By Zahra Al-Kateb
One of the most populated cities in the Middle East, Cairo truly is a city unlike any other. Having stood for nearly 1000 years, the city is a modern metropolis with an ancient past, with skyscrapers standing tall behind Giza’s ancient Pyramids. With a unique mix of old-world tradition and modern technology, Cairo is a fascinating city with something for everyone. We take a closer look at some of the best things to do in Cairo.
Admire the Pyramids in Giza
It goes without saying that the Pyramids are a must-see when in Cairo. Extraordinary in shape and size, they make for an awe-inspiring experience. One of the original Seven Wonders of the World, the ancient Pyramids have stood the test of time, having remained intact for almost 4,500 years. Inside the Great Pyramid, you’ll find The King’s Chamber, accessible to the public via the Robbers’ Tunnel.
Unsurprisingly, the Pyramids are one of the city’s most popular attractions and can get very busy, so avoid the rush (and the unrelenting heat) by heading out early, or enjoy the spectacular light show at night.
Visit Khan el-Khalili
No visit to Cairo is complete without a stop at Khan el-Khalili, one of the oldest markets in the world. Since 1392, this bazaar has sold everything – be it jewelry to spices to perfumes. Expect vendors – whose families have often worked in the market for generations – to call you to their stalls as you’re transported back in time to an old Arabian souk.
Visit Old Cairo (Coptic Cairo)
Old Cairo, also known as Coptic Cairo, encompasses many things, including the Babylon Fortress, the Coptic Museum, the Hanging Church and the Greek Church of St. George. A stronghold for Christianity up until the Islamic era, Old Cairo reflects the city’s diverse heritage and offers a serene spot for a moment of a reflection in this otherwise busy city.
Visit the Egyptian Museum
Home to over 107 chronologically divided halls, the Egyptian Museum can seem overwhelming – a tour guide is certainly recommended. The collection of historical artifacts unearthed by Howard Carter in 1922 includes everything from jewelry to mummies. The main attraction, the Tutankhamen exhibit, features treasures from King Tut’s tomb, including his golden funeral mask – probably the most recognized Egyptian relic ever made.