48 Hours in Cairo, Egypt: 10 Cool Things To Absolutely Do

1. Visit the Pyramids of Giza

The Pyramids of Giza are without a doubt one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, and no trip to Cairo would be complete without a visit to these ancient wonders. The sheer scale and historical significance of the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure will leave you awe-struck. Take a guided tour to learn about the remarkable engineering feats accomplished thousands of years ago and marvel at the extraordinary architecture that still stands today. Don’t forget to capture a picture with the Sphinx while you’re there!

More information: Pyramids of Giza – Lonely Planet

2. Explore the Egyptian Museum

For a fascinating journey through Egypt’s rich history, head to the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square. Housing an extensive collection of ancient artifacts, including the famous treasures of Tutankhamun, this museum offers a glimpse into the world of pharaohs, mummies, and ancient civilizations. Explore the halls adorned with sarcophagi, hieroglyphs, and intricate art pieces, and marvel at the well-preserved relics that have survived the test of time. Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply curious about ancient civilizations, the Egyptian Museum is an absolute must-visit in Cairo.

More information: Egyptian Museum – Official Website

3. Wander Through Khan El Khalili

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the Middle East by taking a stroll through Khan El Khalili, Cairo’s oldest and most famous market. This bustling bazaar is a treasure trove of local craftsmanship, colorful traditional clothing, spices, perfumes, and exotic souvenirs. Get lost in the maze-like alleyways brimming with shops and stalls, haggle with friendly shopkeepers, and don’t forget to taste traditional Egyptian street food. The lively ambiance and authentic local experience make Khan El Khalili an unforgettable part of any Cairo itinerary.

More information: Khan El Khalili – Cairo 360

4. Take a Nile River Cruise

Experience the magic of Cairo from a different perspective by embarking on a relaxing Nile River cruise. As you cruise along the iconic river, you will witness the bustling cityscape gradually transform into serene countryside and timeless Egyptian landscapes. Marvel at the views of ancient temples and landmarks that line the riverbanks, including the beautiful Mosque of Muhammad Ali and the Cairo Opera House. Choose a daytime cruise to enjoy the warm sunlight or opt for an evening cruise to marvel at a breathtaking sunset over the Nile.

More information: Nile River Cruises – PlanetWare

5. Discover Islamic Cairo and Visit the Citadel

A visit to Cairo is incomplete without immersing yourself in the rich Islamic heritage of the city. Explore the narrow alleys of Islamic Cairo, the historic heart of the Islamic world, and soak in the vibrant ambiance. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Citadel of Saladin, an impressive fortress perched atop a hill, offering panoramic views of Cairo. Within the citadel lies the beautiful Mosque of Muhammad Ali, also known as the Alabaster Mosque, revered for its stunning architecture and intricate details.

More information: The Citadel – Egypt Tourist Authority

6. Experience a Sound and Light Show at the Pyramids

Make your visit to the Pyramids of Giza even more enchanting by witnessing the Sound and Light Show. As the sun sets, the pyramids come alive with stunning illuminations and a meticulously synchronized sound and light performance that narrates the history of ancient Egypt. This captivating show brings the Pharaohs, their lives, and their mysterious civilization to life in a truly magical way. Watch in awe as the pyramids are bathed in colorful lights, creating a mesmerizing spectacle against the night sky.

More information: Sound and Light Show – Sound and Light Egypt

7. Indulge in Egyptian Cuisine

One of the highlights of any trip to Cairo is undoubtedly the culinary adventure that awaits you. Egyptian cuisine is a delightful fusion of Middle Eastern flavors, herbs, and spices that will tantalize your taste buds. Don’t miss out on indulging in traditional dishes like Koshary, a hearty combination of rice, lentils, pasta, and crispy fried onions, or the mouthwatering street food staple, Ful Medames, made from slow-cooked fava beans. Be sure to try authentic Egyptian pastries, such as Basbousa and Konafa, and wash it all down with a refreshing glass of sugarcane juice.

More information: Egyptian Cuisine – The Culture Trip

8. Enjoy a Traditional Arabic Coffee Experience

Delve into the customs and traditions of Egypt by participating in a traditional Arabic coffee experience. Sip on aromatic Arabic coffee, known as “Qahwa,” while enjoying the warm hospitality of the locals. Arabic coffee is often accompanied by dates, symbolizing generosity and friendship. Participating in this cultural tradition is a wonderful way to gain insights into Egyptian customs and engage in meaningful conversations with the friendly locals.

More information: Arabic Coffee Experience – The Culture Trip

9. Explore Coptic Cairo and Visit the Hanging Church

Discover the ancient Christian heritage of Cairo by exploring Coptic Cairo, a neighborhood that houses several historically significant Coptic churches. The centerpiece is the Hanging Church, officially known as Saint Virgin Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church. This architectural marvel dates back to the 3rd century and derives its name from the church’s suspended nave above a Roman gatehouse. Step inside and admire the stunning interior adorned with beautiful artwork and intricate woodwork.

More information: Coptic Cairo – Egypt Tourist Authority

10. Relax and Unwind in Al-Azhar Park

Escape the bustling city streets and find tranquility in the serene Al-Azhar Park. Located on the site of the historic Fatimid city, this beautiful green space offers stunning views of Cairo’s skyline and an oasis of calm amid the chaotic city. Stroll through the lush gardens, admire the intricate fountains and water features, and revel in the serene atmosphere. Visit one of the park’s charming restaurants to savor delicious Egyptian cuisine while enjoying the stunning views.

More information: Al-Azhar Park – Official Website

In conclusion, Cairo offers a fascinating blend of ancient history, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. With just 48 hours in this captivating city, make sure to explore the iconic Pyramids, delve into the country’s rich history at the Egyptian Museum, and immerse yourself in the bustling markets of Khan El Khalili. Take a breathtaking Nile River cruise, discover Islamic Cairo and visit the Citadel, and experience the enchanting Sound and Light Show at the Pyramids. Indulge in the flavors of Egyptian cuisine, participate in a traditional Arabic coffee experience, and explore Coptic Cairo and the Hanging Church. Finally, unwind in the tranquil Al-Azhar Park, where you can relax amidst the beauty of nature and savor the stunning city views. Cairo will leave you with unforgettable memories of ancient wonders, warm encounters, and a deep appreciation for this remarkable city.

Sources:
– Pyramids of Giza – Lonely Planet: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/egypt/cairo/attractions/pyramids-of-giza/a/poi-sig/1163486/355259
– Egyptian Museum – Official Website: http://www.egyptianmuseum.gov.eg/Home
– Khan El Khalili – Cairo 360: https://www.cairo360.com/article/shopping/khan-el-khalili-cairos-grand-bazaar/
– Nile River Cruises – PlanetWare: https://www.planetware.com/tourist-attractions-/cairo-egy-cai-cai.htm
– The Citadel – Egypt Tourist Authority: https://www.egypt.travel/attractions/the-mosque-of-muhammad-ali
– Sound and Light Show – Sound and Light Egypt: https://www.soundandlight.com.eg/English/pyramids_show.html
– Egyptian Cuisine – The Culture Trip: https://theculturetrip.com/africa/egypt/articles/the-10-foods-you-must-try-in-cairo-egypt/
– Arabic Coffee Experience – The Culture Trip: https://theculturetrip.com/africa/egypt/articles/a-guide-to-arabic-coffee-and-where-to-enjoy-it-in-cairo/
– Coptic Cairo – Egypt Tourist Authority: https://www.egypt.travel/attractions/coptic-cairo
– Al-Azhar Park – Official Website: https://www.alazharpark.com/