The 7 Best Things to Do In Cairo, Egypt

The 7 Best Things to Do In Cairo, Egypt

The capital of Egypt is a intriguing metropolis with many distinct faces. On the one side, it is steeped in history, its own foundations of the 10th century pre-datedby ancient landmarks in neighboring Giza and Saqqara. On the other hand, it is sleekly cosmopolitan, with a worldwide culinary scene and world-class art galleries, concert venues and shopping centers. Mosques dominate some parts of the town, while others are presided over by synagogues and coptic churches. Whatever your interests, there’s one thing for sure for everyone in Cairo.

1- Explore the Egyptian Museum’s Treasures

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The Egyptian Museum, located in downtown Cairo, should be the first port of call for any visitor interested in the ancient history of the country. It has been a repository for artifacts uncovered at iconic archeological locations like the Kings Valley and Luxor since 1902. Today, more than 100,000 objects crammed into the 160,000-square-foot space are somewhat overcrowded. But when these objects include Tutankhamun’s treasures and the mummies of renowned pharaohs, it hardly matters the ramshackle atmosphere. It will be open at 9:00 a.m. 120 Egyptian pounds per adult per day.

2- Have bird’s eye view from Cairo Tower
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Cairo Tower was finished in 1961 using resources donated by the U.S. government to President Nasser as an incentive to promote their political agenda. Nasser instead used the cash to construct the tower as a sign of Arab opposition. It presides over Gezira Island today and is the tallest building in North Africa at 614 feet (187 metres). Check out the mosaics in the lobby depicting the former United Arab Republic landmarks. At the top of the tower, an observation deck and a revolving restaurant offer amazing 360-degree town panoramas. Tickets are priced at 60 pounds per individual in Egypt.

3- Plan day trip to the Giza Pyramids

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The most recognizable landmark in Egypt, the Giza Pyramids, lies on the outskirts of the capital. Here you will discover three distinct pyramid complexes including Khufu’s Great Pyramid, the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still standing today. The Giza Pyramids date back about 4,500 years to the fourth dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, and stand as a monumental reminder of the incredible ability of their ancient architects. The Sphinx lies in front of the pyramids, carved from a single block of stone. Book a tour with a professional Egyptologist to make the most of your trip.

4- Enjoy an evening at the Opera House in Cairo

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Located close the southern end of Gezira Island, the Cairo Opera House is the most renowned venue for performing arts in the city. In addition to hosting touring ensembles from abroad, it is home to a long list of resident businesses including the Cairo Opera Company, the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, and the Cairo Opera Ballet Company. Performances take place in one of seven distinct areas, varying from the Main Hall to the atmospheric open-air theater with seating for more than 1,200 individuals. Check the website of the venue for up-to-date listings of what’s going on during your visit.

5- Marvel at the Coptic Museum’s Christian Artifacts

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The Coptic Museum next door to the Hanging Church houses the Christian antiquities of Egypt. These include burial stelae, frescoes, manuscripts and religious icons, as well as several Coptic palaces ‘ painted wooden ceilings. Many of the best paintings and reliefs in the museum document the movement of ancient painters to inspirations taken from scripture away from Greco-Roman influences. Look out for the Pulpit of Jeremiah, a fabulously decorated ambon rescued from a neighboring Saqqara monastery, the ancient Memphis necropolis. The museum is open from 9:00am to 5:00pm and it charges 40 pounds of Egyptian entry.

6- Sample of authentic local cuisine

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The eclectic restaurant scene in Cairo features cuisine from around the world, but don’t forget to try Egypt’s own homegrown favourites while you’re there. Local top-rated restaurants include Abou Tarek in downtown Cairo and Zööba in Zamalek. The former is a cult icon featured by CNN with only one product on the menu: koshary. Koshary is an Egyptian staple consisting of blended macaroni, rice and lentils covered with tomato / vinegar sauce and crispy fried onions. Zööba also provides a gourmet version of koshary and other traditional Egyptian street food, including baladi bread and ful (slow-cooked fava beans).

7- Extend your journey with cruise on the Nile

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The Nile, the longest river in the globe, has served since ancient times as the lifeblood of every Egyptian civilization. Book a cruiseupon its busy waters to get a feeling of its timeless grandeur. Options vary from a romantic sunset cruise on a traditional felucca to a multi-day journey to Luxor stopping by renowned attractions like the Kings Valley, Karnak and Dendara. The latter option is a great addition to a city break in Cairo, allowing you to see the best of the past and present of Egypt in a single vacation.

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