Sometimes it's not the main tourist sites of Cairo that people want to experience, but the quirky, offbeat side of the city. The Birqash Camel Market, just north of Cairo, is about as crazy as things get, where thousands of camels are bought and sold by farmers, dealers, butchers, and stables-owners in a series of frenetic auctions. Caution - standards of animal care are different in Egypt to what you may be used to, so be prepared.
Cairo undoubtedly has an impressive number of satisfyingly offbeat museums. The Gayer-Anderson Museum is two connected Ottoman houses, crammed full of a British army major's extensive, eclectic collection of art from around the Middle and Near East. The Manyal Palace Hunting Museum is about as politically incorrect as can be, stuffed with, well, the stuffed hunting trophies of King Farouk and other Egyptian rulers. If you've never seen a diorama of a lobster fighting a crab, or a hermaphroditic goat, you've never lived!
The Agricultural, Abdeen Palace, and Military museums are also all pretty off the wall, though the most genuinely offbeat museum in all of Cairo must be Dr Ragab's Pharaonic Village - a living museum in which you take a boat trip back to the time of the Pharaohs to experience how life allegedly was back then. It's a fantasticly enjoyable cheese fest!
The Fish Garden has, sadly, seen much better days, but it's still an interesting place for a quick wander round. You can still explore the man-made, fairy-tale caves that used to house the fish, though these days they've all been moved to a more standard form of aquarium within the grounds. Finally, although the Attaba market area is by no means unusual as a Cairo street market, it's still big enough, loud enough, crowded enough, and downright crazy enough to be included on this list. Enjoy!
4 Maydan Ibn Tulun
Ibn Tulun Street
Eclectic museum in beautiful home, used in James Bond film... read more
3 El Bahr El Aazam St
(Jacob's Island, Giza)
Experience ancient Egyptian life at this living museum... read more
Next to the Ministry of Agriculture
Surreal, tranquil and surprisingly engaging...
1 Saray Street
Opulent palace with bizarre, disturbing hunting museum... read more
Moustafa Abdel Raziq Street
off Abdeen Square
Umm Kulthum Street
Quirky park offering breath of fresh air... read more
Citadel Historic Area
Charting the History of Egyptian Warfare... read more
Crazy market area where if you can name it you can buy it... read more
Fangari Hindi st, Manshiyat Nasser, Mogamma Zabaleen
Sustainable technology in the slums of Cairo...