Are you ready to uncover the best Things to Do in Cairo? If so, you’re in for an unforgettable adventure!
In this blog post, we’ve handpicked the top 10 things to do in Cairo that will leave you in awe and craving for more.
From our past experience of leading group trips here and our last visit to this place, we learned that their are several things to do in Cairo is a city like no other.
Let’s explore various things to do in Cairo together!
5 Interesting Facts about Cairo
- Cairo was founded in 969 AD, Cairo is one of the world’s oldest cities, with a history spanning over 4,500 years.
- Largest city in Africa: Cairo is Africa’s largest city, with a population exceeding 20 million people.
- City of a Thousand Minarets: Cairo is known as the “City of a Thousand Minarets” due to its abundance of mosques and elegant minarets.
- Home to the Pyramids: Cairo is the gateway to the iconic Pyramids of Giza, including the oldest and largest one, the Great Pyramid of Khufu.
- Cultural hub: Cairo is a vibrant cultural hub, hosting various festivals, art exhibitions, and music concerts, showcasing its rich cultural heritage.
10 Best Things to Do in Cairo
1. The Great Pyramids of Giza
The Great Pyramids of Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, stand tall as a testament to the grandeur and architectural genius of the ancient Egyptians. These iconic structures, including the awe-inspiring Sphinx, have captivated visitors for centuries.
Marvel at the sheer size and precision of the pyramids as you delve into their historical and cultural significance. Explore the ancient tombs, discover the mysteries surrounding their construction, and witness the breathtaking views of the desert landscape. A visit to the Great Pyramids is a journey back in time to an era of pharaohs and monumental achievements.
- Location: Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo
- Timings: Open daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
- Famous for: Ancient pyramids, including the Great Pyramid of Khufu, showcasing the marvels of ancient Egyptian engineering.
2. Egyptian Museum of Antiquities
Immerse yourself in the captivating world of ancient Egypt at the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities in Cairo. This world-renowned museum houses a vast collection of artifacts, including the priceless treasures of Tutankhamun, mummies, intricate jewelry, and ancient statues.
Wander through the galleries, admiring the artistry and craftsmanship of the past. Explore the exhibits that trace the rich history, mythology, and daily life of the ancient Egyptians. From the colossal statues of pharaohs to the beautifully preserved sarcophagi, the Egyptian Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the civilization that shaped the course of history.
- Location: Tahrir Square, Cairo
- Timings: Open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
- Famous for: Vast collection of ancient artifacts, including the golden mask of Tutankhamun, offering a glimpse into Egypt’s rich pharaonic past.
3. Al-Azhar Mosque
Experience the spiritual heart of Cairo at Al-Azhar Mosque, one of the oldest Islamic universities in the world. This architectural masterpiece, with its intricate minarets and stunning courtyard, showcases the beauty of Islamic art and design.
Step inside the mosque to witness the peaceful ambiance and listen to the melodic call to prayer. Explore the surrounding area, known as Islamic Cairo, with its narrow alleys, ancient mosques, and vibrant markets. Al-Azhar Mosque is not only a place of worship but also a cultural and educational center that reflects the rich Islamic heritage of Egypt.
- Location: Islamic Cairo, Cairo
- Timings: Open for visitors outside of prayer times
- Famous for: Oldest Islamic university, beautiful architecture, and serene ambiance, providing insights into Islamic culture and spirituality.
4. Explore Old Cairo
Step back in time and wander through the enchanting streets of Old Cairo, also known as Coptic Cairo. This historic district is home to some of the oldest Christian churches in Egypt, including the Hanging Church and the Church of St. Sergius and Bacchus.
Explore the winding alleyways, discover hidden gems, and soak in the serene atmosphere of this ancient neighborhood. Visit the Coptic Museum to learn about the history of Christianity in Egypt and marvel at the well-preserved artifacts. Old Cairo is a captivating blend of history, spirituality, and cultural heritage.
- Location: Southern part of Cairo
- Timings: Dependent on specific attractions
- Famous for: Coptic churches like the Hanging Church, Ben Ezra Synagogue, and historical sites reflecting Cairo’s multicultural heritage and religious diversity.
Venture beyond the pyramids of Giza and explore the ancient necropolis of Saqqara. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to the Step Pyramid of Djoser, the oldest pyramid in Egypt, and a complex of tombs and funerary structures.
Marvel at the architectural achievements of the ancient Egyptians as you explore the vast desert landscape dotted with ancient ruins. Visit the Imhotep Museum to gain a deeper understanding of the site’s significance and discover the rich history and burial traditions of the pharaohs. Saqqara offers a glimpse into the evolution of pyramid construction and the funerary practices of ancient Egypt.
- Location: Saqqara, south of Cairo
- Timings: Open daily from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
- Famous for: Step Pyramid of Djoser, one of the earliest things to do in cairo, and an extensive necropolis showcasing ancient Egyptian burial traditions.
6. Shopping at Khan el-Khalili
Indulge in a sensory delight at Khan el-Khalili, Cairo’s vibrant and bustling bazaar. Lose yourself in the maze of narrow streets filled with shops and stalls selling a myriad of goods, from traditional crafts and textiles to spices, jewelry, and souvenirs.
Engage in the art of haggling as you navigate through the colorful market, immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere and mingling with locals. Sip on a cup of aromatic tea at a traditional café, listen to the enchanting sounds of live music, and experience the rich tapestry of Egyptian culture and commerce at Khan el-Khalili.
- Location: Islamic Cairo, Cairo
- Timings: Open daily, with extended hours in the evenings
- Famous for: Vibrant bazaar offering a variety of goods, including spices, jewelry, textiles, and traditional crafts, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the local culture.
7. Nile River Cruise
Embark on a mesmerizing journey along the timeless Nile River, a lifeline of Egypt’s civilization. Experience the serenity of a Nile River cruise as you sail past breathtaking landscapes, ancient temples, and rural villages. Marvel at the temples of Luxor and Karnak, the Valley of the Kings, and the temple of Hatshepsut on the West Bank.
Witness the enchanting sunset over the river while savoring delicious Egyptian cuisine and entertainment onboard. A Nile River cruise offers a unique perspective of Egypt’s rich history and provides an unforgettable opportunity to unwind and immerse yourself in the majestic surroundings.
- Location: Departing from Cairo
- Timings: Dependent on specific cruise packages
- Famous for: Scenic boat ride along the Nile River, offering panoramic views of Cairo’s landmarks, temples of Luxor and Aswan, and a unique perspective on Egypt’s history.
Discover the fascinating ancient device known as the Nilometer, located on the southern tip of the island of Roda in Cairo. This historical structure, dating back to the Pharaonic era, was used to measure the water level of the Nile River.
Admire the intricate architecture and inscriptions as you learn about the significance of the Nile to Egyptian civilization. The Nilometer offers a glimpse into the sophisticated knowledge and engineering prowess of the ancient Egyptians, highlighting the importance of the Nile’s annual flooding in their agricultural practices and daily life.
- Location: Island of Roda, Cairo
- Timings: Dependent on specific access arrangements
- Famous for: Ancient device used to measure the Nile’s water levels, symbolizing the importance of the Nile River to Egyptian civilization and showcasing ancient engineering techniques.
9. The Citadel
Perched atop a hill in Islamic Cairo, the Citadel is a magnificent fortress that has stood for centuries as a symbol of Cairo’s strength and resilience. Built by the famous Saladin in the 12th century, the Citadel offers panoramic views of Cairo and houses several notable attractions, including the stunning Muhammad Ali Mosque, the National Military Museum, and the Mosque of Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad.
Explore the citadel’s grand halls, intricate details, and tranquil courtyards as you delve into its rich history and architectural splendor. A visit to the Citadel is a journey through time, offering a glimpse into Cairo’s storied past.
- Location: Islamic Cairo, Cairo
- Timings: Open daily from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
- Famous for: Impressive things to do in Cairo, housing the beautiful Mosque of Muhammad Ali and offering breathtaking views of the city’s skyline.
10. Cairo Opera House
Immerse yourself in the cultural vibrancy of Cairo at the Cairo Opera House, a magnificent venue that hosts a variety of performing arts events. From opera and ballet to classical music concerts and theatrical performances, the Cairo Opera House showcases the talent and creativity of Egyptian and international artists.
Experience the magic of a live performance in the grand opera halls, adorned with exquisite chandeliers and elegant architecture. Whether you are a fan of the arts or simply seeking a memorable evening of entertainment, the Cairo Opera House offers a delightful escape into the world of music and theater.
- Location: Zamalek, Cairo
- Timings: Dependent on scheduled performances
- Famous for: Cultural hub hosting a variety of artistic performances, including ballet, opera, and symphony concerts, showcasing Cairo’s rich cultural heritage.
Best Time to Visit Cairo
To make the most of your Cairo adventure, plan your visit during the cooler months from October to April. The pleasant weather allows for a comfortable exploration of the city’s outdoor attractions and historical sites.
Best Place to Stay in Cairo
- The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo: Situated in the heart of downtown Cairo, The Nile Ritz-Carlton offers luxurious accommodations with stunning views of the Nile River and the city skyline. The hotel features elegant rooms and suites, world-class amenities, and a variety of dining options.
- Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza: Overlooking the Nile River, Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza offers a blend of modern sophistication and timeless elegance. The hotel boasts spacious rooms, exquisite dining venues, a rooftop pool, and a spa.
- Kempinski Nile Hotel Cairo: Located on the east bank of the Nile River, Kempinski Nile Hotel Cairo provides a luxurious retreat in the heart of the city. The hotel offers stylish rooms and suites, a rooftop pool, a spa, and multiple dining options showcasing international and Egyptian cuisine.
Best Place to Eat in Cairo:
- Abou El Sid: Experience traditional Egyptian cuisine in a charming and nostalgic atmosphere at Abou El Sid. This renowned restaurant offers a menu filled with classic dishes such as stuffed vine leaves, slow-cooked lamb, and indulgent desserts like Om Ali.
- Koshary Abou Tarek: Indulge in Egypt’s beloved street food, koshary, at Koshary Abou Tarek. This iconic eatery has been serving up delicious bowls of koshary, a satisfying mix of rice, pasta, lentils, and crispy onions topped with a tangy tomato sauce, for decades.
- Cairo Kitchen: Embrace the modern twist on Egyptian cuisine at Cairo Kitchen, a trendy restaurant known for its contemporary takes on traditional dishes. From hearty stews and grilled meats to inventive salads and mezze platters, Cairo Kitchen offers a diverse menu that caters to all tastes.
How to Visit Cairo
1. By Road
For a scenic journey, consider traveling to Cairo by road. Enjoy the picturesque landscapes along the way and stop at charming towns and historical sites en route to the bustling metropolis.
2. By Train
Experience the nostalgia of train travel by journeying to Cairo on Egypt’s extensive railway network. Sit back, relax, and admire the changing vistas as you make your way to the capital.
3. By Air
Reach Cairo conveniently by air, with international flights connecting the city to major destinations worldwide. Cairo International Airport serves as a gateway to this captivating city.
Travel Tips and Suggestions
- Dress modestly and respectfully, especially when visiting religious sites. It is recommended to cover your shoulders and knees.
- Stay hydrated by carrying a water bottle with you, as Cairo can get hot and dry.
- Be cautious of your belongings and keep an eye on your personal belongings, especially in crowded areas.
- Use reliable transportation options such as registered taxis or ride-hailing services.
- Negotiate prices when shopping in markets and be aware of scams or overcharging.
Conclusion – Things to Do in Cairo
In conclusion, Cairo is a treasure trove of ancient wonders and captivating experiences. From exploring the iconic pyramids of Giza and immersing oneself in the rich history at the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, to discovering the tranquil beauty of Al-Azhar Mosque and navigating the labyrinthine streets of Old Cairo, this city truly offers a journey back in time.
Don’t miss the opportunity to shop at Khan el-Khalili, embark on a Nile River cruise, and witness the majestic Citadel and the enchanting Cairo Opera House. Plan your visit during the cooler months for the best experience. Cairo awaits, ready to awe and inspire you with its vibrant culture and mesmerizing landmarks.
FAQ’s – Things to Do in Cairo
What are the top 10 things to do in Cairo?
When it comes to exploring Cairo, you don’t want to miss the ancient wonders like the iconic pyramids of Giza, the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, and the mesmerizing Al-Azhar Mosque. Other must-visit attractions include Old Cairo, Saqqara, Khan el-Khalili for a vibrant shopping experience, a serene Nile River cruise, the historic Nilometer, the majestic Citadel, and the cultural hub of Cairo Opera House.
What is the best time to visit Cairo?
To make the most of your Cairo adventure, plan your visit during the cooler months from October to April. The pleasant weather allows for comfortable exploration of the city’s outdoor attractions and historical sites. Avoid the scorching summer heat and enjoy the mild temperatures that make strolling around Cairo a delightful experience.
How can I travel to Cairo?
You have multiple options to reach Cairo. If you enjoy scenic routes, consider a road trip where you can soak in the picturesque landscapes and stop at charming towns along the way. Train travel is also nostalgic and allows you to admire the changing vistas. Alternatively, you can reach Cairo conveniently by air, with international flights connecting to Cairo International Airport.
Are there any precautions for things to do in Cairo?
It is recommended to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and be cautious of pickpockets in crowded areas. Respect local customs and dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. Opt for bottled water and dine at reputable establishments to avoid stomach issues. By following these precautions, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience in Cairo.
How long does it take to explore the Great Pyramids of Giza?
The time required to explore the Great Pyramids of Giza can vary depending on several factors. On average, visitors spend around 2-3 hours exploring the site. This duration allows you to marvel at the grandeur of the pyramids, venture inside if permitted, and admire the Sphinx nearby. However, if you wish to delve deeper into the history and significance of the pyramids or explore the surrounding complex, you may want to allocate additional time. It’s advisable to plan accordingly and factor in any guided tours or attractions you wish to include during your visit.
What are some popular local dishes to try in Cairo?
Cairo offers a delightful culinary scene with a range of local dishes to tantalize your taste buds. Here are some popular dishes you must try:
2. Ful Medames
6. Roz bel laban
7. Umm Ali
Are there any recommended accommodations in Cairo?
Cairo offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit various preferences and budgets. Here are some recommended accommodations in Cairo:
1. Luxury Hotels
2. Boutique Hotels
3. Budget-Friendly Options
4. Authentic Experience
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