A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Pyramids of Giza are among the most phenomenal accomplishments in human history. Emblematic of Ancient Egypt, these pyramids have stood for thousands of years, and are an enduring symbol of Cairo. Located just a 40-minute drive from the city, the pyramids are a must-see on any journey to the Egyptian capital.
Join a guided tour for the opportunity to explore and learn about these monuments from an Egyptologist, who will share with you insightful information about the Great Pyramid, the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure. Go inside the Great Pyramid for a once-in-lifetime opportunity to see the interior of this grand structure built for Khufu. You’ll also visit the Sphinx, arguably one of the most famous and iconic statues in the world. For a unique experience of the complex, consider booking tickets for a pyramids sound and light show.
Cruise down the Nile River and discover Cairo’s culture from a whole new perspective. If you’re short on time, you can opt for an hour-long felucca sailing tour and admire the city from this traditional wooden vessel. Alternatively, combine your felucca ride with a trip to see the pyramids and Sphinx for a full adventure. For a night of entertainment, enjoy a delectable buffet dinner on an evening cruise with live music, a belly dancing show and traditional Tanoura spinners.
Those looking for a comprehensive experience of Egypt can even choose one of the multi-day boat cruises to travel down Africa’s longest river. After exploring Cairo, fly to Aswan or take the train to Luxor, where you’ll board a cruise and spend a few nights, stopping at famed locations like Abu Simbel along the way.
This is a quintessential Egyptian voyage, taken along one of civilization’s most important waterways and visiting prominent cities in ancient history.
Cairo has a long and fascinating past, which you can uncover in the city’s oldest section — Coptic Cairo. This area has served as the center for Christianity in the city and is home to incredible historic sites that date back hundreds of years. It’s even believed that the Holy Family visited here on their journey to Egypt, and stayed at the Abu Serga Church.
On a Coptic Cairo tour, one of the most notable attractions you’ll see is the Hanging Church. This unique place of worship was first constructed in the 3rd century atop a Roman Fortress, creating the impression that it’s suspended, and is home to 110 icons and other architectural features.
Another noteworthy site often visited is the Cave Church, one of the largest churches in the region, situated within a cavern. Coptic Cairo tours are often combined with tours of Islamic Cairo, offering a fascinating insight into the various religions that influenced the city.
Cairo has been considered by UNESCO as one of the world’s oldest Islamic cities, and nowhere can this be better seen than in Islamic Cairo. Venerated as a World Heritage Site, this area of the city showcases the rich architectural and cultural heritage of Islamic civilization.
Most tours visit the sprawling and grand Citadel and Mosque of Muhammad Ali, as well as the Khan el Khalili bazaar. At this bustling marketplace, you can experience the vibrant atmosphere of medieval Cairo. This bazaar dates as far back as the 14th century and has been an important center of trade and culture ever since.
Explore local shops selling traditional crafts, textiles, spices and jewelry, and consider joining a walking tour, or even a free walking tour for a more budget-friendly option, to learn more about the market’s history. You’ll be sure to find the perfect souvenirs for friends and family here!
An icon of Islamic Cairo, the Citadel served as a fortress and residence to Egypt’s sovereigns for centuries. Building first began in the 12th century, and it was continuously expanded in later years by other rulers. Join a guided tour to discover its formidable construction and breathtaking views of the city. Situated on Mottakam hills, it provided the ideal vantage point from which to protect the city. Forming part of Islamic Cairo, it’s considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The Citadel is also home to a number of museums and mosques, including another of Cairo’s major attractions — the Alabaster Mosque. Largely known as the Mosque of Muhammad Ali, this place of worship is easily recognizable for its large dome and minarets that reach over 80 meters high, featuring prominently on Cairo’s skyline. Venture inside to discover the opulent decoration, and admire its grand design.
What better way to experience the pyramids of Giza than from the back of a camel? Climb atop your trusted companion and discover the ancient complex from a unique vantage point. You’ll be immersed in the dunes like a true nomad, right on the edge of the Sahara Desert. Camel riding tours can be arranged with other activities such as quad biking on half-day or full-day tours, or organized as a special experience itself.
Some tours begin with a tour of the pyramids and Sphinx, before ending with your special camel ride. Your guide will be on hand to lead the camels and to ensure you get the best possible photos of your experience, as you roam in perfect view of the pyramids on the horizon. If you’re not sure about riding a camel, you also have the option of traversing the desert by horse-drawn carriage.
For a thrilling adventure, you can embark on an action-packed desert safari from Cairo. Speed up your travels with an adrenaline-pumping quad tour through the desert. Zoom around the Giza pyramids on your ATV at up to 80 kilometers an hour and go where few tourists have ventured before! For an even more special experience, you can go driving at sunset and enjoy a delectable barbeque afterward.
Alternatively, go dune-bashing in a 4x4 in the Wadi El Rayan Desert and take photos at the stunning waterfalls. Make a stop at the Mudawara Mountains, before swapping your wheels for a board and going gliding down the sand on a sandboard! This is an excursion the family won’t soon forget.
If you’re looking for a multi-day desert safari, you can embark on a journey from Cairo and travel to the mystifying White Desert, where you can spend the night before visiting the Bahariya Oasis the next day.
Take a day trip and journey from Egypt’s modern capital to discover its ancient capital, Memphis. While the city was abandoned centuries ago, remains of it can still be seen in the village of Mit Rahina.
A guided tour will offer you insight into the reign and downfall of Memphis. On a tour here, you’ll see the colossal statue of Ramesses II, approximately 10 meters in length, and the alabaster Sphinx, which dates back to the 18th Dynasty. Memphis forms a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with Giza necropolis, in recognition of its numerous valuable archeological remains.
Day tours typically include visits to Sakkara, home to the oldest complete stone building complex, the Pyramid of Djoser, which is over 4,000 years old. You can also combine your tour to include a visit to the pyramids of Giza, providing a comprehensive excursion through Egypt’s rich history.
Home to the world’s largest and oldest collection of Pharaonic antiquities, the Egyptian Museum is a must-visit on any Cairo trip. Housing over 100 000 objects spanning centuries from the Predynastic Period to the Greco-Roman Era, the museum provides a detailed look into Egypt’s history and culture. The Egyptian Museum is also notable in itself, as it was inaugurated in 1902 and is considered the first national museum in the Middle East.
One of the most significant exhibitions is the Tutankhamun collection, where you will discover the former Pharoah’s treasures. Make sure you see his golden burial mask, regarded as one of the most exceptional pieces of art in the world. You can also see the statues of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure, whom the pyramids were built for.
Combine your visit to the museum with a tour that stops at other locations such as the Citadel for an extensive exploration of the city’s heritage.
Embark on a breathtaking excursion out of Cairo to discover the unparalleled White Desert — a sprawling national park filled with intriguing rock formations made of chalk. While here, you’ll journey into the Valley of Agabat, also known as the “Beautiful Valley,” where you’ll discover this unique landscape carved by the wind.
The best way to experience the White Desert is on a 2-day tour from Cairo, where you get to set up traditional tents and sleep beneath the natural phenomena and glittering stars. On your multi-day trip, you can also explore the contrasting Black Desert, which was formed as a result of volcanic activity. You’ll also see the mystical Crystal Mountain formed of calcite crystals.
Make a stop at the lush Bahariya Oasis, where you can climb some sand dunes, visit the salt lake and discover the Mummies Museum. You’ll return to Cairo having delved into some of the most exceptional environments on earth.
As the sprawling capital of Egypt, Cairo is a vibrant fusion of history and modernity. It’s one of the largest cities in Africa and the Middle East, and is often referred to as the "city of a thousand minarets,” a reflection of the enduring Islamic influence in the region. Cairo has a rich and extensive history dating back over a thousand years. It was founded in 969 AD by the Fatimid dynasty but the area has been settled for much longer, having been inhabited by numerous civilizations including the Romans.
At its heart you can discover the millennia-old monuments of the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx built in the time of the Pharaohs. Influenced by a range of cultures and religions through the centuries, the city boasts a rich heritage reflected in its Islamic architecture, Coptic sites and world-renowned Egyptian Museum.
You can experience contemporary Cairo through its bustling markets or Nile River cruises. While there’s plenty to discover within the city, don’t miss out on the chance to go on some day tours to explore more of Egypt’s historic locales and natural wonders.
Cairo is well-known for its high levels of traffic, which can be overwhelming for any traveler. The metro system offers the most efficient and affordable way of getting around, and will take you directly to some of Cairo's top attractions.
If you want to be at the center of the action, stay in Downtown Cairo, where you’ll have easy access to the rest of the city. For a quieter area, consider the green neighborhood of Zamalek. If you’re wanting views of Giza, look for accommodation in Al Haram. There’s nothing like having a coffee in the morning while looking at the pyramids!
In Egypt, Arabic is the official language. However, English and French are widely spoken in tourist areas, hotels and restaurants. The official currency is the Egyptian pound (EGP). While credit cards are widely accepted, smaller shops and markets often prefer cash, and it’s always a good idea to have change on hand for tipping.
The top attractions in Cairo are undoubtedly the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. While most tourists flock here, consider a more unique experience of this heritage site by admiring it from the back of a camel or an ATV.
Delve into the city’s multifaceted history by touring Islamic Cairo and Coptic Cairo, and immerse yourself in the cultural scene on a Nile River cruise or by visiting the Khan el Khalil market. Journey back in time at the Pharaonic Village, a living museum that recreates what life was like in Ancient Egypt.
Gain a new appreciation for the city by climbing to the top of Cairo Tower, where you can gain exceptional views of the Egyptian capital from a height of over 180 meters.