Cairo’s history is anything but brief, but we’ll try and keep this as short as possible. Cairo, the city as we know it today, was officially founded in the 10th century, but human history in this area dates back thousands of years. Following its foundation, Cairo has been coveted by many, which comes as no surprise considering its masterful position in the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Passed from Muslim Arabs, to the Ottomans in the 16th century, and an effective British rule at the end of the 19th century to the 20th, it is now back in the hands of the locals. Cairo can at times be turbulent but visitors are still welcome here, and with all that history, there’s no doubt that Cairo is one of the most fascinating cities on the planet. Popular Attractions
No Cairo experience would be complete with a visit to the Giza Necropolis. Here you can see the world-famous pyramids and sphinx, and marvel as many have before as to how they were built. There are many tours you can take of the area, which will not only enable you to see this infamous UNESCO World Heritage Site, but to learn about it too. The Egyptian Museum is an enthralling experience for all, documenting history that dates back thousands of years. The museum has over 100 halls filled with artefacts that have been on display here since opening in 1902. From mummies, to jewels, to gold, and more, the Egyptian Museum is a treasure chest of all things ancient Egypt. For an interesting taste of local Cairo life, visit the Islamic district. Here you’ll find Khan Ali-Khalili - Cairo’s most popular souk (market) – a labyrinth of passageways and gates that will truly make you feel like you’ve wandered into Aladdin’s cave. Also don’t miss the spectacular Mosque of Muhammad Ali, just one of Cairo’s many must-see religious buildings. Food
Egypt has a rich, distinct cuisine that may fast become one of your favourite things about visiting Cairo. Dishes like kebob, traditionally skewered meat and vegetables but now they’ve evolved into just about skewered anything, and falafel, spiced, fried balls of ground beans with spices, usually served in a pitta. Food here is sweet, spicy, and tangy, all at the same time, and quality cuisine can be found in both restaurants and at stands on the side of the street. Transport
Cairo International Airport is the second largest airport in Africa, so it’s safe to say that you’ll probably find a connection here easily enough from wherever you are in the world. Many direct flights run from Europe and Asia, and connections from elsewhere might do best of changing in London or another major European city. Tips for Travelers
The main concern people have about traveling to Cairo is safety. While there are certainly safer places to visit, and tourists are recommended to travel with caution, it is possible to travel to Cairo without a problem. Organised tours are recommended if you were worried about travelling here without local help. Females may find that they get some unwanted attention in Cairo, and the best way for them to avoid this is to be modest. Clothes should cover shoulders, knees, and chests, and behavior should be respectful – that point goes for both men and women. Cairo has a metro and bus system to help you get around, although the former doesn’t cover a lot of the city, and the latter can be crowded. Taxis are also available, although you may find you are charged more as a tourist. Try and get a metered cab if you can. Fun Facts
With a population of around 7.7 million, Cairo is the largest city in the Middle East, and second largest city in Africa, after Lagos. The Arabic name for Cairo is Al-Quahira, which mean ‘the conqueror’. Not only are the Pyramids part of Cairo’s UNESCO World Heritage, they are also the only remaining Ancient Wonder of the World left standing.