Having finally (for the most part) emerged from a tumultuous period on local politics, Cairo has once again reclaimed its place on the bucket list of most travellers. Most tourists arrive in the city to view the treasures of ancient Egypt, which are sure to delight and astonish. However, there is so much more to Cairo than just mummies and pyramids.
Cairo is a sprawling metropolis with almost 20 million residents. It’s no surprise there is no shortage of things to do and see – here are our top 5.
1. The Pyramids of Giza & the Sphynx
Of course – you can’t miss them. No, really, you can’t – it would be a crime to leave Cairo without laying eyes on these ancient wonders. Located conveniently on the outskirts of the city, it is indescribably magical to actually see the structures that have fascinated people all over the world for so long. You can also enter inside the pyramids, and perhaps keep an eye out for the lost treasure that’s allegedly still there!
2. Khan El Khalili
There are many souks and bazaars in Egypt, where locals shop for daily supplies and tourists hunt for souvenirs to impressive their friends. One of the best is Khan El Khalili, where traders sell an amazing array of goods. Just be prepared to haggle, and have your wits about you –
3. Buy Papyrus
We don’t mean from ancient Egypt, although that would be pretty cool (and probably possible, if you have stacks of cash to burn). Instead, take a wander through the many stores that sell modern artwork on modern calligraphy. It retains much of the same charm, and is a mix of ancient Egyptian scenes, to more modern works. Whatever is you preference, it’s bound to be a great addition to your home, and reminder of your time in Egypt.
4. Egyptian National Museum
The first thing to know about the Egyptian National Museum is that the English took most of the most incredible artifacts and stuck them in the British Museum. Nonetheless, Cairo retains an incredibly impressive selection of objects such as mummies of humans (and cats), as well as sarcophaguses and more. It is well worth getting a guided tour to understand all of what you are seeing, because there is just so much here, and understanding the story behind things is much of the fun.
5. Cruise on the Nile
The Nile was one of the main reasons for Ancient Egypt’s success – providing a perfect transport route that led to increased trade and development. Perhaps this is why it has grown to be one of the most famous rivers on the planet. There are many options for taking a boat ride on it – from multi-day felucca trips that are blissfully relaxing, to a short dinner cruise from Cairo. Be sure to try out at least one, to see this great natural wonder for yourself.