9 Can’t-Miss Things to Do in Cairo

Ahlan wa sahlan! Welcome to the enchanting city of Cairo, the beating heart of Egypt, where every street corner whispers tales of the past, and every stone is steeped in history. This city, one of the world’s oldest, stands as a testament to human civilization, where ancient marvels coexist with vibrant, contemporary life.

Often, when people think of Egypt, they think of the Pyramids. These majestic structures are undoubtedly a sight to behold. But the tip of the iceberg. Cairo is much more than that. It’s a captivating symphony of sights, sounds, and flavors that dance around in a tantalizing display of cultural richness.

As a bustling metropolis, Cairo serves as the gateway to your Egyptian adventure. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an avid foodie, a curious adventurer, or an art lover, Cairo has something special to offer.

This city invites you to experience its countless attractions, embark on thrilling excursions, and immerse yourself in varied activities. By the time you leave, you’ll have curated your unique Cairo itinerary, filled with memories to last a lifetime.

So, are you ready to experience Cairo like never before? Let’s delve into the wonders this city holds and unravel the mysteries of the land of the Pharaohs. Get ready as we show you the nine things to do in Cairo that you won’t want to miss. Let the adventure begin!

Departure Transfer to Cairo International Airport
Meet & Assist Service by Kemet Travel Representative

1. Take in the World-Famous Pyramids of Giza

Without a doubt, no Cairo itinerary would be complete without a visit to the iconic Pyramids of Giza. This awe-inspiring complex on the outskirts of Cairo isn’t just an important stop on your Egyptian journey – it’s a marvel of the world that deserves to be at the top of your list of activities in Cairo.

You’ll find yourself standing before the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the largest of the three and the last of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. This grand monument, built over 4,500 years ago, rises from the desert, a testament to the ingenuity and ambition of the ancient Egyptians.

Did you know that each massive stone block was manually hauled into place? It’s a staggering thought that adds to the pyramid’s impressive stature.

Next to the Great Pyramid stands the slightly smaller but equally impressive Pyramid of Khafre, still crowned by its original polished limestone casing at the top. Your eyes will also catch the sight of the Pyramid of Menkaure, the smallest of the trio, but remarkable nonetheless.

But the journey doesn’t end with the pyramids. Keeping a vigilant watch over these grand tombs is the enigmatic Sphinx. This majestic creature with the body of a lion and the face of a human has weathered the ages, silent and mysterious. While countless Cairo excursions and photographs have made the Sphinx famous, nothing quite prepares you for the first time you behold it with your own eyes.

As you traverse the vast expanse of the Giza plateau, you might want to take a moment to soak in the atmosphere. Feel the desert wind, listen to the soft rustle of sand underfoot, and allow yourself to be transported back in time.

After all, part of the joy of any Cairo excursion is not just seeing the sights, but immersing yourself in the enchanting tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty that the city offers. And there’s no better place to start than the Pyramids of Giza.

Giza Pyramids
Private Tour at Giza Pyramids

2. Visit The Egyptian Museum

Imagine standing in front of a treasure trove of ancient Egyptian history, where every artifact tells a captivating story from a time long past. That’s exactly the experience awaiting you at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square, a must-visit Cairo attraction.

As soon as you step through the doors of this grand museum, you’ll find yourself transported into a world of ancient intrigue and wonder. The museum houses the world’s most extensive collection of Pharaonic antiquities, with over 120,000 artifacts on display. These remnants of Egypt’s ancient civilization span over 5,000 years, promising a truly immersive dive into the past.

A highlight of your visit will undoubtedly be the treasures of Tutankhamun. This young pharaoh, whose tomb was discovered nearly intact in 1922, continues to capture imaginations worldwide. The opulent death mask of Tutankhamun, crafted from solid gold and adorned with semi-precious stones, is one of the museum’s most iconic pieces.

Alongside this, you’ll find the intricate golden throne, exquisite jewelry, and a range of personal items that offer a fascinating glimpse into the life of the boy king.

Further explorations will lead you to the chillingly beautiful Mummy Room. Here, you can come face to face with some of Egypt’s most famous pharaohs, preserved for thousands of years. Imagine being in the presence of the likes of Ramses II and Queen Hatshepsut – leaders who once held the reigns of one of history’s most powerful civilizations.

Remember that the Egyptian Museum is not just a stop on your Cairo excursion; it’s a journey into the heart of ancient Egypt. So, take your time, wander through its historic halls, and let the echoes of the past tell their tales. It’s one of the many unique activities in Cairo that you won’t want to miss.

Egyptian Museum
Private Tour at The Egyptian Museum

3. Tour the Coptic Cairo District

Often referred to as “Old Cairo,” the Coptic Cairo District is a captivating area brimming with historic sites that bear witness to Egypt’s rich Christian history.

Walking through this district is like leafing through the pages of a living history book, where each turn uncovers a new chapter of the past. As part of your Cairo itinerary, the Coptic Cairo District offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in an often overlooked but deeply important facet of Egypt’s diverse cultural tapestry.

The Hanging Church (Saint Virgin Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church)

The Hanging Church, also known as Saint Virgin Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church, is one of the most emblematic landmarks within the Coptic Cairo District.

Built atop the southern tower gate of the old Babylon Fortress, the church appears to “hang” over the passage below, hence its nickname. The architecture of this church is as fascinating as its history, with its nave suspended over the passageway, providing a unique perspective.

Once you step inside, your eyes will be drawn to the intricate wooden screens, antique icons, and the stunning ceiling that resembles an inverted hull of a ship.

The Coptic Museum

Just a stone’s throw away from the Hanging Church, you’ll find the Coptic Museum. This museum is home to a vast collection of Coptic art and artifacts that tell the story of Christian Egypt. Housed within an elegant building, the museum’s treasures range from early Christian texts and scriptures to antique icons, textiles, and sculptures.

Exploring the museum’s collections provides a rich insight into Coptic history and art, adding a new dimension to your Cairo excursions.

The Babylon Fortress

The Babylon Fortress, one of the oldest structures in Cairo, is another site you won’t want to miss in the Coptic Cairo District. This ancient Roman fortress, with its towering walls and remnants of old towers, offers a glimpse into the city’s earliest period. While much of the original structure is not visible, the fortress’s historical significance and the part it plays in the story of this area make it a fascinating stop on your Cairo itinerary.

These are just a few of the sites worth visiting in the Coptic Cairo District, and each carries its own historical significance and charm. Whether you’re drawn by the allure of ancient history, the beauty of Coptic art, or the spiritual atmosphere that permeates these sites, this district promises a unique and enriching addition to your activities in Cairo.

Kemet Travel- Egypt Spiritual Tours
The Hanging Church at Old Cairo

4. Test Your Haggling Skills at Khan El Khalili

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in Cairo’s vibrant culture and historic charm, there’s no place quite like Khan El Khalili. Nestled in the heart of Islamic Cairo, this famous bazaar is a bustling hub of activity, a labyrinth of narrow alleyways where past and present converge.

As you step into the bazaar, the scent of exotic spices wafts through the air, mingling with the aroma of strong Egyptian coffee brewing in traditional ahwa (coffee houses).

There’s an intoxicating energy here as vendors call out to passersby, their stalls brimming with an array of goods. From intricately woven textiles and traditional lanterns to gleaming brassware and delicate glass perfume bottles, every stall offers a new discovery.

One of the most popular activities in Cairo is haggling over prices in Khan El Khalili. Whether you’re searching for the perfect souvenir or a unique piece of jewelry, engaging in a friendly bargaining session is part of the fun. It’s an art form, a cultural dance that is as much a part of the Cairo shopping experience as the items themselves.

And don’t forget to pause and take in the architectural beauty that surrounds the market. Historic Islamic buildings, mosques, and monuments are scattered throughout the area, adding a layer of historic charm to your shopping excursion.

Whether you spend hours exploring its maze-like streets or simply sit at a local café to watch the world go by, a visit to Khan El Khalili is an essential part of any Cairo itinerary. It’s more than a market – it’s an experience that engages all your senses, immersing you in the pulse of Cairo’s everyday life.

It’s one Cairo attraction that promises an unforgettable and unique adventure every visit.

Tour at Khan Al-Khalili
Grand Bazar of Khan Al-Khalili

5. Head Out to Dahshur

If you’re eager to witness the grandeur of Egypt’s pyramids but crave a more tranquil setting, Dahshur is the place to be.

Located just a short drive from the heart of Cairo, Dahshur is a less-visited but equally impressive archaeological site that makes for a perfect Cairo excursion. Its relative tranquility compared to the frequently visited Giza plateau allows for a more serene exploration, making it one of the unique things to do in Cairo.

Dahshur is home to several pyramids, with the Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid being the most famous. The Bent Pyramid, named for its unique double slope, is a striking testament to the evolution of pyramid construction. As you gaze upon it, you’re looking at an ancient architectural experiment that helped shape Egypt’s future.

Just a short distance away, you’ll find the Red Pyramid, named for the reddish hue of its stones. This pyramid is particularly significant as it’s Egypt’s first true smooth-sided pyramid, marking a milestone in the development of pyramid construction. Its interior is accessible, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can venture into the narrow passageway leading to the burial chambers, offering a unique perspective on ancient Egyptian burial practices.

Surrounding these structures, the desert landscape of Dahshur extends towards the horizon, offering a sense of peace and timelessness. It’s easy to forget the bustling metropolis of Cairo is just a stone’s throw away.

A visit to Dahshur offers more than just a viewing of the pyramids. It’s an opportunity to step back in time, to stand in the places where ancient architects and builders once stood, and to appreciate the remarkable civilization they built. So, if you’re looking for a unique addition to your Cairo itinerary, consider a journey to Dahshur. It’s a Cairo excursion that promises to leave a lasting impression.

5. Visit Saqqara and the Ancient City of Memphis

For those passionate about history and a sense of adventure, no Cairo itinerary is complete without a visit to the ancient necropolis of Saqqara and the nearby city of Memphis.

Located a short distance from Cairo, these destinations offer a unique opportunity to delve deeper into Egypt’s ancient past. They are a testament to the country’s rich heritage and provide fascinating additions to your list of things to do in Cairo.


Saqqara, often considered a vast open-air museum, is home to the famous Step Pyramid of Djoser, the oldest colossal stone building and the earliest colossal stone pyramid in Egypt. This architectural marvel was a significant evolution in the concept of royal tombs, laying the foundation for the pyramids that followed.

Walking around Saqqara, you’ll also encounter various other tombs and monuments, each with their unique stories and historical significance. The Tomb of Ti, the Serapeum, and the Pyramid of Teti are just a few of the notable sites worth exploring in this ancient burial ground.

The Ancient City of Memphis

A short drive from Saqqara will bring you to the ancient city of Memphis. Once a thriving metropolis and the capital of Old Kingdom Egypt, Memphis is now an open-air museum showcasing remnants of its past glory. Here, you can admire colossal statues of Ramses II, beautifully crafted sphinxes, and remnants of ancient temples.

While less of the ancient city remains today, the sense of stepping back in time is palpable as you walk amongst the ruins. Strolling through the remnants of this once-mighty city, you can almost hear the echoes of ancient civilization whispering in the wind.

An excursion to Saqqara and Memphis offers an insightful journey into Egypt’s past, far beyond the main tourist trails. They represent some of the lesser-known but equally significant attractions in Cairo that provide a deeper understanding of Egypt’s rich history and culture.

So if you’re eager for a taste of authentic ancient Egypt, adding Saqqara and Memphis to your Cairo excursions is an absolute must.

Saqqara Complex
Private Tour at Saqqara Complex

6. Spend Some Time at The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC)

This museum is a more recent addition to Cairo’s cultural scene, having opened in its current location in Fustat, within Old Cairo, in 2020. It is home to a vast collection of artifacts that span the entirety of Egyptian history, from prehistoric times up to the present day.

Notably, in 2021, a grand procession called The Pharaohs’ Golden Parade transported 22 royal mummies from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir to the NMEC. These mummies include 18 kings and four queens from the New Kingdom, which are now housed in a specially designed hall called the Royal Mummies Hall.

The museum itself is situated within a beautiful modern building, and it includes several different exhibition halls, a conservation center, and a reference library, among other facilities. It aims to present a comprehensive view of Egyptian civilization and heritage, and visitors to the NMEC can expect to gain a deep understanding of Egypt’s past and its impact on the world.

7. Marvel at Islamic Cairo

If the Pyramids symbolize Egypt’s ancient civilization, then the minarets piercing Cairo’s skyline represent its rich Islamic heritage. Known as the “City of a Thousand Minarets,” Cairo boasts some of the world’s most significant Islamic landmarks.

From its grand mosques to renowned museums, the city’s Islamic attractions are as diverse as they are beautiful, providing a fascinating exploration of Cairo’s centuries of Islamic history.

Amr ibn al-As Mosque

The Amr ibn al-As Mosque, named after the Arab commander Amr ibn al-As, holds a special place in Cairo’s Islamic heritage as the first mosque ever built in Africa. Despite several renovations over the centuries, the mosque has retained its serene ambiance and historical significance.

The simplicity of its architecture, with its expansive courtyard and tall minaret, offers a glimpse into the early Islamic era. As you walk its hallowed grounds, you’ll be stepping in the footsteps of centuries of worshippers, a truly humbling experience.

Museum of Islamic Art

Visiting the Museum of Islamic Art is essential for art and history lovers. As one of the greatest museums of its kind in the world, it houses an extensive collection of Islamic artifacts from different periods and regions of the Islamic world.

Here, you’ll find everything from ceramics and textiles to manuscripts and architectural elements, all artfully displayed to showcase the rich artistic legacy of the Islamic world. The beautifully designed museum building is a masterpiece in its own right and adds to the overall experience.

Sultan Hassan Mosque and Madrasa

The Sultan Hassan Mosque and Madrasa is another captivating landmark in Islamic Cairo. Built in the 14th century, this grand mosque-school is a marvel of Islamic architecture, featuring an immense façade and a towering minaret.

As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by an expansive courtyard surrounded by four iwans (vaulted halls), each dedicated to one of the four main Sunni schools of thought. The intricate carvings, beautiful stucco work, and the atmosphere of tranquility make it a must-see Cairo attraction.

These are just a few of the many Islamic attractions you can explore as part of your activities in Cairo.

Each site provides a unique perspective on the city’s Islamic history and its importance as a center of Islamic culture and learning. Exploring these sites offers an enriching addition to your Cairo itinerary, promising to deepen your understanding and appreciation of Cairo, the City of a Thousand Minarets.

Sultan Hassan & Al-Refaie Mosques
Private Tour at Islamic Cairo

8. Sample Cairo’s Culinary Scene

As you traverse Cairo’s bustling streets and explore its magnificent landmarks, don’t forget to indulge in its exciting culinary scene. Egyptian cuisine is as rich and diverse as its history, and there’s no better place to savor it than in Cairo, where traditional eateries, trendy cafés, and bustling food markets abound.

Cafés and Coffee Culture

Café culture is deeply embedded in Cairo’s social fabric. The city’s cafés, or ahwas as they’re locally known, are much more than places to grab a quick coffee; they are social hubs for friends to gather, engage in lively conversations, and watch the world go by. From traditional coffee houses serving strong Turkish coffee and refreshing mint tea to modern establishments offering a range of international brews, Cairo’s cafés cater to all tastes.

One must-try experience is visiting a traditional Ahwa, like the famous El Fishawy in Khan El Khalili, where you can enjoy your coffee or tea amidst mirrors and chandeliers in a uniquely Egyptian atmosphere.

Cairo’s Restaurants and Street Food

Cairo’s restaurants offer a gastronomic journey through Egypt’s diverse regional cuisines. From fine dining establishments serving gourmet fusion dishes to family-run eateries offering home-style cooking, there’s a dining experience for every palate and budget.

Street food is also a significant part of Cairo’s culinary landscape. Food stalls scattered across the city offer local favorites like ful medames (cooked fava beans), koshary (a hearty dish of lentils, rice, pasta, and tomato sauce), and Tamiya (Egyptian falafel). These delicious bites are not just meals but a part of Cairo’s culinary identity.

Local Delicacies and Sweet Treats

No culinary tour of Cairo is complete without trying the city’s sweet treats. Egyptian desserts like konafa (a cheese pastry soaked in a sweet syrup), basbousa (a semolina cake), and Umm Ali (a bread pudding) are a must-try.

Whether you’re a food enthusiast or just a curious traveler, exploring Cairo’s cuisine culture is one of the most satisfying activities in Cairo. Each bite offers a taste of the city’s culture, adding a delicious dimension to your Cairo itinerary.

So, while in Cairo, eat as the Cairenes do, and embark on a flavorful journey that tantalizes your taste buds and gives you a deeper appreciation of Egypt’s rich culinary heritage.

Egyptian Food
Local Egyptian Food

9. Ride a Camel in Giza

For a truly unique Cairo experience, why not try a camel ride?

Whether it’s a leisurely trek through the desert or a sunset ride with the iconic pyramids as your backdrop, riding these majestic “Ships of the Desert” is an unforgettable way to see the sights and experience the local culture.

Camel rides offer a different perspective on Cairo’s famous landscapes. As you traverse the golden sand dunes, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the city and its surrounding desert landscape, an image that’s bound to stay with you long after your ride is over.

Among the most popular options for camel rides are those around the Pyramids of Giza. Picture this: you’re riding a camel and the sun is setting, casting a warm, golden glow over the vast desert and the pyramids, creating a scene straight out of an epic movie. It’s a magical experience that offers an extraordinary photo opportunity and a memorable addition to your Cairo itinerary.

Camel Ride
Camel Ride at Giza Pyramids

Kemet Travel: Your Gateway to Unforgettable Things to Do in Cairo

And there you have it, our curated guide to the best things to do in Cairo.

From the majestic Pyramids of Giza to the historical richness of Coptic and Islamic Cairo, the vibrant energy of local markets, and the city’s captivating culinary scene, Cairo is a city that promises memorable experiences at every corner.

Putting together an itinerary for such a diverse and vibrant city can seem challenging, but that’s where we come in. Recognized as one of the best travel agencies in Cairo, our team of seasoned Egyptologists and travel experts are committed to making your Egyptian journey unforgettable.

Whether you’re captivated by our Cairo day tours, covering all the highlights discussed, or are more interested in a more tailored experience, we’ve got you covered. At Kemet Travel, we pride ourselves on creating tours showcasing the best of Cairo and Egypt.

Our Kemet Travel packages are designed with your interests at heart, be it exploring ancient civilizations, experiencing local culture, or embarking on an epic culinary journey. For those yearning for a more tailored exploration, we also offer tailor-made holidays in Egypt, ensuring your itinerary is as unique as your interests.

So, why wait?

Don’t just dream about the majestic pyramids, the stunning sunset camel rides, or the historical treasures of the City of a Thousand Minarets. Experience it all with us at Kemet Travel, your best travel agent in Egypt.

Check out our Cairo excursions and day tours today, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. We look forward to welcoming you to the unforgettable journey that is Cairo.