Cairo, the vibrant capital of Egypt, is a city steeped in history and culture, offering a captivating blend of ancient wonders and modern charm. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, or simply seeking an unforgettable experience, Cairo has something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll explore the top five things to do in Cairo, taking you on a journey through the city’s rich heritage and contemporary allure.
Cairo, the capital of Egypt, is a gigantic city with its high area of 528 km² for more than 19.5 million inhabitants. You can imagine that there are so many activities to do there, some of which are more interesting than others, especially for tourists. If you have planned a short stay in Cairo, here are the essentials not to be missed.
1. Visit the Pyramids and the Sphinx of Giza
We could not ignore the only ancient wonder of the world still intact in this ranking. The pyramids and the Sphinx are the main reason most tourists come to Cairo. Go and discover this extraordinary monument dating back more than 4500 years. If you want to live the experience to the full and above all to understand the history of the tombs in front of you, opt for a guide. You will feel very small next to the largest of the pyramids measuring 139 meters in height. Once recovered from your emotions, we advise you to take a camel ride. To do this, do not hesitate to ask your guide to negotiate for you!
2. Marvel at the Mosque of Muhammad Ali
The dimensions of this mosque and its location should leave you speechless. Indeed, the building is huge and dominates the city. While observing the panorama, you may even be able to observe the pyramids of Giza if the sky is clear. Inside is buried the former king Mehemet Ali. The decorations of this mosque are remarkable and the place is clearly worth the detour.
3. Stroll through the Khân el-Khalili souk
To feel the current Egyptian culture, stroll through the alleys of the Khân el-Khalili bazaar. In this place, all your senses will be on alert! Take the opportunity to find small souvenirs of the country which are often a little cheaper in this souk than near the main tourist points.
4. Culture at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo
To fully immerse yourself in the country you find yourself in, head to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. You will discover many objects accompanied by their explanations which will teach you more about the ancestors of modern Egyptians. Leaving this museum, you will be a real professional in the rituals, habits, beliefs and other characteristics of the ancient Egyptian civilization. In short, it is an essential place to enrich your general knowledge!
5. Go to the Memphis Museum in the village of Mit Rahina
A few kilometers south of Cairo, in the Memphis Museum in the village of Mit Rahina, is the Colossus of Ramses II. This spectacular statue is ten meters long. The museum was built around it in order to protect it, but also to preserve everything that surrounds it, such as the Alabaster Sphinx.
And by heading to Mit Rahina, you will discover the way of life of the Egyptians, but also the Nile.
If you stay more than three days, you will certainly have time to visit other exceptional places in Cairo and its surroundings such as the Saqqara necropolis, the City of the Dead or the Papyrus Museum.