A Guide to Wonderful Cairo

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A Guide to Wonderful Cairo
Within the chaotic hooting, tooting traffic and hustle and bustle of this capital city which is home to some 10 million people lies a treasure trove of antiquities, ancient historical monuments and sites, trendy bars, cafes and restaurants and even shopping malls waiting for you to discover. So why not make a Cairo 2022 holiday part of your bucket list this year? 

The Pyramids 

Home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Great Pyramid of Giza – and probably the magnet which attracts us all to this city, the Pyramids must absolutely be seen during your stay in Cairo. No matter how many photographs or films you have seen, nothing prepares you for their absolute majestic magnitude when you finally get to experience them, first hand, rising so high above the horizon. They are located on the perimeter of Cairo, approximately 13 – 15km from the city centre, in Giza.  
The Great Pyramid, the Pyramid of Cheops or Khufu, is the largest pyramid. Khufu was second Pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty and the founder of the Pyramids. His is the largest pyramid of them all. Just in front of The Great Pyramid you’ll find the smaller Queens’ pyramids. You can, if you wish, actually go inside the pyramids and follow the passage ways to the burial chambers inside. You can also visit the Solar Boat Museum, which houses a ceremonial solar barque excavated in this area. The Great Sphinx of Giza, is a magnificent monument depicting the body of a lion with a human face and this is also here to be seen and revered during your visit. You should also visit The Egyptian Museum which houses an abundance of ancient monuments and antiquities including the golden mask of Tutankhamen and the contents of his tomb discovered by Howard Carter in 1922.

Cairo Citadel

Away from ancient Egypt and antiquities, this city has a great more to offer. The Cairo Citadel is a fortified enclosure on an outcrop of the Muqattan Hills and this is where you will find the Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha or Alabaster Mosque. This mosque, along with the citadel, is one of the most well-known landmarks and tourist attractions of Cairo and is one of the first features to be seen when approaching the city from any direction. It is a beautiful site to visit for a couple of hours and has a view overlooking the entire city. Perfect for those who want a 2022 holiday with a difference! 

Old Cairo 

Old Cairo contains the remains of an ancient Roman fortress and includes the Coptic Cairo, which holds a high concentration of old Christian churches such as the Hanging Church, so called because of its position atop the fortress, the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, and other Christian or Coptic buildings, most of which are located over the site of the ancient Roman fortress. It is also the location of the Coptic Museum, which showcases the history of Coptic art from Greco-Roman to Islamic times, and of the Ben Ezra Synagogue, the oldest and best-known synagogue in Cairo, and the spot, according to folklore, where baby Moses was found. 

Gezira Island

The Gezira Island on the River Nile is joined to the rest of Cairo by three bridges and is the “cool” neighbourhood of Cairo. It is culturally active with art galleries and museums, including the Museum of Islamic Ceramics and two of Cairo’s major arts venues – the spacious Egyptian Opera House complex, and the El Sawy Culture Wheel Centre. Surrounded by the calm waters of the Nile this is an ideal escape from the busy city life on the mainland and the perfect place for an evening meal with restaurants offering authentic Egyptian cuisine as well as culinary delights from all around the world. 

The Souks

In Old Cairo you will find Moez Street and the The Khan El-Khalili Souk (open air market). Moez Street is a 1 km pedestrian street with a breath-taking concentration of medieval Islamic architecture for you to admire as you walk down this street. The adjacent Khan El-Khalili Souk is the Egyptian bazaar that you have seen in any film that features Cairo and is a sprawling network of streets filled with vendors of food, spices, handicrafts, clothing, leather, souvenirs, jewellery and antiques. It dates back to the 14th century when it was a large caravanserai housing merchants and theirs goods. Definitely worth a visit so you can pick up a bargain and experience the sounds and smells of one of the world’s oldest open air markets. 
When the day is over and your sightseeing comes to an end, a sail on a felucca, a traditional wooden sail boat, is another ideal way to relax and spend your down time. You can hire a boat from any of the stands near the Qasr El Nil Bridge for half an hour, an hour, two hours, as long as you like. If you wish you can bring your own food and drink on board and take in the views of this marvellous city as you sail the waters of the Nile and all sounds of hectic crazy traffic disappear.
Fancy treating yourself to an Egypt holiday this year or next? Why not get one booked and let us know in the comments below how it goes! 
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