Egypt is perhaps one of the most complex and fascinating places in the world right now, marked by political turmoil and great history. These five places are must-sees when visiting Cairo. You’ll be overwhelmed by choice, to be sure, but these are sights you do not want to miss.
1.) Red Pyramid
Who wouldn’t want to be able to brag that you had seen the oldest pyramid in the world? According to Lonely Planet, Cairo’s Red Pyramid – also known as the North Pyramid – may have gotten its name from the color of the limestone with which it was built or the ancient graffiti left behind by its builders. Descend if you dare into the pyramid’s deaths, where ancient remains have been kept through the ages.
2.) Al-Azhar Park
Many travelers have praised Al-Azhar Park as an oasis amid the madness of Cairo. It is a bit of greenery and serenity where you can enjoy nature and lovely views of the city. There are also restaurants to grab a bite to eat while taking in the calm of the park.
3.) Old City (Coptic Cairo)
While Egypt is often thought of as an Arab country, there is a long Christian history here as well. Go back in time and visit the history of Christian Cairo in the Old City, where you will find some of the oldest Christian sites in the world. Feast your eyes on the old, elaborate art and visit sites said to be where Jesus Christ was hidden by his parents while fleeing the wrath of King Herod. This part of the city is interesting from an anthropological and sociological standpoint, but for non-religious visitors, it may lack the appeal it holds for believers.
4.) Gizeh Plateau
Named the #2 attraction in Cairo by Trip Advisor users, the Gizeh Plateau is home to the Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure pyramids, as well as that most famed sight, the Sphinx. Truly, no visit to Cairo, or to Egypt for that matter, would be complete without seeing these wonders of the world. Travelers have raved about this experience and insist it must be done on a trip to Cairo. However, they also warn that vendors, guides and drives can be persistent and pushy, so prepare yourself for that. Naturally, these are extremely popular attractions so you will want to plan your trip accordingly to try to visit at the least crowded time of day. On the plus side, you can take a camel ride around the pyramids, and there is horseback riding as well. For an extra fee, you can go inside the pyramids.
5.) Saqqara Pyramids
This is a significant archaeological site you do not want to miss. The attractions here include the Step Pyramid of Djoser, Pyramid of Unas, Pyramid of Sekhemket, Mastaba of Ti and the deep underground Persian Tombs. Leave yourself plenty of time to visit these wonders – you don’t want to miss a thing on this journey to Cairo.