I recently got a chance to explore the beauty and tradition of CAIRO during my official tour. I did not miss the opportunity to complete my work and life balance without visiting this city. So, I extended my trip for two more days and explored it thoroughly.
Cairo is an ancient and traditional city, and it is the capital of Egypt. It is one of the largest cities in the Arab world, fronting the Nile bank. Cairo is a city of a combination of Modernization and Ancient aromas.
The Pyramids of Giza, who are one of the Seven Wonders of the World, are high headed placed in the lap of Cairo. But Pyramids of Giza are not the only reason to visit Cairo; there are more related to its heritage and culture.
It is effortless to roam around in Egypt, but it will be advantageous to carry maps and keep looking to get around Cairo on your own. Before you all start wondering how it looks like, let’s start exploring it with me.
Cairo has Africa’s first and most expansive metro Network System. Along with it has a vast network of Taxis, which include Uber, White, and black and white taxis. This extensive road transport system consists of large red, white, and blue public buses as well; those are cheaper and crowded.
Day 1: Heritage stopover
9:00 AM. Grand Egyptian Museum: After gorging into some freshly baked pancakes and sandwiches, start your trip with some heritage strolling. It is also known as Giza Museum. It is one of its kind and said to be the largest Archaeological Museum, which is under construction and proposed to be open in 2020. It opens from 9 AM to 5 PM, located at Alexandria desert road. It includes an incredible collection of antiques, artifacts related to ancient Egypt’s history. The museum opens on all every day except Monday and Friday.
12:30 PM. The Hanging Church: After having your lunch at some famous old Cairo restaurant, it’s time to move towards your next stop. The hanging Church’s actual name is the Church of the Virgin Mary. It is the oldest Church in Egypt and gets its name because of its location, which is the gateway of Babylon Fortress, which was the most former fortress in the Nile delta. Hanging Church is the most famous Coptic Church in Egypt. The entrance of this holy Church is through the iron gates into a patio draped with biblical mosaics. The main hallway of the Church divided into three main passageways, from right to left; these sanctuaries are devoted to St. John, the Virgin Mary, and St. Gorge. The ceiling of the Hanging Church is made up of arched timber, and the podium is made up of marble, supported by 13 marble columns meant to represent Jesus and his 12 disciples. The Church opens every day from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, while the Mass happens from 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM on Wednesdays and Fridays, and 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM on Sundays. Entry to the Church is free of cost.
2:30 PM Madrassa of Sultan Hassan Mosque: It is a historical monument in the form of a mosque and a madrassa (school) built in the ancient 14th century. Sultan Hassan constructed the mosque, but unfortunately, he dies before the construction competes. It has four schools within itself—Shafi’i, Maliki, Hanafi, and Hanbali. Sultan gave Egypt one of its magnificent mosques, still among the largest in the world. Its incredible architecture has Chinese and traditional works of art on the walls and the entrance. It opens from 9 AM to 5 PM.
4:00 PM Cairo Clock Tower: From Hanging Church, you can take a 20 min ride for Cairo cock tower as it is approx. 6 km away. If you do not want to miss the bird’s eyes view of the whole city. You will find it a bit crowded, but it is worth it all. Enjoy some breathtaking views of the Nile and the tiny architect. You will feel the breeze and enjoy the feeling of at the height. Enjoy the quiet afternoon, and it will be a bit of a relief from the flow of tourists, who often come in the evening to see Cairo Tower bejeweled with colorful lights. Relish into some snacks and coffee from the cafes located under the terrace. Sit and relax and dive into the changing panorama of Cairo as the sun sets slowly.
Day 2: Wonder of the World
7:30 A.M. Pyramids of Giza: Your trip will be incomplete if you will miss the Pyramids of Giza. Recharge yourself with the favorite breakfast from one of the famous restaurants in the Coptic, Cairo area. I am sure Today, you will be found yourself more energized as you will be going to witness one out of the seven wonders in the world. Morning or evening time is best for a visit. The Pyramids of Giza also called the Giza Necropolis, consist of three Pyramids called the Great Giza Pyramid (Very 1st Pyramid), Khafre Pyramid (Middle Pyramid), and Menkaure Pyramid (Southernmost or the last Pyramid) along with their related pyramid centers, and the Great Sphinx of Giza. The moment you entered the premises, you can feel the denseness and will understand on its own why they are amongst the wonders. The entrance of the Pyramids is on the north side. You can enjoy the camel ride on the desert area as the place is wide open with the sand all around. These monuments are the remains of ancient Egypt’s Kingdom, were constructed approx. 4600 years ago. You can visit the pyramids every day from 8 AM to 4 PM in the wintertime (October to March) and from 7 AM to 7 PM in the summer (April-September).
10:30 AM. Cairo opera House: It will take approx. an hour to reach the Opera house from Pyramids of Giza. It is the central place for the arts and cultural engagement in Cairo, Egypt. It was opened in 1988 by the gifted funds from Japan. This place can accommodate up to 1200 people at a time. It has seven theaters, a music library, and an art gallery. It opens for all seven days a week.
01:30 PM. Khan Al-Khalili Bazaar: If you are an ardent shopper and have a taste for the antiques and traditional stuff, then it is tough to resist this place, and you can’t miss it. Khan El-Khalili is Cairo’s most vibrant and attractive tourist shopping destination. It has a vibrant collection of various exotic spices, ornaments, Rugs, and artifacts. You can buy loads of souvenirs for the back home for your friends and family. Whenever you get tired of spending money, take a much-needed break, and explore the cafes and restaurants in the souk and relish the food.
6:00 P.M. Zamalek: Zamalek is a prosperous region of Cairo surrounded by the Nile River. It is very glitzy and affluent. It has posh townhouses which attract the delegates from all over the world. Although the whole day is perfect for visiting Zamalek the morning or the evening is an amazing time to explore the beauty of Cairo. Start your day with the beautiful sunrise and take a ride in the Nile. After the peaceful boat ride, look for a riverside café for the amazing traditional Cairene breakfast. Relax and enjoy the coffee with the backdrop of the Nile.
Cairo is very serene and has its own beauty. I am sure you will definitely visit it once in your life time. Its architecture, souks, antique artifacts will surely mesmerize you. Every place has its own pros and cons and Cairo, as it is struggling with its transportation facility due to its increasing population. But its beauty can not be neglected over these pity issues.