Cairo & Giza

From ancient wonders to modern neighborhoods, discover Egypt’s beating heart

Cairo is the capital of Egypt and one of the world’s largest megacities, with a vast metropolitan area stretching out as Greater Cairo to include Giza and the outer suburbs that have developed to the east and west of the city center. The beating heart of the city is nestled and centered around the banks of Egypt’s majestic River Nile and its glistening waters that have served as a lifeline for Egyptians since the dawn of human civilization.

Present-day visitors will still find a flurry of activity on the banks of the river, from lively cafes and strolling couples to gently bobbing feluccas (traditional sailboats) gliding their way across the water. Cairo’s position as a major cultural, economic, and political hub for Africa and the Middle East makes this vibrant, cosmopolitan city a magnet for movers and shakers from all over the region and globe.

From the moment you set foot in Cairo, no matter the time of day or night, all your senses will be awakened. Sorry New York, Cairo is the city that truly never sleeps! Founded in 969, its Arabic name “Al-Qahira” translates as “The Victorious.”

Cairenes are always ready to get to know visitors from around the world, and friendly banter runs in their blood. You won’t be leaving Cairo without a new friend or two. If you want to put your finger on the pulse of the social and cultural life of the Middle East, there is nothing that compares to spending time exploring Cairo. Whether your curiosity takes you to the picturesque alleyways of medieval Cairo, the 19th century French-inspired modern streets and facades of Downtown, or toward a relaxing brunch and massage in one of contemporary Cairo’s upscale neighborhoods, you will surely have an unforgettable experience.

No visit to Egypt is complete without a trip to the famous Giza Pyramids. Venture west across the Nile and head to where the lush green countryside meets the desert in Giza, home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Memphis and its Necropolis. Explore a land saturated in ritual, mystery, and cult ceremony. In the shadows of the Giza pyramids, you can begin your journey with a trek from north to south, exploring all the monuments that led to the construction of the most famous structures in the world.

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DISCOVER

Hidden Gems

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Catch an authentic whirling dervishes performance at Wikalat al-Ghuri.

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Go horseback riding in the desert between Abusir and Saqqara to see the ancient monuments from the sand dunes

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Grab a bite to eat in one of Cairo’s rooftop restaurants and cafes for some panoramic views of the bustling city.

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Take a walk in Al-Khayyamiyya (the Tentmakers’ Market) in Old Cairo where you will find an abundance of colorful traditional textiles.

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Check out the only remaining part of a palace from the Mamluk Period, the Maqad of al-Amir Mamay al-Sayfi in the Al-Muizz area.

Insider Picks

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The Sound and Light Show, narrated by The Sphinx himself, retells the secrets and mysterious histories of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure.

Ibn Tulun Mosque, a sprawling mosque dating back to 879 with iconic arches and courtyard windows.

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A well-preserved example of a home from the Ottoman Period located in Al-Darb al-Asfar.

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Khan al-Khalili, Cairo’s iconic medieval bazaar, where you can spend hours or days browsing through a labyrinth of shops and alleyways.

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