Egypt’s public transport network is well-developed and offers great service. Travelers to Egypt are free to come and go without any restrictions except when needing to have a travel permit for passing through the desert. An efficient rail network links the Nile Valley, Delta, and Canal Zone, and anywhere else is easily accessible via bus. Most cities in Egypt have a well-developed bus system, but travelers mostly use them in Cairo and Alexandria. The buses are not considered visitor-friendly since most of the sign and information boards are only in Arabic.
The three major bus companies that operate in Egypt are all based out of Cairo. Their names are the Upper Egypt Bus company which operates in Nile Valley, Fayoum, inner oases, and the Red Sea Coast down to El-Quseir. The second company is the East Delta Bus Company which offers services in Sinai and the Canal Zone. The third one, the Middle Delta Bus Company, offer regular services in Alexandria, Marsa Matrouh, Siwa and the Nile Delta. Another firm that works independently is El Gouna offers bus service from Cairo to Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh. Most Egyptian buses are air-conditioned and fast. When taking a local bus over short distances, you might need to travel in a non-ac bus. There are also super jet buses which have air-conditioners, toilets, videos and expensive snacks. Most cities in Egypt have a single bus depot, but in cities like Cairo and Alexandria, you can find many. Finding English and French speaking staff is not difficult but the schedules are usually displayed in Arabic only. However, bus information can be easily obtained from hotels in Sinai and the oases, as well as tourist offices in Luxor, Aswan, and the oases. Instead of buying tickets at the bus terminals, book them 24 hours in advance for long-haul services or air-conditioned buses. In the provinces, meanwhile, booking tickets can be done an hour or so before departure, or on the bus itself in the case of through services, which are often standing-room-only when they arrive. Passengers on a/c services are usually assigned a seat, but seats on “local” buses are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Fares are very reasonable for bus travel in the country.
Egypt also has plenty of 14-seated minivans, commonly referred to as Microbuses. They are, however, unmarked, so they can be difficult to find. Taking this bus is easiest at their starting point – usually a major square or intersection in a city, where the drivers will be shouting their end destination. Passengers are allowed to take off at any point between the journeys. The driver can be paid when you are getting off the bus. In Cairo, you might think to use a microbus to get to the Pyramids, while in Alexandria you could travel the length of Tariq al-Horreyya to the Corniche to Montazah. In Sharm el-Sheikh these carry passengers between Old Sharm, Na’ama Bay, and Shark’s Bay.
Egypt Bus Timetables
Bus timetables to and from all major tourist towns in Egypt: