What better city to visit than Cairo if you love archaeology and kosher travels. The Pyramids of Giza are the must-see site when in Cairo. The Pyramid of Cheops is the largest of the Giza pyramids and one can explore the interior of narrow passages. Immediately behind the Great Pyramid is the Solar Boat Museum, which displays one of the ceremonial solar barques unearthed in the area. Further south is the Pyramid of Mycerinus. Guarding these mortuary temples is the Sphinx, one of the ancient world’s iconic monuments.
Another place to explore is Cairo’s Egyptian Museum; one of the world’s great museums. The museum was founded in 1857 by the French Egyptologist August Mariette and moved to its current place in 1897. One of the highlights of your visit to the museum is the Tutankhamun Galleries. Everything on display here were all found in the boy king’s tomb. The tomb was discovered by Howard Carter in the Valley of the Kings in 1922 and contained the richest and largest collection of grave goods ever found intact in an Egyptian tomb. Wonder at Tutankhamun’s death mask and sarcophagi, the pharaoh’s lion throne and his amazing wardrobe collection. Also, ensure you visit the Egyptian Jewellery collection and the Royal Mummies Collection.
Another site to visit is the fine Al-Azhar Mosque, one of the earliest surviving mosques in the city; it is also one of the world’s oldest universities. Old Cairo is a small cluster of twisty lanes that is filled with churches and lies within the walls of Old Babylon where the Emperor Trajan first built a fortress along the Nile. Further into the quarter, you come to the spot where the baby Moses was found in the reeds.
For those who enjoy shopping, the Khan el-Khalili or Souq Quarter is definitely not to be missed. It is a labyrinth of skinny alleyways that still rings with the sounds of metal workers and silversmiths as in times gone by. Visit the tiny stores and workshops to find traditional Egyptian products. The main souq road is Al-Muski Street where you can find most of the gold and silver workshops just north of the street’s intersection with Al-Muizz Li-Din Allah Street.
One of the most interesting of Cairo’s Islamic district’s gates is Bab Zuweila. You can climb to the top of this medieval era relic, which was built in the 11th century, to see some amazing rooftop views over Islamic Cairo. The gate itself is the last southern gate of the old town still standing. The Street of the Tentmakers is where Egypt’s bright fabric that is used for weddings and other special occasions is sold in bulk. Another museum worth a visit is the Egyptian Textile Museum that houses a collection that spans the Pharonic era right up to the Islamic period.
If you’ve been to too many Paris river cruises or Europe, this is a refreshing experience.