10 Things to do in Cairo

They call it the city that never sleeps for a reason! But Cairo is way more than that!

12/1/202310 min read

Cairo is the capital city of Egypt. It is also the biggest city is the Arab world, and the third biggest city in Africa. And "truly" it is the city that never sleeps.

In this blog post, I am going to share with you my recommend list of 10 things to do in Cairo.

Before we start, let me just say this:

From personal experience, Metro is definitely the best choice for transportation! It is fast and reliable. It can be overcrowded at the central area like Ataba and Shohada stations specially at peak times of the day. However it gets better the farther you move away from them. It is also very cheap! If metro isn't your choice, then I would recommend Uber. It is still not expensive and can get you anywhere in Cairo with just some taps.

And here is our list of recommended 10 Things to do in Cairo:

  1. Visit the pyramids (with a tour guide)

The Pyramids of Giza are among the most historical and cultural miracles in the world and have international fame as one of the wonders of the ancient world. So, let me tell you some facts about the pyramids: Archaeologists have discovered many pyramids around the world, but all of them did not have historical importance like the pyramids of Egypt because they carry great value. It was built with care and has remained tall throughout the ages.

In ancient Egypt, the tombs were built only for the Pharaohs and not for the common people. Given that Egyptian dynasties and families continued for long periods, there are quite a few tombs that exist until today. The tombs were meant to preserve their bodies and souls, and with the increase of tombs, they felt the need to protect them, and from here the concept of pyramids arose.

Most of the pyramids were built on the western bank of the Nile.

The Great Pyramid is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and was built for Pharaoh Cheops (Khufu) in the Eighth Dynasty.

The stones used in building the pyramids amounted to about 10 tons each, and the method of carrying those stones is still a mystery being researched by scientists.

The pyramids of Egypt are a famous tourist destination and attract millions of visitors and tourists annually from all over the world.

Do you know that despite the scorching heat in Egypt, the temperature inside the pyramids remains constant at 20 degrees Celsius?

Do you know that if you put a piece of meat in the pyramid’s chamber, it will dry up from the liquids, but it will not rot (a mysterious secret)

Do you know that the location of the three pyramids is equivalent to the three most famous stars in the sky called Orion’s Belt?

Well, you also know that one day a year the sun’s rays sneak into the Great Pyramid, which is the day the Pharaoh was born.

During your pyramids visit we would suggest the following:

  • Ride a camel

  • Ride a horse

  • take pictures with the sphinx

  • Go inside the Cheops pyramid

  1. Visit Saqqara pyramid (with a tour guide)

The Pyramid of Djoser, or the Step Pyramid, or the Saqqara Pyramid, is an archaeological landmark in the Saqqara Necropolis, northwest of the ancient city of Memphis in Egypt, located in the south of Giza, Egypt. It was called the Step Pyramid due to its distinctive external architectural construction, which comes in the form of a runway, which includes six steps built on top of each other to form a cemetery. Djoser, built during the 27th century BC, and they continued to build it for 20 years.

The Step Pyramid of King Djoser is considered one of the most famous monuments in Egypt and constitutes an important historical turning point in ancient Egyptian funerary monuments.

It is the first pyramid built by the ancient Egyptians. The pyramid of Djoser is considered the beginning of building architectural development in the civilization of ancient Egypt.

The pyramid was built in several stages. It was planned to build only one simple mastaba (step) at the beginning, and then it was converted into a pyramid.

All the terraces of Djoser's pyramid were built of stone instead of dry clay. The pyramid's terraces were decorated with reed carvings.

The Step Pyramid is surrounded and accompanied by a wall whose circumference reaches more than one mile and is more than 10 meters high.

The size of the Djoser pyramid complex is the size of a city in ancient Egypt.

  1. Have fun learning and making your own papyrus (with a tour guide)

The ancient Egyptian used to grow many plants, and among these plants was the papyrus plant, which used to grow in the Egyptian Delta, but it has now disappeared from it.

The ancient Egyptian used it for various purposes, but the most important use of it was to make paper from it (papyrus).

Papyrus is a material similar to thick paper that was used in ancient times as a writing surface and was invented in Egypt 3000 years BC.

The ancient Egyptians used it to write hieroglyphs and record their events and sciences.

The use of papyrus paper spread in the Middle Ages in Egypt, Syria, Greece, Italy and others, where manuscripts and drawings indicating civilization in different periods were drawn on it. Egypt is considered the country that used papyrus paper the most and exported it to other countries. Egypt remained a monopoly on papyrus cultivation and exporting until In the 19th century, the use of paper began, and some mummies were found with papyrus sheets in their hands.

They also used it to wrap the dead bodies, not just in writing.

  1. Visit the hanging church

Let's get to know about the Hanging Church

The Hanging Church is one of the most famous and oldest Coptic monuments in Egypt. The church is distinguished by its rare architectural style, which makes it one of the most beautiful churches in the Middle East. The church also represents the first residence of the patriarchs in Cairo.

Surely you are asking yourself what is the reason it is called so? Let me tell you

The reason for calling it this name is that it rises 13 meters above the ground. It was built on two ancient towers among the towers of Babylon, and it was built in the widely famous Basilica style.

The construction of the church dates back to the year 690 AD. While the first mention of the church dates back to the year 831 AD.

The church consists of several sections, the most important of which is the main nave and two small rooms with eight columns on each side. On the eastern side of the church there are three altars. The middle one is called the Virgin Mary, the right one is called the name of Saint John the Baptist, and the left one is called the name of Saint Margaret.

The location of the church is one of the most advantageous. It is located in the middle of a group of antiquities dating back to different eras.

The church contains nearly 100 icons dating back to the 8th century, and there is also the Barati Bey palm tree dating back to 1898.

Inside the church is the seat of the Coptic Pope, which was the Coptic church headquarter in 1047.

The Hanging Church is considered one of the most important churches and the preferred choice for researchers and students of history, as the church contains many ancient relics in addition to old pictures and others.

  1. Visit the Egyptian musuem

Egyptians have the right to be proud of their great national museum, and why not, as it contains antiquities representing a period extending to 4,500 years, and perhaps more, since the beginning of the pre-dynastic period is not yet known specifically.

The Egyptian Museum is the first and most luxurious museum of Egyptian antiquities.

It is one of the largest and most famous international museums. It is located in the heart of the Egyptian capital (Cairo) on the northern side of Tahrir Square. Its establishment dates back to the year 1835 and was located at the time in Azbakeya Park, where it included a large number of diverse antiquities at the time.

It is considered one of the most important cultural forums in the world and attracts visitors from all over the world to enjoy seeing the history of ancient Egyptian civilization.

It is an important place for studying ancient Egyptian history and civilization.

The museum includes more than 120,000 pieces of Egyptian antiquities, including pyramids, royal furniture, ancient texts, mummies, and other artifacts. It also includes an exhibition of the Pharaoh kings, a hall of Tutankhamun, and an exhibition of Islamic art.

  1. Visit Muhammad Ali mosque, and Saladin Citadel

The Citadel of Salah ad-Din al-Ayyubi is located in the city of Cairo, the capital of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and it was the home of the rulers of Egypt for almost 700 years, but today it is one of the most famous touristic and historical landmarks of Cairo. The citadel was built by Salah ad-Din al-Ayyubi, the founder of the Ayyubid state, who ruled Egypt during the Ayyubid rule, between 1176 and 1183.

Salah ad-Din Castle is one of the most important landmarks of Islamic Cairo, and one of the most luxurious military castles built in the Middle Ages, and its strategic location on top of Mount Mokattam provided a wonderful view of all the historical landmarks of Cairo, and the impregnable walls around the Islamic capitals of Egypt with the Castle provided more protection against siege.

This majestic castle went through many and many historical events, as its walls witnessed various historical events during the Ayyubid and Mamluk eras and the time of the French campaign on Egypt in 1798, until Muhammad Ali Pasha took over the rule of Egypt, where he restored its prosperity and greatness.

The citadel is replete with many monuments dating back to different Islamic eras that turned it from just a fortress that was used to defend the city in case of any attack to a whole city that contained mosques, basements, palaces, houses, military factories, a workshop for the Kaaba cladding, military and civil schools, and other facilities that distinguished the citadel of Saladin from other citadels built in the Middle Ages in the world.

The citadel has three main mosques, the oldest of which is the Nasir Muhammad Mosque, built in 1318 in the early maritime Mamluk era, this mosque is known as the Mamluk Mosque of the castle, where the Sultans of Cairo used to perform Friday prayers, and the Suleiman Pasha Mosque, built in 1528 on the ruins of an old mosque in Abu Mansur Costa, in addition to the Muhammad Ali Pasha Mosque, which is the mosque where Muhammad Ali was buried.

Muhammad Ali Mosque in Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi Citadel is one of the most important archaeological mosques in Cairo, the most important mosques of the Ottoman era, and the most famous landmark of Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi Citadel. Some believe that Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi Citadel is Muhammad Ali Pasha’s Castle in the Ottoman style. It was called the Alabaster and Alastair Mosque due to the frequent use of this type of marble in cladding its walls.

Date of building: 1265 AH/1848 AD

The mosque is located in the northwestern corner inside the Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi Citadel.

What distinguishes Muhammad Ali Mosque is the main chandelier. It is considered one of the most prominent features of the famous historical mosque, not only because it is a large chandelier with an exquisite design, but also because it underwent a three years restoration work (2019-2022). Now it appears in its old form and its complete its splendor, just as it was lit for the first time with the completion of the construction of the mosque 174 years ago.

The domes in Muhammad Ali Mosque are characterized by aesthetic specifications:

  • It is built on eight huge marble columns،

  • The interior of the dome is localized with carvings representing natural scenes.

  • It is engraved with reliefs of bunches of grapes.

  • Inside the dome is another marble dome resting on eight ribs.

  1. Visit Amr Ibn Alaas mosque

Amr ibn al-Aas mosque is one of the oldest and greatest mosques in Cairo, Al-Moez, Egypt, and Africa. It is located in the Old Cairo neighborhood, where it is considered an Islamic architectural masterpiece on the territory of the capital Cairo. It is open now after the completion of its development work at the highest level.

The Amr Ibn Al-Aas Mosque was built in the city of Fustat in the same place where Ibn Al-Aas pitched his tent after the Islamic conquest of Egypt.

Amr ibn al-Aas Mosque is considered the first Islamic university in Egypt, where the Arabic language and Islamic studies were taught. Among its most famous preachers was Imam al-Shafi’i.

Amr ibn al-Aas Mosque is also considered the first mosque built in the capital of Egypt, Cairo, which was called the city of Fustat in the year 21 AH. This mosque is one of the oldest Islamic monuments in Egypt.

The mosque was initially used as a meeting place for Muslims and the forces of Amr ibn al-Aas, who were a minority at that time. A number of companions of the Messenger of God participated in building this mosque, such as Al-Zubayr ibn Al-Awwam and Ubadah ibn Al-Samit.

The mosque was subjected to many architectural changes. At the time of its construction, its area was very small and simplicity prevailed, as it was built on pillars of palm trunks and was covered with leaves. Then the total area of the mosque gradually increased until it reached its current form. Although the current building dates back to the twentieth century, it still retains the character of early Islamic architecture.

The mosque was “a place where lesson circles were held to guide the public to what would benefit them in their religious and worldly affairs. The circles increased to 110 circles, and the locations of the lesson circles in the mosque were called zawiyas, and the circles began teaching doctrines such as Shafi’i, Hanafi and Maliki.”

During the era of the Fatimid state, celebrations were held there on the last Friday of the Hijri month of Ramadan.

  1. Visit st. Mary George church

Come with me and I will tell you some information about it

Mary George Church is located on Saint George Street in ancient Egypt. It was established in the 14th century AD. 684 AD.

Archaeological researcher Nour Yahya says that Saint George is one of the most famous martyrs of Christianity and is known and honored by both the Eastern and Western churches. Due to his extreme heroism and courage, many countries have taken him as a protective intercessor and a symbol of chivalry and nobility.

It was given this name in reference to Saint George, who was born in the first half of the third century AD, to Christian parents, from a lineage of kings and wealthy people.

The church museum includes 170 artifacts whose archaeological value dates back to the Greek-Roman era, and it is considered one of the oldest Christian churches in the early ages in Egypt and the rest of Africa.

The church is associated with St. George's Monastery. The church is the seat of the Pope and Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Pope Theodore II.

  1. Take a boat in the nile river (evening)

  2. Walk the qasr an-niil bridge (evening)

The Nile River is the longest river on Earth. It is located in the continent of Africa and flows to the north. It consists of two main tributaries that feed it: the White Nile from the Lakes Plateau (Lake Victoria) and the Blue Nile from Ethiopia (Lake Tana).

The Nile River is the source of Egypt's economic wealth. It is the main artery of communication and transportation in Egypt. It also carries about 110 million tons of silt annually, most of which comes from the Abyssinian Plateau. These amounts of silt have a major impact on the basin countries, as they increase soil fertility on the two banks in some areas and reduce the storage capacity of reservoirs of dams on the Nile’s path.

The Nile River also provides sufficient clean water for a variety of purposes including domestic use, agricultural irrigation, industry, fisheries, navigation, and recreation.

The Nile River is also a major attraction for tourists, as many tourists come here to enjoy the beautiful view and take pictures around it. Visitors can enjoy recreational trips on the Nile River and take a river boat trip.