Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, is one of the world’s largest urban areas and offers a rich history dating back thousands of years. It is home to iconic landmarks such as the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, and the Egyptian Museum, which attract millions of tourists each year.
The city is also a vibrant metropolis, bustling with activity, and is the cultural and political heart of Egypt. From its bustling bazaars to its modern shopping malls, Cairo offers a unique blend of the old and the new, making it a must-visit destination for travelers.
Cairo is not only a city of the past, but it is also a city of the future. With its growing economy, expanding infrastructure, and increasing foreign investment, Cairo is rapidly becoming a global city and a key player in the Middle East.
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Attractions & Things to do in Cairo
1. The Great Pyramids of Giza
The Great Pyramids of Giza are one of the most famous landmarks in the world and a must-visit attraction in Cairo. Built over 4,500 years ago, these ancient structures are a testament to the ingenuity and skill of the ancient Egyptians.
Travel Tip: Visit early in the morning to avoid the crowds and the heat.
2. The Egyptian Museum
The Egyptian Museum in Cairo houses the world’s most extensive collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts, including the treasures of Tutankhamun. It is a treasure trove for history buffs and a fascinating insight into ancient Egyptian culture.
Travel Tip: Hire a guide to get a detailed understanding of the artifacts.
3. Khan El Khalili Bazaar
Khan El Khalili Bazaar is one of the oldest and most famous bazaars in the Middle East. It is a labyrinth of narrow alleys filled with shops selling traditional Egyptian crafts, jewelry, and souvenirs.
Travel Tip: Don’t forget to haggle to get the best price.
4. The Citadel
The Citadel is a medieval Islamic fortification located on a hill overlooking Cairo. It was built by Saladin in the 12th century and was the seat of government for over 700 years.
Travel Tip: Visit the Mosque of Muhammad Ali located within the Citadel.
5. Al-Azhar Mosque
Al-Azhar Mosque is one of the oldest and most important Islamic educational institutions in the world. It is a stunning example of Islamic architecture with its beautiful minarets and intricate carvings.
Travel Tip: Dress modestly when visiting the mosque.
6. The Hanging Church
The Hanging Church, also known as Saint Virgin Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church, is one of the oldest Christian churches in Egypt. It is built on top of the southern gate of a Roman fortress and is known for its beautiful wooden roof that resembles Noah’s Ark.
Travel Tip: Visit the church during a service to experience Coptic Christian worship.
7. Memphis and Sakkara
Memphis was the ancient capital of Egypt, and Sakkara is home to the Step Pyramid, the oldest pyramid in Egypt. Both sites are located a short drive from Cairo and offer a fascinating insight into ancient Egyptian history.
Travel Tip: Combine your visit to Memphis and Sakkara with a trip to the Pyramids of Giza.
8. Nile River Cruise
A cruise on the Nile River is a relaxing and scenic way to see Cairo. Many cruises offer dinner and live entertainment, making it a fun and memorable experience.
Travel Tip: Book your cruise in advance to secure a spot.
9. Tahrir Square
Tahrir Square is the heart of modern Cairo and was the epicenter of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. It is surrounded by important buildings such as the Egyptian Museum and the Arab League headquarters.
Travel Tip: Visit in the evening when the square is bustling with locals.
10. Cairo Tower
The Cairo Tower is the tallest structure in Cairo and offers stunning panoramic views of the city and the Nile River. It is a great place to take photos and get a bird’s eye view of Cairo.
Travel Tip: Visit at sunset for the best views.
Unique Activities in Cairo
1. Sound and Light Show
Witness a mesmerizing sound and light show that brings history to life. Experience a unique blend of storytelling, lights, and music that will transport you back in time and immerse you in Egypt’s rich heritage.
Day Trips from Cairo
Alexandria is a Mediterranean port city located about 2.5 hours from Cairo. It is known for its beautiful beaches, historic sites, and the famous Qaitbay Citadel.
Travel Tip: Visit the Montaza Palace and Gardens for a relaxing escape from the city.
Luxor is located about 4 hours from Cairo and is home to some of Egypt’s most famous ancient sites, including the Valley of the Kings and the Karnak Temple.
Travel Tip: Take an early morning hot air balloon ride for a unique view of the ancient sites.
3. Red Sea Resorts
Travel Tip: Try snorkeling or scuba diving to explore the beautiful coral reefs.
Where to stay in Cairo
Cairo, the sprawling capital of Egypt, is home to a vast array of hotels that cater to every traveler’s needs. From the majestic views of the Nile to the historical wonders of the Giza Pyramids, Cairo’s hotels offer a blend of luxury, comfort, and a touch of Egyptian culture. Whether you’re looking for opulence, budget-friendly options, or something in between, Cairo has a hotel that will make your stay memorable.
1. Best Reviewed Hotel
Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir Cairo (★ ★ ★ ★)
- Description: Located in El Tahrir Square, this hotel overlooks the Egyptian museum and is minutes away from Khan El Khalili Bazar.
- Price: €149.99 per night
- Rating: 9.1 (Superb)
2. Most Luxurious Hotel
Fairmont Nile City (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)
- Description: Situated by the River Nile, this 5-star hotel boasts a rooftop pool deck with spectacular views across Cairo to the Pyramids. It offers 7 food and beverage venues.
- Price: €190 per night
- Rating: 8.1 (Very good)
3. Budget Hotel
Novotel Cairo Airport (★ ★ ★ ★)
- Description: Located in Heliopolis, this hotel offers 2 outdoor pools, free Wi-Fi, and a free airport shuttle. It’s a 10-minute drive from the International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
- Price: €72.25 per night
- Rating: 6.9 (Pleasant)
4. Hotel for Family
Pyramisa Suites Hotel Cairo (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)
- Description: Situated in the Dokki district of central Cairo, this hotel offers rooms with Nile River or city views. It has a full-service spa and 2 outdoor pools.
- Price: €112.34 per night
- Rating: 7.7 (Good)
5. Hotel for Couples
Le Meridien Cairo Airport (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)
- Description: Linked to Cairo Airport Terminal 3 by a pedestrian bridge, this hotel offers a heated outdoor pool and a fitness centre.
- Price: €125 per night
- Rating: 8.4 (Very good)
6. Hotel for Solo Travellers
Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)
- Description: Located in Cairo’s Zamalek Island district, this hotel offers luxurious rooms with a balcony overlooking the river Nile or the gardens.
- Price: €159 per night
- Rating: 7.6 (Good)
Did you know? Facts about Cairo
- Cairo is the capital of Egypt and also serves as the city-state Cairo Governorate.
- The city is home to over 10 million people, making it the largest city in Egypt.
- Cairo is part of the Greater Cairo metropolitan area, which is the 12th-largest in the world by population.
- The city is associated with ancient Egypt, as the Giza pyramid complex and the ancient cities of Memphis and Heliopolis are located in its geographical area.
- Cairo has the oldest and largest film and music industry in the Arab world.
- The Cairo Metro, opened in 1987, is the oldest metro system in Africa.
- The city is often referred to as the “City of a Thousand Minarets” due to its rich Islamic architecture.
- Cairo has a rich history dating back to its foundation under the Fatimid dynasty in 969 AD.
- The city is home to Al-Azhar University, the world’s second-oldest institution of higher learning.
- Cairo’s historic center was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1979.
FAQ about Cairo
What is the population of Cairo?
Cairo is home to over 10 million people, making it the largest city in Egypt.
What historical sites can I visit in Cairo?
Cairo is associated with ancient Egypt, and you can visit the Giza pyramid complex and the ancient cities of Memphis and Heliopolis.
Is Cairo a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
Yes, Cairo’s historic center was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1979.
What is the Cairo Metro?
The Cairo Metro, opened in 1987, is the oldest metro system in Africa and ranks amongst the fifteen busiest in the world.
What is Cairo known for in the Arab world?
Cairo has the oldest and largest film and music industry in the Arab world.
What educational institutions are in Cairo?
Cairo is home to Al-Azhar University, the world’s second-oldest institution of higher learning.
What is the significance of Cairo’s Islamic architecture?
Cairo is often referred to as the “City of a Thousand Minarets” due to its rich Islamic architecture.
When was Cairo founded?
Cairo has a rich history dating back to its foundation under the Fatimid dynasty in 969 AD.