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What to see in Cairo

Cairo Attractions

One only needs to look to the pyramids on the skyline to be reminded that Cairo's ancient attractions are part of the city's fabric rather than mere tourist exhibits.

Cairo has been attracting tourists for thousands of years, and the Pyramids of Giza, alongside the Sphinx, are some of the oldest and arguably most impressive attractions in the world. One would think other attractions in Cairo would pale in comparison to these ancient treasures but visitors often find that some of the best sights in Cairo are more ordinary things, like markets, coffee houses and places of worship. Not least among these is Khan al-Khalili, a central and much used market which gives visitors a chance to experience the city bazaar much as it was 700 years ago. Another is Old Cairo, an ancient Coptic Christian community from Roman times. Nearby these old churches, the 12th-century Saladin Citadel looms over Cairo, boasting a number of stunning mosques.

Tourists shouldn't discount the museums either, particularly the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, which houses mummies and treasures from the tombs of the pharaohs. It should just be noted that this world-class museum is located on Cairo's notorious Tahrir Square, which is an interesting landmark and worth a visit but tends to be the main stage for the city's protests. Travellers would be well advised to avoid this part of downtown Cairo at times of political turmoil.

Tourists in Cairo often find that they are persistently pestered by touts at major sites. Hiring a reputable guide or joining a group tour helps mitigate this.

Asfour Crystal Factory

The Egyptians were the first people to develop the art technology to manufacture glass and cut it into beautiful shapes. This ancient civilisation started making crystals 5,000 years ago. Asfour Crystal…

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Coptic Church of St George (Mari Girgis)

The only round, or domed, church left in Cairo, the Greek Church of St George features a long set of steps that lead up to the church, where visitors will find a relief of St George and the dragon…

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Egyptian Museum of Antiquities

With over 100,000 artefacts in 107 halls, the Egyptian Museum provides days of exploration. Inside are treasures from ancient Egypt, including priceless finery taken from ancient royal tombs, and one…

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Hanging Church

The Hanging Church in Cairo derives its name from its location on top of the southern tower gate of the old Babylon fortress, with its nave suspended over a passage. It is the most famous Coptic church…

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Khan al-Khalili

Buzzing with enthusiastic buying and selling, Khan al-Khalili is one of the largest markets in the world. Situated within Islamic Cairo, the World Heritage Site attracts travellers and locals alike.…

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Old Cairo

Once known as the Roman stronghold of Babylon, Coptic Cairo is the oldest part of the city and the heart of the Coptic Christian community. Home to 5 original churches alongside Egypts first mosque…

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Pyramids of Giza

The pyramids are the earth's oldest tourist attraction and the Great Pyramid of Khufu (also referred to as the Great Pyramid of Cheops) is the only remainder of the seven ancient wonders of the world.…

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Ramses II Statue

Discovered in 1882 during excavations, the giant statue of Pharaoh Ramses II was cut into six pieces in the 1950s and moved to Ramses Square in central Cairo where it stood for a further 50 years.…

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Saladin Citadel (Al-Qalaa)

The Saladin Citadel is a massive stone fortress, set in a beautiful tropical location, built by Salah ad-Din in the 12th century. Visitors have the freedom to roam the castle, which remains in pristine…

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