Cairo Travel Guide for First-Time Visitors 2020

By Ghumakkad_Billa | May 18, 2020
Africa > Egypt

Hello Folks, I am back with Cairo travel guide for first-time visitors 2020, lets scroll down to check what you can do while you are in Cairo, Egypt. Cairo, is the capital of Egypt and, with a total population in excess of 16 million people, one of the largest cities in both Africa and the Middle east. It is also the 19th largest city in the world, and among the world's most densely populated cities.

Giza Necropolis, Cairo

Giza Necropolis, Cairo

On the Nile river, Cairo is famous for its own history, preserved in the fabulous medieval Islamic city and Coptic sites in Old Cairo. The Egyptian Museum in the centre of town is a must see, with its countless ancient Egyptian artefacts, as is shopping at the Khan al-Khalili bazaar. No trip to Cairo would be complete, for example, without a visit to the Giza pyramids and to the nearby Saggara Pyramid Complex, where visitors will see Egypt's first step pyramid built by the architect Imhotep for the third dynasty Pharaoh, Djoser.

How to Reach?

Cairo and Luxor are the two main airports in Egypt, with Aswan, Alexandria and Sharm el-Sheikh as close runner-ups. However, Cairo Airport boasts most of the airlines operating flights to and from India. All the major Indian cities with airports have frequent flights to Cairo. The fastest and non stop flight to Egypt is from Mumbai. It runs three days a week– Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

What to visit?

  • Giza pyramid necropolis
  • Great Sphinx
  • Cairo museum
  • Khan-e-Khali-li Market
  • Islamic Cairo
  • Cairo paper Museum

Giza Pyramid Necropolis

Cairo's most popular attraction, the Pyramids of Giza, draw thousands of visitors every year. As one of the original Seven Wonders of the World, these pyramids have stood the test of time, remaining intact for roughly 4,500 years. You'll find three primary pyramids, the best known being the Great Pyramid – affiliated with Khufu, the Fourth Dynasty pharaoh buried there. Khafre, Khufu's son, lies entombed in the nearby Pyramid of Khafre. The third structure, the Pyramid of Menkaure, stands as the smallest of the Pyramids of Giza and was constructed by Khafre's successor to the throne, Menkaure.

Pyramids of Giza, Cairo

Pyramids of Giza, Cairo

Explore the pyramids and the adjacent Great Sphinx after purchasing a Giza Plateau ticket. However, keep in mind that only 300 tickets are sold per day and additional fees apply for entering the pyramids. If you planning visiting in the winter or want to beat Cairo's notorious heat. Consider arriving early in the morning when plenty of tickets are still available and temperatures are a bit more comfortable. There is always a light show in evening at Sphinx one can enjoy the pyramids in the light effect. I loved it I am sure you will also enjoy. So keep it your list if can make it.

Great Sphinx

One of Cairo's must-see attractions is the Great Sphinx, the world's oldest monumental sculpture. Situated by the Pyramid of Giza. The Great Sphinx impresses with its size – it measures 66 feet high and 234 feet long – and unique appearance. The monument depicts half part of pharaoh and half lion. Archeologists are not sure who the figure is modeled after or when it was built. Two temples, one from the Old Kingdom and another from the New Kingdom, sit next to the sphinx.

The Sphinx

The Sphinx

The best way to see the Great Sphinx is to sign up for a bus tour. Some prearranged tours will give you special access to select areas of the site. Plus admissions fees are included in tour rates. You'll also gain more insight about the monument than you would without a guide. If you'd rather have a quintessential Egyptian experience, pay extra to explore the area by camel.

Cairo Museum

The best way to follow up your trip to the pyramids is by visiting the Egyptian Museum. This massive facility contains more than 100,000 artifacts from ancient Egypt, including sarcophagi, jewelry and pottery. It would take almost a year to explore the museum in its entirety. To save you some time, I recommend sticking to a few notable galleries. The main attraction here is the Tutankhamun exhibit, which features treasures from King Tut's tomb, including his golden funeral mask. And although it costs an additional 100 Egyptian pounds to enter. The Mummy Room should be high on your list of museum must-sees.

Cairo Museum

Cairo Museum

Though the Egyptian Museum's fees are a bit steep. If you want to take photos inside, bring extra cash. Travellers with cameras are charged an additional 50 Egyptian pounds ($6). Also, this museum does not have air conditioning, so plan to visit early in the morning.

Khan El-Khalili Market

For the best taste of Cairo's vibrant, chaotic personality, make a beeline to Khan El-Khalili. Overflowing into the narrow streets of Islamic Cairo, this bustling market serves as the go-to place for authentic Egyptian souvenirs. Its labyrinth of alleyways houses a treasure trove of Egyptian jewellery, hookah pipes and spices.

Khan El-Khalili Market, Cairo

Khan El-Khalili Market, Cairo

A visit to Khan El-Khalili will certainly test your bargaining skills. Prepare for vendors to bombard at you, and always assume that prices will be up. Aim to knock the starting price down by at least 30%. If you're facing a stubborn opponent, don't hesitate to walk away. Also, it's easy to lose track of young children at this market, so it's best to come without kids. And if you're on a tight schedule or aren't the best with directions. Consider visiting Khan El-Khalili via a bus tour. Tours start at $60.

Islamic Cairo

This sprawling neighborhood in eastern Cairo encompasses a labyrinth of twisting alleyways and a spattering of awe-inspiring architecture. The atmosphere here will take some getting used to: The streets are crowded, noisy and littered with animal droppings. But if you take the time to adjust to Islamic Cairo's chaotic environment, you won't regret making the trek.

Islamic Cairo, Cairo

Islamic Cairo, Cairo

You'll find a number of top attractions here, including Khan El-Khalili's bazaar and the Salah El-Din Citadel. No matter where you wander in the area, you'll stumble upon archeological treasures and architectural gems. To see Islamic Cairo's sights, get out and walk or tag along on an organised bus tour.

Cairo paper Museum

The English word papyrus is derived via Latin, from the Greek, papuros. The Arabic word is Bardy or also Warak Bardy meaning Papyrus paper. It is often claimed that Egyptians referred to Paprus as pa-per-aa. Literary meaning, that which is of Pharaoh, apparently indicating that the Egyptian crown owned a monopoly on papyrus production. Though no actual ancient text using this term is known. paper played a very important role in ancient Egypt and was one of the biggest capital of kingdom.

Cairo Paper Museum, Cairo

Cairo Paper Museum, Cairo

Inside the paper museum you can see a demo, how ancient Egyptian use to make paper from a tree with hand. They have vast collection of Egyptian paintings also inside the museum. It worth while to buy some. Don't forget your bargaining skills as they do consider heavy bargaining. I promise you, you will not regret to see this place. So include it in your Cairo travel guide 2020.

Food

Cairo is amazing in terms of food and history. There are some food items which you must try while you are in Cairo. They are Falafel, Fuul, Koshary, Taameya, Kofta Kebabs, Hawawshi and many more.

Keep Travelling...

Mosque Giza Food Cairo Museum Market Egyptian pyramids

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Written by Ghumakkad_Billa
Hello, my name is Ghumakkad Billa(wanderer cat), a travel blogger and a virtual travel assistant. After travelling the globe in the last ten years with the best of my knowledge, I provide the best travel tips, and tour advises to travellers. Poke me to get out best from your holiday trip.

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See also

Accommodations

Tours and activities

Tour to Pyramids & The Egyptian Museum

Spend the day visiting Ancient Egypt. Take in the Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx before visiting the Egyptian Museum with the largest collection of Egyptian antiquities in the world. A knowledgeable guide will accompany you the whole way.

Felucca ride on the Nile (traditional sail boat)

Enjoy the river Nile riding in a lovely traditional sail boat which help you feel relaxing and peaceful time and going away from complex life. Get it with sunrise or sunset.

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