Cairo is best known for its cultural attractions—the Pyramids of Giza, resplendent mosques, and centuries-old palaces—but it's also a great base for getting outdoors to experience Egypt in an active way. Here are your options.
It’s a city of contrasts, where old and new stand side by side, where alive and deceased share land (in the so-called City of the Dead), and where luxurious hotels stand alongside cramped (yet vibrant) souks.
It’s home to museums with priceless treasures, chic rooftop bars, ancient mosques, synagogues and churches, and so much more.
Whether you’re a local one strapped for cash at the end of the month or a visitor to Cairo on a backpacker’s budget, never fear -- there is a lot of fun, interesting things you can do in Cairo without paying a bomb.
Simply speaking, a felucca is a traditional Egyptian wooden boat with a canvas sail, but they do come in lots of different shapes and sizes. Aswan is the usual boarding point for felucca rides, although you can also hop on at Luxor. Once aboard you’ll journey along the river between these two spots, but how far you travel is heavily dependent on the wind and water current.
The felucca offers some welcome shade and protection from the sun (and other elements), but there are no cabins or enclosed areas. Passengers will sleep in the open air on a communal mattress for the night. You’ll be provided with a blanket, but you may wish to bring a sleeping bag during the cooler months. It’s worth mentioning that these can be rented locally, so you don’t need to worry about lugging one all the way from home!
Zamalek and Cairo Downtown Walking Tour
Cairo’s metro area has more than 20 million people, making it the largest city in Egypt, Africa, or even the Middle East. It’s the sixth-largest metro area in the world. It has the oldest music and film industries in the Arab world and the world’s second-oldest university at Al-Azhar. Cairo has one of only two metro systems in all of Africa, the other being in Algiers.
Cairo is closely associated with ancient Egypt, being close to the Giza pyramids and other tourist hotspots. One must-see attraction is the Egyptian Museum, which has over 136,000 artifacts on display, including finds from King Tutankhamun’s tomb. The museum is located in Tahrir Square at the heart of the city. To see the most important attractions in downtown Cairo.
Islamic Cairo is the historic core of the city. When the Fatimid dynasty conquered Egypt in 969 AD, they constructed a new capital north of the existing city to serve as their administrative centre. This new city, named Al-Qahira (meaning The Vanquisher in English), gave the modern city its name.
The greatest concentration of sights in Islamic Cairo is on Al-Muizz Al-Deen Street. This street was the main street throughout the city when it was built in the 11th century and mausoleums and palaces were constructed here. The northern section of the street (between Bab El-Fotouh and Al-Azhar Street) was recently restored. This is one of the most picturesque parts of Cairo. The Qala’un complex here is one of the most impressive in the city.
Coptic Cairo, also known as mogama’ el adyan (Interfaith Complex), is an area unlike any other in Egypt. It’s part of ‘Old Cairo’, the original city center for centuries - and Coptic Cairo, with its fortress, churches, and synagogue predates the actual founding of Cairo by the Muslim Fatimids in 969 AD.
Coptic Cairo is a relatively enclosed complex, meaning there’s a distinct entrance/exit, heavily monitored by tourism police. Once you enter the complex, it’s all pedestrian, with the remains of the fortress and the big churches on the main path, and the older, smaller churches deeper in the complex, accessed via small alleys. The Coptic cemeteries are towards the back. Local tip: to avoid crowds, try to visit on a weekday morning, the earlier the better. Domestic tourists that live outside of Cairo tend to visit on the weekends, making it more crowded than usual.
Baron Empain Palace
The palace reflects the high status of its owner and marks a major milestone in the urban landscape of Heliopolis. Baron Empain's palace is the most prominent Monuments in the capital, its unique and innovative image attracting crowds of pedestrians on the road.
It was founded by Edward Louis Joseph Empain between 1907 and 1911. He was a Belgian businessman who was awarded the title "Baron" by the King of Belgium, on account of his economic contributions. The French architect Alexander Marcel was tasked with building this masterpiece.
Malls in Cairo
Egyptians especially tourists from around the world have had the best shopping and dining experience at the Egypt Malls. These malls are known for their cleanliness, security, and location. For most people, shopping is an absolute stress buster and of course enjoyment. When on vacation in Egypt, people should not miss out on the malls, apart from visiting the historical sites.
There are several things to do in Egypt, that a tourist should explore.
Mall Of Egypt
Cairo Festival City Mall
Mall Of Arabia
City Centre Almaza
City Center Maadi
Dandy Mega Mall
City Centre Alexandria
San Stefano Grand Plaza