Cairo is the capital of Egypt and is well known for its long and rich history. Founded in 2000 BC, Cairo has the largest metropolitan area in the Middle East and is the centre of Egypt’s political and cultural life.
Top Places to Visit
Egyptian Antiquities Museum – This museum contains the most extensive collection of pharaonic antiquities in the world. It has 107 halls filled with artifacts from the prehistoric era to the roman period, with a focus on the era of the pharaohs. It houses approximately 160,000 objects covering 5,000 years of Egypt’s past. The exhibits include the treasures of Tutankhamun, royal mummies of the New Kingdom, and statuettes of divinities.
The museum is open daily from 9am to 7pm, except during Ramadan (for Ramadan dates look here) when it closes at 5pm. General admission is LE 60 and tickets for the royal mummies room are LE 100. Audio guides are available in English for LE 20 from the kiosk in the front foyer.
The Giza Pyramid Complex – The Great Pyramids of Giza is the most well-known Egyptian landmark and is a must-see. Khufu’s Pyramid, also known as the Great Pyramid of Giza, is one of the seven wonders of the world, and the only one still standing. This makes it a huge draw for tourists.
As well as the Great Pyramid, there are two other large pyramids, a number of smaller ‘queens’ pyramids and the Great Sphinx of Giza. The Sphinx is one of the world’s largest and oldest statues but little is known about its origins.
It’s recommended to hire a reputable guide in order to make the most of the experience as they will tell you about the history and features of the site and will also help you avoid being harassed by sellers and other guides.
Al-Azhar Park – Cairo is a very busy city and sometimes you just want to get away from all the hustle and bustle. This park offers a chance to escape from the noise and crowds while enjoying panoramic views of the city. The park also offers multiple places to have a drink or something to eat after walking around the extensive grounds.
It’s open from 9am until midnight and there’s a small entrance fee of LE 10 which helps keep most peddlers out of the park.
A Place to Stay
Four Seasons Hotel Cairo – This five star hotel is right by the River Nile with 221 of their 365 rooms and suites offering fantastic views over the river. The hotel’s spa includes a gym, salon, indoor pool and 3 heated rooftop pools.
For dining there are nine restaurants and lounges to choose from including Bella, an Italian restaurant with the flavours of Tuscany and 8, an authentic Chinese restaurant with a wide range of traditional dishes and Dim Sum every Friday. There’s also 24 hour room service if you would rather eat in your room.
A Place to Eat
Al Khal – This restaurant offers the finest traditional Egyptian dishes with a modern twist, such as stuffed vine leaves served with beef knuckles. As part of the Intercontinental Citystars hotel this restaurant is often rated as one of the best Egyptian restaurants in Cairo. The atmosphere is welcoming and it opens out onto the pool area of the hotel.
It’s open from 1pm to 1am and an example menu can be found here. You may want to reserve a table ahead of time, especially if you are part of a large party, in order to avoid disappointment.