Cairo is a unique jigsaw puzzle of a city that is chaotic, crowded and populated on the surface, similar to other cosmopolitan hubs but if you dig deeper you will witness an entire gamut of ancient civilization and glorious heritage that existed many moons ago. Proud of its Islamic culture, the Egyptian capital lives up to its nickname: City of a thousand minarets. The enduring appeal of Cairo is this divine cocktail of the old and the new as the city has all the makings of being one of the leading modern cities in the world and yet retains its old world charm with its illustrious history that has several stories to narrate.
A trip to the Pyramids of Giza features in every single tourist's must-see list. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, these iconic structures have been enthralling travelers for several centuries and will continue to do so. The lion-bodied and Pharaoh-faced Sphinx, also a legendary monument itself, watches over the ancient temples. The city is home to several holy shrines such as the Al-Azhar mosque which features spectacular architecture of the Fatimid period, oldest mosque in the metropolis - Ibn Tulum Mosque, built of mud-brick and wood and the Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan which is not only the biggest mosque in the planet but also exhibits the best early Mamluk monument in Cairo.
History buffs can get their fill by taking a trip to the Citadel of Cairo that has a fantastic and gripping story to tell as to how the structure came to be. The City of the Dead is located on either side of the Citadel and is split into northern and southern cemetery. The necropolis makes for a fascinating sight with it's marvelous Islamic architecture. If you believe in the possibility of miracles then head over to Bab Zaweila, a medieval gate that is known to posses healing powers. People looking for curing, nail a piece of clothing or lock of hair with the anticipation of acquiring divine intervention. Several museums are housed in Cairo starting with the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities that accommodates over 120,000 ancient artifacts. Other museums to visit are the Coptic Museum and the Islamic Art Museum.
Cairo isn't just an ancient city with a historical story to narrate, it is also a 21st century metropolitan center with an impressive metro system. Visit the Zamalek district to get a glimpse of the chic boutiques and high-end restaurants. The zone has a distinct European feel to it. When it comes to dining in Cairo, Zamalek tops the list. Tourists can stroll around downtown Cairo that has aptly been nicknamed 'Paris of the East' as the area encompasses modern European architecture and was designed by famous French architects. Located in the heart of downtown, Tahrir Square is a major tourist attraction. For quintessential Islamic architecture, head over to the Al-Muizz li-Din Allah Street that is brimming with beautiful Mamluk buildings.
To get an authentic Cairo shopping experience, shoppers can stop by at Khan el-Khalili, a Middle-Eastern Souq. Tourists can procure traditional merchandise such as antiques to beautiful metal lampshades to locally woven textiles to plastic pyramid souvenirs. Make you haggle and bargain while purchasing the goods. While visiting, be sure to try out Cairo's most popular coffee shop Fishawis which serve the classic favorites Arabic coffee and sweet tea. Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city by sailing down the Nile on an authentic felucca boat.
While in Cairo, make sure you dig into the Middle-Eastern and Egyptian delicacies offered in the plethora of restaurants housed in the city. Arabic coffee, mint tea and sheesha water pipe are quite popular in this city. Alcohol is allowed in Cairo, so tourists can enjoy a glass of cocktail in the various trendy and upmarket bars strewn around the cosmopolitan hub. For budget eating, head to downtown Cairo and for high-end lavish dining, then stop by at Zamalek.
Cairo is a metropolitan city that houses a plethora of stay options that can provide millionaires with the best luxury hotels as well as offer backpackers and budget travellers with cheap and comfortable hotel apartments. Tripinc gives you the best and cheapest hotel deals in Cairo.
Cairo experiences hot desert climate. The best time to visit the city would be during spring (March-April) and autumn (September-October) when the weather is more pleasant and conducive for a holiday.