The best things to do in Cairo
Cairo is a sand-colored megalopolis located on the borders of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. It is at the same time fascinating, intoxicating and chaotic. The capital of Egypt is full of attractions to discover. From classic to unusual, it will amaze you while keeping its mysterious side. Here are the essential things that every first-time traveler should visit in Cairo.
The Egyptian pyramids are classic sightseeing in Egypt. The pyramids were built during a period where Egypt was one of the most powerful empires in the world. The pyramids show the unique role played by the kings in Egypt. The pyramids of Giza are the most popular attractions among other activities. They are located 25 km away from Cairo. The complex includes the following pyramids: the Great Pyramid of Khufu, Pyramid of Khafre, Pyramid of Menkaure, etc. Generally, the best season to visit Egypt is during the winter. Try to visit the pyramids early in the morning to avoid heat. You will have the possibility to see 9 pyramids at the same time. There are several ways to reach the Egyptian Pyramids. Either you can take a taxi, a public bus or metro. Opening hours: 8 A.M.-4 P.M. every day
Located in the Giza plateau, Sphinx is an enormous stone statue. It has a human face and a lion body. There are a lot of myths and legends related to this statue. Some say it has been built to protect the Pharaoh’s tomb from evil. It is called “Father of Terror”. Sphinx is 73 meters long and 20 meters high. Visiting the pyramids will allow you to see Sphinx at the same time as the monuments are in the same place.
You have the possibility to experience the pyramids on the back of a camel or horse. You’ll be transported to the pyramid complex where your instructor will give all the necessary information. The camel ride is very safe as the camels are accustomed throughout the years. There is always someone to guide you during your tour to ensure you are safe. Then, you’ll enjoy beautiful panoramic views while being carried by a kind animal.
Mohamed Ali Mosque
Mohamed Ali Mosque is located in the heart of Cairo Citadel. The construction of the mosque lasted for 18 years. The architectural inspiration came from the Islamic Ottoman empire. In fact, the architecture was directly inspired by the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. The architects of the mosque are Greek and Egyptian. The most extravagant elements of the Mohamed Ali mosque are its two minarets. They are visible when you start to approach the complex from Downtown Cairo. Opening hours: 9 A.M.-5 P.M.
The desert is the best place to practice a bunch of adrenaline-related activities. One of them is certainly the quad bike. You will be transferred to the Giza pyramids. Then, you’ll proceed to a short safety briefing in a local quad bike station. After this, you will enjoy a 1-hour ride in the Egyptian desert. You will be able to explore the pyramids and Sphinx while riding your buggy. The buggies may have 1 or 2 seats. So that it will be a pleasure to share the experience with one of your friends.
Dahshur is a far calmer place compared to the Pyramids of Giza. This place hosts a lot of other pyramids. Dahshur found its place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. You can see the Pyramid of Djoser which rises on different scales. You can take a daily sightseeing tour which will take you to this place. You can even take a taxi, public bus, and train.
Boat & Cruise Tour
If you are sick and tired of cultural getaways, a good dinner accompanied by belly dancing is the best solution. The boat will sail along the river Nile. And you will have the possibility to enjoy stunning views and delicious food. You even can choose between sunset and sunrise options. There is no best time to do a Nile cruise. It mostly depends on your preferences. This is a great way to escape from the hustle and bustle of Cairo city. In regards to the dinner, you will be served a buffet dinner full of Oriental dishes. Sometimes the evening show includes magicians, belly dancers, musicians to garnish your mouth-melting food.
If you are done with Cairo, you can take a 1-day tour to Alexandria. This is a coastal city that is mostly visited by cruise ship travelers. Alexandria was one of the most powerful cities in the Ancient world. Even if the city has lost its legendary past, it still continues to attract people interested in ancient history. There are definitely a lot of things to see and do here. And if you have enough time, it’s better to do an overnight in the city to see more highlights.
Here are the main sightseeings you should not miss in Alexandria.
- Pompey’s Pillar and Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa
- Alexandria National Museum and Bibliotheca Alexandrina
- Montaza Gardens with Al-Haramlik Palace
Khan el-Khalili Bazaar
The bazaar is located in the heart of the city. it is situated in the Khan el-Khalili district which features many cultural and architectural spots. You can find beautiful handmade carpets, accessories, lamps, souvenirs, etc. There are also a lot of local cafes serving delicious tea and sweets. As the bazaar is in the city center of Cairo, it is relatively easy to find it. You can take either public transport or call an Uber for more comfortable transport.
Egyptian museum is located on the Tahrir square. The largest museum in Egypt hosts more than 160,000 objects in 107 halls. Among the various collections, we discover the mummies of pharaohs, objects found in the tombs of kings and more than 1700 objects found in the tomb of Tutankhamen. It’s a good way to better understand Islamic culture. Opening hours: 9 A.M.-19 A.M. every day except Friday 9 A.M.-11 A.M. and 1:30 P.M.-19 A.M