The Dahab Hostel in Cairo Egypt
There are many hostels to choose from in Cairo using Hostelworld.com and Hostelbookers.com, and making the choice proved quite difficult as they all seemed so great for a variety of reasons. However, I did finally choose a place called Dahab Hostel in downtown Cairo, about an hour from the airport. They even sent a car to pick me up at 9pm and with less than 24 hours notice, and for a great price of 65EP which I was very grateful for 🙂
The Dahab Hostel is amazing for a few reasons – first of all, the location is prime- you can find it right in the middle of the action in downtown Cairo. And it is just 3-minute-walking distance to the Egyptian Museum, and within easy reach to the main train and bus stations by public transportation, taxi or Metro. You can also walk to the Nile and take a cruise on one of the many boats docked along the waters edges, visit the Cairo Tower, eat some stuffed pigeon (which I have not yet braved) at Farahat, or just meander the streets and absorb the endless amount of traffic and street art.
The hostel also provides some of the cheapest tours I have found anywhere. As a nomad backpacker, I am not keen on pre-arranged tours, but in Egypt I decided to give it a go. At the Dahab Hostel they have local day tours available to the famous Giza Pyramids and Sphinx, and a city tour of Islamic and Coptic Cairo to traveling onward and outward to see Aswan, Luxor and AbuSimbel, and visits to the Bahareya Oasis (White Desert) which I also booked (thank you Fabrice!) and highly recommend for anyone visiting this area. They also provide tours further south to the city of Dahab (about a 8-9 hour bus ride south) if you would prefer a trip to the Sinai while here.
The excellent staff (Kareem, Yousef, Kareem and everyone else) were all extremely helpful everyday with providing information, hot tea, friendliness, consideration, funny hand drawn maps that left you lost but finding more then what you expected to find when you ventured out into the streets, and occasional beautifully played songs on the guitar throughout the day and night. They were also very fair and accommodating when there was a miscommunication of sorts during the trip to the Black and White Desert as it did not initially turn out as planned. The hostel manager Kareem handled everything like a pro and got it all sorted out in a matter of minutes and the experience we had there was unforgettable. Again I am so grateful for Kareem’s dedication to making everything ideal for his guests here and always making himself available to ensure that everything does indeed go perfectly.
Another reason I love Dahab Hostel, is the open air rooftop with many communal spaces. There are so many places to just relax in the sun or meet and exchange stories with the amazing travelers that are attracted to this place. I have met so many intriguing people from all over the world while just relaxing on the rooftop who each taught me something valuable and different. Every day was an adventure with someone new and always unforgettable. From touring the Citadel and old Cairo with Marco from Mexico to climbing pyramids and camping in the desert with Fabrice from France, to sipping Chai with a group of of five – each from a different country in a downtown tea shop, wandering the streets with Marta from Poland, to visiting a local collective art gallery with old William, and drinking Egyptian Stella in a local pub with Charlie from Italy and Lawrence from Germany, Cairo invites many interesting people to it’s center that shared so many fascinating stories and experiences with me. It was the backpackers that I found most enjoyable here actually- their tales of travel, their insights to life, and their knowledge of completely random and usually funny and interesting facts. These were the things that really made traveling here completely worth it.
I thank the owners and staff of Dahab Hostel for creating such a great place to meet these people and for a price I can afford. Thank you!!!!! If and when I am in Cairo again I will definitely pay another visit to the Dahab Hostel. Oh did I mention the cats that sing to you at various times throughout the day? Yea, there are a few lovely felines who meander about singing their songs and occasionally jumping in your lap for a quick petting which made coming “home” feel a little more like home to me.