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DISCOVER THE TOP ATTRACTIONS IN CAIRO
From a wealth of cultural and historical sites to fun family-friendly attractions and bustling nightlife – there is no shortage of sights and delights to explore in Cairo.
Start your Cairo sightseeing experience with Cairo tower, a 187-metre-tall building, it offers you one of the most stunning panoramic views of Cairo. You can also find a one-of-a-kind restaurant at the top that rotates around its axis so you can enjoy a meal while watching the marvellous surroundings. The tower was designed by the Egyptian architect Naoum Chebib and was completed in 5 years. Considered often as Egypt's second most famous landmark, second to the Pyramids of Giza, the tower stands as a must-see attraction during your trip to the Egyptian capital. The design of the towers conveys a pharaonic lotus plant, which symbolised the Nile River in ancient Egypt. Try to visit the tower around sunset time for an unforgettable viewpoint.
The Pyramids of Giza
Imagine a monument so historically astonishing that it was previously considered among the seven wonders of the world. Journey to the Pyramids of Giza, named after the area of northern Egypt, they were erected on, near the Nile River, these pyramids were built nearly 4,500 years ago. They are comprised of three pyramids: Khufu or the Great Pyramid, Khafre and Menkaure corresponding to the kings for whom they were built. In ancient times, pyramids were built as graves for the pharaohs and kings to be buried with their earthly possessions such as gold and other riches, since they were considered to become Gods in the afterlife. Khufu is the oldest and tallest pyramid to be built, towering 147 metres above the plateau. On the other hand, the second pyramid to be built was that of Khufu's son, Khafre. Along with the pyramid, Khafre built The Sphinx, a mysterious limestone monument shaped like a lion with a Pharaoh's head, guarding the three pyramids. The way Pyramids were built remains until today a huge scientific wonder. How ancient Egyptian engineers mastered moving and transporting tonnes of heavy limestone rocks, let alone use them to build these hundreds of metres tall structures, remains a mystery. Make sure to see these extraordinary wonders while you are in Cairo.
Al Azhar Park
Step away from Cairo's clamour and enter an urban oasis: Al Azhar Park. Located by the Old City of Cairo, you will find yourself in a 30-hectare stretch of contemporary designed greenery. Evoking the elements of historic Islamic gardens, the gardens, pavilions, lakes and fountains wrap you in a peaceful yet elevated atmosphere where you can take a break from your day, sit by the grass, and enjoy a moment to absorb Cairo's beauty. The restaurants in Al Azhar Park offer a wide variety of cuisines and services as well as impressive views of Cairo. With the city's overwhelming population, a 'green lung' was needed hence the foundation of this park in one of Cairo's most dominating viewpoints.
Sultan Hassan Mosque
Constructed during the mid-14th century and home to some remarkable architectural achievements for its age, the Mosque- Madrassa of Sultan Hassan is one of the largest mosques in the world. While visiting the Mosque, you enter through an enormous and intricately carved gateway into a small corridor that leads you to the grand courtyard centred on a domed fountain. Surrounding the courtyard are the four different schools – or madrassas – which are education centres of the four different Sunni Islam schools of thought. For a look into Islamic history, make sure to visit the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan and marvel at its impressive architecture.
Your visit to Cairo is not complete without checking its wealthiest and most affluent district: the Zamalek. A floating island famous for its quiet, leafy streets, residential complexes, and villas with mostly an art-deco style. It is also the district of many fine dining restaurants, bars, and cafés. Culturally rich with art galleries and museums such as the Museum of Islamic Ceramics, the Egyptian Opera House and El-Sawy Culture Wheel Centre. The area is known as 'Gezira Island' or 'Zamalek' for Egyptians. It was previously called 'Jardin des Plantes' due to its great collection of exotic plants shipped from all over the world. There are several schools on the island, as well as a Sports Club which is the country's largest multi-sports centre and features a gold course and a tennis lawn.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN CAIRO
There are tons of activities to try in Cairo. Make sure to plan your visit to explore all of its marvels and attractions. Shop the best Egyptian souvenirs, visit the city's museums for a peek into its glorious history, experience its nightlife and try the best dishes.
Explore the Top Museums in Cairo
History speaks volumes in Egypt. Cairo's multitude of museums will transport you to ancient times, introducing you to its remarkable history and outstanding collection of ancient artefacts, antiquities, and artistic gems. Start with a visit to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. The first-of-its-kind museum in Egypt and the Arab world offers an insight into the earliest cultures down to the modern days. Exquisite exhibitions, cultural shows and halls dedicated to showcasing authentic artefacts and relics dating back to ancient Egypt such as the mummies hall. The mummies hall is considered the crown jewel of the museum depicting the same feeling of strolling down the Valley of the Kings where old Kings and queens were buried with their earthly possessions. Bodies of the ancient Egyptian royalty were preserved in tombs for the afterlife.
Next up, a visit to the Museum of Islamic Arts is due if you want to be introduced to the culture of the Islamic world and its significant presence in Egyptian history. With a mission to protect and preserve Islamic artefacts, the museum also hopes to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the contribution the Islamic world had to the world's artistic and scientific heritage. Another significant stop on the journey is the Coptic Museum. Holding the largest collection of Coptic Christian artefacts as well as the most important examples of Coptic art such as wall-painting textiles, illuminated manuscripts and metal work. It was inaugurated in 1910 and offers its visitors a way to trace back the Coptic history from its earliest beginnings in Egypt. The Abdeen Palace Museum is another museum worth mentioning and visiting. One of the most famous royal palaces in Cairo, it served as the home of the military leader who resided at the site of the palace. Its construction lasted for 10 years and is considered an inception marker of modern Cairo thanks to its European-style architecture.
Shop Your Favourite Souvenirs at Khan El Khalili
Stroll away down a labyrinth of workshops, artisans' stations, and souvenir shops, absorbing the Egyptian life in one of the most famous Bazaars or souks in the historic centre of Cairo. The Khan El-Khalili is a must stop for tourists visiting Egypt. Unique and exotic items are on display, ranging from spices to perfumes to souvenirs and so much more. You can find almost everything in the souq. The burst of colours from the diverse goods, to the music and commotion of its visitors, to the smell of Egyptian food from cafés and restaurants lining up the narrow streets, guarantees an experience for all your senses.
Cruise Around the Nile in a Felucca
For a unique and unmissable point of view of Cairo and all its glory, cruise around the traditional Egyptian boat or take a Felucca ride. Sail on the glistening water of the Nile River and visit Egypt's most important cities like Aswan and Luxor. Some rides even offer you a meal on board and a guide that will share with you the history of Egypt while you enjoy a relaxing ride taking in the beauty surrounding you.
Catch the Wind and Go Horseback Riding in Giza
Add some adventure and excitement to your visit by taking a horseback riding tour in the desert of Giza. With a view of the pyramids, you can enjoy a relaxed guided ride taking in the beauty and visiting the best places, even stopping by for some pictures. If you are a professional rider, ride your horse and gallop through the sandy dunes with nothing but the wind in your back. Experience this thrilling adventure of horseback riding around the pyramids where you also have the option of a camel ride. Definitely a special and memorable way to grasp the beauty surrounding you.
WHAT TO EAT AND DRINK IN CAIRO
In a city packed with this much life, history, and culture, it is no wonder that on the culinary journey, you will definitely be amazed as well by the diversity and richness you can find. From street food stalls to fine dining experiences, Cairo has it all. You can find a variety of cuisines such as French, Asian, Indian, Lebanese and of course, Egyptian! For an authentic Egyptian culinary experience many restaurants located in Zamalek promise a nice setting to taste the best Egyptian dishes such as Moussaka'a, the sharqisseya, and many more Egyptian Mezze.
Walking down Cairo streets you will not lack options of street food kiosks and corners. Whether standing alone or embedded in the bustling souqs and bazaars, street food is everywhere you want it. The aromas will engulf you from every corner. Do not miss trying one of Egypt's proud national dishes: The Koshary consisting of rice, macaroni, lentils, chickpeas and fried onions all topped with a garlicky tomato sauce. It is cheap, filling and counts as a vegan option!
Looking to savour some fine-dining experience? providing exquisite views and a delicious menu, Bab El Nil located in the Fairmont Nile City hotel provides a colourful experience. You can also find Saigon Restaurant and lounge which offers an Asian twist on the culinary range. Fancy some saucy BBQ meat? Pay a visit to Kebabgy Oriental Grill, an exquisite terrace in Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah, where you can choose from a wide menu of food, drinks and shishas while enjoying an entertainment programme.