With a city as culturally rich as Cairo, there is no doubt in our mind it will be so easy for you to fall in love with it.
As one of the largest cities in all of Africa, you will unquestionably feel the history of Egypt all throughout this city. Here are 10 things you absolutely must see and do in your trip to Cairo.
1. Pyramids of Giza
By far Cairo’s most popular attraction, it goes without saying that any trip to this historic city should start out with these surreal formations. These pyramids have definitely passed the test of time as one of the original Seven Wonders of the World, remaining unimpaired for over 4,000 years. It hosts tens of thousands of visitors per year, as well as the graduation of students who attend the international school Cairo American College.
2. Coptic Cairo
It is long presumed in Christian tradition that the Holy Family visited Coptic Cairo. It has been a center for Christianity in Egypt both before and during the Islamic era. It was said that Saint Mark introduced Christianity to Egypt, and it was here that the first church in Africa was able to prosper. While you’re in Coptic Cairo, you need to check out…
3. The Hanging Church of Virgin Mary
With its creation dating all the way back to the 3rd Century, The Hanging Church is one of the oldest churches in the country, as well as the most popular. The church is the site of several reported Marian apparitions, which are reported supernatural appearances by the Virgin Mary.
4. Islamic Cairo
“Islamic” Cairo doesn’t touch on to a substantial prominence of Muslims in the area, but instead, the city’s heritage and history since its foundation in the early period of Islam. This area is home to one of the largest concentrations of historic architecture in the Islamic world, and various tombs, mansions, and mosques, such as…
5. The Salah El Din Citadel
A highly preserved historic site including mosques such as the Mohammad Ali Mosque and the Egyptian Military museum. Built in the late 1100s, it resembles a state of the art medieval fortress, and is probably the most popular non-pharaonic site in Cairo. Tickets are priced quite reasonably, especially if you’re a student.
6. Khan El Khalili
If you’re looking for authentic Egyptian souvenirs to give to your family back home, look no further. Located in the narrow streets of Islamic Cairo, it houses a plethora of beautiful Egyptian jewelry, clothing, and much more. It also adds a great deal to a genuine Egyptian experience, as vendors will undoubtedly besiege you and test your bargaining skills.
7. Cairo Opera House
Located near downtown Cairo in the district of Zamalek, the Cairo Opera House is home to to the country’s elite musical groups. It was established in 1988, and in acknowledgement, the London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra designated it as a venue for their inaugural performance in the Middle East and Africa in January of 2007.
8. Take A Day Trip to Alexandria
If you want a break from the chaos of Cairo, just about two hours north of Cairo you can take a day to visit Alexandria. This city used to be a major stronghold of early Christianity, and was even the largest city in the ancient world before being overtaken by Rome. It houses many mosques, Coptic churches, and even a synagogue. You can visit the Alexandria National Museum and the Bibliotheca Alexandria, located near the site of the Royal Library of Alexandria, which used to be the largest library in the world.
9. Cruise the Nile River
You can’t leave Cairo without embarking on a cruise or felucca down the Nile River. You can choose big cruise boats with energetic nightclubs and restaurants, or even just a relaxing felucca ride at sunset. Sailing down this historic river is a perfect way to start or end your trip to Cairo.
10. Egyptian Museum of Antiquities
Also known as the Museum of Cairo or the Egyptian Museum, it is home to a profound collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities, with around 120,000 items. It holds the world’s largest assortment of Pharaonic relics, such as the Gold Mask Tutankhamun, mummies, and a memorial of history’s most famous Egyptologists.