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7 Best Cairo Attractions

The holidays have come, and you are planning a trip to one of the oldest places on earth, now it is a modern metropolis, a city full of ancient archaeological sites and skyscraper hotels, looking up to the sky, a city where the old most ordinary spice and incense market is adjacent to the quarter of modern technologies, a city where there is the world's largest museum of its own relics, which were pretty much plundered by various colonists in different centuries. Probably, it is already clear that we are talking about the capital of Egypt - the city of Cairo.

But why act on your own and waste precious time developing a trip itinerary to Egypt? Wouldn't it be better to hire a local private tour guide in Cairo? There are so many of them here, they speak different languages, yours is sure to be among them, they are well educated and versed in archeology, just like a modern European citizen in varieties of sausages in the window of a home supermarket. So that you can enjoy every second of your vacation, just not wasting time looking for the most important sights of the city you are planning to go to. We suggest you spend 5 minutes and find a personal tour guide on our website who will take all the worries about organizing and conducting your vacation!

Individual tour guides can be of great help!

A private tour guide will tell you things about the city of Cairo that you might not be able to find on the internet. Or if you have already visited Cairo before, but did not find out the most interesting! After all, Cairo is not only the pyramids in Giza (it’s not even in Cairo at all but on its outskirts) - and here is the first funny detail about Cairo - by today, urban construction of residential buildings has come tight to the Giza plateau, on which, in fact, the famous Egyptian pyramids stand, and the nearest modern condominium ready for occupancy is now only 200 meters from the Sphinx…. Do you have the desire to admire the huge stone cat every day - the most replicated monument of ancient Egyptian architecture? But these are all jokes, and we will return to Cairo, which is not only cruises on the Nile, about which Agatha Christie wrote so well in her chilling novel. And if, for example, you replace a 5-star rever-cruise ship and go along the same Nile in a fragile boat led by your individual tour guide and look at evening Cairo from the water? This metropolis, like any major city in the world with a population of more than 15 million people, is an atmosphere, not trampled tourist trails and crowded souvenir shops, but also a lot of not very widely advertised places, and this makes it even more attractive!

A talented tour guide will conduct an individual exploration of the city for you in accordance with your wishes! If you have planned to go to the city of ancient Egypt - Cairo, then take a look at this article and find out the best sights of this ancient city. There will be 7 of them today, and why we will tell you at the end!

"Cairo" means the city of victory, the capital of Egypt, and the third largest city in Africa after Lagos and Kinshasa. This city is the heart of Egypt and home to an intriguing mixture of quirky folklore, religions, and state-of-the-art technology. Cairo is considered a unique metropolis in the world, in 2021 it was visited by more than 10 million tourists from all over the world. It is beautiful and as ironic in historical regalia as it is dilapidated.

1. Egyptian Museum

What didn't you expect? Do you think again about the old and boring? But excuse me, how can you get around and not notice such an obvious landmark of the city? Yes, Egyptian museums exist almost on every continent, if not more! But did you know that the Egyptian Museum in Cairo is the largest of all the Egyptian Museums around the world?

This mini-town within Cairo is full of antiques and is located next to Midan Tahrir, in the center of Cairo. The museum opened in 1902. It consists of 107 consecutively divided mansions, which display mummies, jewelry, and other antiques from the primitive era. The gallery of relics is overwhelming not only because they are of archaeological value, but because the number of objects presented in it is confusing. It would take a lifetime to see everything in the exhibition. If by that time you are already tired, make an ant queue directly to the galleries of Tutankhamun. There, you can see highlights including Tutankhamun's death mask and coffin, the pharaoh's lion throne, and his charming clothing collection. After that, do not miss the collection of Egyptian jewelry, which contains the most charming things that you have ever seen in your life - dear ladies, after the museum, your gentlemen will buy you Egyptian jewelry no worse in the antique or simple shops adjacent to the museum… Let’s cross our fingers!

The museum consists of seven sections listed below:

Treasures of Tutankhamen
Monuments of the pre-dynastic era and the Ancient Empire
Cenotaphs of the Current Kingdom
Monuments of the late period, Greek, and Roman periods
The First Intermediate Age and the cenotaphs of the Middle Kingdom
Coins and papyrus
Caskets

​​​ 

2. Old Cairo

It is also known as Coptic Cairo, founded in 1908. It displays the history of the Christian religion in Egypt and is housed in a beautiful establishment that even allows access to a Roman tower called the Water Gate. For many travelers, the real highlight of a stop in old Cairo is the Church of Bacchus and Saint Sergius, where the Infant Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and family took refuge during the massacre of the male babies. Walking forward into the next block, you will see the Ben-Ezra Synagogue, built near the place where the Infant Moses was found. Outside in the quarter is the earliest mosque built in Egypt, called the Mosque of Amr Ibn al-As.

Be careful when moving between the sights of the city, but here an experienced private tour guide who knows the routes and knows how to navigate the road in this city will help you out, because - attention, another funny episode - there are only 9 traffic lights for the whole of Cairo, all drivers without exception, they DO NOT follow ANY traffic rules and calmly drive through an intersection at a red light! No jokes!

3. Felucca ride on the Nile

One adventurous way to experience the Nile River is to sail a Felucca. This is a flat Egyptian traditional sailboat that glides along the river throughout the city. This is the most romantic adventure you can take on the Nile. Well, something like a gondola along the Grand Canal in Venice .... Well, almost ... Well, if you turn on the imagination ...

4. Pyramids and Sphinx

No trip is complete without a visit to Giza to gawk at its vast ancient monuments. Although they are incredibly crowded, they provide an unforgettable spectacle. Don't forget to bring water and sunscreen with you as this outdoor area is always under the scorching sun. But since this is outside of the main city, we will not linger on this familiar point on the map, although we will return to it again at the end of the article, sorry.

5. Gate of Bab Zuweila

In Cairo, next to the Saeed al-Hussein Mosque, there is a lively street market full of treasures. This market has a gate called Bab Zuweila dating back to the 11th-12th century. This is the only remaining gate that surrounded the gray-haired city. These gates are an important reminder of the ancient origins of the city.

One of the 2 minarets that previously made up the very gates of Bab Zuweila, which, among the other two remaining and preserved to this day, was part of a large defensive protective wall that surrounded old Cairo.

6. One of the unique and rather young religious centers of Cairo is the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary and St. Simon the Tanner, which opened in 1974 in St. Saman

The Monastery of Tanners is located on the banks of the Nile, where the center is, but behind the village of Zabbalin. It is famous for being home to the garbage collectors of Cairo. It is also called the Scavenger City. Its population consists mainly of Egyptian Christians - Copts, who actually collect garbage and waste from all over Mega Cairo and sort it for recycling use. Waste is everywhere here among the ugly residential buildings, on the roofs, and in the yards, spreading the fetid smell of rot around the block. This is considered quite a decent family business here, which brings its activists quite large, by local standards, income. And at the highest point of the City of Scavengers, a modern temple-religious complex, richly decorated and well-equipped, was built - the Cathedral, which is located in a cave under a rock and can accommodate up to 20 thousand parishioners.

In 1969, the governor of Cairo decided to transfer all the garbage collectors, and there are approximately 15,000 of them, to another area - Mukattam. Getting to the monastery is not easy, you have to make your way through the village of Zabbaleen, but here you will really need a local personal tour guide because he will be able to show the route and negotiate with the locals, if necessary. It is also recommended to take pictures carefully or even better to ask permission, and for a very symbolic fee of a few cents, you will be allowed to do this!


 

7. Mosque

Al-Hussein Mosque, located in the vicinity of Midan al-Hussein, is one of the most sacred and beautiful mosques in Cairo. It is believed that the Mosque is one of the few examples of Fatimid architecture and dates back to the 11th century. High vaulted ceilings, gray marble columns, and hanging chandeliers are truly the most mesmerizing details to appreciate. Ismail Pasha in the 19th century reconstructed the mosque according to the fashionable at that time and so beloved by him ... neo-Gothic style! Well, why not a paradox? But due to that, a new architectural style appeared in the history of architecture, which became known as Islamic eclecticism. Unfortunately, non-Muslim tourists can only enjoy the exterior of this mosque, as the entrance to the inside is closed to them.

Probably, the reader will be interested in why we chose exactly 7 sights of Cairo ... And this is not just so, because in ancient Egypt the number "7" meant the fusion of spirit (Three) and matter (Four). One of the traditional shapes that perfectly illustrates the meaning of the number 7 is none other than the Egyptian pyramid itself, which consists of a square base, symbolizing the FOUR elements, and triangular THREE sides, symbolizing the spirit soaring up! In my opinion, this is a good excuse for choosing exactly 7 sights of Cairo.

Imam Hussein Hadith inscription, Al-Hussein Mosque, Cairo. 

Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim (In the name of God the most merciful)
Blessings of God and peace be on our Lord Muhammad and his kin
The messenger of God peace be upon him said:
Hussain is of me, and I'm from him
He who loves Hussein shall be loved by God
Hussein is one of my branches
"The messenger of God surely spoke the truth"
This Hadith is sahih (correct) told by imam Bukhari in his work "Al-Adab Al-Mufrad" and imam termed. .. (rest unclear).

And here's another funny and important for newcomers episode about Cairo as we promised at the beginning - your plane will land at the Cairo airport using a glide path that passes directly over the Egyptian pyramids in Giza, so we recommend that you sit closer to the window and get your camera ready, because from the height of the plane the pyramids look completely different, than from the ground. And it is such a rarity to look at them unusually from the bottom up, but vice versa - from the top down! What fun!

We hope that our short article will arouse your interest in Cairo and Egypt even more, and your next trip will be there. And it's worth it, if only because the Egyptians often call Cairo مصر ‎ (Masr), that is, almost the same word as the whole country of Egypt (Misr), they are identical - CAIRO = EGYPT - after all, you can’t really argue with the locals!

Read our previous article Ahsan Manzil & Lalbagh Fort: The Epitome of Rich History and Culture of Bangladesh​

Read our next article Explore the New World Trade Center On Your NYC Sightseeing Tours

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