Cairo International Airport (CAI)
Location: 9.5 miles northeast of Cairo’s city center
Pros: Great global connectivity
Cons: Not easy to navigate; congested
Ground Transportation: Taxis are plentiful. Buses and mini-buses, which are much cheaper, can bring you to Midan Tahrir, the transport hub of Cairo in the city center. Many guests have their hotels book private transfers for them. Whatever method of transportation you take, expect extensive traffic delays during rush hour.
As one of the busiest transportation centers in the whole of Africa—with a capacity of 22 million passengers per year—Cairo International Airport can be a bit overwhelming. It has three terminals serving numerous international airlines, including Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa, Saudia, and Turkish, among many others. It’s also the hub for Egypt’s flagship carrier EgyptAir, as well as smaller airline Nile Air.
Egypt: Borg Al Arab International Airport (HBE)
Location: 25 miles southwest of Alexandria
Pros: Ideal for flights to the Middle East–North Africa region (MENA)
Cons: Limited international routes beyond MENA; no air conditioning or Wi-Fi in the terminal
Ground Transportation: Taxis and Uber (which many travelers prefer) are available at the airport, or you can book private transfers through your hotel. There are also buses and mini-buses, but they don’t run very frequently.
More than 2 million passengers travel through Borg Al Arab International Airport annually, the majority of whom are traveling to and from the port city of Alexandria from areas around the Middle East and North Africa. Travelers report that the airport, while somewhat modern, lacks conveniences like air conditioning and Wi-Fi. It’s also tough to navigate.
Egypt: Hurghada International Airport (HRG)
Location: 3 miles southwest of Hurghada
Pros: Modern terminal with air conditioning
Cons: Going through security can take a long time; very expensive food and drink
Ground Transportation: Taxis are available 24 hours a day. There are also mini-buses—it’s recommended you haggle the price with the driver, as stops are not fixed, but are made by the request of passengers
Hurghada International Airport is Egypt’s second busiest after Cairo. It’s a gateway to the resorts on the west side of the Red Sea, so you’ll find many European holidaymakers choosing this airport. As such, there’s great airlift to Europe on airlines like Austrian, Brussels, EasyJet, and Thomas Cook, though many routes are seasonal. The airport is a new build and thus has modern facilities, but travelers report excessive lines to get through the multiple rounds of security. The food and drink options are also quite pricey, which is unusual for Egypt.
Egypt: Sharm El Sheikh International Airport (SSH)
Location: 6 miles north of Na’ama Bay
Pros: Small but modern terminals that are easy to navigate
Cons: Overcrowding and extremely long lines at security are a common problem
Ground Transportation: Taxis are available, and you’re expected to haggle over the price. The majority of foreign travelers book private transportation through their hotels or tour operators.
Formerly known as Ophira Airport, Sharm El Sheikh International Airport is a major airport on the Sinai Peninsula, located near the resorts along the Red Sea. Nearly six million passengers fly through its two terminals each year. While some international airlines Like Turkish and Saudia offer year-round flights, many other operators only fly in seasonally. Egypt’s domestic airlines, however, fly in daily. While the airport is relatively modern—Terminal 1 opened in 2007, and Terminal 2 underwent a major renovation in 2004—travelers bemoan the chaos of departures, as check-in and security lines can take hours to get through.
Egypt: Luxor Airport (LXR)
Location of the Airport: 4 miles from the city center
Pros: Not crowded
Cons: Lack of shopping and dining
Getting to and From the Airport: Taxis are plentiful, and haggling over the price is normal. Many passengers have their hotel or tour operator book a transfer. You can also rent a car here.
While most flights to this small airport are from Cairo on Egyptair, there are a handful of international routes, including seasonal service to London’s Heathrow and to Brussels on TUI Fly, as well as year-round service to Kuwait on Jazeera. Most travelers through Luxor are here to visit ancient sites like the Valley of the Kings.