Attractions in Cairo

Cairo has a ton of great attractions, and it's sometimes hard to know where to begin. Actually, that's not quite true - the boss of all of them is undeniably the Giza Plateau, home to the Great Pyramid, Pyramid of Chephren, Pyramid of Mycerinus, and of course the Great Sphinx. A close second is the Egyptian Museum, thousands of years of pharaonic history - including the legendary Tutankhamen exhibition, complete with gold death mask - all packed into one building. The other major pharaonic attraction is Saqqara, a huge necropolis that includes the very first pyramid ever built. Note that Memphis didn't make the list of top Cairo attractions because, although iconic, it's sadly not so interesting a place to visit since virtually nothing of the city remains.

The Coptic Museum traces the introduction and development of Christianity in Egypt, and the nearby Hanging Church is unusual in that it has a suspended nave. Coptic Christian services still take place here. The most readily identifiable Islamic attraction of Cairo must be the Citadel, perched high up on a hill and overlooking the city. Here you can visit three very different mosques, as well as a selection of museums. The views of Cairo are fantastic. Ibn Tulun Mosque is one of the oldest and most elegant Islamic attractions in the city, and al-Azhar Mosque is the seat of Sunni Islam, and arguably the most important mosque in the world.

Although Khan al-Khalili started out as a day to day trading market, these days it's an immense tourist trap full of pharaonic kitsch. But that is, in many ways, part of its charm - wandering around the labyrinthine alleys and bartering with the boisterous storekeepers is awesome fun, and you never know what exotic sights you may encounter, or which half-forgotten treasures you might unearth. Finally, the Cairo Tower is one of the most impressive modern attractions of the city, especially at night when it shimmers with a shifting display of colored lights.

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Giza Plateau

Sh. Al Ahram Road
Old town of Giza, 5 miles into the desert

Childhood dream come true: the ancient pyramids of Egypt... read more

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Khan el-Khalili Bazaar

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Off Hussein Square
(Across from El Azhar Mosque)

Beating heart of Islamic Cairo... read more

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The Citadel

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Salah Salem Highway

Imposing fortress with fantastic views, mosques and museums... read more

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Ibn Tulun Mosque

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Off 'Abd al-Magid al-Labban (Al-Salbiyya) Street
Ibn Tulun Street

Stunning architecture and unique minaret... read more

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Step Pyramid of Saqqara

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North Saqqara
(32 kilometres south of Cairo)

First pyramid ever built... read more

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The Coptic Museum

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Mar Guirguis Street
In the center of Old Cairo, across from the exit from the Mar Girgis Metro stop

Largest collection of Coptic Christian art in the world... read more

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Al-Azhar Mosque

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Al-Azhar Street
Opposite El-Hussein Square

Egypt's Highest Islamic Authority... read more

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Cairo Tower

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Next to Al-Ahli Sporting Club

Best views of Cairo plus a revolving restaurant...
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The Hanging Church

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Mar Girgis Street
Coptic Cairo

Lavish, suspended church; conducts mass in Coptic language... read more
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