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Things to do in Cairo

Things to do in  Cairo

Welcome to Cairo

For many travelers, the Pyramids of Giza, along with the Sphinx, are the sole purpose of a visit to Cairo—and understandably so. Of the three pyramids (Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure), the largest, oldest, and most impressive is undoubtedly Khufu, or the Great Pyramid of Piza, which dates to 2600 BC. Standing 480 feet (147 meters) tall, it’s rightfully deserving of its title as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Ride a camel around the pyramids for a look at their exteriors. For an additional cost, you can even enter these tombs of ancient Egyptian kings, though tickets are limited. Beyond the pyramids, Cairo is a wonder in and of itself. Situated on the banks of the Nile River in a location that’s been continually inhabited for thousands of years, it remains Egypt’s largest city, with a metropolitan area that’s home to 20 million people. Take some time to get to know the attractions in and around the city, which include the historic capital of Memphis, the Egyptian Museum, Alabaster Mosque, Citadel of Saladin, Khan el-Khalili bazaar, Old Cairo, and more. A guided tour will ensure a complete understanding of Cairo’s history and culture (and will prevent you from getting lost among the city’s winding streets). With easy access to the international Cairo Airport, Cairo also functions as a great hub for trips around Egypt, such as Nile River dinner cruises, multi-day tours of ruins, and day trips to Aswan, Alexandria, Sakkara, Fayoum Oasis, and Luxor.

Top 15 attractions in Cairo

#1
Egyptian Museum (Museum of Egyptian Antiquities)

Egyptian Museum (Museum of Egyptian Antiquities)

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A centerpiece of Tahrir Square, the Egyptian Museum (Museum of Egyptian Antiquities) has been a mecca for Egyptologists since it opened and houses some of the world’s greatest ancient relics. While some collections are moving to the new Grand Egyptian Museum, it remains a must-see for anyone interested in ancient Egypt.More
#2
Nile River

Nile River

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Measuring a mighty 4,150 miles (6,680 kilometers) from end to end, the Nile is the world’s longest river. It’s also the lifeblood of Egypt, flowing through the heart of the Sahara desert, and passing through cities, including Khartoum, Aswan, Luxor, and Cairo, before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea at Alexandria.More
#3
Giza Pyramids

Giza Pyramids

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One of the most mysterious Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (and the only one still standing), the Pyramids of Giza—the Great Pyramid of Khufu, Pyramid of Khafre, and Pyramid of Menkaure—still live up to more than 4,000 years of hype. Seeing these 4th-dynasty pyramids and their guardian Great Sphinx rising from the Giza Plateau is a must on any trip to Cairo (and the reason many travelers find themselves in Egypt).More
#4
Saqqara (Sakkara)

Saqqara (Sakkara)

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Set about 18 miles (30 kilometers) south of Cairo, Saqqara (Sakkara) was the burial place for the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis, now in ruins. The site features a small sphinx and several pyramids—the most famous of which is the Step Pyramid of Djoser, which represented a major advance in building techniques.More
#5
Khan Al-Khalili

Khan Al-Khalili

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With a history dating back to the 14th century, the Khan Al-Khalili bazaar is Cairo’s signature shopping destination. It’s an intoxicating warren of streets, houses, and merchants selling everything from gold and spices to shisha pipes and toy camels, not to mention the inevitable scarabs, pyramids, and belly-dancer costumes.More
#6
Memphis

Memphis

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During Egypt’s Old Kingdom period, Memphis, located near Cairo, was home to the pharaohs who built the pyramids. But domestic architecture didn’t last like the pyramids did, so most all that remains of Memphis today is the Mit Rahina open-air sculpture museum.More
#7
Old Cairo (Misr Al-Qadima)

Old Cairo (Misr Al-Qadima)

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Located in south Cairo on the Nile’s east bank, Old Cairo, also known as Misr Al-Qadima, dates to the sixth century BC and occupies the sites of several early Egyptian capitals, including Fustat. Merging into Islamic Cairo to the east, its heart is Coptic Cairo—home to a crumbled Roman fortress and numerous early medieval Coptic churches.More
#8
Cairo Citadel (Citadel of Saladin)

Cairo Citadel (Citadel of Saladin)

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Standing proud above the hubbub of the modern city, the Cairo Citadel (Citadel of Saladin)) is one of Old Cairo’s most striking sights. First built by Saladin in the 12th century, during the Crusader conflicts, the fortress complex houses palaces, museums, and mosques, including Muhammad Ali’s 19th-century Alabaster Mosque.More
#9
Sphinx (Great Sphinx of Giza)

Sphinx (Great Sphinx of Giza)

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The 66-foot-tall (20-meter-tall) Sphinx of Giza is an icon of ancient Egypt, and the subject of continued debate regarding its meaning, age, and original builder. With the head of a human and the body of a lion, the Sphinx—one of the world’s largest and oldest statues—is said to symbolize strength, power, and wisdom.More
#10
Great Pyramid of Giza (Khufu Pyramid)

Great Pyramid of Giza (Khufu Pyramid)

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The last surviving wonder of the ancient world, the Great Pyramid of Giza is also known as the Khufu Pyramid or Pyramid of Cheops, in honor of the pharaoh who built it around 2570 BC. The oldest, largest, and tallest of the three Giza pyramids, it is full of narrow tunnels and eerie chambers that are open to visitors.More
#11
Dahshur

Dahshur

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Blissfully serene compared to the Giza Pyramids chaos, Dahshur’s desert sands were once home to an impressive 11 large pyramids. Today, two survive, the Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid, both built by Pharaoh Snefru around 4,500 years ago. Unusually, travelers can explore inside both of them, as well as a smaller side pyramid.More
#12
Alabaster Mosque (Mosque of Muhammad Ali)

Alabaster Mosque (Mosque of Muhammad Ali)

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The citadel of Saladin—and the Cairo skyline—is dominated by the Alabaster Mosque (also known as the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. Modeled on classic Turkish architecture, it took 18 years to build the structure (1830-1848, with a complete restoration taking place in the 1930s. It was commissioned by Muhammad Ali, ruler of Egypt from 1805-1849, who lies in the marble tomb inside.More
#13
Islamic Cairo

Islamic Cairo

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Cairo is known as the "city of a thousand minarets," and that's reflected in its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A journey into Islamic Cairo is a journey into the city’s past, from Fustat, Egypt’s first Muslim capital, to the 1,000-year-old walled city, the Cairo Citadel, founded by 12th-century leader Saladin, and beyond.More
#14
Hanging Church (Al-Muallaqa)

Hanging Church (Al-Muallaqa)

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Tucked among Coptic Cairo’s winding streets, the Hanging Church is more than 1,000 years old. Enter the 19th-century façade to find icons, elegant screens, a marble pulpit, and a window onto Roman ruins beneath the church. The Hanging Church is an important site for Egyptian Christians, as well as one of Coptic Cairo’s top attractions.More
#15
Cairo Tower (Burj al-Qahira)

Cairo Tower (Burj al-Qahira)

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Standing 614 feet (187 meters) tall on Gezira Island, the Cairo Tower (Burj al-Qahira) is one of Cairo’s most recognizable landmarks. Completed in 1961, with a striking lattice exterior designed to resemble a lotus flower, the tower is topped with a café, an observation deck, and a revolving restaurant.More

Trip ideas

How to Choose a Giza Pyramids Tour

How to Choose a Giza Pyramids Tour

How to Spend 3 Days in Cairo

How to Spend 3 Days in Cairo

Alexandria Day Trips from Cairo

Alexandria Day Trips from Cairo

Top activities in Cairo

Full-Day Tour Giza Pyramids, Sphinx, Memphis, and Saqqara

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Full-Day Tour Giza Pyramids, Sphinx, Memphis, and Saqqara

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8-Hour Private Tour of the Pyramids, Egyptian Museum and Bazaar from Cairo
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4-Days 3-Nights Cruise From Aswan To Luxor including Abu Simbel Hot Air Balloon

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8-Day Private Tour Cairo, Aswan, Luxor and Nile Cruise Including Air Fare
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Recent reviews from experiences in Cairo

star-5
Excellent Transfer with a great Driver!
Jacqueline_K, May 2022
Private Pickup Transfers From Cairo To Luxor By Bus
He speaks excellent English and is very accommodating.
star-5
Easy, stress free, fantastic
Andrew_H, Apr 2022
Full-Day Tour Giza Pyramids, Sphinx, Memphis, and Saqqara
I would recommend this trip as an easy way to see the best sites in Cairo in a day.
star-5
Ride with Duba
Lisa_H, Apr 2022
Private Pickup Transfer from Cairo Airport to Hotels in Cairo
He was courteous and offered some insight on activities to do in Cairo that I had not considered.
star-5
Amazing
Kim_E, Apr 2022
1 Hour ATV at Giza Pyramids from Cairo
Great experience and definitely more valuable than just visiting the pyramids, which was great, but the ATV ride is an unforgettable way to see the views of desert & Cairo.
star-5
Excellent adventure around
Carlicia_A, Apr 2022
Full Day Tour Visiting Coptic and Islamic Cairo
Good experience around cairo such a nice tour guide he tried to show me everything I needed to see about cairo
star-5
Fantastic Experience
Terrance_W, Apr 2022
Private Guided Night Tour of Cairo
The sites were amazing to see at night and the locations to see over all of Cairo made for a very memorable experience.
star-5
Well worth seeing
ceri_M, Mar 2022
Private Tour: Egyptian Museum
The mummy museum is interesting to see and well presented.
star-5
Great tour
Ahmed_E, Mar 2022
4-hours private Coptic and Islamic Cairo day tour
I have booked this tour to see something special in Cairo& I'm really happy because i have did that with hesham.
star-5
Friendly and Welcoming Arrival in Cairo
Thomas_H, Jan 2022
Private Transfer - Cairo Airport Arrivals Hall to Hotel
He gave good advice and has excellent knowledge of Cairo, and speaks excellent English.
star-5
Special Experience in Old Cairo
Anna_K, Jan 2022
4-hours private Tour to Islamic Mosque and Coptic Cairo
Although the tour was only four hours, we were able to see the Coptic Quarters, St.
star-5
Alexandria 101!!
Monica_V, Dec 2021
Day-Trip to Alexandria from Cairo by Private Car
It was nice to see the area outside of Cairo.
star-5
Great
Valerio_G, Nov 2021
Full Day Tour Visiting Coptic and Islamic Cairo
It was good to see all these beautiful religious places of worship and learning about Cairo's history.
star-5
One day trip in cairo with a great Chinese speaking guide
751483147, May 2022
8-Hour Private Tour of the Pyramids, Egyptian Museum and Bazaar from Cairo
It was a packed but full day with lots of attractions.
star-5
Awesome bonus day outside of Cairo!
Taylor_G, May 2022
Valley of Whales and Wadi El Rayan Water Falls Day Tour from Cairo
We then headed to the water falls where we saw many local to the area taking a swim and enjoying the waterfall.
star-5
Great for a half day in Cairo
Taylor_G, May 2022
Discover The Palaces of Cairo
We started our trip with this tour and felt like we were able to see some interesting things that are maybe skipped by others coming here.
star-5
Superb experience with fantastic Ola ( tour guide) and Momen (driver)
Monika_D, May 2022
Full-Day Tour Giza Pyramids, Sphinx, Memphis, and Saqqara
My husband and I took one day trip to Cairo to see the pyramids.
star-5
Just great!
Karolina_d, Apr 2022
Enjoy 4-Day 3-Nights Nile Cruise includes Tours from Aswan to Luxor
We started at Cairo to see the pyramids and then took the sleeping train to Aswan, where the Nile cruise to Luxor started.
star-5
Excellent tour in Cairo
Mariana_P, Apr 2022
Cairo Day Tour visit Egyptian Museum, Citadel and Khan Khalil Bazaar
He’s fluent in English.
star-5
Charming tour
Ahmed_E, Apr 2022
4-hours private Tour to Islamic Mosque and Coptic Cairo
I have booked this tour to see the other face of Cairo.
star-5
Cruise down the Nile with Mody Tours!!!
Doris_C, Apr 2022
4-Days Nile Cruise From Aswan To Luxor including Abu Simbel and Hot Air Balloon
All guides were very resourceful, well versed in ENglish, very polite, professional, and caring of our experience, going the extra mile to make sure we were comfortable, hydrated, fed, and educated on the temples and other historical sites.

All about Cairo

When to visit

Spring is a sweet spot for visiting Cairo, when the peak winter crowds have gone home, but before the sweltering heat of summer arrives. Lines are shorter at the Pyramids of Giza and other ancient attractions, plus modern Egyptian culture is on display at seasonal events such as Ismailia International Film Festival and Cairo Fashion Week, both in April.

Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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