7 x Things To Do in Cairo, Egypt (First-Timer’s Travel Guide)

7 x Things To Do in Cairo, Egypt (First-Timer’s Travel Guide)

7 x Things To Do in Cairo, Egypt (First-Timer’s Travel Guide)

Cairo, the chaotic capital of Egypt, rich in world-famous history, a city that feels stuck between timelines. Donkey carts are driving down a dusty road where on the other side honking cars are polluting the city. Accept Cairo’s fascinating chaos, and you suddenly hear a friendly Egyptian shout “Welcome to Egypt!”. This guide explains the best things to do in Cairo.

7 x Things to do in Cairo

Cairo has to be part of your Egypt travel route. Plan spending two full days in the city. Ignore everyone’s opinion about the city and discover it your way!

1. The Pyramids and Great Sphinx of Giza

The Giza Pyramid complex is located at the outskirts of Cairo. With a height of 139 meters, the Great Pyramid can easily be spotted from the city. Pyramids are royal tombs, and Egypt counts 138 of them! Discoveries, like mummies, are still done in this area.

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things to do Cairo Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza

The Great Sphinx of Giza is a giant limestone statue showing a mythical creature with the head of a human and body of a lion. The iconic symbol of Egypt and a real must-see while visiting Egypt.

Do not support the use of camels. It is easy to get around by foot via the pavement.

egypt cairo visit pyramids

2. Wander at the world’s oldest open-air market

Experience the sounds and smells at one of the world’s oldest open-air markets. The Khan El-Khalili souk is a maze filled with spices, food, clothing, leather bags, jewelry, and antiques. This Souk (Arabic for open-air market) is the place to go souvenir shopping but get ready to bargain. You should pay around 50% of the original price. Do not follow a vendor to the back of his shop; this usually is a trick.

➳ Find all: Hotels in Cairo

Several restaurants, street food vendors and coffeehouses around the market serve Arabic coffee and shisha.

Tip: Beware for pickpockets who encounter you with scarves. The scarves are used to cover your bag which gives them the opportunity to steal something.

things to do Cairo Khan El-Khalili souk market

3. Get a real Egyptian meal on Gezira Island

Gezira island is the coolest neighborhood in Cairo. Young, creative Egyptians occupy the area. The authentic buildings with galleries surrounded by the water of the Nile River is a calm escape from the busy city life on the mainland. Visiting Gezira is one of the best things to do in Cairo.

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Abou El Sid Restaurant is a fantastic spot to have a delicious Egyptian meal. We highly recommend the Lentil soup, Baba Ganoush, Hummus and if you’re interested: try the delicacy ‘Stuffed Pigeon’.

4. Mosque of Ibn Tulun – surprising thing to do in Cairo

In the middle of a non-touristy neighborhood surrounded by dusty roads is one of the most beautiful mosques of Cairo, the Ibn Tulun Mosque. A large mosque still having all its old details. Get an aerial view from the nearby tower or walk around on the second level.
Good to know: It is appropriate for women to wear a scarf.

➳ Find all: Hotels in Cairo

things to do in Cairo Mosque of Ibn Tulun

5. Back in time at the Egyptian Museum

The Egyptian Museum is home to the world’s greatest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts. You can even see real preserved mummies in the mummy. It is a highly recommended thing to do in Cairo. Plan about spending 2 – 4 hours in the museum.

An entrance tickets cost 120 EL (~ $6 USD). Get your tickets here. To visit the mummy rooms, a separate ticket can be purchased inside at the mummy rooms.

Pro tip: Visit in the afternoon, tickets are cheaper and it is less crowded.

things to do in Cairo Egyptian Museum

6. The Hanging Church

Built on top of an ancient Roman fortress is the reason why it is named ‘The Hanging Church’. The Roman church with beautiful ornaments and mosaic paintings is still in use. In fact, 10% of the population in Egypt is Christian. Cairo has a Roman quarter where churches are mixed with mosques.

things do to in Cairo Hanging church

7. The Mosque of Muhammad Ali

Located on a hilltop inside the Cairo Citadel is the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. The impressive limestone mosque is a beautiful site to visit for a couple of hours and has a view overlooking the entire city.

➳ Find all: Hotels in Cairo

things to do cairo muhammed ali mosque

How to get around Cairo

Taxi services like Uber or Careem are available throughout the whole city. Easily hop from sight to sight using this service.

Best restaurants in Cairo

Cairo offers some delicious places to have lunch or dinner.

Abou El Sid (Best Egyptian Cuisine)
Cake Cafe (Dessert)
Naguib Mahfouz (near Khan el Khalili Souk)
Crimson Bar & Grill (view over the Nile river)

Hotels in Cairo

➳ Find all: Hotels in Cairo

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11/06/2019 https://www.saltinourhair.com/egypt/cairo/
Blog comments (15)

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  • Anushia Sharma

    You made me miss Egypt now! I travelled alone and it was an amazing experience.

  • What is the visa process to travel to Egypt?

  • I have no idea about trip now I have to plan a trip for 13 members this winter for Egypt n near bys… please help me plan one

  • Hello! I love your blog! I will travel next week to Egypt and I would like to know if the city of Cairo visited you alone or accompanied by a guide. Is it easy and safe to be alone without a guide through the city?

    • saltinourhair

      Hi, Thanks!
      Our first day in Egypt we explored some parts of Cairo by ourselves which was just fine. You can also use Uber if you buy a sim card (which we highly recommend)
      Make sure to cover up a bit though, just to feel more comfortable :)
      Have fun!

  • Grant Dullage

    PYRAMIDS are not tombs. Historians such as the leading Zahi Hawass recognised slaves did not build the pyramids and they where not tombs due to no bodies ever being found inside.

  • Love this guide! What is the best way to get from Cairo to Petra? I’m headed there this winter and struggling to find the fastest/cheapest route.

    • saltinourhair

      Thank you!
      The best way would be: Fly from Cairo to Amman and take a bus from Amman to Petra (bus takes about 3,5 hours)
      We wouldn’t recommend border crossing from Egypt to Petra without a guide + it takes very long.

  • We are planning a trip to Egypt. How many days should we plan and which are the must visit places.

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