Cairo lies along the River Nile stretching up to 40 km from north to south. The citizens of Cairo proudly call their city as the ‘Mother of All Cities’. Cairo or Al Qahirah is not only the capital of Egypt but also the largest city in the Middle East and Africa. Cairo lies in the strategic routes leading to the three continents of Asia, Africa and Europe. At Cairo, River Nile gets divided into two distributaries, Rosetta and Damietta. The 2000-year-old city is a melting pot of Islamic, Christian Coptic and Jewish cultures, which are flourishing even up to this day.
Major Tourist Attractions In Cairo
Memphis and Saqqara
Built by King Menes, Memphis is the oldest capital of Egypt and is 24 km from Cairo. The Statue of Ramesses II built of fine-grained limestone is displayed in the museum. The statue is 13 m long and weighs 120 tons. The other interesting monuments at Memphis are Temple for Embalming the Sacred Apis Bull. Saqqara is the ancient Egyptian cemetery on a desert plateau near Cairo. Nearby is the Step Pyramid built for King Zoser by Imhotep, Pyramids of Unas of the Fifth Dynasty Pharaohs, The Serapeum, Greek Philosopher Circle and The Mastabas, of Ptah-Hotep, Ti and Mereruka.
Churches in Cairo
The churches in Cairo are located mainly near the ruins of Fortress of Babylon in the old city of Cairo. The churches worth visiting are the Al-Muaallaqah (Hanging) Church, Church of Abu Sergah (St Sergius), Church of Sitt Barbara (St Barbara), Church of Abu Mina (St Mena), Church of Abu Sefein (St Macarius), Church of Al-Adra (The Virgin), Church of the Virgin in Zaytoun, Church of Mari Guirguis (St George) and The Cathedral of Al-Qiddis Morcos (St Mark). The Coptic Museum displays the rare collection of ancient Christian relics like architectural sections, icons, manuscripts and textiles.
Mosques in Cairo
The important mosques worth visiting in Cairo are the Mosque of Amr Ibn Al-Aas (Al-Fustat), Mosque of Ahmed Ibn Tulun, Al-Azhar Mosque, Mosque of Sultan Hassan, Al-Refai Mosque, Mosque of Al-Moayyed, The Blue Mosque and Alabaster Mosque of Mohammed Ali. The other Islamic sites in the city are the Fortress of Salah-Al-Din (Saladin), House of Gamal-Al-Din Al-Dhahabi, House of Gamal-Al-Din Al-Dhahabi and The Museum of Islamic Art (Bab Al-Khalq).
National Cultural Center (Opera House) is a 7-storey building built to replace the old Opera House burnt forty years back. Inaugurated in October 1988, it is collaboration for Japanese and Egyptian architects. The center is furnished with high tech audio-visual systems and features 3 theaters, rehearsal halls, museum and a library. Cairo Tower (Gezirah) is a 180 m high building with a rotating restaurant and cafeteria on the two upper most storeys. The Pharaonic Village successfully recreates the lifestyle of the ancient Egyptians. Khan-Al-Khalili Bazaar and Sagh comprises of several shops as old as 14th century AD. The area is known for a wide range in gold and silver work, embroidered fabric, leather items and handcrafted woodwork. The Military Museum (The Citadel) is rich in collection of ancient and modern weapons, statues, military uniforms and displays of art of warfare in Egypt from the beginning. Enjoy visit to parks in Cairo including Andalusian Gardens, Kanter-al-Khaireya Gardens, Fish Gardens in Zamalek and International Garden in Nasr City.
How to Reach
By Air: Cairo is connected with many national and international cities by air route.
By Train: The Egyptian Railways operate many air-conditioned and ordinary trains to and from Cairo.
By Bus: Cairo is well connected by bus service with several neighboring cities and towns.