Cairo is the capital city of Egypt and is ranked the largest city in Africa and actually the most densely populated in the world. Cairo is found in northern Egypt along the River Nile banks and is south of the Mediterranean Sea. The city of Cairo is predominantly an Islamic city and another from the series of ancient Egypt cities with its neighbors Memphis, Giza and Fustat. A walk through the streets of Cairo in Egypt is like a journey through time, there are the ancient marketplaces, such as the Khan El-Khalili, an ancient “suc” dating back to the late 1300s.
Attractions in Cairo
Pyramids of Giza are the most crucial itinerary for Cairo Egypt tours in addition to the Great sphinx, the Egyptian Museum, Khan al-Khalili bazaar/ market. The Citadel of Cairo is another of the most visited Cairo attractions. Abdeen Palace, Khan El Khalily, Al Azhar Park, Cairo Tower, the Coptic Museum, Ibn Tulun and the Cairo Tower. The Midan Tahrir area situated in downtown Cairo area, built in the 19th century under the rule of Khedive Ismail, has strived to be a “Paris on the Nile”.
The Great Pyramids and the Sphinx of course are the main attractions here. They are located in the Giza plateau just outside the city. There are three pyramids with the largest being the Great Pyramid built by King Cheops in 2650 BC. The second pyramid was built by King Chephren, Cheops’ son and the third by King Mycerinus, son of Chephren. Of course the photo opportunities at the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx are just wonderful.
There are other important Egyptian ruins within the Cairo area as well including Memphis which has the giant statue of Ramses II. Some of the important ancient Egyptian attractions are housed within the Egyptian Museum, another must-see attraction. The treasures of King Tutankhamun including the famous gold mask are at the Egyptian Museum. The treasures are extremely impressive as each object was made with such fine detail and remember that they were made thousands of years ago. It is interesting to note that although Tutankhamun’s treasures are impressive, the boy king was not one of the major pharaohs. So one can just imagine what the treasures of the other pharaohs would have been like.
Citadel (Al-Qalaa) is one of the most famous places in Cairo. The Citadel is situated in the eastern part of the city and was started by Saladin in 1176 and completed by the sultans that followed. The Citadel which is believed to be one of the world’s greatest monuments is famous for its museums, mosques and for its stone fort. A part from this, it is famous for its fresh breeze and also for excellent bird viewing. The enormous stone fort consists of one military museum and one police museum. There are two mosques which are decorated with Ottoman architecture domes, outer structure, cloister, minarets and the Citadel walls.
Khan El Khalili Bazaar is the largest open air market, where bargaining and haggling is a favorite way of getting around, the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar is a must see when in Egypt. For hundred of years the Khan el-Khalili is a trading and barter area that has served millions of travelers in Cairo. Today it still serves its purpose as a market where tourists can purchase almost anything and everything Egypt.
The Egyptian Museum holds the largest number of artifacts recovered over years of explorations of the remains and ruins of the ancient structures built here. Discover many of the artifacts and relief just like that of King Tutankhamen treasures.
Borj al-Qahira (Cairo Tower) is a free-standing modern concrete and is also a major landmark in the country. This tower is the tallest all-concrete structure in the world and is about 45m taller than the Great Pyramid of Giza. About 8 million small mosaic lozenges were used to build the tower by at least five hundred workers. It has a restaurant at the top where you can enjoy your meals as you view the distant desert landscape. Bab El-Futuh (Gate of Conquest) is a massive arch carved from one single block of stone that marks the northern boundary of the old Fatimid City. The Gate of Conquest was constructed in the year 1089 to protect the city from the menace of the Turks.
When to visit
The best time to visit Cairo is during the winter from November to March, when the day is cool with temperatures of 25°C and the nights with 10°C with rains some times. The spring comes from March to May.
Cairo has a number of airports if you are traveling by air. Cairo international airport services Cairo’s business and tourists traffic with 3 airport terminals. The airport is located on the northern outskirts if the city centre. The airport receives flights from several international airports with Egypt air, star alliance, air France, Lufthansa, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, British Airways and many other airliners from the gulf and the Middle East.
There is a train that runs through Cairo with the terminal at Ramses station. You need to worry about the train schedules are they are always 15min late. You can also travel by bus, chauffeur driven car, hired private cars, or using the metro. Remember that Cairo is the gateway to many other interesting Egypt holidays and towns like Aswan, Luxor and the port town of Alexandria off the Mediterranean sea coast.
Cairo Hotels and accommodation
Cairo offers a wide range of accommodation from five star luxury Egypt hotels, standard four/three star hotels, budget hotel, guesthouses and self catering Egypt accommodation. Four Season hotel, Nile Grand Hyatt Cairo , Novotel Cairp Hotel and Ibertol Cairo Hotel among other Cairo Egypt hotels.