Travel to Greater Cairo – Egypt’s Vibrant Capital
Cairo is the chaotic, vibrant, fascinating capital of Egypt, a blend of old and new where camels and donkeys are still routinely seen in streets above which world-class hotels tower. Divided by the Nile the city’s fascination comes from this juxtaposition along with it being the home to some of the most exciting sights in the world. Travel 10 kilometers west of the downtown area and you’ll find Giza and, on the plateau that rises above it, the famous Pyramids and Sphinx – more than 4000 years old they stun visitors today as they did when Alexander the Great passed here 300 or so years before the birth of Christ.
In the east lies the Cairo of our imagination, a city of narrow streets lined by mosques, medressahs and traditional houses. This is Islamic Cairo, a city of bazaars, minarets and domes where a view from on high reveals a 1001 Nights skyline. Close by is Coptic Cairo, whose Christian residents remind us of the city’s biblical links. A must-see for all visitors to the city is a visit to the Egyptian Museum, a vast repository for the collected wealth of almost 7,000 years of recorded history. Here you’ll find the mummies of several important pharaohs and the golden funerary objects from Tutankhamun’s tomb amongst countless other treasures. After exploring the city travelers can choose to eat in great local restaurants, take to the river for a meal aboard a Nile cruise boat, or sit on the street snacking on local food such a koshari, falafel or schwarma.
3hrs north on the Mediterranean stands Alexandria, named for Alexander the Great and ancient capital of Egypt. Stretching for many kilometers along the coast this popular city and beach resort was once home to the Pharos Lighthouse and today provides visitors with a chance to explore ancient catacombs and a seafront fort and indulge in excellent seafood before setting off west for el Alamein and the remote Berber outpost of Siwa.
- The principal attractions of the Pyramids, Sphinx and Egyptian Museum live up to all expectations
- Spend time getting lost in Islamic Cairo and climb to the Citadel for a view over the old city
- Take a trip to Saqqara and beyond to see the less-visited pyramids south of Giza – the Red, Black and Bent Pyramids