Cairo is a breathtakingly beautiful city in Egypt that is full of majestic ancient history. Its combination of new world and old-world charm make it especially appealing to travelers who desire an authentic cultural experience.
It is located on both banks of the Nile River, and as the most populated city in the Middle East, its streets are bustling and frequently chaotic. Throughout the day the city is buzzing with citizens going to and from work, as car horns blare in the background. While at night, traffic slows down but the city comes alive with vibrant nightlife and offers everything from traditional musical shows to trendy bars and dance clubs.
Insights From Our Locals
What to Expect in Cairo
Expect a city that is full of life and energy, with bustling streets and chaotic traffic. The local language is Egyptian Arabic, and visitors can expect warm hospitality from locals who are proud to share their culture with visitors. The city is predominantly Muslim, but there is also a large number of Egyptian Christians. Religion is an integral part of life in Cairo, evident in the many mosques and minarets throughout the city.
Which means if you’re here to find the best things to do in Cairo, Egypt with locals, you need to start with cultural tours!
Top Things to Do in Cairo
There is no shortage of things to do in Cairo. The Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, and the Egyptian Museum are must-see attractions for any visitor to the city. A visit to Old Cairo, with its historic areas, the Hanging Church, and the Citadel is a journey back in time. The lively nightlife, traditional musical shows, trendy bars, and dance clubs are perfect for those who want to let loose after a long day of sightseeing.
Food and Culture
Cairo is a city that’s steeped in culture, and its food is no exception. Egyptian cuisine is a mix of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and African flavors, and is heavily reliant on vegetables, beans, and grains.
For breakfast, locals love ful medames, a dish of fava beans, herbs, and spices, served with bread. Egyptian-style shawarma is another must-try, with chicken or beef, pickles, and tahini sauce wrapped in pita bread.
Street food, such as falafel and molokhia, is plentiful in Cairo, with vendors selling everything from koshari (a hearty mix of lentils, rice, and pasta) to freshly squeezed juice. Culture is everywhere in Cairo, from the historic mosques and churches, to the lively music and dance scene. Visitors can attend traditional performances of belly dancing or folk music, or explore the many museums and galleries that showcase Egypt’s rich history and artistic heritage.
Hidden Gems of Cairo
While the Giza Pyramid Complex and the Sphinx are undoubtedly among the top things to do in Cairo, Egypt, the city is full of hidden gems that offer a unique and authentic experience. Visitors can wander through the vibrant streets of Islamic Cairo, explore the ancient ruins of Memphis, or take a boat ride along the Nile River to see the city from a different perspective. By venturing off the beaten path, travelers can discover the lesser-known treasures of Cairo and gain a deeper appreciation for the city’s rich history and culture.
A Step Back in Time
If you’re looking for things to do in Cairo, Egypt, you need to have a local guide in Egypt with historical background because Cairo’s history spans over thousands of years, from ancient pharaonic times to Islamic and modern eras. The city is home to countless architectural wonders, including the Giza Pyramids, the Citadel of Saladin, and the Al-Azhar Mosque.
Visitors can also explore the historic neighborhoods of Old Cairo, where they can see the ruins of Roman fortifications and the Coptic Orthodox Church. By immersing themselves in Cairo’s rich history and architecture, travelers can gain a deeper understanding of the city’s culture and heritage
Best time to visit Cairo
The best time to visit Cairo is in November till April or during winter and early summer when the temperature is warm with a cold breeze. However, if you decide to visit Cairo in winter, you need to wear layers in the evening.
If you need any help with the best accommodations and top things to do in Cairo, hire your local guide in Egypt with Simsem!
Tips for Travelers to Make the Most of Their Visit
Cairo is a vibrant and bustling city that can be overwhelming for first-time visitors. To make the most of their trip, travelers should plan ahead and be prepared for the city’s chaotic streets and crowds.
It’s also important to dress appropriately, especially when visiting religious sites, and to avoid travelling alone at night. Hiring a local guide in Egypt can also be helpful, as they can provide valuable insight into the city’s culture and history, as well as help navigate the sometimes confusing public transportation system. By following these tips, travelers can navigate Cairo with ease and have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Visit Cairo with Simsem’s Community
Looking to experience Cairo like a local while ensuring your safety? Download the Simsem App today and join the revolution in sustainable and community-supported travel. With our verified local guides in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, you can discover hidden gems, try authentic Egyptian cuisine, and experience the city’s rich culture while being guided in the safest way possible.
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