Saturday, May 17, 2014

A list of 20 great things to do in Cairo for tourists

I am often asked by people visiting Cairo what else they can do besides the usual tourist stuff here in the city. This has inspired me to write this, by no means exclusive, list of some fun things to do if you get a chance to come here, or indeed to tick off your to do list if you live here!

Nb-I have shamelessly stolen all the photos from this from google searches. Apologies to all photographers- if you want your pic photo credited pease just ask! 

These are in no particular order.  How many of these have you done? And can you suggest things I have missed?

1- Wander round streets of Zamalek.... Lots of wee boutiques, art galleries and caf├ęs . Safe and easy area to walk in Cairo.

2- visit the flower show at the botanical gardens in dokki. Which runs all of May. (Not very interesting the other 11 months though!)

3- walk from citadel down to khan el Khalili. Pass by the blue mosque and the tentmakers area.

4- om khalsoum museum and nilometer in Manial. It doesn't taken long so take picnic and sit in grounds after enjoying the Nile view.

5- take the metro to Mari Girgis.Visit Coptic museum and churches. Walk to the Nile for the river bus back downtown

6- the zoo. It suddenly makes you appreciate zoos in other countries. 

7- Make /buy a picnic and hire a felucca on the Nile for a few hours. Best at sunset. Been there done that? Make it a wee shaabi boat and blast up the volume and dance in de Nile !

8- catch a Bellydance show. Hint Hint- there is a good one at fairmont Nile city every tues and thurs night!

9- baladi bar hop round downtown, admiring the French, Italian and British architecture along the way. 

10- St Simons church carved into the mokkatam rock, passing through the zabaleen (rubbish collectors) area. Smelly, but an eye opener to how some people live!

11- Mohamed Ali mosque (citadel) and police museum then sunset in el Azhar Park.

12- sit in the outside terrace restaurant at the Marriott hotel, Zamalek and imagine the life story of the variety people around you. Plus the Marriott ceilings just HAVE to be seen and admired!

13- live it up - gather a few friends together and hire a yacht for an hour or two. Less expensive than you may imagine and you can pretend you're in a Duran Duran video.

14- Dashour- the red pyramid and the bent pyramid! Always quiet and stunning.

15- take a Bellydance class to learn to dance 'Egyptian style' -hint hint -I know a good teacher! ;-)

16- Egyptian museum in Tahrir Square. Ancient and recent history together in one place.

17- Saccara pyramid museum and tombs. Take care, the tombs close before the rest does and should not be missed!

18- Cairo opera house. Great shows most nights and a large air conditioned modern art gallery too if you need some escape from Cairo noise and heat.

19- day pool use in any of the lovely 5 star hotels along the Nile/ by pyramids. I strongly recommend Fairmont Nile City- yes I am biased since I work there, but you can see ALL of Cairo and the pyramids from the Sky pool!

20- I could write a list and not include it - the Giza Pyramids with or without camel/ horse ride and lunch at Mena house hotel after.