Cairo Travel Guide
Patriotically known as the ‘Triumphant City’, the sprawling, bustling capital of Egypt is the largest city in Africa and home to one of the greatest ancient civilizations of humanity. More than 17 million people pack themselves into the hot, dusty neighborhoods of Cairo, creating a truly fascinating though reliably chaotic tourist destination.
Cairo spreads itself out like a labyrinth on both sides of the Nile River, with the Islamic and Christian Coptic districts on the eastern bank and the ancient city of Giza (Memphis) with its timeless pyramids on the west. Crowded central Cairo is the young and modern hub of the city, full of museums, art galleries, shops and restaurants. Old Cairo, or Coptic Cairo, is a district with historic links to the Pharonic, Islamic and Roman periods.
The Islamic district, to the east of central Cairo, is the cultural and historic center of the city as it exists today. The Citadel and many beautiful mosques are found here. Outside of this concentrated collection of distinct districts are the newer, less alluring areas of Cairo. Modern shopping malls, residential neighborhoods and the like make up the fabric of these peripheral districts which are not particularly interesting for tourists.
Coptic Cairo: the most interesting remaining Christian presence in Cairo can be found in this original Roman suburb where visitors can check out the Fortress of Babylon and a museum dedicated to an early visit by Jesus.****
Egyptian Museum: near the main square is this incredibly extensive collection of priceless antiquities, including such wonders as Tutankhamen’s stunning death mask and the eerie Royal Mummy room.
Ibn Tulun Mosque: Cairo’s oldest mosque dates to the 9th century and is bordered by the equally amazing medieval fortress called the Citadel with its own mosque, Al-Azhar.
Islamic Cairo: the city’s Islamic district is the historic, cultural and colorful core of modern Cairo, which can take days to thoroughly explore.
Khan El-Khalili Bazaar: haggle your way through Cairo’s most amazing market where everything under the sun can be bought for the right price.
Giza Pyramids: don’t come all this way and miss the chance to explore one of the world’s greatest wonders, including the mysterious Sphinx.