Cairo is home to some of the oldest and most famous sights found in the world. You will find stunning mosques and enchanting churches next to each other, and architecture that reflects all of the various cultures that have influenced Cairo throughout its history. Today, Cairo is a bustling center of commerce, but it is still possible to imagine what life would have been like hundreds of centuries ago.
The Pyramids at Giza
These structures are the only ancient wonder of the world that still exists. They are probably the most famous sight in the world, and certainly among the oldest. The site of Giza consists of The Great Pyramid, The Pyramid of Khafre and The Pyramid of Menkaure. There are also several smaller constructions known as ‘Queens’ and then there is the famous Sphinx. The Great Pyramid is home to the Pharaoh Khufu’s tomb.
This site is located in Memphis, the capital of the Old Kingdom, and this is where many kings of the first dynasty are buried. It is a vast archaeological site that consists of many pyramids and tombs. The site is most famous for the Step Pyramid, which is the oldest of all the 97 pyramids found in Egypt.
This area is located within the heart of Islamic Cairo, on one of Cairo’s oldest streets. It is a busy and fascinating market, full of character with stalls selling items ranging from local spices to exotic jewelry. The market has been operational since the Middle Ages and exists today mainly for tourists. You will find many bargains here, but be prepared to barter. Women should cover their arms, necks and legs while shopping, so as to show respect for the Muslim culture.
The Mosque and Madrasa of Sultan Hassan
This structure is one of the largest buildings in the world dedicated to Islam. It was built between 1356 and 1363, out of what is believed to be stone from the pyramids at Giza. Between each of the sitting rooms (liwan), you will find a religious school (madrassa).