Are you looking forward to a long-awaited holiday in Egypt and wondering how to spice up your stay at a resort by the Red Sea? As tempting as the vision of a week spent in the comfort of a beach chair may seem, it would be a great pity to visit the land of the pharaohs and not to see the iconic pyramids in Cairo. However, the largest metropolis on the African continent will attract many other historical gems, which you would not even expect deep in the bowels of the noisy city of fifteen million. So what to see in Cairo?
The Pyramids of Giza
Do you also be overwhelmed by the heat of the memory of history lessons, when you mined at the blackboard in vain from the memory of what dynasty the rulers of the Egyptian pyramids in Giza came from? Whatever stamp the ancient pharaohs of Chefren, Cheops, and Mykerin have, their magnificent tombs are sure to take your breath away.
At the southwestern tip of Cairo, where the bustling metropolis is slowly turning into a desert, the Sphinx looks down from a height of 20 meters, guarding only one of the seven preserved wonders of the ancient world. The technically perfect buildings, which penetrated at a time when the hoist or wheel was an unknown concept, seem like a revelation from another world, and after examining them you will understand how immensely ancient Egyptian civilization was.
The winding streets of the Old Town, with many hookah cafes, the smell of food from street food stalls, the ubiquitous trumpeting of cars and motorcycles, and the newly renovated facades of 19th-century houses. Such is the face of the former medieval city of Al-Qahir.
One of the most interesting buildings in the wider area is the large Al-Azahar Mosque. The shining tabernacle, founded in 970, now serves as a university. Students from all over the world visit the faculties of natural and social sciences. The mosque is open to tourists daily except Fridays between 9 am and 6 pm. Here you can admire the richly decorated portal, the large entrance courtyard, the slender minarets, the prayer hall and the turquoise-lined alcove leading to Mecca.
Bazar Khan el-Khalili
The most famous bazaar in Egypt will introduce you to the authentic face of Cairo. It is located near the Al-Azahar Mosque, and rather than a deeply spiritual atmosphere, you will be greeted by a mixture of shouts from the sale of greedy merchants, the scent of exotic spices and the colors from which the sight passes. Don’t be put off by the somewhat hectic atmosphere and enjoy a little different shopping. If you are not afraid of bargaining, then you will buy stylish ceramics, souvenirs, loose teas, dried fruits, fragrant spices, leather products, fragrant oils, oriental perfumes and maybe even an Aladdin’s lamp at very reasonable prices.
The collection of artifacts of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo amazes the world not only by the number of exhibits, but also by their diversity. You would need several whole days to see each of them, but even in the afternoon you will only need a glimpse under the cover of the fascinating world of the ancient pharaohs. Posthumous masks, golden sarcophagi, daily necessities, lots of jewelry, but also awe-inspiring mummies, both human and animal. It is also interesting to visit the adjacent information center with many attractive souvenirs and books on ancient Egypt.
The modern district of Zamalek
The elegant Zamalek district, located on the island of Gezira, right in the middle of the Nile, offers a slightly different view of Cairo. In the greenest part of the city, you can enjoy peaceful walks through wide boulevards lined with tall trees, modern European-style buildings, picturesque cafes, stylish boutiques and tours of art galleries. Art lovers should not miss a visit to the Palace of Arts or the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art.
Gezira Island also offers an amazing bird’s eye view of the Mother of All Places, as Cairo is proudly called. From the 186-meter-high Cairo Tower, there is a beautiful view of the slender minarets of the Citadel and the Pyramids of Giza in good weather. Especially romantic is the spectacle of night-lit Cairo.
TIP: What to see in Cairo with kids?
If you go to visit Cairo with your kids, even though the view of the pyramids is amazing, the sightseeing tour may start to bore them. Here is one tip that will make your descendants look forward to visiting Cairo.
Cairo’s attraction Dream Park is majestic, here you will forget about time. It is a huge amusement park. Lots of roller coasters, rides, adrenaline attractions, the place will entertain children and adults. There are also plenty of restaurants in Dream Park, you certainly do not risk suffering from hunger or thirst.
A visit to the zoo is a guarantee that children of all ages will be entertained. Therefore, when traveling with children in Cairo, definitely consider visiting this place. Giza Zoo was founded in 1894 in the former royal gardens of Harem and is spread over 85 hectares of greenery. Inside the park is the Zoological Museum, one of the largest in the area, which exhibits mummified animals, and inside one of the oldest mummified crocodiles in the world.