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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Past the Vacationer Path: A Day’s Journey from Cairo to Luxor by Practice


With Cairo and Luxor being the 2 must-visit cities when in Egypt, selecting your methodology of journey between each locations provides some attention-grabbing choices. 

Over 650 kilometers separate Cairo and Luxor, and whereas some go for an unforgettable cruise down the Nile, this is usually a reasonably costly few days. 

And though catching a flight is fast, it’s not a really sustainable journey choice. However there may be one other selection to contemplate: to journey by prepare. 

As a prepare experience fanatic when overseas, I jumped on the likelihood to spend a day on Egyptian Nationwide Railways after I visited the nation again in January 2024 and was reasonably shocked with how my day unfolded. 

On this weblog submit, I’ll recount the whole lot that I skilled touring from Cairo to Luxor, together with what shocked me most and whether or not it’s actually an excellent journey choice or not. 

Why Journey To Luxor From Cairo By Practice?

Properly, let me be completely trustworthy from the get-go right here: this prepare journey was a extremely lengthy day of journey and if I had the selection once more I might more than likely chew the bullet and bounce on a aircraft as an alternative or take a Sleeper Practice reasonably than touring by day.  

However I might advocate the prepare journey if you wish to uncover what Egypt is admittedly like away from the most important vacationer locations – it’s fairly an eye-opening expertise, to say the least. 

It’s also the most cost effective journey choice and the most effective sustainable choice, however as talked about, count on a really lengthy, very tiring day!

Shopping for a prepare ticket from Cairo to Luxor

Shopping for your prepare ticket prematurely and/or at Cairo prepare station is sort of a complicated affair, to say the least. 

I attempted and succeeded in shopping for a ticket on the Egyptian Nationwide Railways (ENR) app previous to my journey to Egypt. Nonetheless, this doesn’t all the time work and is a little bit of a lottery. 

If this feature doesn’t give you the results you want then I might advise shopping for a ticket straight from the station just a few days earlier than your journey. 

Whether or not you will have luck shopping for a ticket on the app or not, you continue to need to pay an additional charge as a foreigner. To do that you must head to the Foreigners Reservation Workplace at Cairo station. 

The Foreigners Reservation Workplace isn’t precisely properly signposted on the station, however from the primary corridor head up the escalators, take a left right into a hall and it is best to see indicators to the workplace from there. 

I headed to the workplace and confirmed the ticket I had bought on the Egyptian Railways app. I then paid the additional charge as a foreigner (which price round 40 Euros) after which was given a handwritten ticket. 

Discovering your platform at Cairo station

So after paying the additional charge as a foreigner on the Foreigners Reservation Workplace, all you must do is use your platform, get in your prepare, sit again, and loosen up – if solely it was that straightforward!

There are many show boards on the station however in fact I couldn’t discover any information for my prepare to Luxor that was scheduled at about 8 am that morning. 

I requested at an data desk and confirmed my ticket and it was defined to me that I wanted to go to platform 11, which was a bit additional away from the primary corridor within the station. 

Having headed via an underpass I discovered platform 11 and was kindly greeted by a prepare conductor, who took me aboard my prepare and confirmed me to my seat. 

Looking back, this was fairly lucky, however most Egyptians are very pleasant and are all too keen that can assist you out, even when their English isn’t all that nice. 

My Expertise of touring from Cairo to Luxor by prepare

So what’s the Cairo to Luxor prepare journey truly like? Properly, I discovered the state of my carriage to be fairly ample – I’ve definitely traveled on rather a lot worse trains in my time (India instantly springs to thoughts!). 

The seats are nearly comfortable sufficient and the carriages are spacious, though possibly not the cleanest or most fashionable you’ll ever see. My carriage was pretty quiet to begin with, however there’s a fixed circulation of individuals boarding and getting off on the numerous stops all through the day. 

As for the prepare journey itself, at occasions it was tediously gradual, with a number of cases when the prepare stopped for 10 or quarter-hour with no reason why, however that’s no large deal actually.

The prepare stops at quite a few stations and passes via small cities and villages in addition to the Egyptian countryside.

Probably the most shocking facet of the journey for me nevertheless was witnessing the alarming quantity of poverty in these backwater, middle-of-nowhere locations which is sort of saddening to see. 

It jogged my memory numerous the identical type of poverty that you simply see when touring through prepare in India, and I truthfully wasn’t anticipating to see the identical degree of poverty right here. 

It’s fairly an eye-opener to see how poor of a rustic Egypt actually is, and I don’t assume I might have had the identical perspective if I had traveled between Cairo and Luxor through aircraft or on a cruise. 

Aside from that it was good to see the Egyptian countryside; it’s scenic at occasions however the abandoned cities and poor villages are far too frequent all through the journey. You see numerous deserted buildings that by no means accomplished building, which is a mirrored image of Egypt’s poor economic system. 

Is the sleeper prepare the higher choice?

So I caught a prepare from Cairo to Luxor throughout the day as I needed to really see as a lot of Egypt as doable from my prepare window, reasonably than sleeping via the journey. 

I’m not the most effective at sleeping on any mode of transport and the sleeper trains are a bit dearer, with a mattress in a twin cabin costing round 80 Euros and a single cabin costing about 120 Euros. 

Yow will discover flights for across the similar worth or cheaper between the 2 cities, so it’s all a query of if that’s well worth the trouble or not. 

Sleeper trains are by far the extra fashionable choice with vacationers, with loads of tour corporations providing dearer sleeper prepare experience tickets to Luxor

The advantage of touring on the sleeper prepare is that you simply don’t waste any of your vacation day touring by prepare, so in that respect it is a bonus. I’d reasonably expertise the prepare views throughout the daytime, but it surely’s all a query of non-public choice. 

Arriving in Luxor

Having left Cairo at 8 within the morning, it was darkish by the point my prepare lastly arrived in Luxor. Getting off the prepare at Luxor with so many different vacationers may be fairly an awesome expertise. 

It’s not straightforward to seek out your bearings and you might be quickly approached by a number of native taxi drivers providing their providers. 

I used to be approached by an Egyptian as quickly as I left the prepare, and I maybe naively accepted his supply (I simply needed to achieve my resort ASAP after such a protracted day!).

My resort was based mostly on the West Financial institution of the River Nile, with Luxor prepare station being located on the East Financial institution, which is the primary central half of town. 

My taxi driver insisted that the experience to the East Financial institution would take over 40 minutes and it was one other lengthy journey off the crushed observe – not what I needed after the prepare journey!

Because it turned out, I may have simply caught a public ferry on the Nile and cross over to the West Financial institution which might have been rather a lot faster and cheaper. One other lesson why it’s vital to analysis your vacation spot earlier than setting off. 

Is Cairo To Luxor By Practice Price It?

So all in all, would I like to recommend touring to Luxor through prepare from Cairo? All of it is determined by your preferences. 

In case you get pleasure from prepare journeys in unique lands and have a way of journey then positive, it may be an enriching expertise and also you positively see numerous Egypt you by no means usually would. 

Nonetheless, when you’re quick on time and simply need to get from Cairo to Luxor as shortly as doable, then no, that is positively not the correct choice for you. Travelling by aircraft is the quickest choice if not the most effective sustainable choice. 

Touring by sleeper prepare is an efficient choice too when you don’t thoughts sleeping on public transport and doubtlessly sharing a cabin with strangers. 

Cairo To Luxor By Practice FAQs

Nonetheless undecided about touring to Luxor from Cairo by prepare? Let’s reply among the mostly requested questions on this matter:

How lengthy is the prepare from Cairo to Luxor?

The prepare experience itself takes round 10 hours. Whenever you think about journey occasions out of your resort to every prepare station at each Cairo and Luxor, then you may see why it’s such a protracted, tiring journey. 

I might positively advocate having an excellent e book to maintain you occupied all through the day as there’s no wifi sign on the prepare. 

Are there meals choices on the prepare from Cairo to Luxor?

Sure, however good luck when selecting from the menu! Round lunchtime on my prepare journey, a prepare crew member handed via my carriage handing out menus and taking lunch orders. 

I had a have a look at one of many menus and naturally, it was all in Arabic. I may make out just a few meat choices, however as a vegetarian, there didn’t actually appear to be something appropriate. 

I attempted to speak with the crew member that I’d like a cheese sandwich and I believed he understood what I meant. He then returned 10 minutes later with a tray filled with desserts! 

There was a muffin, a croissant, and another fundamental desserts, which wasn’t precisely what I requested, but it surely wasn’t a problem. 

There are numerous meals stalls promoting snacks like crisps and many others at Cairo station and on the numerous stations you move all through the prepare experience. My recommendation could be to have a hearty breakfast when you have time and refill on snacks for the journey. 

Is it secure to journey by prepare from Cairo to Luxor?

Sure, I’ve to say I felt utterly secure all through my prepare experience to Luxor. Egyptians are identified to be very pleasant and I acquired a number of smiles from fellow passengers and folks asking the place I used to be from of their damaged English. 

Which is the higher metropolis: Cairo or Luxor?

Personally, I a lot most popular Luxor to Cairo. Sure, Cairo is a must-visit metropolis due to course the Giza Pyramids are shut by, but it surely actually doesn’t have a lot to supply aside from that. 

In my expertise, I discovered Cairo to be probably the most chaotic cities I’ve visited, with loopy drivers on the roads (I nonetheless have nightmares about airport taxis to my resort), dangerous air air pollution and locals continuously making an attempt to promote you stuff you don’t want. 

Sure, positively go to Cairo to see the Pyramids that are indisputably a tremendous sight, and possibly keep for an additional day or two most to go to among the prime museums, however that’s all I might advocate. 

Luxor then again was a way more peaceable and aesthetically pleasing expertise. With town being divided on both aspect of the River Nile, the ambiance is extra tranquil. 

Locals nonetheless attempt to promote you stuff you don’t want (I had a horrible expertise with a store proprietor who pressured me to purchase some tat within the El-Souk market), however there’s a lot fascinating historical past to see in Luxor. 

There are a number of wonderful temples (Karnak Temple was my favourite) and naturally, the Valley of the Kings is a should to discover some amazingly preserved tombs.

There are additionally some actually top-rated actions to do right here, similar to occurring a sizzling air balloon experience at dawn or enjoyable on the Nile on a Felucca boat experience

Conclusion: Cairo To Luxor By Practice

In order that’s the whole lot I skilled on my prepare experience from Cairo to Luxor. It’s a type of prepare journeys that carry out a mixture of feelings – it’s bewildering, saddening, and complicated however gratifying all on the similar time!

It’s an journey for positive, however would I actually advocate it? I must say most likely not, it’s a protracted, exhausting day that eats up your trip time, however a novel journey all the identical. 

Attending to see a aspect of Egypt that isn’t typical for many vacationers is a privileged expertise and one which I can promise you received’t overlook in a rush! 

Mark (Wolverhampton, England) runs MJ Journey Guides. He has visited over 40 international locations, principally as a solo traveler. Comply with his adventures on Instagram @mj_travelman and Twitter @MJ_TravelMan.

Maintain studying: From Pyramids to Pharaohs: A First-Timer’s Information to Egypt






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