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Egypt, a land of ancient wonders and modern marvels, beckons travelers with its rich history and captivating cultural experiences. 

 

Situated along the banks of the Nile River, Cairo, the bustling capital of Egypt, stands as a gateway to the nation’s treasures. With its fusion of Islamic architecture and historical significance, Cairo holds a magnetic allure that draws visitors from around the globe. 

 

This introductory guide sheds light on the enchanting highlights of Egypt’s capital. We’ll cover the iconic Pyramids of Giza, the captivating Egyptian Museum, the reverend Al-Azhar Mosque, and more!

Authentic Egyptian Cuisine

Egyptian cuisine is a captivating blend of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and African flavors, reflecting the nation’s rich history. Bread, notably Aish Baladi, a type of flatbread, is a constant companion to dishes, while aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, and cardamom infuse recipes with depth.

Hearty stews and tagines, slow-cooked with a mix of meats or seafood, vegetables, and spices, are comforting staples. Molokhia, a green leafy vegetable stew, exemplifies the robust stews found in Egyptian kitchens. For those with a sweet tooth, desserts like Basbousa (semolina cake), Kunafa (shredded phyllo pastry), and Baklava add a decadent touch.

Do not visit Egypt without exploring Egyptian street food. You’ll discover favorites like Koshari, a mix of lentils, rice, pasta, and chickpeas, and Hawawshi, meat-stuffed sandwiches, as well as an array of Kebabs. Traditional beverages like Karkadeh (hibiscus tea) and Sahlab, a warm milk pudding, add unique flavors to the experience.

Egyptian hospitality, generous portions, and a diverse range of flavors make every culinary exploration a delight. From bustling markets to street corners, Egypt’s cuisine offers a tapestry of tastes waiting to be savored.

What to do as you discover Cairo!

1. Discover the Pyramids and Sphinx
Tourist in a blue headscarf standing with hands behind head, gazing at the great sphinx of giza under a clear blue sky.

1. Discover the Pyramids and Sphinx

Discover the Pyramids and Sphinx Relive history by visiting the Pyramids and Sphinx. These colossal structures, built ages ago, reveal the secrets of Egypt's past. Gaze at the towering pyramids that once held mighty pharaohs and discover the enigmatic Sphinx, a statue with a lion's body and a human face. You get to witness the intricate craftsmanship and imagine life in ancient times. Guided tours provide fascinating insights, or you can wander independently. Capture the magic through photos and create memories that will last a lifetime. The Pyramids and Sphinx are not just sights; they're windows to a world that's both captivating and mysterious. These are just a few of the many reasons why Egypt should be your next visiting spot! So, what are you waiting for?

Visitor observing a collection of ancient busts on display at a museum.

2. Visit the Royal Mummy Gallery

In the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, there's a special place called the Royal Mummy Gallery. Inside, you can see more than 20 royal mummies, like Ramses II, who lived a very long time ago. It's amazing how well some of these mummies are preserved, even though they're thousands of years old. One mummy, Queen Tiye, still has her curly hair!

An assortment of antique items and furniture displayed along the aisles of a vintage market.

3. Shop at Khan El Khalili

When you're done exploring El Moez Street, you can't miss visiting Khan El Khalili. It's a big market where you can find all sorts of things to take home as souvenirs or gifts. There are shops with fancy gold and silver items, as well as fun little things made of plastic. The market looks really beautiful when it's dark, all lit up with lights and lanterns, but be ready for lots of people and bargaining.

A person wearing traditional clothing walks across a spacious town square under a clear sky.

4. Walk along El Moez Street

Cairo has been around for more than a thousand years, and to experience its old side, take a walk on El Moez Street. It's a long street full of really old buildings and places like mosques and palaces. The street is also home to the famous tentmakers' market. The United Nations thinks El Moez Street has the most old treasures from the Islamic world.

Woman wearing a summer dress and hat overlooking a historic cityscape from a high vantage point.

5. Explore the Cairo Citadel and Mohamed Ali Mosque

The Cairo Citadel is like an old castle that's almost a thousand years old. For a very long time, it was where Egypt's leaders worked and lived. Even today, it's an important place with mosques and museums. The famous Mohamed Ali Mosque is there too. When you're up high in the Citadel, you can see all of Cairo – if the sky is clear, you might even spot the Pyramids in the distance.

Arched gateway framing a view of traditional minarets and hanging lanterns against a clear sky.

6. Discover Coptic Cairo

In Coptic Cairo, you can see really old churches that go back to a time when ancient Egyptian religions were gone, and Islam hadn't come yet. Some of these churches are from a very, very long time ago, like over a thousand years ago. People say that even the Holy Family stayed here for a bit when they were running away. Coptic Cairo is a place you can walk around and see many things like churches, a Roman fort, a Jewish synagogue, and a museum. You can also buy books and souvenirs.

Facade of a traditional building with arched doorways and ornamental detailing, under a clear blue sky.

7. Admire Sultan Hassan and Al Rifai Mosques

Close to the Cairo Citadel, there are two stunning mosques, Sultan Hassan and Al Rifai. Even though they look similar and are very close, they were built 500 years apart. Sultan Hassan Mosque, built a long time ago in 1359 AD, is very important in the Islamic world. People who know about history call it an amazing building. Al Rifai Mosque was built much later, around 500 years after Sultan Hassan Mosque. It's a special place where the royal family's tombs are, and people also go there to pray.

A boat navigating the nile river with a backdrop of a desert landscape and buildings on the riverbank.

8. Take a Boat Ride on the Nile

The Nile River has been important for Egypt for a very long time. To really enjoy the Nile, try taking a ride on a felucca, which is a small boat with a sail. It's peaceful and lets you relax away from the busy city. The best time for this is during sunset when the city lights start to twinkle on the water.

The giza pyramid complex under a cloudy sky with tourists visiting the ancient site.

9. See the Oldest Pyramid in Saqqara

If you love pyramids, you'll want to go to Saqqara. There, you can see the oldest pyramid in Egypt, the Pyramid of Djoser. This pyramid looks different from the famous ones at Giza because it has steps. It's like a prototype for the others. You can also find many interesting tombs there.

Woman in bohemian attire posing on a thatched roof with a basket and a piece of fabric.

10. Enjoy a Pyramids View While Eating

After seeing the Pyramids up close, you can still enjoy them from a distance while having a meal. Don't rush – take your time to eat and drink while you look at the ancient wonders. It's a different way to appreciate them. If you go during the day or at sunset, you'll have the best view, because once it gets dark, it's hard to see them without special lights.

Start Planning Your Tailor-Made Trip by Contacting one of Our Egypt Specialists!

Hear it Directly From Our Satisfied Travelers!

Tamara Villarrubia
Tamara Villarrubia
29 May 2024
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Matt Haldiman
29 May 2024
The trip was planned so perfectly. We had so much fun and were able to give my dad a great family trip and 70th birthday memory. Thank you for taking so much time to create such a wonderful memory for our family!
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Olivia Wiles
28 May 2024
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28 May 2024
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Matthew Giefer
28 May 2024
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Andree Duhon
24 May 2024
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Emily Schalk
24 May 2024
Tera with The Travel Byrds is fantastic! My fiancé and I worked with Tera and her team to plan our most recent trip overseas. Tera took the time to learn about our travel interests and style. Meaning do we prefer fast paced adventure or slow-paced relaxation. From there, she worked to understand destinations and cities we wanted to see, all while working in some personal recommendations (sights, food, and excursions) based on her experience and past clients. She explained The Travel Byrd app in detail so that we had constant access to resources if needed. This included all of our tickets to tours and excursions. If you're looking to book a trip no matter how simple or how complex, Tera and her team will get it planned and achieved for you. Not to mentioned she's just a fun person to work with:)
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J W
23 May 2024
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Sarah Gleick
22 May 2024
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Colin Ethier
20 May 2024
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