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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
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
#2
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
#3
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
#4
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
#5
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
#6
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
#7
Al-Fayoum (Faiyum)

Al-Fayoum (Faiyum)

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Al-Fayoum (Faiyum) is a city in Middle Egypt situated 100 kilometers southwest of Cairo. Al-Fayoum (Faiyum) is Egypt's largest oasis, measuring in at around 60 kilometers long and 70 kilometers wide. Founded in around 4000 BC, Faiyum is the oldest city in the country and is home to a number of important archaeological sites; the pharaohs built palaces here and the Greeks built temples.Rich in nature as well as history, al-Fayoum’s landscape extends to sand dunes, palm trees, lakes, and valleys. Home to an abundance of wildlife, Lake Qaroun is an important natural lake here, where locals and visitors gather for such activities as fishing, watersports, and birdwatching.The Valley of Whales is another main attraction in the area. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this valley was once a vast ocean that was home to a variety of marine life. Today, it is the site of many fossils and skeletons of extinct whales, along with some fascinating rock formations.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
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
#10
Pyramid of Djoser (Step Pyramid)

Pyramid of Djoser (Step Pyramid)

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Considered the original pyramid and the world’s earliest stone monument, the Pyramid of Djoser (Step Pyramid) is a highlight of any trip to Saqqara. Built in 2650 BC, it still stands proud over Saqqara, surrounded by the remains of ritual buildings.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
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
Great part day tour.
Michael, Jan 2022
Half Day Trip To Islamic Cairo
Taking a tour was easy way to see these sites that may otherwise be difficult to see.
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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
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
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
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Must do trip!
Jens_H, Jan 2022
Private Tour: Cairo Day Trip from Hurghada
We saw all the main attractions and they were soooo worth it.
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Loved it
Grace_T, Jan 2022
Camel Ride arround Pyramids of Giza
When I booked the tour, getting my picture taken was the last thing on my mind—so I couldn’t have anticipated just how fun and exciting it was to see those pictures!!
star-5
Nile Cruise is one of the things that are must to do in Egypt!
Danail_B, Jan 2022
4 Days Nile Cruise Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel with Train Tickets from Cairo
This could not be happened without the professionalism of the guide - Ismail Haroun (Egyptologist English tour guide) organizing the entire logistics during the cruise and tours, while giving comprehensive explanations presented in understandable way as fairy-tales.
star-5
Perfect adventure for those who want something a bit different
Wendy_G, Jan 2022
Valley of Whales and Wadi El Rayan Water Falls Day Tour from Cairo
We hit up the waterfall next -- it was nice, but not the focus of the tour.
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Trip in Luxor
kai_z, Jan 2022
Private Day Tour To Luxor From Marsa alam by private coach.special day
We are really enjoy it and we will come to visit Luxor with him again.
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2days overview in Cairo
Dennis_S, Dec 2021
All Inclusive 2-Day Private Tour to All Pyramids and Cairo and 2 evenings
First day on pyramids areas and second in the city to visit Cairo city main points os interest.
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Definitely worth it but check it's right for you.
Ameer_A, Dec 2021
4 nights Luxor and Aswan Nile cruise with Hot air balloon,Abu simbel from Luxor
Overall, I think this tour is the best way to see all the main sites south of Cairo and I would 100% recommend this to any family or solo traveller who wants to see all the sites in Egypt.

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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