It’s pretty likely that when you hear the word Cairo, you automatically imagine yourself standing among the great pyramids, with the sand blowing around you and a world of mystery just waiting for you to explore. You wouldn’t be alone thinking that, but it’s important to note that Cairo isn’t just about the pyramids and in fact, there is so much more to this great city—and country—than those ancient masonry structures. There are plenty of things to see in Cairo!
The city of Cairo itself has a history that dates back thousands of years and today is one of the world’s largest cities. It is filled with ancient temples and tombs, churches and mosques, and of course the Egyptian Antiquities Museum where you can explore the history of the country, the pyramids, and the lifestyle and culture of the local residents.
Although there’s little doubt you will head to the pyramids to take in the glory of their existence, be sure to leave time while you’re in Cairo to explore the city itself. To help get you started, here are five recommendations for things to see in Cairo (other than pyramids):
This is an ancient part of the city where you can see the Ben Ezra Synagogue, said to be on the spot where the baby Moses was hidden (per the Old Testament of the Bible), along with the Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church, where the Holy Family is believed to have stayed on their Flight to Egypt.
The entrance to Old Cairo was originally built by the Persians to protect the city from potential invaders. Today you can see the two large towers that guarded the entrance to the fort.
One of the most-visited things to see in Cairo is the Egyptian Museum. Here you can explore more than 160,000 objects that extend back 5,000 years. The most popular display here includes the treasures that were found in the tomb of King Nebkheperura Tutankhamun.
If you love shopping, this is the place for you! Cairo’s largest open air market is the place to go to stock up on souvenirs to take home to your family and friends. Here is where you’ll find cheap perfumes and jewelry, and where you can buy spices and sample local produce. This market has been in existence since the 1300s and is a great place to test your bargaining skills!
The River Nile is over 4,200 miles long, flowing through the heart of Cairo. Take a riverboat dinner cruise and enjoy the sights along the way, including the glistening city skyline, as you feast on local cuisine and enjoy Egyptian entertainment. There’s no better way to experience this river than to be cruising on it.