Long Weekend in Cairo

Long Weekend in Cairo

The gateway to Egypt can be found in the heart of Cairo set along the banks of the Nile. Cairo is a common entry point to exploring the vast treasures of Egypt and one would need weeks to fully discover what the country has to offer. With political unrest a common theme and a new leader settling in tourism is down and the crowds are small. Travelers can currently enjoy reduced airfare to Cairo and uncrowded sites to uncover. This is a great time to experience Cairo and if you only have a few days it is where you should start your journey in Egypt.

Great Pyramids of Giza

The Great Pyramids

The Giza Necropolis is set on the Giza Plateau and a short 15 mile drive from Cairo. Giza is home to the Great Pyramid of Giza, the only standing Wonder of the World from the original seven, and the slightly smaller Pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure. The Great Sphinx can be found on the east side of it all. The best views can be had a short distance away where all the pyramids can be seen together. There are a number of hotels in Giza that offer stunning views of the pyramids as well.

Great Pyramids of Giza

Islamic Cairo

Narrow streets, covered markets, and historic buildings fill this part of Cairo. Islamic Cairo, also known as Medieval Cairo or Fatimid Cairo, can be recognized by the architecture and winding streets that are easy to get lost in exploring the area. Le Riad Hotel offers an ideal starting point for getting around the city and one of the best areas to experience the sites and sounds of the city.

The Al-Hakim Mosque, built in 928, is major Islamic religious site in Cairo. It is free to enter and explore and the friendly Imam will even take you up the old minarets for a spectacular view of the city after a small donation.

Islamic Cairo, Egypt

The Other Pyramids

The Great Pyramids certainly deserve the attention they receive but do not forget about some of the other great nearby sites. The Red Pyramid at Dahshur is the third largest Egyptian pyramid. It was built in the Old Kingdom by Pharaoh Sneferu and is located just north of the Bent Pyramid.

The Bent Pyramid is located a the necropolis of Dahshur and was also built under the Old Kingdom. The name comes from the change in angle towards the top of the pyramid. The obvious bend changes from 54 degrees to 43 degrees but was made during construction to strengthen the integrity of the structure and avoid collapse. It also signifies a change from the Step Pyramid with its smooth sides, which were the earliest pyramids of Ancient Egypt.

Cairo Egypt Bent Pyramid

Exploring Cairo

The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities is home to 120,000 items. Although, it is often criticized for being unorganized it houses incredible history. The Royal Mummies are not to be missed and the Gold Mask of Tutankhamun is an incredible site. The museum deserves a few hours to fully enjoy everything it has to offer and a guide my be helpful to identify the poorly labeled antiquities.

Great Sphinx of Giza Cairo Egypt

Just next door to the museum is Tahrir Square, home to the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, not a significant part of Egypt’s storied past. With a recent election and new leader, el-SiSi, it will an interesting time Egypt. Hopefully tourists will return soon and in the mean time head to Cairo and enjoy the amazing world wonders it has to offer.

I highly recommend Cairo Overnight Tours. My guide, Momen was exceptional and was a highly knowledgeable and experienced guide.

More info at www.cairo-overnighttours.net

And check out my video from the trip!

I have been traveling to over 100 countries by using the methods I share on this site. My goal is to maximize every trip and make the most of my adventures. Join me on Instagram.

  • Great video!! I feel I’m back in my history class at school… Must be amazing to see that for real!

  • merlin de santis

    awesome! where are you actually ??? I’m going in Italy for the summer and after il follow my heart but i was thinking about india. I wanted to take a bike and go from verona, Italy all the way to kashmir in India. do you think its a good idea lol! i just want to beat my fear and to do something amazing for myself and share it with others. what should i do after my Italian tripp ? 🙂

  • Osiris Tours

    Thank you for sharing the great experience about visiting the Pyramids and the Sphinx. Loved the Sphinx picture. No one can deny that the Sphinx has been a unique symbol of the Ancient Egyptian civilization from its ancient times to the present. It has inspired the imaginations of thousands of artists, poets, adventurers, scholars, and travelers from all over the world. For centuries, the Sphinx has inspired endless speculation about its age, its meaning and the secrets that it might hold.The Great Sphinx of Giza was constructed in the 4th Dynasty (2575 – 2467 B.C by the Pharaoh Khafre. it is carved out of a single ridge of limestone 240 feet long and 66 feet high. The Sphinx is only part of a set of structures built to serve the cult of the dead king and the sun god, Re, consisting of a pyramid, Pyramid Temple, causeway, Sphinx, Sphinx Temple, and Valley Temple.
    Keep up the great work!

  • Julia

    The Giza Necropolis- one of my dream destinations!
    Great tips for Cairo, thanks!