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15 Best Things To Do In Cairo

Cairo, the largest city in Egypt, is a vibrant and culturally rich destination with plenty to explore. From its ancient monuments to its bustling marketplaces and lively nightlife, Cairo has lots to offer for every traveler. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best things to do in Cairo – from visiting Egyptian landmarks to experiencing local cuisine. Whether you’re looking for an adventure or planning a leisurely holiday, we have the perfect activities to suit your style and interests when you vist Cairo.

1. The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities

Egyptian Museum in Cairo

The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities is a world-renowned institution located in Cairo. It is home to an impressive collection of ancient artifacts and artwork from the country’s long and fascinating history. Founded in 1858, this Egyptian museum has been preserving Egypt’s incredible heritage for over 150 years.

Visitors can explore more than 160,000 items that date back to prehistoric times through the Roman era. The Egyptian museum is filled with fascinating objects such as sarcophagi, mummies, jewels, statues and masks of gods and kings -all carefully preserved for centuries. One of its most popular exhibits is the Tutankhamun's mask which was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter during his excavation of the Valley of Kings.


Address: El-Tahrir Square, Ismailia, Qasr El Nil, Cairo Governorate 4272083, Egypt

Phone: +20 2 25796948

2. Pyramids of Giza

Pyramids of Giza

If you want to take a day trip from the city of Cairo you should head to the Giza plateau south of Cairo, the great Pyramids of Giza have long been a source of awe and mystery for those who have encountered them. Located on the west bank of the Nile River in Egypt, these monuments are one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that remain standing today. Built over 4,500 years ago, they are also some of the oldest and largest structures in existence.

The most famous Giza pyramid is the Great Pyramid, sometimes referred to as Khufu’s Pyramid because it was built by Khufu, one of Egypt’s first pharaohs. This ancient pyramid stands 481 feet tall and is made up of 2 million stone blocks that weigh an average 2-3 tons each!

3. Mosque of Muhammad Ali

Mosque of Muhammad Ali

The Mosque of Muhammad Ali was built between 1830 and 1848. It stands as a monument to the ruler of Egypt who was also known as Muhammad Ali Pasha. The mosque was designed by an Ottoman architect named Yusuf Bushnaq and is one of the largest mosques in Cairo. It has four towering minarets that extend up to 80 meters high into the sky, representing each of Muhammad Ali’s sons.

Inside, you are welcomed by an ornately decorated marble prayer hall with numerous chandeliers illuminating its ceiling. The walls are adorned with bright colors including turquoise blue, yellow and green while verses from the Quran adorn its arches. This makes the mosque a truly breathtaking sight to behold for both religious pilgrims and tourists.


Address: Al Abageyah, El Khalifa, Cairo Governorate 4252360, Egypt

4. Coptic Cairo

Coptic Cairo

The Coptic Cairo district is a small but vibrant community, located in the heart of Egypt's capital. It is home to the Coptic Orthodox Church and many other Christian denominations. The population in Coptic Cairo is predominantly Egyptian Christians, who have been living here since ancient times. Located near some of the oldest Christian sites in Cairo, the Coptic provides an important connection to Egypt's rich history and heritage.

Although much smaller than other districts in central Cairo, there are still plenty of things to see and do in this area. The streets are lined with shops selling traditional handicrafts and souvenirs as well as cafes where locals gather for food and conversation. There are also several churches that offer regular services for worshippers from different backgrounds, providing a peaceful atmosphere for spiritual contemplation and prayer.

5. Khan El-Khalili

Khan El-Khalili

Khan El-Khalili is one of Egypt's most renowned and colorful markets, and one of the best places to visit during your trip to Egypt. Located in the bustling heart of Islamic Cairo, this traditional market has been a landmark in the city since 1382. Its narrow alleyways provide visitors with a unique experience, where they can find endless products ranging from everyday household items to spices, jewelry and souvenirs.

The atmosphere is truly captivating; it’s easy to get lost within its hustle and bustle as you make your way through one stall after another. The diverse range of goods Khan Al-Khalili has to offer makes it an ideal place to shop for souvenirs or simply grab a bite while exploring the local culture.

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6. Cairo Citadel

Cairo Citadel

As one of the top attractions, the Cairo Citadel is a centuries-old fortress that stands atop the Mokattam Hills in the center of modern-day Cairo. Built between 1176 and 1183 AD, it was originally intended as a defense against Crusader invasions. The Citadel has served as an important stronghold for various rulers throughout its history, including Saladin and the Ottoman Empire. It is now one of Egypt's most iconic tourist attractions in Cairo, offering visitors insight into the country’s rich cultural heritage.

No visit to the Citadel is complete without viewing its signature landmark: the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. Located at its highest point, this 19th century mosque boasts exquisite Islamic architecture with grand marble columns and intricate stucco designs within its courtyards and prayer halls.


Address: 27H6+G27, Privet Entrance Bel Kalaa, Al Abageyah, El Khalifa, Cairo Governorate 4252360, Egypt

Phone: +20 2 25121735

7. Hanging Church

Hanging Church in Cairo

The Hanging Church is one of the oldest churches in the Cairo district. It is a Coptic Christian church that was built in 1087 AD during the Fatimid Caliphate period by the order of Sultan Mocadam El Hakim. This iconic landmark is known for its unique architecture, which features an outer wall with seven windows and two towers on either side. The interior of the building has several ancient frescoes and icons from the Byzantine era.

The beauty of this historic church has attracted many visitors over the centuries who have come to admire its stunning structure and artwork. Every year, it attracts thousands of people who seek spiritual refuge as well as those seeking to learn more about Coptic Christianity.


Address: Kom Ghorab, Old Cairo, Cairo Governorate 4244001, Egypt

8. Museum of Islamic Art

Museum of Islamic Art

The Museum of Islamic Art in downtown Cairo is an incredible institution that showcases the artistic and cultural history of the region. It traces its roots back to 1881, when Khedive Tawfiq established the museum inside an old palace in Cairo’s Al-Hussein neighborhood. Today, it houses some of the world's most exquisite and unique pieces from various civilizations over centuries spread across three floors.

One of the museum’s most prized collections includes artefacts from the Mamluk Dynasty (1250–1517). These include sacred books, exquisite carpets, paintings, pottery, woodwork and metalwork. Another section displays a wide range of mediaeval artifacts such Persian pottery with beautiful floral patterns and calligraphy dating back to 12th century as well as finely crafted weapons used during the Ottoman period.


Address: Port Said, Ghayt Al Adah, El-Darb El-Ahmar, Cairo Governorate 11638, Egypt

Phone: +20 2 23901520

9. Al-Azhar Park

Al-Azhar Park

Al Azhar Park is one of the most popular parks in Cairo. Situated near the city’s old walled quarter known as Old Cairo, it provides a stunning landscape for locals and tourists. Established in 1985, Al-Azhar Park is an oasis of green space extending approximately 685 acres. It features a large artificial lake with waterfalls and bridges adding to its tranquil beauty, and there are many pathways throughout the park dotted with palm trees that provide welcome shade from the hot Egyptian sun.

The park boasts lush gardens planted with flowers such as jasmine and roses while shrubs like hibiscus line the walking paths providing amazing colors and sweet fragrances.


Address: Salah Salem St, El-Darb El-Ahmar, Cairo Governorate 4294010, Egypt

Phone: +20 2 25103868

10. Al-Azhar Mosque

Al-Azhar Mosque

The Al-Azhar Mosque is one of the oldest and most renowned religious establishments in all of historic Cairo. It was built in the 10th century, making it one of the oldest mosques still standing today. The mosque has served as the center for Islamic worship since its inception and has been an important place for Islamic scholars to pursue their studies, which made it a top destination for intellectuals from around the world throughout its long history.

Visiting the Al-Azhar Mosque is an awe-inspiring experience; as one of the main Cairo attractions it stands tall and elegant with a grandeur that reflects its rich heritage. Inside you can find intricate marble and stone designs that are simply breathtaking. Additionally, there are several museums on the grounds where guests can learn about the history of Islam through artifacts found around Cairo over time by Muslim scholars.


Address: El-Darb El-Ahmar, Cairo Governorate 4293024, Egypt

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11. Cave Church

Cave Church Cairo

Cave Church is a special and unique place to visit during your trip to Cairo. Located inside the Mokattam Mountain, it was established to give refuge to a group of Christians known as the Garbage People or Zabbaleen. Named after St Simon, this church was built by the community of scavengers in 1982 as an act of gratitude for their newfound freedom and safety.

The Cave Church stands out because it has an unusual design which blends seamlessly with its surroundings. The walls are made up of mud bricks while several alcoves provide seating during services. Candles are placed around the walls and the center of the room is filled with open-air archways that let light into the sacred space. In addition, statues of saints line each side offering protection and guidance to those who visit.


Address: 27JG+3PW، البيدق, Ghayt Al Adah, Abdeen, Cairo Governorate 4421240, Egypt

12. Mosque and Madrasa of Sultan Hassan

Sultan Hassan Mosque

The Sultan Hassan Mosque in Cairo is an architectural masterpiece that stands out amongst the hustle and bustle of the city. It was built between 1356–1363 during the Bahri Mamluk period. The mosque is a large, rectangular structure measuring sixty-three meters in length and forty-one meters in width.

It consists of a mosque, madrasa, mausoleum, as well as four minarets that stand at approximately forty-five meters high. The entire complex is made from limestone blocks which gives it a grandiose look from all angles.

The interior walls are adorned with intricate decorations featuring Qur’anic verses along with interlaced designs made of tiles and marble work. The ceiling has also been richly ornamented with geometric patterns painted onto wood panels.


Address: El Khalifa, Cairo Governorate 4292008, Egypt

13. Gayer-Anderson Museum

Gayer-Anderson Museum

The Gayer-Anderson Museum (Bayt al-Kiritliya) is an incredible piece of Egyptian history situated in the city centre of Cairo. Located on Sharia al-Muizz li-Din Allah, the museum houses some of the finest Islamic arts and artifacts to see in Cairo from the 16th century Mamluk period. The museum was a former home to Major Robert Grenville Gayer-Anderson, who was so enthralled with Islamic art that he spent many years collecting items from Egypt and North Africa to decorate his home.

Today, it has been transformed into a museum showcasing over 4,000 pieces including sculptures, gold coins, carpets, ceramics and furniture; each item carefully curated to capture the history and tradition of Cairo’s rich culture.


Address: 27H2+87Q، As Sayedah, El Sayeda Zeinab, Egypt

Phone: +20 2 23647822

14. Cairo Tower

Cairo Tower

Cairo Tower is a well-known symbol of the capital of Egypt. Located in Gezira Island, it stands tall at 187 meters and can be seen from various points across Cairo. It was designed by the Egyptian architect Naoum Shebib and completed in 1961 during President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s rule.

This imposing tower offers the best views over Cairo and the Nile River that surrounds it. It consists of three levels: a ground floor entrance hall, an open terrace on top which offers panoramic views of Cairo cityscape, and a revolving restaurant in between them both. The latter rotates slowly to give diners a 360° view while they enjoy their meal. On top of that, its illuminated night lighting makes it an impressive sight after dark as well.


Address: Zamalek, Cairo Governorate 4270024, Egypt

Phone: +20 2 27365112

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15. Ibn Tulun Mosque

Ibn Tulun Mosque

The Ibn Tulun Mosque is a historical mosque in Cairo. Originally built in 876 AD by Ahmed ibn Tulun, it is one of the oldest mosques still standing today. The mosque is known for its large size and unique architecture. It was built to be the center of religious life in Ibn Tulun’s newly founded city, al-Qatai’.

The mosque contains a number of interesting architectural features that make it stand out from other mosques in the region. The exterior walls are made from Nile mud brick with an octagonal minaret tower at each corner.

The interior courtyard has a double-domed arcade and a central pool for ritual washing before prayer services. There are also two arcades running along the perimeter walls which provide shade from the sun as well as additional seating areas for worshipers.


Address: Ahmed Ibn Tolon Sq., Tolon, El Sayeda Zeinab, Cairo Governorate 4261342, Egypt

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Q: What is Cairo most famous for?

A: One of its most notable features is the Great Pyramids of Giza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. These ancient monuments, built over 4,000 years ago as tombs for pharaohs, are a testament to the incredible engineering skills and architectural prowess of the ancient Egyptians. Visitors from all around the world flock to Cairo to witness these magnificent structures up close and learn about their historical significance.

In addition to its ancient wonders, Cairo is also renowned for its Islamic architecture. The city boasts numerous mosques that date back centuries and showcase exceptional craftsmanship and intricate designs. Al-Azhar Mosque, founded in 970 AD, is one such example. Known as one of Islam's oldest universities, it has become an important center for learning and religious study in addition to being a place of worship.

Q: What do tourists typically do when visiting Cairo?

A: One of the most popular destinations is the Giza Plateau, home to the iconic Great Pyramids and Sphinx. Tourists usually spend a significant amount of time exploring these ancient wonders, learning about their historical significance, and taking photos against this magnificent backdrop. Additionally, many visitors choose to embark on a camel ride around the pyramids for an authentic Egyptian experience.

Another must-visit location in Cairo is the Egyptian Museum, located in Tahrir Square. This world-renowned museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts from ancient Egypt's rich history, including treasures from King Tutankhamun's tomb. Tourists often spend hours marveling at the exquisite statues, sarcophagi, and jewelry displayed throughout the museum's numerous galleries.

Q: Is Cairo cheap or expensive?

A: Cairo is often regarded as an affordable destination for travelers. One of the key aspects that make Cairo an inexpensive city to visit is its low cost of living. From accommodation to food and transportation, travelers can find reasonably priced options throughout the city.

While luxury hotels are available for those seeking extravagance, budget-friendly accommodations like hostels or guesthouses are also prevalent in the city center and surrounding areas.

When it comes to dining out in Cairo, travelers will be pleasantly surprised by the affordability of its culinary scene. Street food vendors offer delicious dishes such as falafel or koshary (a traditional Egyptian dish made with rice, lentils, and pasta) at incredibly low prices. Additionally, local restaurants serving authentic Egyptian cuisine provide generous portions at reasonable costs.

Transportation expenses in Cairo are also relatively cheap compared to many other major cities around the world. The extensive public transportation system includes metro lines and buses that cover various parts of the city at nominal fares.

Q: Is it safe to walk around Cairo as a tourist?

A: While it is true that Cairo has had its share of security issues in recent years, it would be unfair to dismiss the entire city as unsafe for tourists. Like any other major city, there are areas in Cairo where caution should be exercised, but with proper awareness and preparation, walking around Cairo can be a safe and enriching experience.

Q: How far is Cairo airport from the city center?

A: Cairo Airport, also known as Cairo International Airport, is the main gateway for international and domestic flights in Egypt. Located in Heliopolis, a suburb northeast of Cairo, the airport is approximately 22 kilometers (13.7 miles) away from the city center. This distance can be covered by various means of transportation, including taxis, private cars, or public transportation.

If you choose to take a taxi from Cairo Airport to the city center, it usually takes around 30 minutes to an hour depending on traffic conditions. Another option is to use public transportation such as buses or trains. The Cairo Metro connects the airport with different parts of the city and offers an affordable way to reach downtown Cairo. The metro station at Terminal 3 provides easy access for passengers arriving at that terminal.


Book Your Hotel In Cairo

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Book Your Flight To Cairo

Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights to Cairo. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know you get the best rates.

Need a Rental Car In Cairo?

Here is a budget-friendly car rental resource. No matter where you’re traveling, you’ll be able to find the best — and cheapest car rentals in Cairo here.

Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Cairo?

If you are looking for a convenient and affordable option to get to and from the airport in Cairo, here you will find all the answers to book your next airport transfer in Cairo.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never travel to Cairo without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you go to Cairo. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m taking a trip. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Egypt:

Be sure to visit our Egypt Travel Guide for even more travel tips.

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