Dahshur#10 in Best Things To Do in Cairo
While the Pyramids 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 Red, Bent and Black pyramids. The Red Pyramid (also known as the North Pyramid) can be recognized by its pinkish hue. Although it's much smaller than the Great Pyramid of Khufu in Giza, the Red Pyramid is just as significant because it was ancient Egypt's first attempt at building a true pyramid. The Bent Pyramid earned its name from its unique shape, which demonstrates the transition from the old-fashioned step-style pyramid to a true pyramid. The Black Pyramid was created several hundred years after its neighbors with mud brick and limestone. Long after its construction, the limestone was plundered and repurposed, leaving only the dark-colored facade that gave the Black Pyramid its name.
Although you can only enter the Red Pyramid, recent visitors recommended exploring Dahshur. Though these are some of Cairo's smallest pyramids, their unique exteriors rival the pyramids found in Giza. Plus, you'll find fewer crowds and cheaper entrance fees here.
You won't find public transportation near Dahshur, so plan on driving, hailing a taxi or taking a bus tour – like those offered by Love Egypt Tours and Emo Tours Egypt – to the region. Free parking is provided at Dahshur, which is open daily between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. However, no additional facilities, such as restrooms and a gift shop, are offered on-site. Tickets for Dahshur cost 60 Egyptian pounds ($7) for adults and include entry into the Red Pyramid. Reduced rates are available for students.
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#1 Islamic Cairo
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, you won't regret making the trek.
You'll find a number of top attractions here, including Khan El-Khalili's bazaar and the Salah El-Din Citadel. According to past visitors, no matter where you wander in the area, you'll stumble upon archeological treasures and architectural gems. To see Islamic Cairo's sights, get out and walk or tag along on an organized bus tour. Bus tours – like those offered by Memphis Tours and Egypt Tailor Made Tours – include local guides, so if you want to learn more about the neighborhood's history, this is the best way to get around.
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