Cairo Egypt tourist attractions are countless. Since the beginning of time, Cairo has been a center of culture, art, and beauty and is famous for being the capital of Egypt and the largest city in Africa, the Middle East, and the Arab world.
Most travelers and lovers of the Egyptian capital wonder about the attractions and places they must visit during their vacation in Egypt. We must inform you that Cairo is not only the Pyramids of Giza, which is undoubtedly the best and most famous tourist attraction in Egypt throughout the ages.
But Cairo is full of different civilizations and cultures to suit all tastes. Coptic Cairo is filled with unparalleled churches and monasteries built hundreds of years ago, as well as Islamic Cairo with its small mosques and alleys built by the Fatimids, Abbasids, Mamluks, and others who ruled Egypt, in addition to the ancient pharaonic monuments and many more.
During this article, we will take you on a journey to get to know the most famous Cairo landmarks that you must visit:
What is Cairo Egypt, Best Known for?
The Great pyramids, Tahrir Square in the middle of the town, the Egyptian Museum, Khan el-Khalili Bazaar, different mosques, and the Cairo Tower are among the most tourist attractions in Egypt Cairo.
History of Cairo Egypt
One of the world’s oldest and most intriguing civilizations began in ancient Egypt. The city’s expansion may be traced back to the 12th century when it became the caliphate’s capital. In the 1300s, Cairo was the most incredible metropolis west of China, with a population of over 500,000.
After the Ottoman Empire came to rule the area in the 16th century, Cairo gradually declined in significance. Egypt gained its independence in the nineteenth century after being invaded on multiple occasions, most notably by Napoleon.
However, the British occupied the area from 1882 until 1952, also in the same century. The population increased significantly over this time, from a low of 350k to a high of 1.3m. However, the most significant expansion occurred in 1952, with the establishment of the Egyptian Republic. Adding to its previous prominence as a financial center, Cairo quickly developed into a major manufacturing center.
The city has developed into more than just a commercial hub; it is now also a central cultural hub. In many people’s minds, Cairo is the epicenter of Arab artistic expression.
Egyptian Culture in Cairo
You don’t have to do much to learn about Cairo’s culture. You can get a feel for the city just by walking around downtown and getting lost in the Khan el Khalili Bazaar, which has a lot of small streets. If you want a more political view, you can talk to the locals and find out what they think about the Arab Spring, especially since they believe it will lead to even more change.
I’m not saying that the weather will always be pleasant or that the streets will always be clean or pretty, but the culture is fascinating to learn about. Even more so for the more observant tourist since the city’s westernization and cosmopolitanism will make it hard to get a sense of its culture.
What are the Top Cairo, Egypt, Tourist Attractions?
Cairo Egypt is worth visiting, the city is best known as the location of the Giza Plateau, which is home to the Great Pyramid of King Khufu (one of the Seven Wonders of the World), the oldest and largest statue in the world (the Sphinx), and the house of mummification (the Valley Temple).
Memphis, Egypt, the new kingdom capital, was located only 24 kilometers from Cairo; within the city itself, the fortress of Babylon, built two thousand years earlier, became the center of the Orthodox community in the late 4th century AD. Many churches were built around it along the holy family’s route through Cairo, including the Hanging church.
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1. The Pyramids of Giza
The Pyramids of Giza are not just one of the most tourist attractions in Cairo but also the most visited landmark in all of Egypt. You should still come here, even if the heat, dust, and crowds of tourists put you off.
These fourth-dynasty burial buildings on the Giza Plateau on the city’s outskirts have been stunning visitors for ages.
The interior of the greatest of the Giza pyramids, the Pyramid of Cheops (also known as the Great Pyramid or the Pyramid of Khufu), can be examined through a series of tiny corridors. However, there isn’t much to see inside except a plain tomb chamber with an empty coffin.
The smaller Pyramid of Mycerinus and the enormous Pyramid of Chephren (also known as the Pyramid of Khefre) may be found to the south of the plateau (Pyramid of Menkaure).
One of the most recognizable structures from antiquity, the Sphinx stands guard over these tomb complexes.
2. The Egyptian Museum
Over 170,000 artifacts can be found in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo (EMC), making it the oldest archaeological museum in the Middle East. The museum houses the world’s most extensive trove of artifacts from the Pharaonic period.
Pieces in the museum date from as early as the Predynastic period and go up to the Roman period (c. 5500 BC-AD 364).
The Egyptian Museum in Cairo is often regarded as one of the best museums in the world due to its incredible collection of ancient artifacts. You are seeing everything displayed in detail would take a lifetime.
3. The Grand Egyptian Museum
On the edge of the Giza Plateau in Egypt is where you’ll find the Grand Egyptian Museum, just two kilometers from the pyramids. The Grand Egyptian Museum will have almost 100,000 artifacts from ancient Egypt, making it the world’s largest museum with only about one culture.
A permanent exhibition hall of 24,000 square meters, a conservation center, a children’s museum, educational displays, meeting rooms, and manicured gardens will all be part of the museum complex.
4. Khan El-Khalili Bazaar
The huge Khan El Khalili Bazaar is in the middle of Old Cairo. It is a vast mix of old and new, with stunning Islamic buildings that are hundreds of years old and modern glass and steel structures. While many foreigners visit, Egyptians make up the vast majority of Khan El Khalili’s clientele, keeping the market busy day and night, year-round.
5. El Fishawy Traditional Café
This café, one of Cairo’s oldest, can be found in the backstreets of Khan el Khalili and is worth a visit just for the history. Since the Islamic era, coffeehouses in Egypt, like Fishawi’s café, have played a significant social role, bringing together individuals from all walks of life. While people-watching in the early morning hours, relax with a cup of freshly made tea and a fruit-flavored shisha at this traditional café.
6. Al Muizz Street
One of the oldest streets in Egypt Cairo, Muizz Street, has been meticulously documented and is now recognized as one of the country’s premier outdoor museums. This city was built in the 10th century by the Fatimid dynasty.
Al Muizz Street in Cairo is where you can discover the most significant number of Islamic medieval architectural masterpieces.
7. Wekalet El-Ghouri
Wekalet El-Ghouri trains the next generation of artists and craftspeople to keep Egypt’s rich cultural history alive. These artists and crafters will one day carry the country’s artistic banner and continue to immerse themselves in its unique river of creativity.
Currently, Al-Ghouria has ten artisan divisions. Still, they want to expand by adding more divisions to bring back various endangered arts and crafts (Arabic script – fine carpentry – mother-of-pearl inlay – engraving on copper – tent decoration – stained glass plaster – folk jewelry – engraving on wood). – Oyama (mineral and wood unloading; folk and traditional costumes).
8. Cairo Opera House
The Cairo Opera House, Cairo’s principal venue for the performing arts, is located inside the Cairo National Cultural Center. Situated on the southern edge of Gezira Island in the Nile in Zamalek area of central Cairo, it is home to some of Egypt’s finest musical groups.
9. Tahrir Square
The Egyptian capital of Cairo is home to a sizeable public town plaza. Since the early 20th century, the area has been the epicenter of political protests in Cairo.
The 2011 Egyptian Revolution and the rallies and demonstrations at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt’s thriving metropolis, have made the square very renowned across the globe.
10. Cairo Tower
The Cairo Tower, at a height of 187 meters, has 90 stories and is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Cairo, Egypt, because it has incredible views of the Egyptian city.
The best time to visit the tower’s circular observation deck and take in the cityscape is late morning or early afternoon. There’s a restaurant at the very top of the tower, too, and the restaurant sometimes spins around the central axis of the tower.
11. The Citadel of Saladin
The Citadel of Saladin is regarded as one of the finest examples of a medieval military stronghold of Islamic Cairo. One of the most incredible things to do in Cairo is to check out this massive military fortification, which has high walls, towering turrets, and many gates.
12. Muhammad Ali Mosque
You may find the Muhammad Ali Mosque within the Saladin Citadel in Cairo, Egypt. Muhammad Ali Pasha erected this one on the site of earlier Mamluk palaces in 1265 AH or 1848 AD.
Due to the marble used in its construction, the interior and exterior of this mosque are referred to by their respective names. The mosque has two minarets, each 84 meters tall, making them the tallest in all of Egypt.
13. Ahmad ibn Tulun Mosque
Ibn Tulun Mosque, the city’s biggest mosque, dates back to the 7th century. In the 9th century, Ibn Tulun was the governor of Al Fustat under the Abbasid Caliph of Baghdad. Between 876 and 879, he oversaw the building of the mosque.
14. Al Azhar Mosque
Cairo is home to hundreds of historic mosques, but none compare to Al-Azhar Mosque in terms of its significance to Islam. In 970 CE, the Fatimids built this mosque as a place to pray and study. Since then, it has become the most critical place for Islamic scholarship and thought.
15. Al Sultan Hassan Mosque
In Cairo, the Sultan Hassan Mosque was built around the middle of the 14th century by Sultan Hassan. People worldwide agree that his namesake mosque, built in the grand Mamluk style, is one of the best examples of Islamic architecture in the world.
16. Amr ibn Al Aas Mosque
The Mosque of Amr ibn Al Aas is a must-see among Egypt’s and Africa’s oldest religious structures. Amr ibn al-As was an important figure in the early history of Islam. He was one of the first people to follow the Prophet, Muhammad.
When he took over the country in 20 AH/640 AD, he built Fustat, the first Islamic capital of Egypt. It is now under the city of Cairo. The following year, at the behest of Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab, he established the first structure in Amr ibn Al-Aas, his namesake mosque.
17. The Hanging Church
A foundation made of palm tree logs and layers of stones was built on the remains of the Roman citadel. A wooden roof shaped like Noah’s ark gives the Hanging Church in Old Cairo its distinctive appearance.
18. The Church of Saint Sergius and Bacchus
Among the many Coptic churches, the Church of St. Sergius stands out because of its connection to the route used by the Holy Family when they fled from King Herod to Egypt. Christians believe that Saints Sergius and Bacchus were martyred in the Rusafa area of Syria, thus the church’s name.
19. Ben Ezra Synagogue
Ben Ezra Synagogue is the oldest Jewish temple in Cairo, Egypt dating back to the 9th century AD, and may be found tucked away in the narrow streets of Coptic Cairo.
Even though it is now only a tourist attraction like most of Egypt’s synagogues due to the departure of the country’s considerable Jewish population in the 1950s after the formation of Israel and the Free Officers’ Revolution, this landmark is immense significance in the modern history of Judaism.
20. Ancient Egyptian City of Memphis
The first Egyptian capital was located in Memphis. More than 100 of the pyramids in the Cairo city area date back to when Memphis was the capital of Egypt and, perhaps, the world. At the outdoor museum, people can look at the ruins of the buildings, such as the bases of the pillars, sculptures, and foundations.
21. The Step Pyramid of Djoser
The earliest pyramid ever built by the Egyptians was the Step Pyramid of Djoser, erected at Saqqara. It has six stories above ground and a network of tunnels below; construction began on it about 4,700 years ago.
22. The Pyramids of Dahshur
The ancient Egyptian civilization may be seen in the Dahshur Pyramids. Dahshour is like a magnificent book, filling us in on ancient Egyptian history’s vast and beautiful tales. Yet, other tourist attractions, such as the Giza Plateau, get more attention.
Dahshour is one of the largest and most significant of the several necropoleis in Memphis, the famous ancient Egyptian capital. There are pyramids from the Fourth and Twelfth Dynasties in the Dahshour region, located around 30 kilometers south of the Giza Pyramids in the southern wing of Saqqara.
The Amenemhat II Pyramid and the Amenemhat III Pyramid, often known as the Black Pyramid, are located in this area. The first monarch to erect his tomb in this royal region was King Snefru (2680–2656 B.C.), the founder of the IV Dynasty and a significant figure in Egyptian history.
- The Bent Pyramid: Sneferu constructed the Bent Pyramid between 2613 and 2589 B.C. (almost 4,600 years ago!) Archaeologists think it is a transitional form between the step pyramid and the smooth-sided pyramid.
- The Red Pyramid: Pharaoh Sneferu built the Red Pyramid, which is often thought to be the first Egyptian pyramid with smooth sides after the Bent Pyramid and the Meidum Pyramid. The Giza Plateau’s Khufu and Khafre pyramids are giants, but this one is the third largest in Egypt.
- The Black Pyramid: Even though it is in ruins, this pyramid in Dahshur is a must-see because of how unique and unsettling it seems.
It is thought that the Black Pyramid was the first pyramid in Egypt to serve as a royal tomb for the pharaoh and his queens. In the Middle Kingdom, some 3,800 years ago, it was constructed by Pharaoh Amenemhat III. Because of its “dark, decaying aspect,” it is known as the Black Pyramid. Due to its low height, water from the Nile could get into the walls, which eventually split and fell into the clay ground. Its construction out of mudbrick rather than typical stone (albeit encased in limestone) contributed to its collapse.
Is Cairo Good for Tourists?
Egyptians are known for their warm hospitality and willingness to go the extra mile. They are very proud of Egypt and want people to see how beautiful it is. And recently, it has become safer to travel, as people in charge in the country have started to realize how important tourism is to their economy.
Best Time to Travel to Cairo
October through April are ideal for a trip to Cairo because of the mild weather, which is perfect for visiting the tourist attractions in Egypt Cairo and other outdoor pursuits. Some people think it is always summer because Cairo is in a desert climate. But the city has distinct seasons that change the weather and the number of people who visit.
Summer in Cairo:
Cairo is not as hot as the southern part of Egypt. During the summer, from June to September, temperatures go above 30 °C and can reach 45 °C. This is the dry season when it doesn’t rain much, so the air’s humidity is lower, making it feel cooler.
This time of year has fewer tourists because most people don’t want to spend the summer in a desert. This means that places will be less crowded, and hotel prices will be reasonable.
Winter in Cairo:
Egypt’s City of Cairo In the winter, the weather is colder and sometimes even colder, and the temperature changes a lot during the day. In the winter, it can be 23 °C during the day and 10 °C at night. Winter is when it rains the most. But because Cairo is in a desert climate, it rarely rains.
The weather makes this the best time for most tourists to visit, so winter is the busiest time in Cairo. During this time, there are a lot of tourists in the capital of Egypt, so hotels are more expensive, and lines at tourist spots are longer.
Spring and Fall in Cairo:
Many think spring and fall are the best time to visit Cairo, Egypt. The weather isn’t as hot as it is in the summer. Another benefit is that there won’t be as many tourists as there are in the winter. So, there will be less of a wait, and you’ll be able to find better hotel prices.