20 Things You Need To Know About Cairo, Egypt
Cairo is a marvelous city loaded with relics of ancient Egyptian culture. Let me give you the highlights: Giza’s pyramids, the Egyptian museum, Tutankhamen’s mask, the sphinx, churches, and mosques. In Cairo, you’ll get to take in the lovely sight of the Nile River and make your way through the Khan el-Khalili market. Anyone can make their way to Cairo, both young and old, to enjoy the Egyptian legacy. In Cairo, there are many suites and hotels available for tourists of all ages. You’ll also get to enjoy world-class spa treatments too. Cairo has so much to see and to do. This city is full of rich history, exciting experiences, delicious coffees, and fabulous foods—the largest city in Africa and the 6th largest city in the world.
What to know
Currency used: Egyptian pound (EGP/L.E)
Airport: Cairo International Airport (CAI)
Things to do: 35+tours and activities
Cairo: Best Places To Visit
The Giza Pyramids
An adventure with a twist awaits you at the Giza Complex. What's left of the Seven Wonders of the World? Ready for a trip back in time? It was a long travel to get here. And really, all that's left are the pyramids and a surrounding area with a workers' village, some sphinxes, and an ancient cemetery for pharaohs' families.
The Great Pyramid of Khufu
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the biggest pyramid of all in Egypt. It was built with an estimated 2.3 million stone blocks. They weigh from two to fifteen tons each. These blocks were placed with such precision that the joints are less than the thickness of a human hair. There are three chambers inside this pyramid: an underground chamber, an antechamber, and the King's Chamber (Khufu's burial chamber). You'll find a lot of tunnels within it as well. Beside the pyramid is a museum, where an ancient vessel was found in a pit nearby.
The Pyramid Of Khafre
The Pyramid of Khafre is the second largest pyramid in the Giza Necropolis, and it's one of the most ancient. It was built to bury Pharaoh Khafrewho ruled in the fourth dynasty between 2558 BC and 2532 BC. The pyramid appears taller than others because it stands on a higher part of the plateau. Also known as "the Horizon of Khafre", it's smaller than the pyramids of his father Khufu and his grandfather Snefru, but it's still impressive. How tall is this pyramid? 50 meters (164 feet) high and 138 meters (453 feet) wide at the base. Visitors can climb up a very steep ramp on the north side of the pyramid. At the top there's a small chamber with no decoration inside, where you can see a real sarcophagus.
The Pyramid Of Menkerinos
This pyramid was built in 2510 BC to bury Pharaoh Menkerinos. It is the smallest of them all.It’s made of a different outer stolen casing when compared to the other two pyramids. To gain access into the pyramids you’ll have to follow the rules of the fact that the pyramids are on a rotational basis.
The Egyptian Museum
The Egyptian Museum is located on Tahrir Square, just a few feet from the famed Egyptian obelisk. It’s filled with over 120,000 artifacts and dates back to 7,000 BC. On the ground floor, you’ll find a collection of books in chronological order. On the second-floor, artifacts are arranged according to category or tomb. You’ll also get to see old coins, papyrus and statuettes of each ruler. You’ll even get to go back into time with the museum's 3D map of ancient Egypt. This amazing museum can easily be likened to the beautiful Louvre museum in Paris!
Mohammed Ali Mosque Cairo
Cairo’s Mohammed Ali Mosque, also known as the alabaster mosque, is a towering edifice that was built during Egypt’s first decades under Muhammed Ali Pasha’s rule. The mosque is one of the very few in the area that has impressed visitors with its beauty and size. The mosque takes its name from the son of Muhammad Ali, one of Egypt’s rulers who introduced a number of important reforms during his reign. After his son died at a young age, Muhammad Ali ordered for a memorial to be made for him, which took eighteen years for completion. The mosque was intended to serve as housing for students and teachers of Al-Azhar University. The mosque is built with beautiful alabaster domes and high minarets. It was inaugurated in 1857 and still stands today as one of Cairo’s main attractions.
Saqqara Step Pyramid Of Djoser in Cairo
The Saqqara pyramid was built as a tomb for pharaoh Djoser. It is also known as the step pyramid for its limestone steps that form its pyramidal core. It was built in 27th century BC in the necropolis of Memphis, where other important monuments, like the first and second dynasty kings burial grounds, were found. Other monuments discovered at Saqqara include the queen's pyramid, the tomb of a prince, and a minister's tomb. The most visited site remains the step pyramid. At northern Saqqara, you'll find the tombs of Mereruka and Kagimni, the pyramid of king Titia, and the tomb of Ti. Djoser's mortuary temple can also be found here. It is used as a cult center for Djoser's divine Ka.
Memphis, Egypt was established by Pharaoh Menes and served as the capital city of ancient Egypt in the first dynasty and unity of upper and lower Egypt. It is 20 km away from Cairo, and it was a hub for religion, commerce, and government. It was abandoned when King Alexandra of Greece overthrew the Egyptian pharaohs around 332 BC. The ruins of Memphis were designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1979. Archaeologists discovered the remains of the path temple and a small sphinx, as well as a statue of Ramses II known as the colossus of Ramses.
The Dahshur Pyramids
The Dahshur necropolis, which is located roughly 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Cairo, is home to some of Egypt’s best preserved pyramids. Despite the fact that it is considered one of the country’s great pyramids, Dahshur is believed to be one of the last royal burial grounds to be constructed in ancient Egypt. It is estimated that the oldest pyramid at this necropolis was built in 2613 BC as well as the most recently built pyramid, which was estimated to have been built 2589 BC. The oldest real two pyramids in the country are said to be found at this necropolis and there has been a considerable amount of variation in design from one pyramid to the next. Some historians even refer to these pyramids as “true” Egyptian pyramids because of their significance and age.
The Ben Ezra Synagogue
The Ben Ezra Synagogue is located in Old Cairo in Egypt. What began as a Coptic church was later transformed into a synagogue, serving the Jewish community of Cairo. The synagogue was constructed in 1882 and served the Jewish community of Cairo until the 1950s. During an excavation to build a new structure on the site in the 1970s, several thousand fragments of ancient documents were found and removed from the site, before construction could begin. The fragments are now stored in several museums around Egypt.
The Hanging Church of Virgin Mary
The Hanging Church of Virgin Mary, located in Cairo, Egypt, is the oldest church in Cairo. It was built on the ruins of two old towers. It is referred to as the hanging church because its nave is suspended over a passageway. The church was built on the site of a 3rd or 4th-century church. There are 29 steps that lead you to the church entrance. The church has three sanctuaries dedicated to John the Baptist, St. George and Mary the mother of Jesus. The pillars of the pulpit represent the twelve disciples of Jesus.
Khan el Khalili Bazaar Cairo
Khan el-Khalili is the largest Egyptian market in Cairo, Egypt and one of the most famous markets in the Middle East, and it is also one the most popular tourist attractions for travelers. It is known for its medieval-style mall and many shops that sell souvenirs, food, drinks, shoes, handbags, leather goods, and paintings. It is near Al Hussein Mosque and Al Azhar Mosque. The market is made up of alleys lined with stores facing each other. There are also shops that sell food items, drinks, and spices. There are also shoemakers, blacksmiths, tailors and antique shops. The market is open from 9 am to 7 pm on weekdays but during Ramadan it opens from dawn to dusk.
Al Azhar Park
Al Azhar Park is a public area in Cairo, Egypt. It is located on a hilltop, and contains brightly colored gardens, fountains, and playgrounds overlooking the city. The park was built in the 10th century. Al Azhar Park is one of the world's 60 greatest public places according to Architectural Digest magazine.
Cairo Opera House
Built in the center of Cairo, long before there was a political turmoil, the opera house was built to commemorate the opening of the Suezcanal. It was built as a place where cultural exchanges would take place and also emphasizing Arabian entertainment while also acting as a center for learning and exchange of heritage. This beautiful building is a symbol of Egyptian nationalism, as well as an architectural wonder that can be appreciated by all.
Hotels in Cairo Egypt
Four seasons hotel Cairo
At NilePlaza, this hotel promotes Egyptian hospitality. Visit fourseasons.com
Le Passage Cairo hotel and casino.
The hotel is just two minutes away from the Cairo international airport. It is well furnished with amenities for your ease and comfort.visit lepassage.com.eg
Kempinski Nile Hotel Cairo
It is only a short drive to the pyramids of Giza and is located near the Nileriver. Visit kempinski.com.