Travel guide to flights & holidays in Cairo.
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Cairo Holidays Overview
Egypt's capital Cairo is home to over 16 million and one of the largest, busiest cities in the Middle East and Africa. This dense, chaotic city is located on the River Nile and is known for its rich history and its culture. While it has managed to preserve its history, it has also blossomed into a modern, vibrant society.
The history of Cairo can be experienced in Old Cairo and in its ancient Islamic City. The Egyptian Museum located here has countless artefacts from ancient Egypt. The city is known for its many world famous attractions like the expansive Khan al-Khalili bazaar, the Giza Pyramids and the Saqqara Pyramid Complex.
Throughout the city are various modern suburbs like Heliopolis, Zamalek and Ma'adi. The best time to visit Cairo is in spring or fall when the weather is not too hot. Cairo's busy streets and noise may seem overwhelming to some at times but the Nile is not too far and a felucca ride on the river is a great way to escape the city.
At the heart of Cairo is Midan Tahrir. The area is home to several large hotels, transport facilities and also the Egyptian Museum. Political rallies and protests are usually held on this square.
Islamic Cairo is the city's historic centre and home to a number of good architectural and historical attractions like the city's main souq, Mohamed Ali Mosque and the Citadel. A number of Turkish Hammams or baths are also located here.
The district of Giza overlooks the Nile and is the location of the popular Giza Pyramids. Other than the pyramids the district also has other attractions like the Giza Zoo.
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holidays - Top Places To Go
|1. Khan al-Khalili
||What is it? Buzzing with the activities of buying and
selling, Khan al-Khalili is one of the largest markets in the
world. It is situated within Islamic Cairo, a World Heritage Site
that attracts travellers and locals alike. This is the best place
to soak up the colour of Cairo and to people-watch. Traders have
been bargaining in these alleys since the 14th century and it is
possible to buy almost anything, from exotic perfume bottles to
everyday Arabic clothing. On the northern corner of the bazaar is
the Mosque of Sayyidna al-Hussein, one of the holiest Islamic sites
Hours of Operation:
|2. The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities
Mariette Pasha Street, Tahrir Square
|What is it? With over 100,000 artefacts in 107 halls, the
Egyptian Museum provides days of exploration. Inside are treasures
from ancient Egypt, including priceless finery taken from ancient
royal tombs, and one of the museum's masterpieces, the statue of
Khafre (Chephren). The most popular attraction is the Tutankhamun
Gallery where exquisite treasures from the tomb of the Boy King are
displayed, including the famous solid gold death mask. Another top
attraction is the Royal Mummy Room containing mummies of some of
the most powerful Pharaohs in Egypt dating from the 18th to the
Hours of Operation: Daily 9am to 4.45pm
Phone:(02) 579 6974
|3. The Pyramids of Giza
Pyramid Road, 11 miles (18km) southwest of the
|What is it? The pyramids are the earth's oldest tourist
attraction and the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) is the only
remainder of the seven ancient wonders of the world. Throughout
their history, they have fired human imagination, with much
speculation as to their origin and purpose, but most evidence
supports the theory that they were built by the ancient
civilisation as tombs or great monuments in which to bury their
kings and nobles, a place to start their mystic journey to the
afterlife. The oldest and largest pyramid, the Great Pyramid, is
thought to have taken 20 years to build and is made of about two
million blocks of limestone. No one knows how the two-ton blocks
were moved into place, but it was known to be the tallest man-made
structure in the world for over 40 centuries. The Sphinx, known as
the Abu al-Hol (Father of Terror), stands in front of the Great
Pyramid and is thought to be older than the pyramids
Hours of Operation: Daily 7am to 7.30pm; pyramid chambers 8.30am to
holidays - Top Events
|1. The Summer Mouleds
|What is it? The most prominent religious festivals which
tourists experience in Egypt are the 'mouleds', which are
incredibly lively processions that take to the streets of Cairo on
various saints' birthdays. The mouleds generally take place in
summer, and blend religion with folklore, usually taking the form
of wild dancing accompanied by music, chanting and fireworks. For
more information phone +20 (0)2 285 4509.
Where is it? Streets of Cairo and other towns and villages
|2. Aida at Giza
|What is it? The Cairo Opera House produces annual
performances of Verdi's opera in front of the Giza Pyramid. The
famous tale of Aida remains one of Guiseppe
Verdi's best-loved operas, a tragic tale of love featuring an
Egyptian captain, Pharoah's daughter and an Ethiopian slave girl,
Aida. Contact the Central Reservation Office on (0)2 736
Where is it? Pyramids at Giza