Cairo is the largest city in Africa and the Middle East, and it is a fascinating place to explore. Its history dates back to the time of the Pharaohs, and now it is a bustling metropolis with a unique blend of old and new. Whether you are looking for a cultural holiday, a romantic getaway, or an adventure-filled family vacation, Cairo has something for everyone. Here are some of the best things to do in downtown Cairo:
1. The Great Cairo Museum:
This museum is situated in downtown Cairo and boasts the world's largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts. With over 120,000 artifacts, the museum is a must-see when visiting the city. The museum's numerous galleries include mummies, sarcophagi, sculptures, jewelry, and more. Additionally, the museum hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, such as lectures, workshops, and film screenings.
2. Citadel of Cairo:
The Citadel of Cairo is a massive medieval fortress that overlooks the city. It was constructed in the 12th century by Saladin and houses several mosques, including the famous Mohammed Ali Mosque. Visitors can tour the Citadel and explore its many historical sites, including the Mamluk architecture, the interior courtyards, and the walls of the fortress. Tours are available in English and visitors can book tickets in advance online.
3. Khan El-Khalili Bazaar:
Khan El-Khalili Bazaar is one of the most renowned bazaars globally and is a must-see when visiting Cairo. This sprawling market is filled with stalls, shops, and vendors selling everything from spices, jewelry, and souvenirs to traditional clothing, carpets, and leather goods. Visitors can wander through the winding alleyways and explore the different shops. There are also a number of restaurants and cafes dotted throughout the market, where visitors can sample some delicious local cuisine.
4. Cairo Opera House:
The Cairo Opera House is one of the most prestigious performing arts centers globally and is home to the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, Cairo Opera Company, and the Cairo Ballet Company. Visitors can attend performances, operas, ballets, concerts, and more at the Cairo Opera House. Tickets can be purchased online in advance or at the box office on the day of the performance.
5. Tahrir Square:
Tahrir Square is one of the most famous squares globally and is located in the heart of downtown Cairo. This iconic square is known for its famous monuments, including the iconic Pharaonic obelisk and the Unknown Soldier Monument. It is a popular gathering place for locals and tourists alike. Tahrir Square is also the site of many protests and demonstrations and is a symbol of the city's vibrant political and cultural history.