The City of a Thousand Minarets – Cairo, Egypt’s, as well as, Africa’s largest city and one of its densest, offers the visiting tourist lots to see. With the right blend of old and new, one can wander the streets of this city and never get enough of it. Cairo derives its meaning from the French Le Caire, meaning “The Conqueror” – and true to its name, this city will conquer your heart.
Photo by MrSnooks
Cairo has an extensive transportation system, with excellent road, railway and subway transport facilities. The subway is an efficient way of getting around the city and some trains even have special cars reserved for women. Besides its profusion of mosques, here are some of the interesting sights you might want to check out.
The Egyptian Museum
Officially called the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, this is where you can learn all about mystifying ancient Egypt. If Egyptian mummies and pharaohs fascinate you, then you will love going over artifacts from King Tutankhamen’s tomb, and the museum’s vast collection of coins and papyrus. The entrance fee is about 60 Egyptian pounds, roughly $11.
The charm of Cairo’s ancient bazaar is irresistible; going way back to 1382, this souk has quaint shops selling everything from chandeliers to spices, papyrus and souvenirs. Be prepared to haggle over prices though and remember: the deeper you go, the cheaper it gets. In addition to the shops are several coffeehouses offering authentic qahwah (Arabian coffee) and shisha (hukka).
One of the oldest churches in Egypt, the church is so called because of its elevated location; the church is approached by 29 steps. Having climbed the stairs, you find yourself in a quaint courtyard that leads to a fountain, beyond which is the entrance to the church itself. There is an ethereal beauty about this church and in going through the detail inside, you get a feeling of stepping back in time. The church is easily reachable via the Metro Line 1.
The Pyramids at Giza
What is a visit to Cairo without a look at the ancient pyramids, located at Giza, about 25 km away from central Cairo? Known as Al-Ahramat in Arabic, these wonders can be reached via the Metro and it is best to see them early in the morning when there aren’t too many people around.
Twice a week, the Wikala Al Ghuri (located close to Khan Al Khalili Souq) puts on a Sufi dancing show at 8:30 pm. The show lasts an hour and features the dancers whirling in their brightly coloured skirts to the sound of traditional Sufi music – a treat for the eyes. Warning: get there early if you want a seat as this place gets very crowded with tourists.
The River Nile
Take a walk along one of the most famous rivers in the world and experience the Nile. The river has a number of bridges and a walk along them gives a visitor a good view of the city. Or, if you are feeling romantic, indulge in a dinner cruise along the river and enjoy a view of the city at night.
Hotels in Cairo
Average Price: €30
Average Rating: 10.0
Sonesta Cairo Hotel & Casino
Average Price: €57
Average Rating: 7.0
Le Méridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa
Average Price: €74