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Cairo travel guide

Cairo is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Whether you’re a tourist or just passing through, make sure to find out all there is to know about Cairo in our travel guide. Cairo is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city that has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to explore the ancient ruins, take in some of the world’s best shopping or savor some delicious Egyptian cuisine, this Cairo travel guide will have you covered.Why do tourists visit Cairo?

There are two sides to Cairo – the city’s residents embrace their history and rejoice in their progress. The ancient pyramids of Giza, Dahshur, and Saqqara clash with the trendy bars of the Zamalek and Heliopolis neighborhoods for attention. The imposing structures stand out against the modern buildings, clinging to their status as ancient relics. Meanwhile, in the nearby districts of Riad el-Solh and Zamalek, sleek lounges and bars draw in crowds with their hip atmospheres. It’s hard to find a spot that isn’t packed on any given night. The traditional Islamic call to prayer can be heard simultaneously with vibrant lounge music and lively banter. It’s a place where the old and new constantly collide.

Cairo is a city that is constantly evolving. It is a place where the ancient and the modern mix together to create a unique experience. The pyramids of Giza, Dahshur, and Saqqara are some of the most famous landmarks in the world, and they are a constant reminder of the city’s rich history. In Cairo, there is something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history or nightlife, there is something for you. The city is constantly changing, and that is what makes it so special.

How many tourists visit cairo each year?

There is no definitive answer to this question as tourism figures vary from year to year and according to different sources. However, it is safe to say that there are millions of tourists who visit Cairo each year.

The best time to visit Cairo

If you’re planning a trip between December and February, you can expect the busiest months to be in Egypt’s capital. The days are warm and sunny, making it enjoyable to walk around, and the evenings are cool and breezy, providing relief from the scorching sun. Although prices for hotels may be cheaper during the summer months, many tourists find that battling the heat is not worth saving money on accommodation.

Culture and Customs of Cairo

Ramadan in Cairo is a time of peace and tranquility, but it’s also lively and exciting at night. Thousands of people go out to eat during the evening call to prayer, and there are free concerts all night long. It can be hard to find food or drink during the daytime, but if you adjust your schedule and fast during the nighttime, everything will be okay.

Visitors to Egypt should be aware that the country is a Muslim nation and as such, some cultural norms may need to be adapted. Men and women should dress conservatively when visiting religious sites, and shoes should be removed before entering a place of worship or a local home. Public drunkenness and displays of affection are generally frowned upon in Egypt. Furthermore, it is polite to offer a seat or a place to stand when meeting someone, and it is considered impolite to refuse. In brief, visitors to Cairo should be aware of the local customs and be respectful of them.

The best things to do and see in Cairo

Travelers looking for an adventure will want to explore the ancient Pyramids of Giza. Just a short drive away lies the bustling city of Cairo, where you’ll find historic mosques, churches, and markets. But if you’re looking to learn more about Egyptian culture, don’t miss the Egyptian Museum — it’s home to some of the most precious treasures excavated from across Egypt.

Visit a souk

I love exploring the markets and discovering the local products. It’s a part of the adventure to navigate and start conversation with local vendors, and at the end of the trip, my bag is always full of souvenirs and treats.

Visit the Pyramids and Great Sphinx

The Pyramids of Giza are a must-see for anyone visiting Cairo, and are definitely worth adding to your bucket list. The ancient structures sit right outside the city, making them easy to see and allowing you to get a sense of the enormity of these once-mighty monuments.

Great Pyramid of Khufu

The east side of the Great Pyramid is home to a ruined structure from a different era. King Farouk’s Rest House was built in 1946 by Mustafa Fahmy and now it’s an unfortunate shambles, but there’s a good view of the city from the adjacent yard and in mid-2017 the government announced that it had been pegged for restoration. Along the pyramid’s east face, three small structures resembling piles of rubble can be seen. These are new additions to the site that were unveiled in 2017, and they mark where archaeologists believe King Khufu may have started his construction project on this side of the pyramid.

Pyramid of Menkaure

If you venture outside of the pyramid complex, you’ll find fascinating ruins from Menkaure’s Funerary Temple and Valley Temple. To the south is a set of queens’ pyramids, each one worth exploring if you have the time. If you’re looking for a more scenic adventure, horse and camel touts will likely be waiting to tempt you into the desert for some amazing photo ops!

Cheops Boat Museum

Immediately south of the Great Pyramid is this beautiful museum where one object on display is one of Cheops’ five solar barques, buried near his pyramid and unearthed in 1954.
This huge, stunning ancient boat was painstakingly restored from 1200 pieces of Lebanese cedar and encased in this museum to protect it from the weather. Visitors must help by wearing protective footwear to keep sand out, and enjoy the experience while preserving this important artifact.

Wissa Wassef Art Centre

To get to Wissa Wassef Art Centre, take a Saqqara-bound microbus or taxi from Pyramids Rd at Maryutia Canal. Get off the bus when you see the blue Harraniyya sign. After about 3.5 kilometers, and about 600 meters after the turn away from the flyover, the center is by the canal on the west side of the road.

Western Cemetery

At the northern end of the Western Cemetery, lies the Tomb of Senegemib-Inti. This impressive tomb contains intriguing inscriptions, including a menacing hippopotamus with massive muscles.

Egyptian Museum: Phaoronic Treasures

Mummies, sarcophagi, masks and hieroglyphs line these galleries. Some of the nation’s colorful history is on display in stunning contrast to the dusty tombs where it came from. The highlight of the collection is Tutankhamen’s mask, made out of pure gold.

Explore Khan el-Khalili

The Khan el-Khalili market is a vast and sprawling labyrinth of stalls selling all sorts of wares, from antique shops to estate sales to workshops that make leather-bound notebooks.
It can be difficult to find what you’re looking for, but if you let yourself get lost in the market for a few hours, you’ll be sure to find some excellent deals. If you do want to buy something, however, be prepared to haggle hard – prices here are usually significantly lower than in other tourist traps.

If you’re a history buff, head to the top attraction – Tutankhamun’s tomb. There you can admire his boy king mask and sarcophagus, both of which are incredibly intricate and beautiful specimens. If shopping is your thing, then Khan el-Khalili Bazaar is definitely worth visiting – it has been in business since the 14th century and has something for everyone! And if architecture is your thing, don’t miss the Pyramids of Giza – Uber there will get you there quickly and without all the hassle.

Citadel Of Saleh Ad-Din

The Citadel of Saleh Ad-Din is a beautiful medieval Islamic fortress located right in the heart of Cairo. It was built under the reign of Saleh Ad-Din, a Kurdish Sunni, who served as the first sultan of Egypt & Syria under the Ayubbid Dynasty. The Citadel was once the seat of power in Egypt and housed its rulers from the 13th to 19th centuries. Don’t miss the Mosque of Mohammed Ali Pasha inside the citadel, as well as the Hypostyle Mosque of al-Nasir Muhammad and Suleyman Pasha Mosque.

Enjoy the view of the pyramids by staying the night in Giza

If you’re planning to visit the pyramids in Giza, it’s best to stay overnight near the site. The drive from central Cairo can be a nightmare, with hours-long traffic jams on busy days. If you’re really determined to make it there, consider staying at a hotel in Giza instead of staying in central Cairo. This way, you’ll have more time to explore the site and avoid the crowds.

What to eat in Cairo

The Egyptian diet is based upon bread, rice, and vegetables. Fish from the Nile River is also a popular dish on restaurant menus. To sample Egyptian dishes like Aish Baladi (a pita-bread sandwich filled with chicken), Hamam Mahshi (rice-stuffed pigeon), and Moulukhia (rabbit or chicken stew with garlic and mallow), dine at restaurants like Abou El Sid and Felfela.

In Zamalek, an enclave in Cairo filled with pretty homes and gardens, you can find some of the most beloved Egyptian dishes. Hummus, baba ganoush and baklava are all popular here, but don’t miss locally-made versions like taameya made with fava beans instead of chickpeas, or tagines served with a creamy béchamel for added flavor and comfort.

There are so many great restaurants in Cairo that it can be hard to decide what to eat. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or you’ve been to Cairo before, there is definitely a place for everyone to enjoy something delicious.

Is Cairo safe for tourists?

While there have been sporadic terrorist attacks in Cairo in recent years, the city is generally safe for tourists. Make sure to take the usual precautions, such as not wearing flashy jewelry or carrying large amounts of money, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Don’t let a scamartist take advantage of your excitement at a popular attraction. Be sure to keep an eye out for people who are trying to sell you something unnecessary or overpriced, and avoid interacting with them if possible.

Egypt Tourist Guide Ahmed Hassan
Introducing Ahmed Hassan, your trusted companion through the wonders of Egypt. With an unquenchable passion for history and an extensive knowledge of Egypt’s rich cultural tapestry, Ahmed has been delighting travelers for over a decade. His expertise extends beyond the famed pyramids of Giza, offering a profound understanding of hidden gems, bustling bazaars, and serene oases. Ahmed’s engaging storytelling and personalized approach ensure each tour is a unique and immersive experience, leaving visitors with lasting memories of this captivating land. Discover the treasures of Egypt through Ahmed’s eyes and let him unveil the secrets of this ancient civilization for you.

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