better not to go to the carriage with "female" signs at all.
Each car has four doors. The two extreme ones are designed only for the exit of passengers, and two medium ones are only for entry. In practice, the Egyptians do not pay any attention to this rule and "break" into all the doors. The Egyptians generally do not like to follow any rules, such is their mentality.
There are no air-conditioners in the cars, it's not the Dubai subway . A terrible heat is compensated for only by fans. A little easier becomes if you go to an open window, which is often very difficult, since the cars are always densely filled with passengers.
If you read English-speaking or German-speaking sites about tourism, you can find publications of tourists full of indignation: "There are no toilets in the metro stations of Cairo!".
For Europeans this seems wild, and not just for Europeans. For example, in China in the metro of Shanghai or Beijing everywhere there are toilets. In the world in most subways, the presence of a room with the inscription "WC" is considered the norm.
Russians do not get used to it, we do not have toilets in the subway and never have been. Also in the Cairo metro there are no urns, just like in Moscow or St. Petersburg, there are also terrorists here.
A nice feature - all information signs are duplicated in English. These are the names of the stations, the "entrance" and "exit" signs. Problems arise with schemes hanging at stations and in wagons, many of them only in Arabic. Tourists have to count the station to accurately get out on the right.
Attention! Beware of pickpockets! Before entering the subway, put all valuables in your inner pockets. For the tourist it is very important. It's one thing - when they stole money, but it's completely different - when they also stole documents.
Metro Cairo produces a different impression on tourists. Some call it "wild," someone characterizes it with the word "chaos", some are quite normal to the local crush and the unwillingness of the Egyptians to stand in organized queues.
The total workload of the Cairo metro is comparable to that of Moscow. It is better to refrain from traveling during peak hours.
Interesting facts and figures
The Metro is an extremely rare phenomenon for the Arab countries. In the Arab countries there are only 4 subways in cities: Cairo, Dubai, Algeria and Mecca.
Metro in Mecca is difficult to take seriously, since there are only 1 branch and 9 stations, and it works only 7 days a year during hajj and carries pilgrims. In Algeria, everything is a little more serious - 1 branch and 14 stations. It turns out that the full metro, where at least two branches, in the Arab countries only two - Cairo and Dubai.
Now many readers will object: "What about the Istanbul metro?" Answer: "Turkey is not an Arab country, Turks live here, not Arabs." Similarly, from Teheran, Tabriz, Shiraz and Mashhad metro stations, all these cities are in Iran, and Persians live there, and not Arabs, Iran is not an Arab country.
If you use the Cairo metro for a trip to the sights, you will most likely be able to visit the Sadat station - the most beautiful of all. This station is decorated in the style of ancient Egypt (pictured right). On the walls you can see beautiful mosaics, stylized to Ancient Egypt, on the platform are statues. And it is around this station that the Cairo Museum is located. We can say that this station is dedicated to the ancient history of Egypt .
The administration of Cairo has a lot of plans for the development of the subway. In addition to completing the construction of the third line, they want to build lines 4, 5 and 6, covering the whole city of Cairo and part of Giza with a network. It is objectively clear that Egypt has no money for this now and will not be in the near future.
The Cairo subway exists for state subsidies, ticket prices of 1 Egyptian pound are clearly not enough to cover all the company's current costs. The real cost of traveling in the subway of Cairo is difficult to judge, but officials say about 9 or 25 pounds. Of course, they greatly exaggerate.
Raising the price of travel by subway in Cairo has not yet been planned, the government does not want the outrage of the people. 2011 and 2013 have shown that it is very dangerous to "flirt" with the people of Egypt, and the current president understands this perfectly.
Have a good trip to Cairo, and read our other articles about Egypt ( links below ).
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