Have you got your sights set on the mesmerizing city of Cairo? Then you’re in for an adventure of a lifetime. Cairo is a gem of a destination, filled with history, culture, and contagious energy that’s hard to beat.
Cairo is considered one of the best places to live in Egypt. The city is famous for pyramids, pharaohs, mummies, and tombs. However, before you travel, you need to know if Cairo is safe for you. It’s normal to wonder about the city’s safety, so you must research the place before you take your vacation.
Cairo is the capital of Egypt, a country loved and known for its incredible landmarks and its safety. You’ll be happy to know that Egyptians are known for their hospitality and kindness, so you’re likely to feel right at home.
Why Visit Cairo?
Cairo is one of the largest cities in Africa, with a population of about 21 million. There is so much to see and do in Cairo, like marveling at the world’s largest ancient statue.
Does basking under the shadow of Giza Pyramids intrigue you?
Or perhaps wandering aimlessly into Khan El Khalili market’s labyrinthine passages. Or maybe you want to explore one of the longest rivers in the world, the Nile River.
This city will have you feeling like Indiana Jones on an epic quest.
If you’re a foodie, get ready for the bursting splendor of Egyptian cuisine; you’re in line for remarkable delight. Koshari, falafel, kebabs, and baklava are just a few of the mouthwatering dishes that await you in the bustling street-side cafés of Cairo.
So, get ready for a culinary adventure. Your taste buds will thank you.
Cairo’s history comes alive as every twist and turn rekindles its history, unfolding narratives spanning over 4,000 years. So know that when you’re in Cairo, you’re not just a tourist. You’re a time traveler.
Is Cairo Dangerous?
Cairo is regarded as a safe haven for globetrotters. But like any other major city, it is important to be cautious. Keep your belongings secure and always be alert in crowded areas.
In busy, crowded places, Cairo has its fair share of pickpocketing and petty theft. The streets can be chaotic, so take extra care when navigating the roads. If you need to get up for the challenge, consider hiring a reputable driver or using ride-sharing apps to get around.
According to Numbeo, Cairo is 137th on the crime index by city out of the 334 towns classified. With that being said, a bit of street smarts and common sense could make your magical trip to Cairo one of the safest.
Dangerous Areas in Cairo
Imbaba, within Cairo’s outskirts, upholds a reputation of being considered dangerous terrain. It is known for its high poverty rates. The neighborhood has been wrestling with severe economic disparities that result in barriers to academic opportunities and accessibility to healthcare providers.
Poverty in Imbaba can contribute to social issues, sometimes resulting in criminal activities. Some areas in Imbaba have had problems with drug trafficking and gang activity. These challenges are often linked to economic struggles and the lack of opportunities for many residents.
The physical environment, with its run-down buildings and graffiti-adorned walls, contributes to a gritty and potentially dangerous atmosphere. For these reasons, it’s often advised to exercise extra caution when in Imbaba.
Manshiyat Naser is no stranger to having a bad reputation. It’s often in the news for street brawls and clashes between rival gangs. This fuels the perception that the area is dangerous and lacks stability. That is why the area has been considered dangerous.
The town’s less-than-ideal reputation and sparse resources require locals to adapt quickly and be hardy. While the toughness of this community is admirable, some outsiders might find it a bit intimidating.
Travelers must consider the hidden risks involved with road confrontations and contests, which demand careful preventive actions and thoughts in different areas of Cairo.
Is It Safe to Live in Cairo?
Living in Cairo can be safe, but like any large city, it comes with its own breed of uncertainties. The town has its share of challenges, such as traffic congestion, occasional political protests, and some areas with higher crime rates.
However, many residents live comfortably in Cairo and enjoy the city’s rich culture, history, and atmosphere.
If you’re considering relocating to Cairo, it’s necessary to choose your neighborhood wisely, stay informed about local events, and take precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
As with any international move, you should also familiarize yourself with local customs and laws.
Safe Areas/Cities in Cairo
Gezira is a breathtaking islet nestled securely in the Nile River’s embrace and impeccably sits at the core of Giza within Cairo’s heart. It is one of the most populated areas in the country and is home to many of Cairo’s most affluent residents and several cultural and historical sites.
Gezira Island is a popular destination for tourists, and it is where you can find the Cairo Tower, Cairo Opera House, and several five-star hotels like the Marriott Hotel. The best time to visit the island is October to April because the weather is more relaxed and the crowds are smaller.
It’s an excellent place for anyone wishing to escape a busy life.
Immersed along the Nile’s starboard side is the Garden City. It boasts an enchanting architectural panorama that spreads its atmosphere. While there aren’t many things to do, it is conveniently close to Zamalek and central Cairo, ensuring easy access to the city’s attractions.
The place is ideal for solo travelers, couples, families, and business trips. Garden City offers splendid Nile views from its fine hotels. You also have an opportunity to experience the Nile on an authentic Egyptian ship.
For architecture enthusiasts, Garden City’s streets are a treasure trove of elegant palaces and villas, remnants of Cairo’s elite. So, take a leisurely walk and admire these historic buildings.
Tagamo’a El Khames (The 5th Settlement)
Found within New Cairo, the city’s east realm houses Tagamoa’ El Khames. It is a haven for modern amenities like extensive malls, shopping streets, and well-regarded restaurants.
The area boasts exclusive residential districts, coupled with public sector headquarters, leading to an escalation in real estate value. It’s ideal for couples seeking a more relaxed holiday, away from the city’s central chaos and closer to the airport.
Tagamoa’ El Khames features Cairo Festival City, a massive mall with stores, dining options, and cinemas, making it perfect for couples and families. However, it’s not a place for solo travelers seeking Egyptian heritage and culture, and a car or taxi is essential due to its vast size.
Warnings & Dangers in Cairo
Cairo offers incredible historical sites and a vibrant culture, but there are some precautions to remember. Petty crime, especially pickpocketing, can occur in crowded areas. That is why it’s essential to stay aware of your surroundings.
It’s recommended that you dress modestly and be respectful of local customs. Avoid political discussions and public displays of affection as the city is religious. As with many urban areas, traffic can be hectic and frustrating. Be cautious when crossing the streets.
Staying informed about these standard travel warnings ensures a safer and more enjoyable experience in this captivating city.
Overall Travel Risk (5/10)
There are some safety concerns that you should be aware of. As you know, there is no place without crime. It’s wise to keep a close eye on your belongings.
Traffic can be chaotic, so always be extra careful. You must also dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. It is respectful and recommended.
With some street smarts and awareness, Cairo can be a rewarding and safe destination for you.
Petty Theft and Muggings
When you visit Cairo’s major attractions like the Pyramids, the Egyptian Museum, or the Al-Azhar Mosque, best believe you can feel secure. It is especially safe when traveling with a tour group.
These tourist spots have increased security, and there’s a dedicated tourist police force to assist if needed. Despite these measurements, petty crimes, especially pickpocketing, is more common in busy areas such as Old Cairo, Tahrir Square, Khan El Khalili, and the Cairo Metro.
To stay safe, remain vigilant, avoid flaunting valuables, and consider using discreet bag options like money belts or waist pouches in crowded places and bustling bazaars.
People are opportunists, especially if they notice that you’re not from the city. A well-known swindle to watch out for involves taxi drivers overcharging tourists. Most taxis don’t have meters, so the driver determines the price.
Another popular scam in Cairo is the camel scam. The owners of the camel offer a low price for a ride, but this covers only the cost of getting on the camel. When it’s time to disembark, the owner charges an additional fee.
To safeguard yourself from this scam, it’s crucial to establish the fare before even stepping into the taxi or camel.
The city is at a low risk for earthquakes. However, it’s essential to know about potential natural disasters like sand and dust storms, floods, and landslides due to Cairo’s location.
During the winter months, heavy rain can lead to flash floods, making the city’s drainage system overwhelmed. The city also experiences sand and dust storms, especially in desert regions, which can reduce visibility and affect air quality.
As a tourist looking to have a safe and memorable trip, it’s crucial to stay informed about potential hazards. Always be prepared for emergencies by having a first aid kit and knowing evacuation routes.
Terrorist threats are a concern throughout Egypt, with North Sinai being a particularly high risk. Christians and their places of worship have been specifically targeted in recent years. This has resulted in the U.S. travel authorities listing Egypt as a Level 3: Reconsider Travel due to terrorist threats.
It is crucial to exercise heightened caution during major religious events, festivals, observances, and at sacred sites. Be especially vigilant at crowded public places near police checkpoints and government buildings.
Prioritize places with robust security measures. Have an exit plan, report suspicious activity, and stay updated through the media. Listen to official warnings, and follow local authorities’ advice to enhance your safety.
Tips for Staying Safe in Cairo
Cairo’s most popular tourist attractions are under heavy security protection, resulting in low violent crimes or terrorist attacks. However, it’s wise to have a few safety tricks up your sleeve.
- Avoid risky areas after dark: It’s wise to avoid poorly lit or less populated areas at night. Stick to well-traveled routes and consider using reputable transportation services like Uber, taxi cabs, or Nile taxi after dark.
- Respect local customs: Egypt is a predominantly Muslim country, and it’s essential to respect local customs and traditions. Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites.
- Avoid political demonstrations: It’s best to avoid them for safety reasons. Keep an eye on local news or ask your accommodation host for updates on potential gatherings.
- Use reputable tour operators and guides: When booking tours or guides, opt for well-reviewed and reputable operators like Beyond The Nile Tours or Holiday In Egypt.
- Stay hydrated: The Egyptian sun can be scorching. Carrying a refillable water bottle is a practical way to keep cool during your adventures.
Is Cairo Safe? | Frequently Asked Questions
Is Solo Traveling Safe for Women?
Yes, solo traveling is safe for women in Cairo. But, like in any major city, it’s crucial to take precautions. Women should dress conservatively, avoid walking alone late at night in less populated areas, and use trusted transportation methods.
You should stay in a hotel in a safe area and avoid traveling alone on public transportation. Another safety tip is to connect with local women or join group tours to enhance safety and provide opportunities for meaningful cultural experiences.
Is Cairo LGBTQIA+ Friendly?
Egypt, including Cairo, is far from being LGBTQIA+ friendly. People have conservative attitudes towards LGBTQIA+ people. While there is a small, underground LGBTQIA+ community, you must know that public displays of affection or open discussions about LGBTQIA+ topics are generally not well-received.
Queer people have no legal protections from discrimination, and many doings of LGBTQIA+ culture are considered illegal. Same-sex couples cannot adopt, nor are their marriages recognized in Egypt. It’s advisable to exercise discretion and respect local customs regarding relationships and identities.
What Should I Avoid in Cairo?
Because the country is so religious, you must tread carefully.
It’s best to avoid political demonstrations or large gatherings, as they can sometimes escalate. Avoid discussing sensitive political or religious topics. For food, opt for bottled water and avoid consuming raw or undercooked meats and seafood to prevent foodborne illnesses.
Don’t wear revealing clothes, and don’t drink alcohol in the streets. Respect religious places, and do not visit the mosque if you’re a non-Muslim during times of prayers.
Is It Safe to Drink Tap Water in Cairo?
It’s recommended to avoid drinking tap water in Cairo but opt for bottled water, which is readily available. In Cairo, water treatment plants are cleaned with ample chlorine to ensure sterility and compensate for potential supply problems.
However, bottled water is still a much safer choice, and many hotels and restaurants also provide filtered or bottled water for guests. This precaution helps prevent any potential stomach discomfort from unfamiliar bacteria that may be present in the tap water.