The vibrant capital of Egypt offers an enchanting experience that any traveler would want to be immersed in. With its deep-rooted history and significant African and Middle Eastern heritage, Cairo, Egypt uniquely blends ancient traditions and modern cosmopolitanism. Explore the bustling streets and marketplaces that make up the city’s treasure troves and hidden gems. Iconic landmarks, like the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, are some of the greatest wonders in the world. The Egyptian Museum also has an awe-inspiring and impressive collection of ancient artifacts. Cairo, Egypt’s rich history and cultural vibrancy make it an ideal destination for travelers seeking an unforgettable journey of timeless luxury.
Best time to travel: November to February (peak tourist season), June to August (off-season), March to May and September to October (shoulder season)
Time zone: Eastern European Time (EET)
Currency: Egyptian pound (EGP)
Best for: Ancient History Lovers, Adventure Seekers, Architecture Buffs, Art & Culinary Enthusiasts, Luxury Travelers
Play: Things to do in the Cairo, Egypt
Cairo International Book Fair
The Cairo International Book Fair is one of the largest in the Middle East. It takes place in January and February. Publishers, authors and book enthusiasts worldwide come to see the vast collection of books. This library showcases global publishers and authors. Visitors also can attend cultural seminars, cinema and theater performances, art exhibitions and musical performances. Public transport and designated buses to the fair also are available.
8-Hour Private Tour of the Pyramids, Egyptian Museum and Bazaar
Explore the wonders of Cairo, Egypt with a private tour of the pyramids, Egyptian museum and bazaar. Guests will witness the Pyramids of Giza and the majestic Sphinx, as they ride through the desert on a camel. They will enjoy a delectable Egyptian lunch during the all-day excursion. After lunch, visitors can explore the immersive Egyptian Antiquities Museum before the day ends at the vibrant Khan Al-Khalili bazaar.
Luxury Felucca on the Nile with Lunch
Drift down the enchanting Nile River aboard a private sailboat for a romantic escape. From an attentive crew to delicious Egyptian cuisine, this package is a hassle-free luxury experience. The price also includes private transfers from your hotel for a seamless journey. It’s an exclusive and magical trip with optional extras to help celebrate any special occasion.
Siwa Oasis Tour
The Siwa Oasis Tour is a one-of-a-kind excursion with some of the most unforgettable and mesmerizing views. Guests can have a hassle-free journey with a private vehicle at their disposal. The fees for lodging in the desert camp and an eco-lodge are included for a truly tranquil oasis. The mesmerizing landscapes of the Great Sand Sea are the perfect backdrop for all travelers.
Adventurous travelers will go dune bashing and sandboarding in a 4WD desert safari car. The allure of the desert sunset mirrored on the salt lakes and the ancient ruins across the idyllic Fatnis Island make this a memorable experience.
Local Cairo Food Tour
This Local Cairo Food Tour is a journey through the heart of the city’s culinary hotspots. It offers a chance to explore the local neighborhoods and vibrant atmosphere. There’s a wide selection of more than 18 local dishes, beverages and desserts. Guests head to the authentic markets of Khan Khalili to capture the true essence of Cairo’s distinct food culture. All meals, drinks and desserts are covered in the fee for this unforgettable tour.
Gourmet: Best Restaurants In Cairo, Egypt
Al Khal Egyptian Restaurant
The Al Khal Egyptian Restaurant has an Old World essence with Middle Eastern design and Mediterranean cuisine. This culinary delight serves the finest and most authentic dishes with a modern twist. The setting is classic, yet contemporary. It respects tradition with impeccable service. Guests rave about the unique dishes that pay homage to the country’s cultural heritage.
If traveling with a large group, there’s a set menu with shareable dishes for an 8 guest minimum. Appetizers can include assorted Mahshi with stuffed zucchini or cabbage with rice and vegetables. The main dishes are an array of chicken shish tawouk, lamb kofta, veal kebab and beefsteak. The dessert has choices like milk pudding with cinnamon or date tart with homemade sesame ice cream.
The name of the Beeja Restaurant is derived from Hindi, and it translates to “the beginning” or “happy”. This restaurant not only offers a modern design and comfortable ambiance, but also boasts a picturesque view. The diverse menu at Beeja features an array of flavorful recipes. Some of the menu items include lentil soup, fattoush salad and saffron-infused basmati rice. To satisfy one’s sweet tooth, the restaurant makes fresh desserts like fudge rice pudding, Om Ali and a seasonal fruit platter.
Nişantaşi Restaurant is a unique Turkish eatery. With a name inspired by Istanbul’s exclusive quarter, the restaurant has an inviting and relaxing ambiance. The theatrical unveiling of a sealed terracotta cooking pot at your table adds to the cultural dining experience.
The restaurant serves authentic Turkish gastronomy made with the finest ingredients and culinary techniques passed down through generations. Indulge in their home-baked Simit bread and legendary specialties, like the red lentil soup, Tuzda Lamb Shank and the Fıstıklı Künefe. For breakfast or brunch, savor some traditional Nişantaşi pide with honey, cheese Börek or Shakshoka.
Travelers should not miss out on the opportunity to indulge in their sweet tooth at Ratios Bakery. Every Saturday, they host a BBQ Brunch amidst a beautiful garden setting with mouthwatering briskets and burgers. The bakery prides itself on freshly made sourdough pizza crust with a variety of local ingredient toppings. Ratios Bakery also has an array of seasonal pastries and international treats. Some of these delicacies include Mille-feuille, chocolate-dipped marshmallows, macarons, cannelés and chocolate lava cake.
30 North Coffee
With their Roast Master’s skillful storytelling, every cup of coffee at 30 North Coffee is a journey of flavors. The baristas expertly use the latest brewing and extraction methods from around the world. The menu offers a perfect start to the day with Turkish coffees and teas, eggs Benedict and more. For those with a sweet tooth, the selection of desserts is the perfect morning or afternoon delight. This cafe elevates breakfast and brunch with its unique twist on classic dishes.
Stay: Best Places to Stay In Cairo, Egypt
Great Pyramids View From Your Sky Lounge
This quiet retreat is two minutes from the pyramids’ entrance and has new rooms with single and double beds. This comfortable stay has a convenient private entrance, laundry facilities and complimentary wifi. Guests also can enjoy the convenience of restaurant delivered meals and explore the nearby bazaars and eateries.
‘House of Kheops under The Great Pyramid of Giza
For travelers who want a natural hideaway, the House of Kheops under The Great Pyramid of Giza is an oasis. It is unlike other traditional stays. The space includes private and non-private stays, as well as individual guest rooms within a shared open space. The separate room options include the Olive Room, the Jasmine Room, the Hibiscus Room and the Lotus Room.
For those seeking more privacy, full house bookings are available upon request. Guests are welcome to enjoy the communal kitchen and have access to the entire house fostering a sense of community. Guests can meet new people as they enjoy the ancient wonders of Egyptian culture.
The Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah
The Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah is a luxury urban oasis in the heart of Cairo. This 5-star hotel on Gezirah Island offers breathtaking Nile views from every room. Accommodations feature a seamless blend of French elegance, contemporary fittings and oriental designs. The hotel’s sanctuary Sofitel Spa combines ancient traditions with modern French expertise in its range of rejuvenating treatments. Visitors also can escape the city and indulge in a day of relaxation in the lush gardens. The hotel’s day membership also includes discounts to the Nile-side promenade’s restaurants and bars.
Get Away: Getting To and Around Cairo, Egypt
Flying into Cairo International Airport is the convenient option with various international airlines offering direct flights. For a smooth and enjoyable journey, book your flight in advance and compare different airlines to find the best deals. Upon arrival, the airport has efficient customs procedures for seamless pass-through.
The best time of year to book travel to Cairo, Egypt depends on preference. Peak tourist season falls between November and February when the weather is more moderate and comfortable. During this time, the demand for flights and accommodations is higher. Start planning an itinerary three to six months ahead of time for the best prices and availability. If you are looking for more budget-friendly options, the shoulder seasons are great times to secure savings.
In a vibrant city like Cairo, traveling by car is a convenient way to navigate the bustling streets. Visiting landmark, like the Great Pyramids and the Egyptian Museum, by car allows travelers to go at their own pace. It’s important to plan routes in advance and get familiar with the city’s major roads to avoid getting lost. Be prepared for heavy traffic during peak hours and always have a reliable map or GPS navigation system.
By Public Transit
Once in the city, the best way to get around is by utilizing the extensive public transportation system. The extensive network of the Cairo Metro is an efficient and affordable hub that connects to major attractions. Buses also provide a convenient connection to various neighborhoods and landmarks. Microbuses are smaller vehicles that operate on fixed routes, offering flexibility for the more nomadic travelers. Taxis and ride-hailing services also are available.
Explore Cairo, Egypt on Foot
Walking around Cairo allows travelers to soak up the vibrant atmosphere and discover hidden gems on their own time. From Tahrir Square to the Islamic Cairo district, there’s mesmerizing architecture and vibrant markets to explore on foot. Take advantage of the city’s pedestrian-friendly areas, like the Nile Corniche, and savor the local street food along the way. Visitors should explore Middle Eastern neighborhoods of Zamalek and Garden City. These areas have beautiful parks and cultural landmarks.