Visit Cairo’s religious landmarks on a full-day tour to the city’s most important Coptic, Islamic and Jewish places. Learn how the Christian Holy Family took shelter on the site of Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church, explore the Church of Saint Barbara, and see the gilded icons that adorn the Hanging Church. Enter a synagogue built where baby Moses was found and eat lunch at a local restaurant; see Cairo’s most important mosques then take in sweeping views of the city from Saladin’s 15th-century citadel.
This tour had a lot of potential, but was ultimately ruined by a really bad guide. The sites were all really cool, and I loved seeing all the churches and mosques, but every second of the trip was stressful and uncomfortable we ended up pleading out after lunch, claiming to be too tired to continue. An 8-4 tour only lasted until 12:30, that's how badly we wanted out.
We were picked up at 8 by our guide and driver in a car, not a WiFi van as in the description. Our guide invited us to have tea with her, as is typical of 'Egyptian hospitality.' This sounded great at first. The actual experience was drinking tea from a stand while sitting in a closed car, being stared at by local men I'm female, and it was uncomfortable, while our guide bossed around the driver and chatted on her phone in Arabic which neither me nor my husband speak. Apparently our first site of the day did not open until 9, which made me wonder why our pick up was at 8, for a destination less than 15 minutes away.
At the Citadel we wandered around and took lots of pictures. Our guide seemed more interested in monopolizing our camera and getting good shots than in telling us anything about the site. We really wanted to know more, and kept having to ask questions to get to divulge any information. This frustrating process was repeated all day: at Abu Serga, St Barbara the hanging church, and at Amr Ibn Elas Mosque. We never even saw the Madrasa el Sultan Hassan Mosque mentioned on the itinerary. When we visited St George Church and Ben Ezra Synagogue our guide didn't even come in. With no explanation she left us at the door and told us to go walk around. We had to Google the history of the places to know what we were seeing.
Lunch was a tasty buffet, but it was incredibly awkward. On other tours our guide showed us the table, then left us to chat and enjoy the food. This time our guide sat at the table with us, but ate nothing, and chatted and texted on her phone the whole time. I would have been fine with being left alone, or with chatting more about Cairo, but she gave us no space and no interaction. It was deeply uncomfortable, and at this point we asked to be taken back to the hotel. There was no talking at any point during the car rides, except her on her phone.
The sites were all so cool, and I wanted so badly to enjoy myself, but the day was just frustrating, awkward and uncomfortable. If you book this, I don't recommend Emo Tours as the company.