By Azure Lee
Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, is a mesmerizing blend of ancient history and vibrant modernity. With its rich cultural heritage, iconic landmarks, and bustling streets, Cairo offers travelers an unforgettable experience.
So, are you looking for the best things to see in Cairo? Get ready to discover this fascinating city. You shouldn't miss visiting these locations, which range from the magnificent Giza Pyramids to the maze of the Coptic Quarter. This guide will help you unearth the spots you must see places in Cairo, Egypt.
Prepare your luggage (and a spirit of exploration) – and we're off!
Top Things To See In Cairo Egypt
There has never been a better moment to start organizing that long-awaited vacation to Cairo, the huge metropolis that is home to more than 20 million people, since it is on the bucket lists of the majority of history enthusiasts, especially with the Great Egyptian Museum set to open this year. Yet, the capital city of Egypt has much more to offer than just the obvious ancient attractions. It is up to tourists to peel back the city's layers as it exposes itself.
Here are our picks of the top things to see in Cairo Egypt.
1. The Pyramids of Giza
You must see the Pyramids if you're in Cairo. These historical treasures are at the core of what makes Cairo so fascinating, even more so than other famous metropolitan sites like London's Big Ben or Paris' Eiffel Tower. The trio of pyramids, namely Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, serve as the final resting places for former rulers of Ancient Egypt.
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the final surviving example of an Ancient Wonder of the World, and you'll have to pinch yourself to believe you're actually viewing it.
In order to access the interior of the complex, you must purchase a separate ticket in addition to your basic entry ticket to the pyramids. This costs an additional 400 EGP and must be purchased at the complex's entry.
Going inside was quite odd; it's certainly not for the claustrophobic, but there was something surreal about standing inside an ancient-world marvel and viewing Khufu's sarcophagus. Additionally, try the premium eatery Khufu's for a contemporary take on Egyptian food.
You must see the Pyramids if you're in Cairo
2. The Sphinx of Giza
This colossal monument, featuring the body of a lion combined with a human head, stands on a plateau, peacefully guarding the pyramids.
The pyramids and Sphinx are awe-inspiring no matter when you visit, but for an extraordinary experience, consider going in the evening to witness the captivating light and sound show. Experience the enchanting projections narrating captivating stories from ancient Egypt, including the rich history of the pharaohs.
3. The Egyptian Museum
If the pyramids and the sphinx are where you see the outright majesty of Ancient Egypt, the Egyptian Museum is where its history.
The Egyptian Museum should be at the top of your list of must-see places in Cairo because it has antiquities with gold embellishments and mummified members of Egyptian monarchy. The largest and most well-known collection of Egyptian artifacts in the entire world is housed in this opulent structure.
The golden death mask of Tutankhamun is one of the many wonders to be found and explored on the property. Despite how beautiful these works of art are, we would advise spending as much time as you can here.
If you intend to visit the museum with the intention of viewing royal mummies, it's worth noting that while a few are housed there, the majority of the collection is currently exhibited at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC).
Read about: Best Egypt Tips For First Timers - Everything To Know Before You Go
The Egyptian Museum should be at the top of your list of must-see places in Cairo
4. Coptic Cairo
The enchanting district of Coptic Cairo represents the very essence of this city's enduring connection to ancient history. Apart from the Coptic Museum, noteworthy attractions encompass the Hanging Church, named so due to its position above a gate of the Babylon Fortress. There's also the Amr Ibn al-As mosque, Egypt's inaugural mosque constructed in 642 AD, and the Ben Ezra synagogue, considered the oldest continuously maintained synagogue location in the Middle East.
Coptic Cairo is certain to be the highlight of your vacation because it is home to ancient Babylonian ruins and sacred locations that are rich in legend.
5. Khan El-Khalili Bazaar
Admittedly, it's a tourist hotspot, and you'll encounter plenty of enthusiastic calls of "welcome," "come," and "please, take a look." However, a trip to Cairo wouldn't be truly fulfilled without immersing yourself in the labyrinthine lanes of the Khan El-Khalili bazaar. Here, you may find yourself tempted to purchase items like incense sticks, tiny tea cups for mint tea, or miniature hookahs.
It's true that Khan el-Khalili is quite tourist-centric, with locals often choosing to shop elsewhere. Nevertheless, a trip to Khalili is a highly worthwhile experience.
Following the bustling energy of the bazaar, make sure to visit the El Fishawy Cafe, Cairo's oldest coffee establishment, renowned for serving piping hot teas and scented hookahs.
Khan el-Khalili is the world’s oldest bazaar
6. The Citadel of Cairo
The Citadel, also known as the Citadel of Saladin, is among the must-see places in Cairo, with origins tracing back to the 12th century, making it an essential destination in Cairo.
This location served as a stronghold from which rulers governed the country for nearly 700 years. Today, visiting the Citadel is one of the must-do things in Cairo. Explore the intriguing structures, with a stop at the exquisite Mohammed Ali Mosque along the way.
Moreover, the Citadel offers some of the most breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Don't miss the chance to ascend one of the numerous terraces to witness Cairo sprawling for miles in every direction.
7. Al-Azhar Park
The green heart of the Historic Cairo neighborhood is Al-Azhar Park, which was constructed over what was effectively a medieval garbage dump.
Inaugurated in 2005, it offers a much-needed respite from the bustling and crowded streets of Cairo. Inside the park, you'll find beautifully landscaped gardens, perfect for a leisurely evening walk, especially as the sunset views over the entire old city are truly breathtaking.
The park also features a couple of on-site restaurants, making it an ideal place to relax and unwind after a day of sightseeing. On weekends, Al-Azhar Park is bustling with local families seeking refuge from the constant traffic noise that envelops the rest of Cairo.
The green heart of the Historic Cairo neighborhood is Al-Azhar Park
Best Time To Visit Cairo
The best times to visit Cairo fall within two main periods: from March to April and from October to November. During these brief shoulder seasons, you can enjoy agreeable weather, fewer crowds, and generally lower hotel rates throughout the week.
Winter stands out as the prime season to explore Egypt's capital due to its warm and sunny days, along with cool and refreshing evenings. If you're considering a trip between December and February, anticipate larger tourist crowds.
While the summer offers the most budget-friendly hotel rates, for many travelers, contending with the intense heat isn't worth the cost savings.
Cairo is a city that seamlessly blends its ancient heritage with the energy of modern life. From the iconic Great Pyramids of Giza to the bustling markets of Khan el-Khalili and the rich historical districts of Coptic and Islamic Cairo, there's a wealth of attractions to explore. As you traverse the city, you'll find yourself enchanted by its diverse culture, welcoming people, and the palpable sense of history that pervades its streets. Cairo is a destination that promises a truly immersive and unforgettable experience, offering travelers a chance to connect with the past while embracing the vibrant present of this dynamic city.
So, ready to explore the wonders of Cairo and all that Egypt has to offer? Don't forget to apply for your Egypt eVisa to make your travel preparations seamless. Visit our website at Egypt Immigration Services to start your eVisa application process. Ensure you have all the necessary travel documents and approvals in place, so you can focus on making the most of your incredible journey through Cairo and beyond. Egypt awaits your discovery, so take the first step and apply for your eVisa today.