With the mighty Nile River weaving its way through the centre, Cairo is a legendary city that is steeped in history. Medieval Islamic sites stand juxtaposed against Coptic houses of worship, together with some of Ancient Egypt’s most impressive monuments.
Things to do in Cairo
One of the original Seven Wonders of the World, the Pyramids of Giza are high on most visitors’lists, having stood the test of time for around 4,500 years. They are usually combined with a visit to the Great Sphinx, which boasts a commanding position nearby, or the Step Pyramid of Djoser, Egypt’s oldest pyramid located at the Saqqara archaeological site to the south.
Follow up with a visit to the world-renowned Egyptian Museum which contains more than 100,000 ancient Egyptian artefacts, including treasures from King Tutankhamun’s tomb.
Take a stroll around the “Paris on the Nile” of Midan Tahrir which was built during the 19th century under the rule of Khedive Ismail or peruse the upmarket boutiques in Gezira Island’s leafy district of Zamalek. Want to experience more traditional Cairo? Escape the bustle and take a felucca ride along the River Nile to soak up the sights from the water.
No trip to the Egyptian capital is complete without spending a day exploring the ancient alleyways and churches of Coptic Cairo, shopping in the vibrant Khan el-Khalili bazaar or wandering the 12th-century Salah El-Din Citadel of Islamic Cairo.
Getting around Cairo
Cairo International Airport is the main access point for visitors to Egypt, located about 30 minutes’drive from the city centre. Cairo boasts Africa’s first and most extensive metro system, which is the easiest way to get around the city, although tours are more convenient for those heading to the Pyramids of Giza and Saqqara.