Cairo, Egypt’s capital city, is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. From ancient sites that are over 4,500 years old to vibrant modern districts, there is an almost endless amount of excitement around every corner. Here are some of the top attractions and things to do to help plan your memorable Cairo experience:
The Pyramids of Giza and Sphinx
No visit to Cairo is complete without stopping at this iconic landmark located just outside the city. Witness firsthand how the only surviving wonder of the ancient world still stands majestically today. Marvel up-close at the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the tallest of the three main Pyramids at Giza plateau. Take pictures with the enigmatic Great Sphinx, the largest monolith statue in the world. The sheer scale of these structures will leave you in awe.
Housed in a 19th century building located in downtown Cairo, this museum holds the world’s largest collection of pharaonic antiquities. Discover treasures from King Tut’s ornate golden mask to royal mummies. Wander through chronological exhibits showcasing sculptures, jewelry, papyri, and artifacts from ancient Egypt’s earliest dynasties through the Greco-Roman period. This museum offers a one-stop means to understand Egypt’s rich history.
Khan el-Khalili Bazaar
experience the hustle and bustle of this lively souk (Arabic for market), the largest bazaar in the Middle East. Meander along its narrow alleyways lined with hundreds of shops selling everything from aromatics and spices, colorfully beaded veils and dresses, to hammered copper and pewter wares. Bargain hard for authentic Egyptian souvenirs. Enjoy people-watching from outdoor cafes amid the lively market activity and atmosphere.
Citadel of Saladin & Alabaster Mosque
located in historic Cairo, ascend to this hilltop citadel via a winding road for panoramic views overlooking the city below. Explore well-preserved medieval architecture including the 13th century Damascus Gate. Within is the beautiful Alabaster Mosque of Mohamed Ali Pasha. Admire intricate stonework and calligraphy atop its dome and minarets.
Nile River Cruise
take a relaxing cruise along the Nile River which runs through the heart of Cairo for a bird’s eye view. Gaze out at city skylines interspersed with colonial-era buildings and riverside gardens spilling into the water. Consider stopping at Al-Azhar Park, a green lung in the city housing botanic wonders. Soak in the serene atmosphere away from the bustle of Cairo streets.
Some additional key things to include on your Cairo sightseeing itinerary:
With so many choices encompassing history, culture, and recreation, Cairo ensures travelers are engrossed each moment. Be sure to thoroughly plan your itinerary yet remain flexible for spontaneity during your visit.