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24 hours in Cairo

Cairo is the capital of Egypt and is also one of the largest cities in the world. It is known as 'the city of a thousand minarets' because of its Islamic architecture and is filled with treasures and sites dating back to the times of Ancient Egypt.

1. See the pyramids of Giza

You cannot go to Cairo without seeing the pyramids of Giza (also referred to as the Giza Necropolis) and located on the edge of the city. Marvel at the sheer size of these ancient monuments, including the Great Pyramid, which is known as one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World and is the only one that still exists today.

2. Visit the Citadel

The Saladin Citadel of Cairo is a landmark for tourists and is definitely worth a visit. The medieval fortification is an historic site and includes mosques and museums. As it is located inside the ancient walls of the city, no traffic is allowed so you can walk around at your leisure.

3. Go to the Egyptian Museum

The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square is one of the highlights in the city chiefly because of the extraordinary collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities inside its walls. This includes some of the most famous exhibits - the treasures from, the boy King, Tutankhamun's tomb. The new Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) is currently being built next to the Pyramids of Giza and is due to open in 2015.

4. Try the street food

There is lots of delicious and inexpensive street food to try in Cairo, including one of the popular highlights, lamb and chicken shawarma (pictured above). Also worth trying is the local Egyptian breakfast called 'foul', which is a paste made of beans and served with vegetables in a loaf of bread.

5. Shop at the Khan El Khalil bazaar

One of the larger markets in Cairo, you'll get a real taste of the city in this bustling and popular market. Located in the tiny streets of Islamic Cairo, you'll find plenty of souvenirs to take home, including spices, jewellery and hookah pipes.

6. Sit at a café


Known as an´ahwa, cafés are very popular spots to pass the time. Try some traditional mint tea or some freshly pressed juice as a pitstop.

7. Watch the sunset at Al-Azhar Park

This beautiful green space was opened in 2005 after a donation from the Aga Khan Trust for Culture meant the rubbish pile that had been gathering here for hundreds of years could be transformed into a huge park. It's the biggest park in the city and is a great place to have a picnic or watch the sunset over Cairo, with amazing views of the Citadel (Muhammad Ali Mosque).


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