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Best Things To Do in Cairo

Some visitors are satisfied with a tour of the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx, but there is so much more to this city. If it's ancient ruins that draw you to Egypt's capital, carve out some time for the archeological sites of Dahshur, Memphis and Saqqara. For a dose of Egypt's religious past, explore Salah El-Din Citadel and the historic Islamic Cairo and Coptic Cairo neighborhoods. Further insight into Egypt's past can be gained at the Egyptian MuseumWhen you're in need of a break from Cairo's historic locales, relax in Al Azhar Park or barter for goods at a Khan el-Khalili bazaar. And as dusk sets in over Cairo's sandy terrain, witness the monuments glow in the orange light of the setting sun as you enjoy a felucca ride on the Nile.

How we rank Things to Do

Updated March 6, 2018

  • #1
    Things to do in Cairo
    View all Photos
    #1 in Cairo
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    This sprawling neighborhood in eastern Cairo encompasses a labyrinth of twisting alleyways and a spattering of awe-inspiring architecture. The atmosphere here will take some getting used to: The streets are crowded, noisy and littered with animal droppings. But if you take the time to adjust to Islamic Cairo's chaotic environment,

    ...Read More »
  • #2
    Coptic Cairo (Old City)
    View all Photos
    #2 in Cairo
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    This neighborhood in southern Cairo is the oldest part of the city, with twisting alleyways and ancient churches that are several centuries older than the ornate mosques ofIslamic Cairo. According to legend, it was St. Mark who introduced Christianity to Egypt, and it was here that Africa's first Christian church

    ...Read More »
  • #3
    Pyramids of Giza
    View all Photos
    #3 in Cairo
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Cairo's most popular attraction, the Pyramids of Giza, draw thousands of visitors every year. As one of the original Seven Wonders of the World, these pyramids have stood the test of time, remaining intact for roughly 4,500 years. You'll find three primary pyramids, the best known being the Great Pyramid

    ...Read More »
  • #4
    Great Sphinx
    View all Photos
    #4 in Cairo
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    One of Cairo's must-see attractions is the Great Sphinx, the world's oldest monumental sculpture. Situated by thePyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx impresses with its size – it measures 66 feet high and 234 feet long – and unique appearance. The monument depicts a part pharaoh, part lion being, but

    ...Read More »
  • #5
    Egyptian Museum
    View all Photos
    #5 in Cairo
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The best way to follow up your trip to the pyramids is by visiting the Egyptian Museum. This massive facility contains more than 100,000 artifacts from ancient Egypt, including sarcophagi, jewelry and pottery. It would take almost a year to explore the museum in its entirety. To save you some

    ...Read More »
  • #6
    Salah El-Din Citadel
    View all Photos
    #6 in Cairo
    Churches/Religious Sites, Museums, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Museums, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    You'll need to devote a whole day to the Salah El-Din Citadel, which is quite possibly the most popular non-pyramid attraction in Cairo. This massive fortress located inIslamic Cairowas constructed in the late 1100s by Salah al-Din, the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty and an opponent of those involved in

    ...Read More »
  • #7
    Saqqara
    View all Photos
    #7 in Cairo
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Sandwiched betweenGizaandDahshurin southern Cairo and surrounded by palm trees, this archaeological site houses the Step Pyramid of Djoser, Egypt's oldest stone pyramid. The Step Pyramid dates back to the Third Dynasty (2649 to 2575 B.C.) and was constructed for the pharaoh Djoser by the now infamous architect Imhotep. Originally built

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  • #8
    Khan el-Khalili
    View all Photos
    #8 in Cairo
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    For the best taste of Cairo's vibrant, chaotic personality, make a beeline to Khan el-Khalili. Overflowing into the narrow streets ofIslamic Cairo, this bustling market serves as the go-to place for authentic Egyptian souvenirs. Its labyrinth of alleyways houses a treasure trove of Egyptian jewelry, hookah pipes and spices.

    ...Read More »
  • #9
    Al Azhar Park
    View all Photos
    #9 in Cairo
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Recreation
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Flanking the eastern edge ofIslamic Cairois Al Azhar Park, one of Cairo's largest parks. Formerly a garbage dump, Al Azhar Park now features an array of fountains, manicured gardens, recreation areas and restaurants.

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  • #10
    Dahshur
    View all Photos
    #10 in Cairo
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    While thePyramids of Giza steal most of the limelight, travelers looking to experience ancient Egypt without competing with crowds head to Dahshur. Located about 23 miles south of central Cairo, this archaeological site contains five pyramids dating as far back as 2575 B.C. There are three pyramids that stand out: the

    ...Read More »
  • #11
    Memphis
    View all Photos
    #11 in Cairo
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    First founded in A.D. 969, Cairo is considered a very young capital by Egyptian standards. Before the founding of Cairo, the ancient city of Memphis reigned supreme. NeighboringSaqqaraalong the Nile River, the ruins of Memphis (which was founded in 2925 B.C. by quasi-mythical ruler Menes) was the first imperial city

    ...Read More »

Explore More of Cairo

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