Cairo - Egypt's Umm Ad Dunya (Mother of the World), bubbles day and night with commotion. Call to prayers echo from minarets, while honking horns blare from the streets and motorbikes roar past from every direction in this wonderfully hectic city. This mega-city is home to some 150 neighbourhoods and over 22 million inhabitants, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that it is a constant hive of activity.
Split in two by the river Nile, the city is comprised of the Right and Left Banks. On the Right Bank you’ll find Tahir Square and the Qasr El Nil Street - one of the biggest streets in the city. On the Left Bank, discover the ancient city of Giza and its magnificent pyramids. During your Cairo holiday make sure to browse the extensive collection of Egyptian antiquities in the Egyptian Museum and take a stroll through the colourful Khan El-Khalili bazaar bursting at the seams with stalls selling everything from fragrant spices to stained glass lamps.
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What you can find in Egypt that you won’t find elsewhere
Embrace your inner explorer on your Cairo holidays as you discover ancient tombs, towering temples - dedicated to mighty Pharaohs and the winding river Nile that carves a path through sun-baked landscapes. There is so much to see here, from the pyramids of Cheops, Chephren and Mykerinos to the legendary Sphinx; the ancient Valley of the Kings to the magnificent temples of Abu Simbel. In Cairo, chaos is king and a cacophony of noises from honking horns, calls to prayer and rattling donkey carts - rush through the city day and night. Soak up the crackling energy of this magnificently mad metropolis and then enjoy some peace and quiet as you drift along the Nile in the Steam Ship Sudan. Visit from October to May and you’ll be met with a milder climate, perfect for exploring in comfort without the kiln-hot heat of the summer months cooking you from the inside out.
Who is Cairo best for?
Anyone with a love of history will find plenty to delight on their Cairo holidays. Unveil legends and tales of ancient Egypt as you spend your days gazing at awe-inspiring sites from honey-hued Saqqara - a vast burial ground, to the towering columns of Karnak (134 in total), and the mighty temple of Abu Simbel. Meanwhile, anyone with a love of the coast will enjoy a trip to the Red Sea for days filled with beach bathing, snorkelling and diving. Hikers will be in their element following trails that criss-cross Mount Sinai while those who prefer a spot of urban strolling can delve deep into Cairo to discover its picture-perfect palaces and age-old districts.
The best ways to discover Cairo:
Discover Egypt’s beating heart on a visit to Cairo, a colourful, crazy, captivating city that will awaken your senses and leave you buzzing with energy. Combine it with a cruise on the Nile aboard our steamer the SS Sudan for the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation on your holidays. Back on terra firma, drive from Cairo to Alexandria with a guide to see a snapshot of the country as it shoots past the windows. If the Nile continues to beckon, venture to Aswan in the south of the country and cruise downstream towards Lake Nassar to discover Lower Nubia and the temple of Abu Simbel.
Special things to do in Cairo:
- Take a refreshing dip in the swimming pool of the Mena House Oberoi while soaking up the cinematic views over the Great Pyramid.
- See the mask of Tutankhamun at the Egyptian Museum.
- Enjoy a calming cup of tea on the terrace of Cafe Citadel for panoramic views over the city.
- Venture out of Cairo to discover the Siwa Oasis, a desert hideaway brimming with swaying palms and silvery olive trees.