9 Things to Do in Cairo That You Shouldn't Miss

August 3, 2017 Kelli Reichel

Cairo’s an ancient city that also happens to be a modern metropolis—it’s one of the biggest cities in the Middle East and has the traffic and noise issues to prove it. But as long as you’re not looking for solitude, Cairo—the City of the Thousand Minarets—is a splendid place to explore Egyptian history and culture. (Editor's note: Our list was compiled before political unrest prompted many countries to issue travel warnings for Egypt. If you're currently planning a trip to Egypt, please consider the risks and monitor your government's travel alerts.)
Restaurants in Cairo

1. Keops Pyramid

Giza, Cairo 11511, Egypt
Excellent
78%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3 reviews

Keops Pyramid

Reviewed By Manas R

On the final day of our tour we visited this Pyramid whose pictures I had seen since childhood days. We had also seen it on the previous evening during the Sound and Light show. It is truly magnificent, no words or pictures can do full justice.
Though heat ( even in March) was unbearable, it was well worth the visit. Can only admire the genius and craftsmanship of the builders and thousands of labourers.

2. The Grand Egyptian Museum

El Remayah Sq, Cairo-Alex. Road | Pyramids, Giza, Egypt +20 2 33777263
Excellent
67%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

The Grand Egyptian Museum

Reviewed By James D

One of the best museum. Wish I have loner time there to check out all the exhibits and read it's description. Hope to come back again.

3. Khafre, the second pyramid

Al Haram Str | Gizeh, Cairo 11511, Egypt
Excellent
78%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 591 reviews

Khafre, the second pyramid

Reviewed By Shirley C

The Pyramids are Cairo's number 1 money maker, but nothing has been the same since 2011 and there has been a sharp decline in tourism. There are many tour guides and tour companies that quadruple the price of a camel tour. Don't forget that EVERYTHING IS NEGOTIABLE. Guides and swindlers will start at a mark up of at least 4x more just to make up for their declined income.
I paid 400 Egyptian pounds (~$22 USD) to a tour company for a 60 minute camel tour, who then told their guide to give us a 30 minute tour instead (#swindled). Guides aren't shy about asking for tips and my guide was upset when I tipped him $2 USD. I told him I didn't have anymore cash as I gave it all to the tour company, to which the guide replied that the company gets all that money, not him. He walked away grumbling, but as he said, it wasn't his lucky day #HeGotSwindledToo.
When I decided to walk back to observe the pyramids more, independent tour guides came and offered 30 minute rides for 100 (~$5 USD) Egyptian pounds. YOU CAN GET THE SAME CAMEL TOUR FOR 100 EGYPTIAN POUNDS. The Lonely Planet books did not lie. It was then that I realized camel tour companies are straight up hustlers, but I can't blame them too much. Life is hard. The independent tour guides are the honest ones.
If I were to do it again, I'd get a taxi to drive me to the pyramids entrance, pay for an entrance ticket (80 Egyptian pounds), walk into the compound on my feet, wait for an independent camel guide to approach me, bargain the offer down to somewhere between 100-200 Egyptian pounds, enjoy my 30 minute tour (or however long it is), and then tip the guy another 100 Egyptian pounds extra for being a more honest person than the tour companies around in the area.
Btw, Egyptians go by "luck" and a native Egyptian will never step in on a tourists' behalf when bargaining or making a deal. This is because Person A does not want to mess up Person B's luck. It's up to you to negotiate hard, and if no deal is struck, both parties can try somewhere else. Post 2011, the vibe has become more about cold hard cash and trying to survive. I felt bad that I couldn't tip my guide, and I felt stupid for not having bargained with the tour company before purchasing. But nonetheless, I tried to take in the wonderful sights in front of me and appreciated it for the whole experience that it was. Swindled or not swindled.

4. Gizeh Plateau

Al Haram Str., Cairo 11511, Egypt
Excellent
75%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Gizeh Plateau

Reviewed By DonCesar - Nuremberg, Germany

... if you have the time, you can walk all the place and see even the alignment point, the "guides" will say that you can't walk into the desert but it's lies. Everything they say is lies to get you to give them money. Just ignore them and keep walking and you will be fine. If you don't leave your country often, then get a guide, this comments is for those that never get a guide and have doubts. No you don't need a guide and don't get one, so you can go at your own pace.

5. Dahshur

Cairo, Egypt
Excellent
73%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 622 reviews

Dahshur

Reviewed By K B - Lafayette, California

The Bent Pyramid is another 'experiment' in pyramid building. The original angle of +/-51 degrees was said by our guide to be the natural angle that salt or sugar makes if you dump it such that it forms a pyramid shape. But the builders got so far and learned the angle was too steep and the building threatened to collapse so they finished it off at a shallower +/-42 degree angle which is apparently what they then started using for the other 'great' pyramids.
I wasn't able to go inside this one but it is interesting to walk around it and see what is preserved and what isn't. It seems more of the smooth outer coating has survived on this pyramid than any of the others.

6. Cave Church

Mokattam, Cairo 11511, Egypt
Excellent
76%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 226 reviews

Cave Church

Reviewed By bethaniaphung - Bogor, Indonesia

This cave church also known as "garbage church" here in Indonesia, but one thing i can tell for sure after visiting this church, the name garbage is not worth compare with the church itself.
The church is very huge and partly using the real material from the cave though some parts was formed by human.
For you who want to visit this church, please bare in mind that this place might smell a little bit for the first time but you'll get used to it soon you enter the building, since this church is located near or in garbage city where people there collect and sell garbage to make a living.
But seriously, it's not that smelly.

7. Saqqara (Sakkara) Pyramids

Cairo, Egypt 0123456789
Excellent
67%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2 reviews

Saqqara (Sakkara) Pyramids

This is one of the most extensive archaeological sites comprising many important monuments such as the Step Pyramid of Djoser, Pyramid of Unas, Pyramid of Sekhemket, Mastaba of Ti and the deep underground Persian Tombs.

Reviewed By May F - Colorado

The ancient history of Egypt is fascinating. See the first step pyramid from the 4th dynasty. The pyramid is meant as a burial tomb for the royal family in the 2400BC. The archeological site allows you to walk down the chamber to see where the king mummy was buried. Of course the actual mummy was never found stolen from the tomb robbers. Walk around the surroundings of other royals’ tomb. It cost GBP 120 per foreigner.

8. Gayer-Anderson Museum (Bayt al-Kiritliya)

4 Maydan Ibn Tulun | Old Cairo, Cairo 11511, Egypt 02/364-7822
Excellent
75%
Good
17%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 146 reviews

Gayer-Anderson Museum (Bayt al-Kiritliya)

This museum features the items of antiquity collected by John Gayer-Anderson, a British member of the Egyptian civil service in the 1930s and ‘40s, who restored two adjacent 16th- and 17th-century houses decorated with mashrabiyya screens and marble inlays.

Reviewed By NKhor - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This excellent house museum is a must for travellers interested in how an Orientalist constructed the idea of Egypt. From personal collections of Gayer Anderson, the house is actually two houses put together to provide those living in it with great comfort and privacy. Particularly interesting is the Nubian boy servant, probably the subject of much speculation in its day.

9. Old City (Coptic Cairo)

Cairo, Egypt 000000
Excellent
63%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Old City (Coptic Cairo)

Once known as the Roman stronghold of Babylon, Cairo’s oldest section is the ancient heart of the Coptic Christian community featuring five original churches, the first mosque built in Egypt and the oldest Synagogue, all representing three of the major world religions.

Reviewed By Charlie_r251 - Coventry, United Kingdom


The whole area is very old and religious, great sense of history from the hanging church, Coptic orthodox Cathedral, the Synagogue and Roman ruins. Area is relatively small but jammed packed with history, security all over the area. There is also an amazing book store through the streets which a must stop and have a look. Must do whilst in Cairo.

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