Cairo is one of Africa's busiest cities, and is home to sixteen million souls. It's likely that you'll come here to see the Pyramids of Giza and the world-famous museums – in fact, they're unmissable. But as well as having many fascinating ancient sights, Cairo is a thriving modern city. Visit one of the many markets to get a taste of the traditional Egyptian shopping experience, or go to an air-conditioned mall to see how moneyed Egyptians live. Drink in traditional coffee houses, go to colonial era bars familiar from films, or party in one of the cutting edge nightclubs – a city this big has a lot of choice.
The ‘must see’ sights include the Pyramids of Giza and the nearby Saqqara Pyramid Complex. The Egyptian Museum should feature highly on your to-do list. The medieval streets of Old Cairo are a world on their own – come here to visit the Citadel, numerous mosques and Khan el Khalili, Egypt’s most atmospheric souk. The Old Town also has several traditional hammams and the Coptic Museum. The Corniche el-Nile is one of the tourist and business hubs of modern day Cairo. Come here to arrange a felucca cruise, see the Egyptian Parliament, and walk the bridge over the Nile to admire the view.
Aside from the main sights and the opportunity to take a Nile cruise, there are many other sites of interest. Downtown, you’ll find Tahrir Square, Prince Said Halim’s Palace, and this is also a good place to find an affordable hotel. If you’re here on a budget, then stick to local food like falafels and other stapes. If you have more to spend on eating out, you’ll find a wide variety of restaurants. You’ll find plenty of luxury hotels along the banks of the Nile. Baksheesh or tips are an important part of life in Cairo, and are expected in return for carrying out many minor tasks.
Cairo is one of the major entry routes to Egypt, and can also be included as an option on Red Sea holidays or Luxor-based cruises.