The Egyptian capital, Cairo, may seem hectic and even chaotic. However, the metropolis hides some of the world’s most significant cultural treasures. On the one hand, the city is a modern metropolis from heaven with its buildings and on the other hand like a time machine of the past. In the old part of Cairo you can soak up the atmosphere of centuries ago and the pyramids of Giza give you a peek back millennia.
According to DigoPaul, Cairo is located on the eastern edge of the Nile Delta in northern Egypt. The words “long and colorful history” seem derogatory when talking about Cairo, as the settlement has existed for about 6,000 years.
The neighboring city of Giza, located on the western edge of the Nile, is often connected to Cairo. The combined Urban Area is home to about 20 million people, so the crowds of people, especially during peak times, come as no surprise.
The Pyramids of Giza are by far the most famous attraction in the region, and their importance has long been appreciated – after all, they are one of the seven wonders of the world. However, in addition to the well-known pyramids, the city also has plenty of other cultural attractions. Well-known places to visit include the Egyptian Museum and the Cairo Islamic Quarter.
Hot and dry climate
Cairo has a hot and dry climate like the rest of Egypt. It rains very rarely in the city, often only a few days a year. Spring sandstorms are a bigger nuisance than rain clouds.
There is plenty of heat in the city, especially in summer and autumn. During the period from June to October, daytime temperatures in Cairo almost invariably rise above 30 degrees and the nights are also warm.
During the winter months, temperatures drop by about ten degrees from summer readings.
Historic and modern city
Cairo is the cultural and economic center of its region – and this cannot be overlooked by tourists. Crowded with people, Cairo is a real big city. In medieval old Cairo, however, the atmosphere is very different from the more modern part painted by modern billboards.
For the history- and culture-hungry tourist, Cairo is often an unmissable travel destination in Egypt. The Pyramids of Giza are the most famous attraction in the city, but there is also much more to see in Cairo. Popular places to visit include the Egyptian Museum, the Citadel Fortress and the Khan el-Khalil Bazaar.
Shopping and delicacies
The bazaars are one of Cairo’s most traditional shopping spots. However, in addition to the bazaars, there are also boutiques of international brand stores in Cairo. There are some shopping malls near the city and popular shopping destinations include Carrefour and City Stars.
The food traveler also enjoys Cairo, as the city has many restaurants and flavors from all over the world. There are not only western chains, but also plenty of places to eat in Egypt’s own flavors. Traditional Egyptian food is definitely worth a try, and various rice dishes and skewers are typical of Egyptian cuisine.
Alcohol is often not found on Egyptian dining tables because Islam forbids its use. Coffee, on the other hand, is served at every departure and log tea is also very popular. Tea or other refreshments may also be offered at bazaars for trade massages.
Security situation in Cairo
The unrest in Egypt has risen to unpleasant headlines on several occasions in recent years. In the tourist resorts, the situation has remained fairly calm, as tourism is a very important source of income for Egypt and tourists want to keep the country in peace and hope to return again. The worst unrest has been experienced in Cairo, where the situation has at times escalated into violence.
Those planning a trip should still follow the news closely. The Travel Bulletins published by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs on its website provide the most up-to-date overview of the security situation.
Traveling to the city is, in principle, entirely possible, but it is good to be aware of the risks, and it is worth taking caution when moving, especially in large crowds. It is smart for a person traveling to Cairo to report their stay to the Finnish mission.
Train tours in Egypt
From Cairo you can travel to other parts of Egypt, for example by train. Train travel is affordable in Egypt. Centrally located, Mahatta Ramses is Cairo Central Station.
A popular destination for destinations in Cairo is Luxor, known for its historic attractions . At the same time, a traveler to Luxor can also see the famous green coastal scenery of the Nile.
In addition to Luxor, Cairo has rail connections to Alexandria and Aswan, for example.
FLIGHTS, ACCOMMODATION AND MOVEMENT IN CAIRO
Flights and travel
Flights from Finland to Cairo cost about 300-600 euros. Cairo International Airport is located about 15 km from the city center. Cairo also has good air connections to other Egyptian resorts such as Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh.
Hotels and accommodation
Cairo’s accommodation options are diverse, and the city has no trouble finding a place for it in luxury hotels rather than budget hostels.
Getting around Cairo
You can get around Cairo by taxi, bus and metro, for example. Tourists often prefer taxis, which are heavily trafficked in the city and are inexpensive to use. The State Department recommends avoiding crowds, so Taxi is often the safest option.
Public transport in the bustling Cairo is often full, but also very affordable. On the edge of Abdel Moniem Riad, you will find the city’s main bus station, with good connections to all parts of Cairo.
Renting your own car in Cairo cannot be recommended. The traffic culture in the city differs greatly from the Finnish one and can seem wild in the eyes of tourists.
ATTRACTIONS AT CAIRO
Pyramids of Giza
The Pyramids of Giza are a landmark of Cairo and one of the seven wonders of the world. These more than 4,000-year-old iconic structures attract a large number of visitors to Cairo. The pyramids are located on the western edge of the Nile.
Al-Azhar is Cairo’s largest – and in fact the only – park. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and atmosphere of cafes and restaurants in the park on the edge of Cairo’s Islamic Quarter. The entrance fee is about 1-2 euros.
The Egyptian Museum is one of the most famous museums in Cairo and around the world, presenting a wide range of Egyptian cultural treasures. The museum is located on the edge of Tahrir Square.
THE BEST OF CAIRO
- Plenty of cultural attractions
- Pyramids of Giza
- Good hiking opportunities
Cons of Cairo
- The political situation is unstable
- Summer can be suffocatingly hot
- Remember vaccinations!
- Gastric diseases of tourists are typical in Egypt