Have you ever felt the urge to browse the wonders of the Egyptian museums, shop the stalls of Khan el-Khalili market, or visit places that are prominent in pharaonic and Islamic history? If yes, let me ask you…
Have you ever been to Egypt’s sprawling capital, Cairo?
If your response is no, then you need to update your bucket list. If you are looking for a glimpse into Egypt’s history, and want to experience the culture first hand, then you should make sure to visit Cairo, the largest metropolis in the Arab World. Cairo is chock-full of remarkable spots you have to pass by during your visit.
Pyramids and the Sphinx of Giza
Photo from: blueskygroup.net
To begin with, the only and major place where no trip to Cairo is complete without: The Great Pyramids, the oldest of the seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the last one still in existence. You need to pay a visit to marvel at “The Great Pyramids” and ask yourself the same questions everybody who has ever been there before you has asked but found no answer: How did the pharaohs build such massive pyramids with no advanced technology or machines to carry the huge stones to the top, and how, throughout the years, is it still such a magnificent piece of art? Not to mention the Great Sphinx, formed of the body of a lion and head of a human, it is believed to guard the Great Pyramids and is the largest monolith statue in the world.
Photo from: djedegypt.com
Since Egypt is all about diversity, let’s take a walk through its Islamic history. If you need to know more about its history, then your trip is not complete without a visit to Muizz Street, one of the medieval architectural treasures in the Islamic world. It is one of the most amazing streets in Cairo and has almost all types of Islamic architecture decorated with Arabic calligraphy. Walking down Muizz Street is like visiting a different era and reliving history. Preserved through time, the buildings look old and simple yet incredibly decorated and are bound to leave you fascinated.
Al-Hussein Mosque and Khan el-Khalili
Photo from: memphistours.com
Furthermore, since it is all in the same district, let us stop by Al-Hussein Mosque, which is believed to be the burial site of the head of Prophet Muhammad’s grandson. If you are lucky and your visit was during the holy month of Ramadan, you can get a glimpse of how people rush for prayers and feel their spirit. Moreover, you certainly cannot leave without stopping by Khan el-Khalili bazaar; it is loud, crowded, colorful, and exciting, full of all kinds of goods and shiny baubles. In case you are wondering what to get as a souvenir, this bazaar is your district. Even if you are not looking to buy, take a walk through the winding alleys of this labyrinth district, and you are bound to find something that will catch your eye.
El Fishawy Coffee Shop
It has been a long day and you probably feel exhausted and in need of a drink, so El Fishawy Coffee Shop should be your next destination. A monument to the traditional Egyptian social style, it is where Egyptian novelist, Naguib Mahfouz, reportedly penned part of his Nobel Prize winning novels.
Photo from: afrotourism.com
What if you would like to take a peek at Cairo from far above? Go visit Cairo Tower which has been the tallest structure in Egypt and North Africa for about 50 years. It offers amazing views of the Nile and different parts of Cairo, including Saladin Citadel. The view is marvelous! You will be amazed by how tiny everything appears.
The Egyptian Museum
Photo from: bestourism.com
Last but not least, one of Egypt’s greatest museums, The Egyptian Museum, home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities, should be your next stop. Inside the great, domed, oddly pinkish building, the glittering treasures of Tutankhamun and other great pharaohs lie alongside the grave goods, mummies, jewelry, eating bowls, and toys of Egyptians whose names are lost to history. To walk around the museum is to embark on an adventure through time.