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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 10 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
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
#3
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
#4
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
#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
Alabaster Mosque (Mosque of Muhammad Ali)

Alabaster Mosque (Mosque of Muhammad Ali)

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The citadel of Saladin - and indeed, the Cairo skyline - is dominated by the Alabaster Mosque (Mosque of Muhammad Ali). Modelled along classic Turkish lines, it took 18 years to build (1830 - 1848) although later the domes had to be rebuilt. It was commissioned by Muhammad Ali, ruler of Egypt from 1805 - 1849, wholies in the marble tomb on the right as you enter.Perhaps the most evocative description of it is in Olivia Manning'sThe Levant Trilogy: "Above them Mohammed Ali's alabaster mosque, uniquely white in this sand-coloured city, sat with minarets pricked, like a fat, white, watchful cat." It has never found much favor with writers, who have criticized it for being unimaginative, lacking in grace and resembling a great toad. Note the chintzy clock in the central courtyard, a gift from King Louis-Philippe of France in thanks for the Pharaonic obelisk that adorns the Place de la Concorde in Paris. It was damaged on delivery and has yet to be repaired.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

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

Recent reviews from experiences in 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
5 Star Experience
Jessica_L, Nov 2021
8-Hour Private Tour of the Pyramids, Egyptian Museum and Bazaar from Cairo
I would recommend this tour to anyone who is visiting Cairo and wants to see all the highlights in one day.
star-5
Tour to El Alamein
Frank_R, Nov 2021
Private Day Tour To El-Alamein From Cairo
I had a knowledgeable guide who spoke very good English and a very competent driver.
star-5
Great tour for 1st day in city
Olga_P, Nov 2021
Private Guided Night Tour of Cairo
Relaxing tour to see a bit of Cairo's nightlife.
star-5
Nile and Cairo Trip
Angelos_Vardakis, Nov 2021
Avoid Scams I Enjoy the night in Cairo
Amazing trip, we started at the Nile River riding a felluca (boat) which is really nice , elevating the Cairo Tower, the tallest building in Cairo where the view is exciting, and wll this accompanied with our tour guide Maryam Alaa, which history of places we were crossing in detail and her English are 10/10.
star-5
Explore Cairo
Christopher_B, Oct 2021
8-Hour Private Tour of the Pyramids, Egyptian Museum and Bazaar from Cairo
Zeinab was excellent and the perfect guide to see Cairo.
star-5
Wonderful day trip to Alexandria
Uzo, Oct 2021
Day-Trip to Alexandria from Cairo by Private Car
He took me to the Catacombs, amphitheater, Citadel of Qaitbay and many other attractions in Alexandria.
star-5
Coptic Cairo tour
Marianela_A, Oct 2021
Private Full day to Coptic Cairo -Cave Church- Coptic Museum
I would recommend doing this tour, specially if you want to see a different side of Cairo.
star-5
Best Cairo transfer. Worth the little extra cost.
Timothy_D, Sep 2021
VIP Meet and Assist upon arrival at Cairo Airport- (with Hotel Private Transfer)
It was so nice, after traveling for over 24 hours, to see Issac holding my name on arrival in Cairo in the reception area before formalities and not in the crowded assembly hall.
star-5
Amazing long layover
Sabrina_B, Jul 2021
All Inclusive Private Cairo Layover Tour from Cairo Airport
We were able to cater the tour to what I wanted to see and it was an amazing time.
star-5
Amazing tour!!
Randi_S, Dec 2021
Egypt Tour 8 nights Cairo, Luxor, Aswan & Abu Simbel, Nile Cruise, Air Balloon
I definitely recommend this tour to see the highlights of Egypt without the hassle of trying you get there yourself and with knowledgeable guides.
star-5
Fantastic excursions outside of Cairo
Allan_J, Nov 2021
Sakkara, Memphis & Dahshur
She explained our itinerary and activities for the day.
star-5
Excellent Service From Heba!
Joseph_A, Nov 2021
Discover Egypt 8-Days Cairo, Nile Cruise, Abu Simbel and Alexandria From Cairo
We had the opportunity to see all the major historically and culturally significant sights at every stop.
star-5
Visit the Egyptian museum with a guide to optimize your time!
Mahsima_M, Nov 2021
Day Tour To The Egyptian Museum Islamic Cairo Christian Coptic Cairo
On my last day in Cairo, I decided to visit the Egyptian museum with a knowledgeable guide.
star-5
well-planned and enjoyable tour
Mahsima_M, Nov 2021
Best All inclusive Tour Giza Pyramids Sphinx Memphis Saqqara Camel Ride,Lunch
On my first day in Cairo, I booked this tour to visit the pyramids for the first time, and also photograph the art exhibition 'Forever is Now' by Art D'Égypte.
star-5
Incredible day!
Dorota_G, Nov 2021
Private Day Tour to Cairo by Bus from Sharm El Sheikh
We had a choice of what attractions we wanted to see and which to miss and also how long to spend on each.
star-5
AMAZING TOUR TO ALEXANDRIA!
Andrew_O, Nov 2021
Best Alexandria Day Tour from Cairo
Not only was his English excellent, but he also went above and beyond to make the long trip from Cairo interesting and comfortable.
star-5
Amazing first day in Cairo
Kirsten_R, Nov 2021
Camel or Horse Ride at Giza Pyramids Tour
We wanted to have a chance to see the Giza pyramids without a lot of people and to ride a camel.
star-5
Great tour from Cairo!!
Nancy_S, Nov 2021
Full Day Tour To Alexandria
We were able to see all of Alexandria without being rushed around, which tends to happen with larger groups.
star-4
Great way to see the attractions
Monica_R, Oct 2021
All inclusive Private Trip Giza Pyramids,Sphinx,Camel-Ride,Lunch,Entrance fees
Great way to see the attractions in Cairo.

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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