Cairo is a must for anyone fascinated by the magnificent Great Pyramids and the Sphinx of Giza. Situated on the Nile, Cairo is exciting, vibrant and fascinating; it is a perfect blend of old and new. Take time to explore the treasures of Tutankhamen in the Egyptian museum or take a stroll around the bustling Khan El Khalili bazaar. Away from the city centre, there is still more to see from the capital of ancient Egypt at Memphis to the Step Pyramid at Saqqara.
Cairo is the capital of Egypt and is a must for anyone fascinated by the magnificent Great Pyramids and the sphinx of Giza. Situated on the Nile this vibrant and fascinating city is a perfect blend of old and new.
Modern Cairo lies between the Pyramids and the Citadel where you will see a mix of minarets and skyscrapers, luxurious hotels, parks and gardens - but you can still see the sunset over the Nile which. flows through the heart of this unique city.
Cairo can easily be combined with any of our Nile Cruises and a range of resorts across Egypt. In addition we offer a city break with a difference. Three nights is the perfect amount of time to see the fascinating sights of this cultural city. For more details please call our specialist staff.
Cairo can be divided into 4 categories:
• Pharonic Cairo
• Coptic Cairo
• Islamic Cairo
• Shopping and entertainment
It is impossible to see it all in a single visit but here we describe some of its many delights:
The Great Pyramids & Sphinx of Giza: Even if you are not interested in ancient history it is impossible to get tired of the Pyramids. Rising from the desert the three Pyramids erected by King Cheops and guarded by the mysterious Sphinx are considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World and one of the the most important tourist sites in Egypt.
Saqqara: The most preserved ancient burial-ground in Egypt. It is also the site of The Step Pyramid, the first proper pyramid built for King Zoser in the 27th-century BC by the architect Imhotep
Memphis: One of the oldest cities on earth, it is believed that legendary Memphis was the capital of ancient Egypt throughout the Old Kingdom.
The Egyptian Museum: Located in the heart of Cairo is one of the world's most famous museums. It houses a magnificent collection of antiques including mummies and the fabulous treasures from Tutankhamun's tomb.
The Hanging Church (al-Mu'allaqua): Originating in the 4th century, the hanging Church was built over the southern gate of the fortress of Babylon. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, its treasures include a 14th-century wall-painting of the Nativity.
Church of St. Sergius and St. Bacchus: A 5th-century basilica, built over a crypt where the Holy family are believed to have stayed during their flight into Egypt.
Church of St.Mercurius (Ahi, Sefein): A unique collection of Coptic art including 175 icons representing scenes from the Old and New Testaments wall paintings, etchings and stained glass.
The Citadel of Salah Al-Din: Built between 1176 and 1182 AD, the Citadel fortress provides a panoramic view of Cairo from the Moqattam Hills.
Al-Azhar mosque: The first Fatimid mosque arid the oldest Islamic University in the world, founded in 970 AD.
The Blue Mosque (Mosque of Aqsunqur): Famous for the indigo and turquoise tiles that decorate the interior.
The Mosque of Ibn Tulun: Built between 876 and 879 AD in the classical courtyard style this is Cairo's oldest, intact mosque, still in use today.
The Islamic Museum: Includes works of art from all over the Islamic world, ranging from large architectural pieces rescued from mosques to ceramics, manuscripts and tapestries.
Cairo offers an amazing selection of shopping, leisure, culture and nightlife. Shopping ranges from the famous Khan el-Khalili bazaar, to modern air-conditioned shopping centres.
You are sure to find almost anything and of particular note are spices, perfumes, gold and silver, carpets, brass and copperware, leatherwork, glass, ceramics and Egyptian cotton. When you need a break from city life, try a round of golf on the famous Mena House course overlooking the Pyramids or visit the Zoo and the Botanical Gardens. You can take a trip on the Nile in a felucca or to really get away from it all you can go to the top of the 187 metre high Cairo Tower which has with views of the city from all sides and a revolving restaurant.
Cairo comes alive at night, the best time to shop, eat delicious Middle Eastern cuisine, or simply watch the world go by from a pavement cafe. You can dine in a floating restaurant on the Nile, sample a shisha at a coffee-shop or see oriental dancers and shows at a luxury hotel. The splendid Opera House complex houses several galleries (including the Museum of Modern Art), restaurants and concert halls and don't forget the most essential after-dark experience, the Sound and Light show at the Pyramids, a unique combination of light and music recounting the story of antiquity.
Great Pyramids & Sphinx (half day)
Cost per person £45
No visit to Cairo is complete without visiting the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx of Giza which are considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient world.
City Tour (full day)
Cost per person £55
See the treasures of Tutankhamun at the Egyptian museum and visit the old city and its churches. This excursion also includes a stop at the Khan el-Khalili bazaar.
Dinner on the Nile
Cost per person £40
Experience Cairo by night as you enjoy a lovely dinner whilst cruising on the Nile
All of these excursions can be booked locally and prices given are for guidance only.