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4 Things to Do in Cairo

Cairo! The largest city in the Arab world! The city of a Thousand Minarets! To an Egyptian, Cairo is the mother of the world. Cairo in the peak hours of the day seems like an insatiable monster. But as you walk along the Nile cornice in the evenings under the banyan trees, it seems like the most romantic place, gentle and beautiful. There are plenty of things to do in Cairo.

1. Enjoy Nile Dinner Cruise

Nile Dinner Cruise
Enjoy Nile Dinner Cruise

Nile cruise is a must-go in your list of things to do in Cairo. A two-hour evening cruise along the Nile River is a must for first-time visitors to Egypt. The famous river, beautiful by day is even more spectacular by night. You can admire the glittering landmarks along the Nile River while you enjoy a delicious buffet dinner and the live on-board entertainment that include live musicians, belly dancers, and traditional folk artists and a Tanura show. Most tours offer hotel pickup, dinner, and round-trip transport and costs around US$50.

2. Explore the Pyramids

Pyramids, Egypt
Explore the Pyramids

Visiting this one of the seven wonders of the ancient world is the must thing to do in Cairo. There are several half day and full day tours and you can go on your own by car, metro and buses. The tour starts with the Pyramid of Khufu (The Great Pyramid of Giza), the largest pyramid in the world. The entrance ticket costs USD19. Then you go to the Pyramids of Chephren and Mykerinos. The architectural significance and fascinating history of these magnificent structures will leave you spellbound. You will see The Great Sphinx of Giza and enjoy a camel ride while you are there and quad through the sprawling Giza Plateau by paying around US$40.

See also Giza Pyramids     Camel Ride in Egypt

3. Enjoy a Cultural Trips to Some Museums & Nile River

The museums and Downtown Cairo is easily accessible by Metro and buses, for the budget tourists. There are also various travel and tour companies that offer Cairo city tours in buses and cars. There is never a dearth of things to do in.

· Gayer-Anderson Museum

Founded in 1937 the museum holds collections from the private collectables of Major Gayer-Anderson and has an interesting compilation of domestic items of the time.

Your touring and city hopping will naturally leave you famished, and this is perhaps the best time to try out some traditional Egyptian food.

· Egyptian Museum

The Egyptian Museum has an extensive collection of 120,000 items that bear testimony to the old antiquity of this rich and historically significant destination and its culture. It is one of the largest museums in the region. There is a fee of LE 160 for entry, LE 180 for the mummy rooms, and LE 50 for photos. Students pay half price.

Tip: Egyptian Museum charges extra for photo and video cameras.

Egyptian Museum
Egyptian Museum

The Nile River
The Nile River

· Downtown Cairo

The downtown area is popular with Egyptians and international tourists. After visiting the museum, which is on the outskirts of downtown, enjoy a cup of coffee at the Ritz Carlton. Downtown is a busy place in the daytime and after dark locals and Egyptian tourists come there to eat, shop and play. The streets bustle with activity and you can join them for tea, shisha or even dinner. Or you can buy shoes. The Egyptians love a shoe shop and in Downtown Cairo, there are several shoe shops in a row with a never-ending supply of shoe filled window displays.

· The Nile River

In downtown Cairo, you’re only a few steps from the Nile’s blue waters. Stroll along the peaceful river or promenade along the Qasr Al Nile Bridge. You can continue to the other side of the bridge to visit Zamalek Island, an area popular with expats and where you’ll find the Cairo Tower.

4. Visit Famous Monuments

If you are not on a shoestring budget, the comfortable way to travel is to take an air-conditioned car (around US$40) from your hotel in the morning along with a guide (available for US$20, of course, you have to bargain).

· The Citadel

The Citadel of Salah El Din is located on top the El Moqattam hills. Salah El Din El Ayoubi in 1183 AD designed this Citadel after a medieval castle. Many important and old monuments like the Mosque of Soliman Pasha, Joseph’s Well which is 90-metre-deep, the Alabaster Mosque of Mohammed Ali are the increasingly immersing. There is an entrance fee of US$25. The Citadel owing to its position offers a panoramic view of the entire city of Cairo.

The Citadel in Cairo
The Citadel in Cairo

· Coptic Cairo

Coptic Cairo is the area where the Holy Family is believed to have stayed. It is one of the most beautiful and historic places in Cairo. This is the place where all three of Abrahamic religions meet. Along with many churches like the Hanging Church and Coptic burial grounds, there is the mosque of Amr Ibn El-Aas and the Ben Ezra Synagogue, a place where baby Moses was found, and Cairo Geniza where a collection of important Jewish manuscripts were found.

Middle east most throbbing market Khan El Kahili Bazaar and El Sagha, a jewelry shops are a charming addition to your city tour. This old traditional market is the earliest and largest 14th-century souk. You can’t help getting lost in the attractive collection of jewelry, dresses leatherware lampshades, artefacts and so much more. Bargain ‘to your hearts delight and keep your valuables safe.

Transportation Tips for Cairo City Trips

If you are on a budget, then opt for the metro. For Ahmed Ibn Tulun Mosque, head for Saad, on the Line 2 metro. You have to walk for 18 minutes. To go to Cairo Citadel, take the line 1 Metro to Saad, then take the taxi. For Al Azhar Mosque, the nearest station is Ataba and about an 18-minute walk away along Kobri Al Azhar street. For Coptic Cairo area, head to Mar Girgis metro station. You just pay 1 EGP for the ticket. You won’t need to go far away to shop for souvenirs, pottery etc., as there are several shops close to the metro station.

See also Cairo Transportation

The rich food culture and its ever-fascinating people are an attractive mix. There is never a moment of loneliness as there are plenty of things to do in Cairo. At the end of the day when you return to your hotel or your hostel bed, the delights of the day will lure you to a wonderful sleep. Indeed, Cairo has an enigmatic effect on its visitors and the city calls you again and again.

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