Cairo is a city in Northern Egypt (or Lower Egypt) founded in 969 AD. The name Cairo in Egyptian means “The Place of Combat”, and according to the Egyptian mythology, this is where the battle between gods Horus and Seth took place. It is also sometimes called Ummul Dunya or the Mother of the World, but no matter how you call it, Cairo is a place filled with many amazing things. There’s literally something for everyone here. No matter if you are interested in ancient history or if you’re a foodie, you will love the experience. So, if Egypt is on your travel checklist, one day in Cairo will be a dream come true.
What’s the best time to visit Cairo, Egypt?
Egypt can be cruel in summer and in winter. It is highly recommended not to travel during these seasons. The most suitable time for you to travel to the city is either in fall (September to November), or in spring (February to April). The weather during this time is much better for tourists. These rather pleasant seasons help you explore great sites and busy streets and dig better into this civilization’s history. The prices are higher during holidays such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or Easter. You should book a trip far from any huge holiday to travel cheaper.
A few facts about Cairo, Egypt
Cairo is said to be the center of education in Egypt. If you are an educator or a scholar, or someone interested in pursuing their higher degree, visit Al-Azhar University or Cairo University.
At the very beginning, the place started off as a slowly progressing city until the Ottoman Empire took control of it. It was then that the city started to grow through expansion and political awareness. It was also at this very time that it became a center of Islam.
Though the city’s street might seem to be overly crowded, the people who live there are filled with love. They welcome and respect other communities with such heart-warming gestures, and that is by celebrating their events in a similar grand way like their own, showing communal harmony and peace.
One of the events that you must join in is the Sun Festival or the Ascension of Ramses II and Ramses’s Birth. Celebrated on February 22nd and October 22nd is the festival created by Ramses II in which the sunlight gets into his temple at Abu Simbel two times each year. The first celebration is made on February 22nd to celebrate his ascension to the throne, and the second is on October 22nd to celebrate his birthday.
One Day in Cairo, Egypt Itinerary
Once you leave Cairo airport, you can easily catch an Uber. The journey begins with spending few dollars to travel to Tahrir Square, the first stop on your one day in Cairo.
Visit Tahrir Square
The word Tahrir means liberation, and this was the center point from which the revolution took place. Even today, it is surrounded by armed men and soldiers.
Climb the plateau of Giza
A short trip from the square is a place called Giza, a plateau on Cairo’s southwest side. It has a necropolis, monuments, and pyramids, and riding a camel is something you never want to miss out on. Book a tour in advance and experience the real adventure!
Explore Salahuddin Al Ayubi Citadel and the Fortress of Mohammad Ali
As Egypt is a place where you can see an amalgamation of older and new societies and civilizations, you should go and check out the Salahuddin Al Ayubi Citadel.
It was initially a fortress ruled by Mohammad Ali; hence has a mosque was built in his name at the top from where he used to look over others. A mosque is a camera-friendly place so that visitors like you can also click pictures there. The area inside is calm and peaceful.
Stroll through Al Azhar Park
The evenings at the Al Azhar Park are a completely different experience. It is a place filled with greenery, true lungs of Cairo. If you want to feel the serenity, sit on one of the park’s top walls during the prayer calls. The whole environment will leave you in awe.
Enter the Egyptian Museum
Do visit the Egyptian Museum while traveling as it contains an insane amount of artifacts. The critical part of this museum visit should be to take a look at King Tut’s mask and the mummy room. But do keep in mind that the mummy room charges an extra 100 Egyptian pounds.
See what is hidden in Saqarra
From the museum, you can visit Saqarra, an ancient burial ground, thirty minutes by taxi from the pyramids of Giza. It is a place for the people who want to discover the dead and learn about the Egyptian idea of the afterlife. The walls with hieroglyphs tell the whole story.
Sail down the Nile
The commute within the city is difficult because of the hassle and chaos on the busy streets. The sandy areas can be harsh to travel at day. Want to take a break from it all? Get on the boat and sail down the river Nile on a boat called felucca, the type of boat that used to transmit goods from and back to the city. It’s nothing fancy, but you will still love every second of it. You can book a spot here (meal is included).
Sit down at the Blue Restaurant & Grill
Traveling through the day can make anybody tired and hungry. If this trip makes you hungry, visit The Blue Restaurant & Grill at 12 Ahmed Ragheb, Qasr El Nil, Cairo Governorate. The place has a view of the Nile which really is a special way to enjoy your meal. Of course, the food is great, too.
Shop at Khan Al Khalili
How can you visit a place and not want to buy something to take home with you? If you want to keep this visit in your heart forever and collect a souvenir from the trip, do shop at the Khan Al Khalili market. It is one of the biggest street markets in Cairo. The street also has a shisha place which can add more to your nightlife experience.
Where to stay in Cairo, Egypt?
Pyramid Hills Inn
Nazlet El Semman, Al Haram 33, El Harery, Building 2, Block 3, Giza, 12512 Cairo
Do you want to sleep next to the pyramids? Just book a room in Pyramids Hills Inn! The view from the rooms is spectacular, and the roof terrace this place has will allow you to enjoy it, too. Great breakfast and great service only strengthen the excellent impression, so if you want a special experience in Egypt, this is most certainly it.
Helen Nile Roda Hotel
67 Abdulaziz Al Saud, 11553 Cairo
If you want to enjoy the mighty Nile, sleeping in Helen Nile Roda Hotel will be once-in-a-lifetime experience. The view you’ll have of this magnificent river is hard to describe, and just imagine having breakfast on your terrace here with the Nile flowing right below you. The prices are quite reasonable, so staying here will be a great move.
Garden Season Hotel
8 Ibrahim Naguib Garden City, Garden City, 11511 Cairo
A trip to Cairo really doesn’t have to be expensive. Garden Season Hotel is a great proof of that. You will get absolutely everything you need here – a nice breakfast, clean and comfortable rooms, and impeccable service from the staff. You are also close to Tahrir Square to which you can easily get on foot.
5 Kasr Al Nile street 10th floor, 11513 Cairo
Need a hostel in Cairo? Madina Hostel is located right in the city center, so you can start exploring everything right away. A big plus is that the hostel is located on the 10th floor and beyond, meaning you will have a great view. There’s also a terrace, and balconies for the rooms, and the hostel is quite modern in its interior design.
Day trips from Cairo
Stay in this magnificent city for more than once just day and book yourself a day trip from Cairo! It will allow you to explore this amazing country and see more awesome sights.
Egypt is full of amazing places, and Alexandria is most certainly one of them. This day trip from Cairo will give you the opportunity to see Roman ruins, an Ottoman fort and many, many other amazing things on the coast of the Mediterranean.
No, not the one in the States. This Memphis is an ancient city fairly close to Cairo, so you really don’t need a lot of time to reach it. It boasts some fascinating remains of ancient Egyptian temples, so you should really go and check that out if you have the time.
Cruise the Nile
Why not set some time apart for a cruise? Spend an evening (or more) slowly drifting down this magnificent river and enjoy a nice romantic dinner. Great for couples, plus many boats also offer a show of some kind.
Extra tips for visiting Cairo, Egypt
– Beware of the pickpocket in crowded streets
– Pack pack cotton clothes, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun
– Stay hydrated, drink plenty of water
Make sure you have everything you need
What to pack for your next trip?
Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.