Whether you have a layover, overnight sleepover or are just quickly passing through, our Cairo Airport Guide is a great place to start planning your visit. Here, you’ll find information on services and facilities available inside the airport – including details about airport lounges, WiFi, mobile charging points, lockers, 24-hour food options, nearby hotels, and everything in between.
I asked security to wake me up at 7am (I was tired!) and they actually did. – Jasminexxx
CAI Airport Overview
To help you plan your layover or overnight sleepover, here is a quick run-down about what to expect during your time at Cairo International Airport.
What to Expect
Cairo Airport (Code: CAI) has three primary passenger terminals (T1, T2 and T3) and a seasonal Hajj terminal. An automated people mover links Terminal 1 with Terminals 2 and 3, the AirMall and multi-storey car park along, and an air bridge connects Terminals 2 and 3. Passengers must pass through Terminal 1 for initial baggage screening, which can cause line-ups and chaos outside the entranceway. There are a variety of dining and shops both airside and landside in all terminals. Duty-free shopping can also be found in all terminals. While most of the airport has been renovated or is new, travellers have reported that some bathrooms are in poor condition and lack adequate supplies. Therefore, we suggest you bring your own toilet paper! Things to do at Cairo Airport are limited. WiFi is available, but foreign travellers may be unable to connect without a local SIM card. The airport contains lounges that offer fee-paid access to economy-class passengers. The airport has lounges that offer fee-paid access to economy-class passengers. See Airport Lounges below for locations and rates.
Sleeping in Cairo Airport
Travellers tend to mention Terminal 3’s Level 3 (landside) and Zone H as having plenty of lightly padded benches that can provide comfortable sleeping. For greater security, solo travellers should try to sleep near other travellers. There is a 350-room hotel connected to Terminal 3 by a covered bridge and numerous other hotels within easy shuttle distance. See Airport Hotels in the guide below for more details, or read some traveller reviews for more tips.
Good to Know
- Passengers are not allowed to pass into secure areas of the terminals earlier than three hours before departure. If you arrive early, passing through security early is impossible. You must remain in the public area of the airport.
- In Terminal 1, all baggage is screened before entering the terminal. This can result in chaos with a lot of pushing and shoving in a small area before you even get inside the terminal.
- Have your passports and documents handy, as they will be checked frequently.
- Be wary of aggressive porters or self-alleged “airport employees” who promise to expedite you to the “first-class line” for a fee. They will ask for your passport and appear to hold it hostage until you pay them for their services.
To help us keep this guide up-to-date, you can add or update information or write a review to submit airport tips and photos. You can also visit the airport’s website for current information. For more airport information, continue scrolling down to explore more in our Cairo Airport Guide.
In this guide we may refer to locations as “landside” and “airside”. Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security. For more information on Europe’s Schengen Area, click here.
Pay-per-use, Single Visit Passes & Lounge Memberships
Regardless of what class of service you are flying, there are lounges that you can enter by paying at the Door, purchasing a lounge pass or through a lounge membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details about the lounge itself and to also find out how you can gain lounge access with just an economy class ticket!
- First Class Lounge – Location: Terminal 1, Airside, 1st & 2nd Floors. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge pass • Lounge membership programs.
- Ahlein – Premium Lounge – Location: Terminal 2, Airside, before Duty Free Shops. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Prepaid lounge pass • Lounge membership programs.
- Pearl Assist – Location: Terminal 2, Airside, 1st Floor. Lounge Access: Prepaid lounge pass • Lounge membership programs.
- First Class Lounge – Location: Terminal 2, Airside, 1st Floor. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge pass • Lounge membership programs.
- First Class Lounge– Location: Terminal 3 , airside, 2nd Floor. Hours: open 24 hours. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door • Prepaid lounge pass • Lounge membership programs.
If you are a First or Business Class traveller you may have access to the lounges listed below. For more information, check the airline’s website.
Terminal 2, Airside: The Emirates Lounge.
Terminal 3, Airside: Egyptair Alioth Lounge • Egyptair Gienah Lounge • Egyptair El Tier Lounge (Domestic) • Egyptair Almeisan Lounge • Egyptair Kochab Smoking Lounge (Temporarily closed).
Related Pages: Cairo Airport Lounges
If sleeping in Cairo airport sounds like a nightmare, there is a hotel connected to the terminal and several nearby options:
- Le Meridien Cairo Airport – Connected to Terminal 3 by a pedestrian bridge. » Check Rates
Hotels near Cairo Airport
- Novotel Cairo Airport – Free 24-hour airport shuttle bus upon request. Day rooms are available. » Check Rates
- Le Passage Cairo – No airport shuttle. » Check Rates
- Radisson Blu Hotel Cairo Heliopolis – Airport shuttle is available upon request. » Check Rates
For more options, visit Tripadvisor to see a list of hotels near Cairo Airport that can be sorted by price, distance, traveller rating and popularity.
While “Free WiFi” is said to be available at Cairo airport, a reader tells us this:
“There’s no real free WiFi. There’s a temporary sample internet usage if you already have an active Egyptian sim card and a fee-based wifi after that. ” (August 2019)
More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport
ATMs / Cash Machines – Need cash? ATMs are available. Fees may apply, so check your bank’s fee schedule and daily withdrawal limit if you travel internationally. You may also want to notify your bank of your travel plans. Locations: Machines are available Landside and Airside in all Terminals.
Baggage Trolleys – Need a hand with your luggage? Luggage trolleys are available. Rate: unknown.
Business Center – Providing services such as faxing, photocopying, laptop use, and more, the Business Center can be found in Terminal 3, Arrivals.
Children’s Play Area – When you want to ensure your kids burn off all their energy before their flight, take them to the children’s play area. Locations: available in International and Domestic departures areas.
Currency Exchange – Several banks and currency exchange counters provide full-service banking and currency exchange in all terminals. Hours: unknown.
Duty-Free & Shopping – Duty-free shopping is available in all 3 Terminals. In addition, a variety of retail shops are available on the landside and airside. At the time of this update, the hours are not known.
Food & Drinks – At the time of this update, there are food options available in all terminals and in the Airmall. However, it is not known if there are any 24-hour food concessions.
Luggage Storage & Lockers – Not available.
Luggage Wrapping – Protect your bags from theft and damage by having your bags wrapped in plastic. Services are available in the check-in areas. Hours and rates: unknown.
Medical Services – Urgent and emergency medical care is available at the airport’s First Aid station. For access, seek the assistance of an airport staff member. Hours: 24 hours.
Mobile Charging – At the time of this update, we had no information about mobile charging availability. If you know, click here to update this airport guide.
Pharmacy – Pick up any last minute medication at one of the following: El Ezaby Pharmacy (Terminal 1, Landside) • Al baqulawy (Terminal 2, Landside) • Al Nady (Terminal 2, Arrivals) • Samy Farid (Terminal 3, Landside).
Rest Zones – No dedicated sleeping areas, quiet areas or rest zones exist. If this information has changed, click here to update this guide.
Showers – Showers are available in the Ahlein Premium Lounge. See the Airport Lounges section for more information.
SIM Cards – A reader tells us, “We were there today and bought an Orange SIM card. It was 150 local pounds for 16 GB. We also saw a Vodafone stand. They’re in the luggage hall.” (September 2022)
Smoking – Designated smoking rooms are available in these locations: T3, airside, between Gates F9 and F10 • T3, airside, between Gates G2 and G3. A new smoking lounge is also available. Hours: Unknown.
Travel Agencies – If you are arriving in Cairo and need local arrangements or help planning a last-minute trip abroad, Gem Travel Agency (Terminal 1 and 3, Arrivals) can probably assist. In addition, plenty of tour agents are available to assist with local travel arrangements.
The airport is open 24 hours.
Cairo airport is served by the following airlines: Aegean Airlines • Air Arabia • Air Cairo • Air France • Air Go • Air Leisure • Alexandria • Almasria Universal • AMC • Aviator • Austrian Airlines • Badr Airlines • British Airways • Cairo Aviation • China Airlines • Egyptair • Emirates • Eritrean Airways • Ethiopian Airlines • Etihad Airways • Fly Egypt • Flynas • Fly Baghdad • Gulf Air • Jordan Aviation • ITA Airways • Iraqi Airways • Jazeera • Kuwait Airways • LOT • Lufthansa • Meridiana Fly • Middle East Airlines • National Air • Nesma Air • Nile Air • Oman Air • Privilege Style • Petroleum Air Services • Royal Air Maroc • Royal Jordanian • Royal Wings • Russian Airlines • Saudia Air • Smart • Sudan Airways • Swiss • Syrian Air • Tarco Air • Transavia • Tunis Air • Turkish Airlines • Ukraine International • Yemenia Airways.
Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport
The airport is served by CTA City buses, which provide connections to the city, as well as buses that connect you to farther locations (services provided by companies such as West Delta, Upper Egypt, East Delta, and Super Jet). Ask for assistance at the airport. All buses depart from the parking area of Terminal 1.
The following car rental companies have offices onsite (in all terminals): Avis • Budget • Europcar • Sixt.
See also Airport Hotels above.
All terminals, the Airmall and Car Park, are connected via a free train. The automatic people mover transfers passengers and the general public around the airport grounds in approximately 5 minutes.
Uber operates throughout Egypt. A ride from the airport to the Old Cairo or New Cairo City costs 180LE to 190 LE.
The airport is served by shuttle buses which will take passengers quickly and comfortably to a variety of destinations. At the time of te 2019 update, sample fares (one way, one adult) include: Downtown 35 LE; Alharam – El Maadi 45 LE; or Heliopolis 25 LE. Buses depart every half an hour. Go to the shuttle bus customer service counter (arrivals area of Terminal 1 and 2) for assistance.
Taxis are readily available. The airport suggests you use the services of the white or yellow taxis as they are metered. If you choose to take the older, black/white taxis, be sure to negotiate your price before getting in.
Last updated: 2023-09-13
This guide is for informational purposes only to assist with your planning. All information, including rates and hours, is subject to change at any time without notice. The information in this airport guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airports, lounges, hotels, transportation providers, and their websites. We are not representatives of any of the above-mentioned service providers. To report errors or to add/update any items mentioned in the guide: update the airport guide or write a review.