Gate to the east

The Nile flows from a deserted valley and forms a delta, south of it stands the majestic Cairo. There are old buildings in the eastern part, and in the western one already guesses the French style of the nineteenth century, parks and boulevards are broken. This is the merit of Ismail – the Pasha of the Egyptian ruler of the 19th century.

The Babylonian fortress is the oldest historical monument that divided lower and middle Egypt. She was in the old part of cop Cairo. The Persians built it in the 6th century BC The Roman emperor Trajan ordered her to be moved to Memphis.

In the eastern part, the development was chaotic: narrow, curved streets, crowded multi-family dwellings, and also here there are hundreds of old minarets that the city is famous for. There are more than 500 of them in the old city.

Pyramid of Khafre
Pyramid of Khafre

Cairo

In the center of Masra is the green island of Gezira, and its most famous and prestigious area is Zamalek. The place is called “embassy”. Significant objects are located here: embassies, modern office centers, five-star hotels, representative offices of large companies and central government bodies. It is here that the president’s residence, the embassy building and the Parliament (People’s Assembly) are located.

In Giza, which is almost adjacent to Cairo, many cultural and historical heritage monuments have been preserved. The remains of one of which – the pyramids – entered the seven wonders of the world. They conceal within their walls the history, immortality, power and cruelty of the pharaohs.

Al Qahira is the only city on the African continent where there is a ramified metro.

Where is Cairo

Cairo is not just the Egyptian capital, it is the largest city in the Middle East. Geographically, it is located in the north of Egypt, a little south of the delta of the great Nile River. There is a subtropical climate, it is arid, since the Sahara desert is nearby. Rains are a rare occurrence, and most often they are accompanied by floods.

Huge Cairo
Huge Cairo

Prestigious areas of Cairo

There are more than 30 districts in Cairo, historically and economically connected, but each of them lives its own separate life, they are very different in social status and try to stay independent from each other. They even have a language so different that people from different areas have difficulty understanding each other.

Cairo’s intricate road system is only within the reach of the local. There is a joke that this is one of the wonders of the world that does not cease to amaze physicists. The second name of the city, which means “Victorious”, came from the fact that most of the attackers on the city, tangled in a web of streets and roads, were defeated in the area of ​​Al Batal Ahmed Street, and more precisely on the Sixth of October Bridge.

Cairo is not a resort city, because there are no tourist areas there. But there are quite modern, convenient and comfortable areas for living and in terms of security. In most cases, they are located in the new part of the city – Masr El Gideide. Maadi, Mohandesin, El Nasr City (Madinat Nasr) are considered prestigious and comfortable. Wealthy Egyptians prefer Madinati and Rehab City, Shiruk City. The most expensive area is Zamalek.

South of Cairo is a suburb of Maadi. There are localized educational institutions of international level and accreditation, as well as the most prestigious rugby club. Mohandesin (Mohandesin) also belong to the status areas, but of the attractions here only the Agricultural Museum. The most expensive, luxurious and prestigious areas are Zamalek, Garden City and Geopolis.

Zamalek

Zamalek (Zamalek) – the territory on the island in the middle of the Nile River, with the right and left banks of Cairo connected by bridges. On its territory are expensive office centers, government offices, expensive five-star hotels. Main attractions: football club of the same name and opera house.

Garden City

Garden City (Garden City) – designed around the British Embassy. Territory of increased security, a quiet part of the Embankment. Nearby, several other embassies have already found their place in the sun. High concentration of diplomats and celebrities per square meter. The contrast with the bustling center of Cairo is noticeable.

Heliopolis

Heliopolis (Heliopolis) – a suburb from the north-east. Located close to the ancient city of Heliopolis. There are many places on the territory for a relaxing family pastime. Here is the most status sports club and the largest amusement park. This place is an oasis of relaxation.

Heliopolis (Heliopolis) – a suburb from the north-east. Located close to the ancient city of Heliopolis. There are many places on the territory for a relaxing family pastime. Here is the most status sports club and the largest amusement park. This place is an oasis of relaxation.

The Egyptian Museum
The Egyptian Museum

Climate and weather of Cairo

Neighborhood with the Sahara desert provides a high temperature, sometimes above 40 ° C in the summer, up to 5-10 ° C in the winter, and frosts are possible.

Precipitation is very rare, up to a maximum of 24 millimeters, and this makes Masr one of the driest cities in the world.

Hasmin is a dry, hot, even debilitating wind. Appears from the desert from March to May. Penetrates almost every building, leaving sand rollers at the thresholds.

The southern border of the subtropical climate is located at a latitude of 30 degrees from the equator. The territory from February to April is blown by a sweltering, dry and hot south wind. It is believed that it blows for about 50 days. Hence the name, translated from Arabic, “fifty”. 

Seasons vary:

Spring lasts from March to mid-May. Daytime temperature rises to 30, and at night it drops to 17 ° C. Water temperature – 21 ° C.

From May to the end of September it is a hot summer. The water temperature is 21-22 ° C, and the air warms up to 35-50 ° C during the day and drops to 22 at night.

Short autumn lasts from October to November. The water temperature at this time reaches 27 ° C, but the air temperature drops to 26-30 ° C. It’s even colder at night – about 20.

Winter lasts from December to February. By Egyptian standards, this is the coldest time of the year. During the day, the maximum air temperature is 21, at night – 14 ° C. Water temperature remains in the region of 20 ° C.

Cairo view
Cairo view

Is there a sea nearby?

On the northern side, Egypt is washed by the Mediterranean Sea, it is located 160 km from the city of a thousand minarets. The vast territory of the economic, political and cultural center of Egypt and the Middle East is irrigated only by the Nile River. From resort towns, if your goal is the Mediterranean, Alexandria will suit you.

The east of Egypt is popular because of the unique beauty of the flora of the Red Sea. Most resorts are located on its shores. You can appreciate its merits and enjoy the beauty with the help of diving. Unofficially, Sharm el-Sheikh is not only a popular resort, but also a synonym for the word “diving”, and in Hurghada its own entertainment and features. In the resorts, the coast of the Red Sea is covered with coral reefs of unreal beauty. You will definitely need special shoes (aquatic shoes).

Khan el-Khalili
Khan el-Khalili

Active leisure, entertainment, nightlife in Cairo

El Kahira is not a resort city, but there are many beautiful cultural places for active family and youth recreation:

  • You can visit Al-Azhar Park. It is always crowded, there are always vacationers with children;
  • nature reserve Wadi Degla – offers for ecological tourism;
  • at Sayyed Zeinab Cultural you can ride a bicycle or have a family picnic in the green of the park;
  • all the exoticism of marine life was concentrated in an artificial aquarium in Cairo;
  • Tourists love and especially appreciate the wildlife of Zamalek Island.

Nightlife lovers also have something to offer:

  • After Eight nightclub regularly updates the theme program of its bright and colorful parties;
  • therefore, it tops the list of nightlife offers in Cairo;
  • High Heels night club has a spacious dance floor, can offer soft corners for relaxing heated visitors. The club can accept about 100 visitors, eager to enjoy life;
  • Sand Bar has won the hearts of its visitors with a rich treat for every taste.

The most significant assortment of spices, sweets, street food, souvenirs, national household items and clothes, jewelry will be offered to you by local markets: Khan Al-Khalili, Han El Halili, and Suuq el Ataba.

The Egyptian Museum .
The Egyptian Museum .

Things to do for lovers of excursions and attractions in Cairo

The most famous landmark of the center is Midan Hussein, an open square surrounded by a cafe. In the middle of it is Sayyidna Al-Hussein, and the famous Khan el Khalili bazaar is located very close.

There you can find a wide variety of spices, copper and metal products, souvenirs and gift items of Egyptian themes.

Do not agree to go to a grove of mango trees, which you will be described as a fairy tale – in fact, this is a pair of low inexpressive bushes that will not cause any emotions other than disappointment.

The Al-Azhar Mosque, founded in 970, stands in a 5-minute walk. Now it is the oldest university in the world.

Within a walking distance from it:

  • Al-Guri Mausoleum;
  • Wakala Al-Ghuri Cultural Center;
  • Museum of Islamic Art.

The famous seven-hundred-year-old citadel fortress is the seat of the Islamic government. In addition to the gorgeous panoramic view that opens from its height, inside, there are many objects of historical and cultural value concentrated on the territory: Midan Salah Al-Din Square, mosques of the Sultans of Hassan and Al-Reef, Muhammad Ali, the National Military Museum, the Museum of the National Police Al Gavara, the Northern Cemetery or the City of the Dead is a necropolis of the Mamluks, where more than 100,000 tombs are from the 12th century.

In 1900, the British government chose a particularly beautiful building out of many proposals to create the famous Egyptian Museum in Cairo. On 2 floors there are more than 100 halls. The greatest value of the museum is the golden tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun. The museum contains original finds from the burial place: all the golden masks and burial objects, as well as historical cultural objects and household items from different periods of development. Some exhibits are over 5000 years old.

The most famous and revered mosque in the city of 1000 minarets was erected in 879. It was built by Ibn Talun and named in his honor. He took the Iraqi architecture as a basis. Today, this mosque is one of the most unique monuments of Islamic architecture.

And the most famous park is Gibalaya. In the 19th century, in the middle of a chaotic and bustling street, a labyrinth of grottoes and special tanks for aquariums was drawn and knocked out into the pavement. Today it is a unique green oasis with Nile fish and a wonderful picnic area.

Absolutely unique and inimitable is the amusement park located on the territory of 150,000 square meters. meters. It was created by Dr. Ragaba. The official name is “Village of the Pharaohs.” It is surrounded by water ditches, and papyrus trees are planted along the edges of the perimeter of the borders.

The uniqueness is that it reproduces exact copies of all Egyptian structures in full size, the pearl of which is the restored grave of Tutankhamun.

In the ear of the sphinx, remains of a colored coating were found, possibly paint. Presumably, the statue was once painted.

river Nile
river Nile

Where to live, what to eat, what to ride

In Egypt, a wide variety of offers for overnight stays – from campsites to a hotel chain with a high level of service:

Campsites, the location of which must be agreed with the local authorities, or the owners of private territories.

Cheap hostels. It has its own rules, for example: daytime breaks, curfews, separation of men and women, separation of tourists from the Egyptians (although this is more likely a plus – the Egyptians are a very noisy nation).

Pensions are family-type, but here you will have to live with the local population.

And finally, hotel chains: they are categorized according to the European system.

The main food is beans, vegetables, pasta. Egyptians love spicy food. It is worth trying the local desserts – they are unique in recipe and taste. From drinks deserve attention brewed coffee or hibiscus tea.

You should definitely try asyr, a delicious reed juice that will be offered only in Egypt. The water you drink should be exclusively bottled.

Never use water from the local water system and do not wash vegetables and fruits with it. 

The sanitary-epidemiological level of water purity in Egypt leaves much to be desired. There is a very high level of infectious diseases. The main source is raw water.

Transport and car rental in Cairo

If you decide to rent a car, be sure to check for vehicle insurance. To get a Cairo car, the driver must be at least 25 years old and have international-format rights.

Taxis are best stopped by moving a little away from the hotel. Feel free to bargain. Counters are not used here, and for you, as a tourist, the tariff will immediately be unreasonably overstated. There are no taxi services in the city, so you need to catch a car only on the street.

There is also such an option as private minibuses. These are small buses for 12-15 people, they travel without a number and a permanent route. You can check with the driver if your arrival point is on his planned route.

As of May 2008, there are only 9 traffic lights for approximately 18 million people in Cairo! 

Mosque of Ibn Tulun
Mosque of Ibn Tulun

And they are not at all a hindrance to local drivers who drive quite calmly into the red light.

Public transport in the form of buses is probably the most budgetary, relatively safe and most uncomfortable option. There are regular public transport routes with which you can reach the main urban areas, historical sites and the airport.

Top Hotels
Under Egyptian law, foreign citizens are charged in US dollars. The five best hotels compiled by tourists’ reviews:

  • Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah. 5 stars. Located on the Nile embankment, to the center of Cairo 2.7 km. A few minutes to the Khan al-Khalili market, the Cairo TV tower, the Opera House and the Egyptian Museum. Visitors are offered a chic panoramic pool, free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. 7 restaurants serving international cuisine from around the world. 5 bars, including the famous Ana’s, as well as a library lounge bar with a rich selection of teas. There is an exchange office and an ATM. Transfer hotel-airport is free for hotel guests. A chic double suite overlooking the Nile (6 nights) costs about $ 750.
  • InterContinental Cairo Semiramis. 5 stars. From the city center – 1.9 km, a couple of minutes walk to the Egyptian Museum of History. Located on the banks of the Nile. The airport is 25 km away. At 500 meters, Sadat Metro Station provides quick access to all key areas of the city. Giza Valley is 25 km away. The peculiarity is that the hotel is combined with an elite casino. There are two large clubs on the territory for entertainment at night. Haroun Al Rashid has a national touch, and Ambassador drinks and cocktails until late at night. Outdoor heated pool, gym. Wi-Fi in all areas, wired internet in the hotel rooms is free. The hotel has an exchange office and an ATM. Free airport shuttle. Restaurants offer Italian, Libyan and Thai cuisines. Rates: standard double with a view of the Nile – $ 935-950.
  • Four Seasons Cairo At The First Residence. Location – 4.2 km from the central areas of Masra. The international airport is 26 kilometers away. Giza District. Combined with a large wellness center and the famous casino. 100 meters to the Nile promenade, 2 minutes drive – and you are in the Zoological Garden or the Botanical Center. For vacationers, the services of a fitness center, SPA and healing, anti-aging procedures are provided. Aura Restaurant is located by the pool (Syrian and Lebanese cuisine), La Gourmandise is located in the heart of The First. There is an exchange office and an ATM on site. Transfer from the hotel to the international airport is free for hotel guests. Cost: standard room for two adults about $ 1120.
  • Intercontinental Cairo Citystars. Location: 9.7 km from the center of Cairo, 10 minutes to the international airport. Close to the hotel’s location is the largest shopping center Citystars. Service: bright, equipped playgrounds for children, a large outdoor pool. Free Wi-Fi, 23 meeting rooms. The hotel has an exchange office and an ATM. Restaurants with 10 different national cuisines. In the SPA center there is a bathtub with hydromassage, a therapeutic sauna, a steam bath, and a massage room. Cost: double standard – $ 976.
  • Sonesta Hotel Tower Casino Cairo. Located in Nasr City. By car to the airport 10 minutes, the valley of the pyramids – 20 km. The local casino offers for every taste, for vacationers a large outdoor pool and terrace. On the territory there is a currency exchange and ATM. Car rental is available at the tour desk. The transfer service between the hotel and the international airport is free if you pre-book it. Wi-fi is free. A large selection of dishes and an assortment of drinks in 5 different restaurants of different national cuisines and 2 bars. A full range of SPA salon and hammam services. Cost: standard double room – $ 494.
Prince Mohamed Ali Palace (Al Manial Palace)
Prince Mohamed Ali Palace (Al Manial Palace)

Cuisine and restaurants in Cairo

Foreigners are usually pleasantly pleased with the price of food in Cairo. And it will be completely wrong to consider that the cuisine of Egypt is only a jacket and kebab.

Baklava – a traditional Turkish dish: a dessert of puff pastry stuffed with spices and nuts, after cooking soaked in honey. But the Egyptians invariably rank it among their national dishes.

For tourists in Cairo, cuisines of many countries are presented in all possible formats: from tea rooms with fresh pastries to expensive restaurants. Profile publications are issued, where all food points are marked. The menus in them are most often in two languages, and the waiters can quite express themselves in quite tolerable English and French.

In Cairo, you can find McDonalds, KFC and European standard pizzerias familiar to us. In most cases, they are located in the central part of the city, in the areas of Heliopol and Muhandesin. Although locals consider them expensive, and often even dress festively if they come to sit here with family, friends or partners.

Alcohol is allowed here in specially designated places: cafes, bars, restaurants, or on site. 

During the very important holidays of Muslims and, in particular, Ramadan, the sale of alcohol is strictly prohibited.

Egyptian cuisine is one of the meatiest in the modern world. Its basis is lamb, poultry and rarely beef.

Giza Necropolis
Giza Necropolis

The best restaurants of Cairo:

  • Al-Hafy Restaurant, located at the back of the Windsor Hotel, next to June 26th Street. He works daily. There is no alcohol. The cuisine is traditional, high quality dishes. Prices are very affordable. The menu includes dolma, mosaic (fried lamb), mezza, sweater and kebab, grilled chicken.
  • Arabesque Restaurant, located at 6 Sharia Qasr el-Nil, serves French and Libyan cuisine. The restaurant is more famous for its decor and a gallery of modern fine art. There are reasonable prices, the offer has alcohol. The restaurant is open from 12:00 to 16:00 hours, from 19:30 to 01:00.
  • Kowlon – a restaurant of national cuisine of Korea and China. Incredible in taste, dishes are prepared by national chefs from East Asia. Prices are high. The menu offers pork meat. The restaurant is open from 11:00 to 01:00. To get into it, you need to go through the Cleopatra Hotel. Angle of Midan Tahrir and Sharia el-Bustan.
  • In Garden City or on Roda Island, national cuisine can be enjoyed at el-Dahan, Rifai or Abou Shakra.

Separately, it should be noted restaurants in the Zamalek area. In the most expensive area, the level and status of restaurant services is accordingly high:

At 4 Hassan Sabry in the Four Seasons complex, two blocks south of the Gabalaia Gardens, is probably the most famous and upmarket restaurant serving French cuisine in Cairo – Justine. The average bill for 1 person, taking into account alcohol, is up to 200 pounds. The official dress code. Open daily from 13:00 to 15:00 and from 20: 00-23: 00 hours.

The Italian restaurant Al Dente is located at 26 Sharia Bahgat Ali. Here is the best pasta in the whole city. The average price is 6-18 pounds. The key signature restaurant offer is Portuguese fish. Delivery is possible in all areas of central Cairo. It is open daily from 11:00 to 01:00 hours.

Inside the New Star Hotel at 34 Sharia Yehia Ibrahim, you can dine at the Angus Restaurant with the most incredible steaks in town, along with mustard (choice), blue cheese or mushroom sauce. Delicious dishes of beef meat, fish and squid. It works daily only from 17:00 to 00:30. Prices are reasonably affordable.

Hana Korean Asian Restaurant is next door to El-Nil Zamalek Hotel, Sharir Mohammed Mahzar. You can prepare the Japanese dish of sukiyaki – soup from the seafood. His huge serving costs only 38 pounds. Address delivery is possible. The restaurant is open every day from 12:00 to 23:00 hours.

Mosque of Muhammad Ali
Mosque of Muhammad Ali

Cairo shopping

Markets are a special territory in every city on which color, culture, tastes and life are concentrated, but units become special for tourists and locals. One of the striking examples is the well-known eastern market, Khan el-Khalili, far beyond the borders of Egypt. It was founded in 1292, today the area of ​​the Cairo bazaar is 5 thousand square meters. km The market is located next to the Al Hussein Mosque, in one of the districts of the old city.

Here you can buy everything: Egyptian national clothes, fabrics, dishes, carpets and home textiles. The selection of jewelry is also huge. Oriental spices, fruits, hookahs, Cairo lamps, perfumes with a sophisticated musky aroma, a mass of a variety of souvenirs are presented on the market in a large assortment. Market visitors come here not only for shopping – they are attracted by the atmosphere of the ancient oriental bazaar, persistent merchants. The sellers here will offer you tea and just see their goods, they will flood you with compliments at least all day, bargain with you at least until night – the main thing is that you buy something from them.