Have you been to Cairo? Did you enjoy it? Are you planning to go? Wondering if you should go or not? Well, we have been to Cairo so so many times and every time we enjoy our visit even more.
People say that Cairo is chaotic and this is a fact. You will definitely notice it from the moment you step out of the airport and start driving to get to your hotel. Hmmm, Driving… Maybe not a very good idea… especially if this is your first visit. Actually, avoiding driving would be a great idea. There are so many options available. Transfer companies with all types of vehicles and taxis of course that can accommodate your needs.
This city has a buzz… Spreading all over! A mix of sounds! But Cairo has history, long-lasting important history! It is colourful! It is traditional but also modern and overall has so much to offer to all travellers.
From late September to early May have always been our favourite months to visit Cairo, and if you just want to mix fun and sightseeing on light and entertaining itinerary here is what we would recommend:
The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo
This is the must of musts! Even if you do not like history still missing a visit to this museum will be a great loss.
Start early in the morning. The Pyramids and the Necropolis of Giza our in the outskirts of Cairo and it can take you an hour or more to get there. And when we say early we mean it. Really early. Walking under the sun and the heat at around noon or early afternoon hours is never a good experience. Dress comfortably in light clothes and tennis shoes. There is quite a lot of walking to do. For the braver ones climbing as well. And for adventure seekers maybe a camel ride! At Giza, you will probably spend a full day if you choose to enjoy a meal in the area and stop for more sightseeing on the way back to Cairo.
The Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha or Alabaster Mosque
Definitely worthy of your time!
For a really relaxing and wonderful time, you should join one of the wonderful riverboats for a dinner cruise in the Nile. The food is delicious and the feeling unique.
And for last we have saved our favourite place where the visit is an experience… fun, entertaining and maybe even educating!
Lovers of window shopping, real shopping for traditional items and souvenirs, shopping combined with bargaining… this is where you have to go. But even if you detest shopping still this is the place to go… A visit to Khan el-Khalili during the evening hours can be both an experience and an adventure. This is one of the largest bazaars that some of its parts date back to the 14th century. And it is a place that is also visited by the locals for shopping. So it is not just a “tourist trap”.
We never visit Cairo without spending some time at Khan el-Khalili. We enjoy the ambience and flair. We love shopping for worry beads made of all kinds of stones, woods and other materials. Our favourite being the ones made from rosewood that maintain their perfume throughout the years. (Actually for the locals these are prayer beads and surely not used for decorative purposes).
Some TIPS for Cairo
- Don’t Drive.
- Don’t Drink Tap Water. Not even in your luxury 5* hotel.
- Avoid Fresh Fruit Juices Sold on various Stands as you walk around.
- Avoid Public Bus Service unless you are up for an adventure.
- Be cautious when you flag a taxi on the road. Make sure that you can communicate with the driver and he can understand where you need to go.
- Work on your bargaining skills before you get to the markets and Khan el-Khalili.
- If you are a “Clean Freak” then you may need to reconsider or at least be prepared.