Many visitors tend to become satisfied with a tour of the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx. Little have they explored this magnificent city. The ancient ruins draw you closer to Egypt’s capital. Take time for the archaeological site of Dahshur, Memphis and Saqqara. The sights are simply breath-taking, and there are many things to see in Cairo that aren’t mummies or pyramids.
The exploration never seizes to stop at Cairo with religious monuments like Salah El-Din Citadel and the historic Islamic Cairo accompanied by Coptic Cairo neighbourhoods. Gain further insight into Egypt’s past at the Egyptian Museum.
Tired of Cairo’s historic locales? Relax in Al Azhar Park or barter for goods at a Khan el-Khalili bazaar. As the dusk sets in over Cairo’s sandy terrain, witness the monuments glow in the orange light of the setting sun. Don’t forget the ravishing ride along the river Nile.
Coptic Cairo (Old City)
Old is the first place to reach for gold. This neighbourhood lies in Southern Cairo tied with twisting alleyways and ancient churches, which are several centuries older than the ornate mosques of Islamic Cairo. Stories from legend go that it was St. Mark who introduced Christianity to Egypt, and it was here that Africa’s first Christian church that was architectured – the Coptic Church of Egypt – thrived. The easiest way to get to Coptic Cairo is to take the Cairo Metro to Mar Girgis station, which sits across the street from the Coptic Museum.
Travellers suggest the best way to follow up your trip to the pyramids is by visiting the Egyptian Museum. The massive facility contains more than 100,000 artefacts from ancient Egypt, including sarcophagi, jewellery and pottery. Quite a fascinating spot, isn’t it? They say, it would take a year to explore the museum in entirety, and they don’t lie. Such is the magnificence of the museum. Barring the steep fees of the museum recent visitors are often impressed by the art collection. The delight is greater than the material!
Salah El-Din Citadel
Devote a day to witness the awe-striking view of the Salah El-Din Citadel. This is quite possibly the most popular non-pyramid attraction in Cairo. The massive fortress located in Islamic Cairo was constructed in the late 1100s by Salah al-Din, the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty, not to mention an opponent of those involved in the Christian Crusades. While recent visitors praise the number of things to do here, most recommend taking some time to stop and admire the view. You can see much of Coptic Cairo and, on a clear day, the Pyramids of Giza from the fortress.
Al Azhar Park
Arising from a garbage dump to nature’s precious piece of attraction, Al Azhar park, is one of Cairo’s largest parks. The beautiful park now features an array of fountains, manicured gardens, recreation areas and ravishing restaurants. For many visitors, the highlight of this public space is the Ayyubid wall, built by Ayyubid Dynasty. You can reach Al Azhar Park via taxi or on foot from Islamic Cairo. The view is worth twice the look.
The spectacle is beyond the mere Pyramids and Mummies. Enjoy the rich heritage of history mixed with art and architecture. You might like to think of this as a mysterious place to visit. Well, visit once and the mystery might just remain as a lasting memory piece.
Indulgence of the tender mind,
Into a box of colourful display; mummy tapes and brown pyramids.
I watched with a child-like innocence,
Until I stepped in it; I failed to see an element beyond.
Heritage was temporarily blurred due to rain drops.
Nile, an every child-known river waters across.
If the city a mystery to you,
Fly over to crack the experience piece by piece.