9 Most Popular Places to Visit in Cairo

A city of great culture and heritage, a treasure trove of antiquity but with little or no place to pause in solitude and admire its grand tradition, Cario is packed with energy and pulsating life. The Egyptians call it, Umm ad Dunya – ‘the Mother of the World.’ Indeed, the historical importance of the city dates to its fascinating culture. There are many places to visit in Cairo and you must reserve at least two days to visit the city thoroughly. We have listed a few places to visit in Cairo that you must include in your itinerary.

1. Pyramids of Giza

This is the most visited destination close to Cairo and is one of the greatest pieces of architectural tradition. As one of the ancient wonders of the world, the 4,000 years old pyramid complex has three pyramids: the pyramid of Menakaure, Khafre and Khufu. A short distance from the pyramid of Giza lies the Sphinx. Wrapped in enigma and mystery, this monumental marvel represents a lion's body with a human or Farrell head majestically reclining on the western banks of the River Nile. For centuries, this great wonder of the world has attracted many muses, painters’ artists and creators trying to understand the mystery lying behind the creation of this masterpiece.

Timings & Tickets

Giza Pyramids & Solar Boat Museum:

8:00 AM - 4:00 PM daily in the winters.
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM in the summers

Giza pyramids and Sphinx:

They cost 120 LE (for students 60LE)

An inside tour of the great pyramids cost 300 LE (for students 150 LE)

Light and Sound Show:

7:00 PM to 8:00 PM (and 9:00 PM during the winters)
Ticket price: 75 EGP (about $13)

2.  Egyptian Museum

In the center of the Tahir Square, is the storehouse of many antiques and traditions, the Museum of Egypt. There are more than 160,000 pieces stored inside the Egyptian museum. The museum is divided into 2 floors each showing the different phases of history. The Pharaohs and their preparation for the afterlife. The tomb of Tutankhamun and many other important rulers make the museum quite an experience.

Timings

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Monday -Wednesday, Friday and Saturday); on Thursday and Sunday, the museum is open till 9:00 PM

Entry fee:

Tickets for foreigners are 160 EGP for the entrance to the museum while students can pay 80 EGP. There is a separate ticket of 180 EGP for the mummy hall, with a discounted rate of 90 EGP for foreign students. The camera will be an additional 50 LE.

3.  Coptic Cairo

The old Cairo is one of the earliest settlements in Egypt. It is known for its Islamic Christian and Jewish history. Nestled in winding links, this is the cultural heartbeat of ancient and intriguing churches and synagogues. You will find the Ben Ezra synagogue here. A 9th-century old church had been converted to a Jewish synagogue. Just before the church was replaced by a synagogue and many important documents retrieved, shed light on the Christian religion. Now those scribes are kept in the University of Cambridge. Don’t miss the Amr Mosque, the first mosque to be built in Cairo. Some of the world's oldest churches belonging to the 4th century that are deemed as very important, like the Church of Saint Gergius, or the Hanging Church of the Virgin Mary. These attract many tourists.

Timings:

Daily 08:00 AM-04:00 PM


4.  Hanging Church of the Virgin Mary

Don't forget to visit the hanging church of Virgin Mary. The church appears to be suspended over a passage as it was built over a gatehouse, which are the remains of the old fortress of Babylon. One of the oldest churches, this holds a special significance. Its beautiful screen decorated with crosses of Ebony and ivory and precious icons; large marble pillars all holds one spellbound. This was the official residence of Coptic Pope of Alexandria.

Timings:

Opening time: 09:00AM - 05:00PM
Coptic mass 08: 00Am - 11: 00AM (Wednesdays and Friday)
On Sunday 09: 00AM - 11: 00AM
Admission is free.

5.  Coptic Museum

If you're visiting the Coptic Cairo, then don't leave without visiting the museum. Starting with the earliest days of Christianity and touching on the early Islamic influence in Egypt, it is a journey worth taking. There is a rich mixture of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Ottoman and Byzantine influence. Elaborate carvings, sculptures thrown all over the museum shed light on the Ptolemaic period. The walls of the museum are wrapped with some of the most significant frescoes. You can take a first-hand look at the oldest book of psalms in their original cover. The psalms of David can be found here.  

Time:

8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Line 1 metro. Time 13 mins (LE 12.40 - 14.32)
Taxi: 6 min (LE11.7 LE14.96)

6.  Khan el Khalili Souk

The typical bazaars of Arabia that we fantasies in books, can be seen in reality here. Giving substance to oriental imagery of the perfect bazaar, cramped with glittering metal wares, intricate luxurious rugs, gems and jewels, perfumes of Arabia. This 14th-century market enthralls the shopper. The labyrinthian alleys, shopkeepers that are too eager to oblige. They will go an extra mile to make their customers happy and there's plenty that you can carry back with you as memoirs from Egypt for yourself. You can also do a lot of photography here.

Read more about Shopping in Cairo: Traditional Markets and Modern Shopping Malls


Time:

Opens at 09.00 AM and goes on till 12.00 AM


7.  Al-Azhar Mosque

Holding the highest seat of the Egyptian Muslim theology, the mosque harbors the world's second oldest University (988 AD). The mosque was constructed in 940AD and is considered one of the recent mosques in Cairo. The structure has undergone many new additions over 1,000 years. It represents a union of many architectural styles. There are three minarets built in three separate ages of the 14th, 15th and the 16th centuries. The central courtyard was one of the earliest editions to the mosque and embraces the University.

Admission is free
Open all through the day

· Women should dress in clothes covering arms and legs with a scarf over their head. Remove shoes while entering. Tip the shoe keeper.

8.  Cairo Tower

This 187-metre-high (614 ft.) tall landmark in the city is most visible and fascinating. An important landmark after the pyramids, this tower offers a 360-degree view of the entire city and is a favorite amongst visitors especially in the morning. A sky garden offers a brilliant view with the cafeteria and dining facilities for you to enjoy a reclusive day on the top of the tower.

Time: 

09:00AM-12:00AM

Entrance fee: LE70 for adults. Free for children under 6years.
Sky Window Cafe: Cost of beer LE47, sandwiches LE53 to LE65
360 Revolving Restaurant: Main course LE120 to LE220

9.  Cruise on the Nile

How can your trip to Cairo be complete if you haven't been on a cruise on the Nile? It could either be a floating restaurant or a nightclub or a simple cruise boat, whatever you prefer, but this rewarding experience should not be overlooked during your visit. An evening over the Nile is ideal in a traditional sailing boat. Boatmen are only too eager to provide you with a memorable experience and you will feel no less than the royalty yourself as you say goodbye to the beautiful grandeur of the Nile.

Average package includes 3 meals with ship facilities $200

The 9 popular places to visit in Cairo is nothing short of memorable. Feel like you are travelling back in time and soak in the glory of the magical land. Allow the mysticism to envelop you and return mesmerized by the enigmatic experience.


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