There are various things to do in Cairo. Cairo is a historic city which also happens to be a modern metropolis. Cairo is among the largest cities in the Middle East. Cairo has been home to several Egyptian civilizations that date back to 6,000 years. It is located only a short distance from the world-famous pyramids of Giza. The city is a fascinating mix of old-world tradition and modern technology.
Cairo is a type of city that tourist like and dislike in an equal manner. Its pollution, abrupt noise, and confusing traffic are an assault on your senses. But look further than the modern hullabaloo, and you’ll find a history that covers centuries. Full of energy, Cairo is where you really get an actual feel of Egyptian street life. No trip to Egypt can be said completed without a stay in the Cairo.
Cairo-the hub of the Thousand Minarets-is a superb place to discover Egyptian history and culture. Here are some of the top things to do in Cairo.
Top Things to do in Cairo
1.) Pyramids of Giza
The Pyramids of Giza are among Cairo’s best half-day trips. It is a must-do attraction in every “things to do in Cairo” list. These are located right on the boundary of the city. These fourth dynasty funerary holy places have been wowing visitors for centuries. And, this place continues to be among the country’s major highlights. Regardless of the dust, the heat, and the tourist hustle, you can’t ignore a trip here.
The Pyramid of Cheops also called the Pyramid of Khufu or Great Pyramid is the biggest pyramid of the Giza group. The Pyramid’s interior of narrow passages can be easily explored. Though, there isn’t much to look other than a plain tomb chamber.
Straight behind the Great Pyramid, you will find the Solar Boat Museum. This boat museum exhibits one of the ceremonial solar barques uncovered in the area. It has been thoroughly restored to its original glory.
If you’ll go more south on the plateau, you can locate the Pyramid of Chephren ( or Pyramid of Khefre). It has an internal tunnel area which can be accessed. Another Pyramid you will encounter is the smaller Pyramid of Mycerinus (Pyramid of Menkaure). Protecting these temples is the lion-bodied and pharaoh-faced Sphinx. This structure is also among the ancient world’s iconic monuments.
2.) Egyptian Museum
The Egyptian Museum was opened in 1902. It contains 107 periodically divided halls showing jewels, mummies and other pieces from the historic period. Egyptian Museum might not be the best museum in the world in terms of organization. But, the value of the collection is immeasurable. One weakness is that you might walk by the most significant piece of art of Egyptian history here, but won’t be able to find any sign or description to help you notice it. So, better take a guided tour.
3.) Al-Azhar Mosque
Al-Azhar Mosque is the most excellent structure of Cairo’s Fatimid era. It is also among the city’s earliest surviving mosques. It was completed in 972 AD. In addition, it is among the world’s oldest universities as well. Caliph El-Aziz designated it with the status of a university in 988 AD. At present also, Al-Azhar University is the top theological center of the Islamic world. The Al-Azhar Mosque is located right in the heart of the Islamic Cairo region. It is easily accessible by taxi.
4.) The Citadel
The Citadel is located in a commanding location at the bottom of the Mokattam Hills. Cairo’s citadel was constructed by Saladin in 1176. The actual structure has long disappeared, apart from the eastern outer walls. But, some of the additions had been made by a legacy of the rulers. The Mosque of Muhammad Ali is the most popular monument and the reason for visiting the place.
5.) Mohamed Ali Mosque (The Alabaster Mosque)
The Mohamed Ali Mosque remains the most identifiable of Cairo’s mosques. It has domes and minarets that have conquered the skyline since the mid-19th century. Though the exterior of the mosque isn’t quite impressive, but the interior of the mosque is definitely worth a peek.
Mohammed Alis Mosque is also known as “Alabaster Mosque”. Its white bricks and long but disproportionately slender minarets are among Cairo’s excellent landmarks. The other big reason to visit this place is the picturesque views across the city. Move to the Gawhara Terrace for the finest panorama in town.
6.) Old Cairo
The Old Cairo is also known as Coptic Cairo. This calm neighborhood offers two important places: the Nunnery of St. George and the crypt of the Holy Family under the St. Sergius Church. Also, of special interest in this region is the Ben Ezra Synagogue. This synagogue is rumored to be the same spot where baby Moses was kept hidden among the reeds.
Cairo’s oldest section is the ancient heart of the Coptic Christian community. It includes five original churches, the first mosque constructed in Egypt and the earliest synagogue. All these featuring three of the major world religions.
Exploring the Zamalek region is one of the top things to do in Cairo. The Zamalek is located on the Nile island of Gezira. It is a home to the majority of Cairo’s hipster restaurants and arty boutiques. The whole area has a European feel to its architecture dating from the mid 19th century. It has extensive boulevards surrounded by Jacaranda trees and fabulously ornated Belle Époque mansions. Most of these mansions are now home to different embassies.
8.) Cairo Tower
The Cairo Tower is a 187 m (614 ft) concrete tall tower. Cairo Tower was constructed in 1961. Its design is distinctive, it seems like the lotus flower shape. From the top of the terrace, you can have a 360° view of all over Cairo. There is also a revolving restaurant where you can relax and enjoy food. Cairo Tower is located on an island called Zamalek. Zamalek is bordered by the Nile. It has feluccas (a small boat) and floating restaurants which make it nearly as jammed as a street. Taking a felucca ride is cheap and one of the unique things to do in Cairo.
The restaurant Felfela is a hit for both locals and travelers. It is a chain which offers a delicious Egyptian cuisine in a well-maintained, authentic ambiance. It is known for its friendly staff, skilled chefs and vast menu options. Felfela provides an unforgettable culinary experience for tastes.
10.) Khan Ali-Khalili
Khan Ali-Khalili is Cairo’s largest open-air market. This market offers row upon row of spices, souvenirs, jewelry, perfumes and more. This market was established in the 14th century. The market acts as a host to vendors who have been in the business for years. The price on the label is never set, so try your bargaining skills and explore the place. Browsing this market is one of the things to do in Cairo.