You can do many things in Cairo which is one of the world’s great megacities. It enjoys historic finery and it is rich with many beautiful landmarks. You will witness the history that spans centuries as the most famous monumental places are located in Cairo such as Pyramids of Giza, Sphinx and many museums such as the Egyptian Museum and the Coptic Museum, many palaces like Mohamed Ali Palace and other uncountable great places. This article illustrates what you can do in your Cairo visit including unique things, adventurous things, relaxing things in addition to things to do at night.

Unique Things

Visiting the Pyramids of Giza & the Sphinx

Enjoy your visit to Cairo by going to many unique places experiencing different things such as visiting the Pyramids of Giza which are of the seven wonders of the ancient world; they are the great massive structures which are considered one of the most glorious monuments in Egypt built nearly 7000 years ago.

You can go inside the Great Pyramid but take care of the atmosphere inside. If you want to take a perfect shot for you with the pyramids, climb a small hill on the other side of the pyramids; it is a little bit high but you can take an unforgettable shot.

Now, gaze at the Sphinx and try to discover this mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a human facing directly from West to East. It is said that it symbolizes the guard over the Giza plateau, and it is also said that it resembles a portrait of Pharaoh Khafre. Anyway, you will admire its magnificence. You can ride a camel or a horse around the pyramids and the sphinx taking memorable photos.dmi

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Visiting Museums

Egyptian Museum

During your Cairo excursion, let’s take you to some majestic museums.

Firstly, you can visit the Egyptian Museum which contains more than 120 thousand artifacts. It has 2 main floors; the first one contains heavy monuments such as tombs and statues; however, the second floor contains a different collection of monuments; most importantly, King Tutankhamun’s collection, Tanis treasures, as well as  grave goods, mummies, jewelry, eating bowls and toys of Egyptians whose names are lost to history. Your tour in the Egyptian Museum will take you to an adventure through time.

Coptic Museum

If you want to watch the world’s largest collection of Coptic artifacts and artwork, go to the Coptic Museum where you find great Coptic monuments presenting a rich mixture of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman traditions.

The Coptic Museum ‎ was founded in 1908, it contains the Coptic art from the earliest days of Christianity in Egypt; these Coptic artifacts were painstakingly conserved. You will wonder from what you will see as the woodcarving in all the galleries is very professional and stunning. You will need much time to explore that ancient spectacular museum.

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Museum of Islamic Arts

It is one of the greatest museums in the world with more than 100,000 objects on display. It includes many pieces that are from throughout the Islamic world and from the 7th century to the end of the 19th century.

The museum objects are displayed in 25 halls and an archaeological garden. There are also sections of objects displayed according to the type of art such as funeral art, epigraphy, calligraphy, glassware, metalwork and astronomy.

The Islamic Museum has witnessed a major renovation from 2003 until 2010.

Gayer-Anderson Museum

It was a house of Gayer Anderson, a British doctor in the Egyptian civil service. The house was transformed into a museum in 1937 by the Egyptian government to be a well-preserved example of early Ottoman domestic architecture.

When you are wandering in that museum, you feel that you are in a historical house as it is full of a vast collection of furniture, carpets, curio, and other objects. You can see the birthing chairs and ethnomedical equipment belonged to Gayer-Anderson.

The museum is also considered to be an excellent example of Muslim domestic architecture. The museum is situated adjacent to the Mosque of Ahmad ibn Tulun in Al Sayyida Zeinab neighborhood.

The Agricultural Museum

The Agricultural Museum is considered to be a place that documents Egypt’s agricultural history. It consists of many pieces, plants and displays that explain the history of Cairo’s agricultural industry, starting from the Pharaonic era. It also includes rare plants, many ancient tools dating back 15 thousand years, as well as several paintings displaying the ancient suburbs of Egypt. This great museum is located in Dokki and it also functions as an Agricultural Culture Centre.

Umm Kalthoum Museum

If you love Umm Kalthoum and you were one of the fans of her songs, you will enjoy going to Umm Kalthoum Museum. Umm Kalthoum Museum is a part of Manasterly Palace which is situated in Al-Malk Al-Saleh St. in Al-Rouda.

The museum contains some personal things that belonged to Umm Kalthoum such as clothes, accessories, bags, shoes, etc. You will also see some musical instruments and rare recordings. Besides, you can watch parts of her movies and concerts in Egypt and the Arab world ending with her funeral; besides, you can discover some of Umm Kalthoum’s life through watching a documentary about her in the cinema hall which is a part of the museum.

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Visiting Historical Sites

Saqqara Pyramids

Saqqara pyramids are unknown well like Giza Pyramids; however, they are a very significant historical landmark in Egypt. Saqqara has a significant archeological site that contains burials dating from the beginning of the Old Kingdom up through the Greek Period of Egyptian history.

Saqqara was also the necropolis for the ancient capital city of Memphis during the Old Kingdom period. You will see there the prime ministers tomb, a queen pyramid, the tomb of a prince, mastaba (flat-roofed rectangular mud-brick tombs) and the most notable structure there; the Step Pyramid, which is known as Djoser’s Step Pyramid. It was one of the earliest stone-complex built in the world.

Memphis

Memphis was the Old Kingdom and the Capital of Egypt founded by the pharaoh Menes. Today, you can only see its ruins together with the Giza Pyramids. The old city had a very important position in the ancient world because of its location at the Nile delta. Nowadays, you can enjoy seeing many structures and sculptors discovered from an excavation on Memphis in the open-air Memphis Museum in Mit Rahina; the modern town in the area. The museum displays several remains such as the remains Temple of Ptah, a small sphinx, the Colossus of Rameses and other temples.

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Historical and Sacred (Religious) Sites

Salah Addin Citadel

Salah Addin Citadel is one of the greatest monuments you can see in the world which is non-pharaonic. The Citadel has an impressive fortress, grand gateways, towers and high defending walls. The great citadel contains several prominent structures such as Muhammad Ali Mosque,  a carriage museum, a military museum, a garden museum and Gawhara Palace (the Jewel Palace), named after Gawhara Hanem who was Muhammad Ali’s last wife. Salah Addin Citadel is located on Mokattam Hill. Do not miss the wonderful view from the top of the citadel.

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Visiting Religious Sites

Mosques

Al Azhar Mosque

It is a famous mosque built on the Ottoman style. The mosque was commissioned by Muhammad Ali Pasha from 1805 to 1849. The mosque has a fabulously decorated ceiling, hanging globe lamps and a large interior. When you enter the mosque, you can see the place where Muhammad Ali was buried at the white marble monument. In the country yard of the mosque, you can see an ablution fountain. There is a distinctive silhouette with twin minarets and great cascading domes ornamenting the mosque.

Al Hakem Mosque

Al Hakem Mosque is the second largest Fatimid mosque in Cairo which construction was commissioned by Al-Hakim Bi-Amr Allah. The mosque is located near Bab al-Futuh on Al-Mo’ez Street.  It has an elegant gateway entrance and a great courtyard. It consists of an irregular rectangle with four arcades surrounding the courtyard. It has grand three domes and a prayer hall that contains a central nave where the mihrab has a dome and varied coloring marble.

Al Hussien Mosque

During your round in Khan al Khalili, do not miss visiting Al Hussien Mosque; one of the most popular mosques in Cairo that many people from far ways come especially to it.  The mosque sometimes used by Egyptian presidents and dignitaries for prayers on official occasions. The main minaret of the mosque is fantastic as its panels were carved to have the shape of the arabesque wood. In the mosque, you can see the wooden tomb that holds Al Hussien; it is ornamented with the sophisticated Islamic carvings. The mosque also has many valuable religious items including the oldest known copy of a complete Quran manuscript.

Hanging Church

The Hanging Church is also called the Suspended Church or Al-Moallaqa. The Hanging Church is a unique church that has a wooden roof in the shape of Noah’s ark.  It was built on the southern gate of the Roman Fortress; so that, it was named “Hanging”.

You will enjoy every step in this superb structure as you will enter the church through an ornate gateway into a courtyard with beautiful mosaics. The decorations of the complicated patterns on the wall will surprise you and the painting of the Virgin Mary related to a famous local legend will shake you up as well. Moreover, there is a distinctive wooden sanctuary screen decorated with geometric patterns in ivory and ebony and topped with precious icons.

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Ben Ezra Synagogue

Here you are in the most vivid outdoor market in Cairo. The displayed exhibits will motivate you to buy some souvenirs. You will almost find everything there including a class of sales of souvenirs, spices, perfumes jewelry besides things that remind you of Cairo such as camel toys, alabaster pyramids and Egyptian folklore clothes.  There are always who help you but be careful from the vendors as although they want to show good hospitality to you, they are also very talky and want you to buy anything. It is impressing to know that this market was established in the 14th century and continued till now.

Wandering in Al Moaz Street

Today Ben Ezra Synagogue is a historical monument and the most-visited Jewish site in Cairo. Ben Ezra Synagogue was originally a church built in the 8th century, named El Shamieen Church. It is often referred to as the El-Geniza Synagogue. It is located behind the hanging church. The synagogue has a copy of the Old Testament written by Ezra. The Synagogue of Ben Ezra was built on a basilica-style; it has two floors, the lower one for men and the upper one for women. The main floor is divided into three parts by steel bars. Geometric and floral patterns of the Turkish style ornament the synagogue.

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Going to Khan al Khalili

Walking in Al Moaz Street will take you on a trip to the Old Cairo feeling a historic atmosphere. Al Moaz Street is one of the most significant places you should visit in your Cairo tour; you will see stores built based on the ancient old fashioned architecture. You will enjoy your every step in this street watching colorful shops selling African spices, old antiques, clothing and perfumes.

Besides, wandering in Al Moaz Street will fascinate you with the Islamic art carved into the historic mosques and houses; for example, Al Hakem Mosque which has a prayer hall that has arcades supported by compound piers. Moreover, you can go to Bayt Al-Suhaymi; the home which has many windows that you can see them all from outside the house.

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Besides, wandering in Al Moaz Street will fascinate you with the Islamic art carved into the historic mosques and houses; for example, Al Hakem Mosque which has a prayer hall that has arcades supported by compound piers. Moreover, you can go to Bayt Al-Suhaymi; the home which has many windows that you can see them all from outside the house.

Adventurous Things

Zip Lining and High Ropes in Moqattam

For adventure lovers, there are many activities to do in Cairo such as zip lining and high ropes. High up your adrenaline by experiencing zip lining and high ropes in the heart of Moqattam. Zip Lining is a high tower that you climb sliding through the air on a rope. Then, you can try high ropes; it is about walking on a wooden bridge with ropes. You can high up to the highest point to enjoy the view. Do not worry about the equipment because they have all the safety ones.

Kayaking

If you want to feel the adventure and enjoy a relaxed view, go to Nile Kayaking Club. There are two branches of Nile Kayaking Club in Cairo; Muhammad Ali Royal Club at Manial Shiha and Platform Maadi. You can enjoy there the different packages offered by the club such as sightseeing, island-hopping and coffee stops.

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Kayaking

Hiking

If you want to escape from the crowded Cairo streets, hike in Wadi Degla Protectorate which is located in the Maadi district. It is about 30 kilometers in length. You will be amazed by the canyons formed by the rainwater. You will see different kinds of animals such as dear, mountain rabbits, red foxes as well as some insect and reptile species.

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Relaxing Things

Visiting Cairo Tower

If you want to see Cairo from the top feeling that you are flying in the Cairo sky, go to Cairo tower. Cairo tower was built in 1961 and it has been the tallest structure in Egypt and North Africa for about 50 years. It is an outstanding landmark which highs 187 meters. If you carefully look at its shape, you will find it resembles a lotus plant. There, of course, you will find many special restaurants and cafes.

Going to Zamalek Aquarium Grotto

The aquarium grotto garden is located in an adorable garden on Zamalek Island, in the Nile River in the middle of Cairo. The garden has beautiful caves that contained several aquariums with living fish but later on, no fishes remain alive. However, you can enjoy the awesome caves in the park wandering among trees and empty tanks with stuffed fish and fish preserved in glass. The garden is really a place for relaxation that is away from the chaos of the Cairo streets. Do not miss an event that is usually held every weekend, whether a festival, a Christmas market or a bazaar.

Going to Muhammad Ali Club

Muhammad Ali Club has a wonderful garden and palm trees that surround all the area down to the Nile. There is also a villa in the club with a pool that you can rent it and have a nice day use. Many people make their weddings there because of this greenery Nile view. Moreover, you will enjoy the parties held in the club by some bands.

Relaxing at the Windsor Hotel

If you are looking for a quiet place to stay in, relax at the Windsor Hotel which is a luxurious tranquil royal place. It is amidst the downtown Cairo; it is a structure that has a rich history of good hospitality. Its location is wonderful as it is near many celebrated attractions such as the Egyptian Museum, Opera Square, Khan al Khalili Bazaar, Abdine Palace and the River Nile. Besides, the Main Railway station and the Cairo Metro (subway) are easily accessible from the hotel. This imperial hotel recently has played a role in a number of Egyptian and Holly wood movies.

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Things to Do at Night

The Sound & Light Shows at Giza Pyramids

Prepare yourself after the sunset to enjoy the magical Sound & Light Shows at the Giza Pyramids. The show presents you with the creativity of the ancient Egyptians. The colored lights and the recorded voices narrating the history of the pyramids and Sphinx will make you see the pyramids in a different way feeling that you are a part of this narrated history.

Nile Cruises

Finalize your Cairo tour in a Nile Cruise ship at night enjoying the Nile river view and the calm weather. This Nile cruise tours usually present folklore dance shows, belly dancing shows and colorful tannoura spin. You can also take your dinner on the ship; many restaurants offer open buffet dinners on board such as Nile Crystal.

To conclude, there are several things to do in Cairo whether you are an Egyptian citizen or a tourist. Visiting the landmarks of Cairo such as Giza Pyramids will enjoy you and makes you involved in history. If you are one of the culture lovers, you can go to historical and religious sites such as Memphis and Al Azhar Mosque. If you want to experience adventure things, many places are achieving your wish like Kayaking clubs and zip lining places. Even if you want just to relax, you can easily do that by going to places like Nile River ship or Nile River Restaurant or a club or a hotel.  Therefore, we can say that Cairo is the most suitable place to enjoy your holiday.

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