As well as being a vibrant, bustling metropolis, Egypt’s capital city is also home to one of the world’s most ancient marvels: the great Pyramids of Giza.

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Everything you need to know about Cairo

The bustling metropolis of Cairo is Egypt’s celebrated capital and the largest city in the Arab world. Despite its seemingly chaotic façade, Cairo is a well-oiled machine with a unique rhythm of its own. No trip to Egypt is complete without a visit to the historic city and, most often, Cairo will be the destination that begins and ends your adventure in the country. The city is a plethora of activity, historic mosques, museums, citadels, and bazaars and is home, of course, to the hub of ancient Egyptian history: the Great Pyramids of Giza.

Where is Cairo located?

The capital of Cairo is located on the fertile banks and islands of the Nile River in the northeast of Egypt. The city is immediately south of the point where the Nile exits the desert-bound valley and separates into the Rosetta and Damietta branches.

When to visit Cairo

The best time to visit Egypt is between October and April when temperatures are cooler. However, it is important to note that between the winter months of December and February – prime tourist season in Cairo – the crowds can be rather unpleasant to manage. Swarms of tourists visit in the winter which means you’ll be battling with long lines at the main attractions and finding availability at hotels might be more difficult.

We recommend visiting during late fall (October – November) and the spring (March – April). During these shorter shoulder seasons, temperatures are still comfortable and crowds are either yet to arrive, or are waning after the mad winter rush.

Top experiences to enjoy in Cairo

Pyramids of Giza

Constructed to last a lifetime the monumental Pyramids of Giza, including the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Khafre, the Pyramid of Menkaure, and the Sphinx, have retained their extraordinary grandeur for over 4,000 years. Located just about 11 miles southwest of downtown Cairo, these epic tombs that were built on the orders of pharaohs are an awe-inspiring tribute to ancient Egypt.

Egyptian Museum

This museum of ancient Egyptian artifacts in downtown Cairo is the oldest archeological museum in the Middle East, housing the largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities in the world. Founded in 1858, the museum houses many treasures including a valuable collection of mummies, sarcophagi, stones, and ancient belongings like papyri, funerary art, jewelry, and important ornaments

Al-Azhar Mosque

The impressive Al-Azhar Mosque founded by Jawhar al-Siqilly, the Fatimid conqueror of Egypt, in 970, is a visually stunning marvel, renowned for its harmonious blend of architectural styles and façade ornamentation. The Al-Azhar complex also houses the second oldest university in the world, an establishment that is renowned as the most prestigious university for Islamic learning.

Khan el-Khalili

Located in the historic center of Cairo, the Khan el-Khalili market is one of the oldest bazaars in Egypt. Local and foreign merchants have been trading at this historic souk, characterized by its elaborately-carved monumental gates and labyrinth alleyways, since the 14th century. From handmade carpets, intricate gold artifacts, and antiques, to stained-glass lamps, incense and spices, the variety is endless. For a true taste of Cairo’s energy and vibrancy, a visit to Khan el-Khalili should not be missed.

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