Things to do in Cairo for a Culture Buff

While most people travel to Egypt with the sole purpose of seeing the pyramids of Giza, unless you are completely strapped for time, a visit to the city of Cairo is a must as it is home to resplendent palaces, mosques and museums as well as shopping bazaars, markets and churches. Let me elaborate on the things to do in Cairo for a culture buff. 

The best time to travel to Cairo is between December and January as this is when you will experience blue skies and cool breeze as compared to the scorching heat of summer but if you want to see the true character of the city, Ramadan time is ideal as the streets come alive for iftar and food stalls and other shops are open well into the night.

A cityscape of the downtown area of Cairo, the capital city of Egypt
A cityscape of the downtown area of Cairo, the capital city of Egypt

The city of Cairo is densely populated and it will help to mentally prepare yourself for the crowds you are about to become a part of. Once your eyes adjust the constant blanket of dust, you will begin to see and appreciate the beauty of the city.

There are vendors and tour guides at every street corner, rickety cars clog the streets alongside the bullock carts heaped with fresh unleavened bread. Shops are converted houses that you can step into for a look into the process of papyrus making where they very professionally demonstrate how the stem of the papyrus plant is thinly sliced, pressed, soaked, weaved and then dried to make papyrus paper that you can purchase in all sorts of sizes and designed with all sorts of intricate, Egyptian art.

You can also learn how to weave cotton and make your own customized perfume! The narrow streets are lined with books, carpets and many other souvenirs that are perfect little gifts for your family back home.

The restaurants are overflowing with an array of Mediterranean food like cold cuts, olives, hummus and all kinds of bread and if your hunger is still not sated, the countess date trees dotting the streets are heavy with delicious low-hanging fruit that you can help yourself to.

Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt Various of papyrus with elements of Egyptian history - at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, things to do in Cairo
Sharm El Sheikh, Various papyrus with elements of Egyptian history at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

The Great Pyramids are a short 20-minute drive from Cairo and are an obvious must-see. The pyramids are situated on the edge of a stretch of desert land that is largely surrounded by the city and in fact, can be spotted from most streets and restaurants. The sheer size and geometry of the pyramids make it easy to understand why there are people around the world that believe that the pyramids are actually made by aliens!

You will need a whole day to really take in this wonder of the world. There are the three main pyramids as well as The Great Sphinx. If you’re a history lover and are looking for a more educational, immersive experience, hire a tour guide who is highly knowledgeable and will be a great help in giving you an in-depth tour that goes into the history of the great pyramids and their construction as well as a tour inside the pyramids.

Giza Pyramids And Sphinx in Cairo, Egypt, things to do in cairo
Giza Pyramids And Sphinx in Cairo, Egypt

A cruise on the river Nile is also a popular attraction among tourist in Cairo. Apart from the serene view of the illuminated city away from all the commotion and crowds, you are also treated to a delicious buffet dinner and an astounding performance of the mesmerizing traditional Sufi dancers followed by the more popular (for obvious reasons) belly dancers.

River Nile, Cairo - Egypt, things to do in cairo
River Nile, Cairo – Egypt

Your trip to Cairo is sure to be a delight for your senses and one that will remain in your memory for years to come so don’t waste another second, get packing!

Click here to read beyond Pyramids into Ancient Egypt

30 COMMENTS

  1. Lol I guess Cairo gets overshadowed by the fame of the pyramids – seems like one of those really underrated places to immerse yourself in!

  2. Jovina, One of the good travel blogs I have come across! I just love it! Very well done and may you travel more and blog more.

  3. Yes Jovi nice to read your articles on these cities,I’ve been to Cairo Egypt,as part of a pilgrimage tour wish we had more time there.

  4. Jovi – the next time we plan a holiday- I will have to read your travel blog first – sure to find some exciting destination.

  5. Lovely article, very informative. I would have never pictured me going to Egypt but after this read it definitely on the bucket list!

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