Despite all the media hype about how dangerous the city was at the time, I thought Cairo was a really interesting place with glorious fading architecture (I kept thinking how much it reminded me of Yangon) and an atmosphere just begging me to stay in the city longer.
I visited only as a one-day trip from Hurghada (on another of those tours that I’ve mentioned before with GetYourGuide and Egypt Excursions Online) , so only had time to make brief visits to each of the major tourist sites to snap some photos before we continued on.
The Egyptian Museum was my first major stop. Given its immediate proximity to Tahrir Square, my guide suggested that perhaps it would be wise to get there early in the morning and then get away before crowds (and traffic) downtown started to swell once midday prayers were over. No photography is allowed inside, but this may actually be a blessing as otherwise I may have spent the whole day here. As it was, I lingered long over King Tut’s masks and statues of Ramses, but also some of the ‘lesser’ exhibits stuffed into side rooms.
We also made a stop in old Islamic Cairo, mainly to walk through a market surrounded by mosques (though Cairo is known as the ‘City of 1000 minarets’, so these often aren’t too hard to find!). We were there quite early on an already hot day at the beginning of Ramadan, so the crowds weren’t quite out yet.
Just up the road from here, too, is The Citadel. Once a major fortress to protect (and control) Cairo, this hilltop fortress is now both a very active mosque and a great place for views out over Cairo.
In fact, from the panoramic balustrade surrounding the Citadel’s mosque views stretch all the way across Cairo and Giza to the Pyramids just outside of the latter. The haze was already such that the outline of the Pyramids was only barely discernible, though, so we piled back into the car and across the Nile River that separates Cairo and Giza.
After a quick stop for lunch (timed so that my guide and driver could head down the street to Juma prayers), it was on to….
I was in town as part of a Hurghada to Cairo Daytrip where I was taking photos for GetYourGuide and Egypt Excursions Online. All of these places are possible to visit independently, but if you’re short on time in Egypt or uncomfortable doing it independently then this tour might represent a good option.