Getting a Cell Phone in Egypt

There are three main cell phone providers in Egypt:

  1. Vodafone
  2. Mobinil
  3. Etisalat

They all work but I have put them in this order for a reason.  In general, the biggest, most professional and hassle free from my experience is Vodafone.  They also seem to have the best mobile Internet speeds.  Mobinil also has good service but I have had more issues with their services in general.  The reason I would still put them number 2 is that they are a bit more established in terms of coverage (while still slower from what I have seen).  Etisalat seems to be trying to corner the budget market and you generally sacrifice service and coverage as a result.  I would personally rather pay a little extra and get better service and coverage.

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Maadi Community Church

MCCWhen arriving in Egypt, MCC was one of the places that I immediately found great community and encouragement.  MCC is a very honest, diverse Christian community that is very welcoming and open to visitors.  While the Friday evening services at 5pm are great, I have made great friends through MCC’s life groups (like a Bible Study) and found it is a great place to connect with God.  During the time I have been in Egypt, I have noticed the repeated pattern that those who create an “Egypt family” (outside work) are the ones who enjoy their stay in Egypt most.  As someone who has being going to MCC since day 2 in Egypt, I would highly recommend visiting this church and joining a Life Group.  I hope to see you there!

Location of MCC

Maadi Cinemas – El Bandar and Family Cinema

CinemaMaadi has two fairly nice cinemas that show many current films.  Usually there is quite a big delay between the release of the film and the showing in these cinemas but the prices are fair (about 30-40 LE) and the location is very convenient.  Seating is assigned so you are guaranteed the seat you paid for and the staff at both locations are helpful and friendly.  Family Cinema has more theaters but they seem to have new movies a bit slower than El Bandar.  If you want to have some food before going to the cinema, El Bandar also has more quality restaurant options nearby but if you are willing to walk a bit further, Family Cinema is near the Nile where you can easily find many nice restaurants (or a Starbucks : ) along the river.

Location of El Bandar Cinema

Location of Family Cinema

Getting ADSL Connected in Egypt

adsl-modemProbably not surprisingly, since I have decided to open this website, I have some tech savviness.  Since arriving in Egypt, I have helped many colleagues and friends setup their Internet which tends to be one of the first things many newcomers want after making the trek to Egypt.  Ironically, without some help, this is sometimes one of the most difficult processes for some and for many I have talk to, they have altogether given up on getting their ADSL connection resolved in their home.  Here are the steps you will need to do (in this order) to get your Internet connected.  If you follow these steps, I assure you that your Internet setup process will be much easier.

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Jared’s Bagels & Micah’s Grill

Jared's BagelsJared’s is one of our favorite places to visit on the weekend for high quality, affordable food all day (including a great breakfast).  Their excellent ultimate omelette and breakfast burrito are two of my breakfast favorites and their variety of burgers and bagels (including a salmon bagel) are great for lunch and dinner.  The cheerful atmosphere, friendly staff and diverse menu make them a great option for many different occasions.  They also sell their bagels, great bread and many other items individually if you want to take them home for lunches.  To top off the meal, Jared’s has a great variety of desserts including cheesecake, banana bread and carrot cake.  While you are sitting, feel free to use their free WiFi.  The average price for a meal is around 20-30 LE per plate.

Location of Jared’s

Vittorio’s – The Italian for Taste

Vittorio'sNestled in the heart of Degla you can’t miss the glowing sign of Vittorio’s in the evening.  The number of times that we have gone to Vittorio’s, we are always greeted pleasantly by staff who quickly enquire if we would like any beer or wine.  Their menu covers most of your popular italian offerings including a variety of pasta and pizza.  The food falls somewhere between authentic and popular Italian cuisine and is priced reasonably at about 40-60 LE a plate.

Location of Vittorio’s

Café Greco

Cafe GrecoKnown as one of the oldest coffee shops on Road 9 in Maadi, Greco has a great environment, friendly staff and of course the best coffee you can find in Egypt.

The moment I approach the counter, Walid greets me with a big smile and always calls me by name while predicting my order.

Regular customers at Greco should make sure they ask for a loyalty card at the cashier in order to benefit from their free coffee every 10 cups.  Despite the fact there are over than 20 other coffee shops on Road 9 this coffee shop will always be the best coffee shop in Maadi.

In addition to coffee, Greco has a great community atmosphere with WiFi, fresh juices, sandwiches, salads, smoothies, and delicious desserts.

Location of Greco

Everyone's Guide to Maadi