Tips on how to deal with Taxi drivers in Egypt
Transportation in Egypt is one degree above primitive. Although there
are several governmental authorities responsible for transport, you will
hardly be able to use the public transport service because of lack of
discipline, unorganized and crowded roads. Tourists are left with only
one practical choice to move around Cairo (or any other city in Egypt)
which is taking a taxi.
Just a quick note:
UBER works in Egypt and there's also a similar service called
which is more organized than ordinary taxis.
Before you take a taxi in Egypt you should note the following
- Although fare is set by the law, you will not find a taxi driver
bound to it, the reason is that the fare was set a very long time
ago and has never been changed in spite of the continuous rise in
gas prices among other influential factors. So before you take a
cab, you need to know how much it would cost to go to the place you
are heading. You can enquire at the hotel reception or the travel
agency that booked your holiday.
- You have two choices to pay what you see reasonable, (1) either
negotiate the price before you get in the taxi, or (2) if you know
exactly how much a ride would cost, you can just pay what you think
is fair and walk away even if the driver tries to beg you for more
money. I myself prefer the first choice as it is more convenient and
will leave you the taxi driver satisfied when you settle on the ride
- Remember as a tourist, you have the protection of the tourist
police department which is dedicated to helping any foreign citizen
in any situation. You can threaten the driver that you will report
his taxi number to the police and this will restrain him from asking
- Be aware that some taxi drivers may go around in circles just to
rip a passenger of a few bucks, so you will need to know
approximately how long is your distance before you go. You can
either ask at the hotel reception or buy a map just in case.
- Cairo is a large city and most taxi drivers in Egypt do not know
how to speak English or any other foreign language, so be brief and
accurate when stating your destination so you and the taxi driver
wouldn't be lost. You can have your destination written by any
Arabic speaking person (hotel staff for example) so there wouldn't
be any doubt knowing where you want to go.
- If you are staying at a 5 star hotel, it would be better if you
move a few meters away from the hotel before you wave to a taxi, as
taxi drivers become greedy and demanding when they thing you have
money! this is a good advice even for Egyptians.
- Some destinations cost more than others like a ride to the
airport which is much expensive than inside the city. Also the price
might depend on other factors like if you take a taxi during the day
or at night, and urban or suburban place, ...etc
- It might be odd in other countries for a taxi driver to take
other passengers with you, but it is considered normal in Egypt. You
can off course refuse this behavior and threaten to report it to the
Above tips might be odd to you when you read it but you should know
that each country has its own characteristics that distinguish it from
other countries and taxis in Egypt clearly distinguish Egypt from
anywhere else in the world.
I hope you find this article helpful, you can always leave a comment
at the contact form
for more tips and advice to enjoy your trip in Egypt: