More than the Egyptian pyramids

Cairo has to be one of my favorite places in the world. I grew up with Sphinx statues and books about ancient Egypt around the house (my dad is a big Egypt fan and still envies me to this day that I got to see the pyramids before him).

There is so much history and culture in this city. While you have the unmissable pyramids, there’s also historic marketplaces and musuems housing ancient artefacts. One could spend forever and a day learning about ancient civilizations. Visiting Cairo is like taking a timeless journey through history.

Yet you still have the signs of modern day life all around you. The bellowing of car horns in traffic, call to prayers from a distant minaret, a young group of school children cajoling tourists for a selfie.

In this guide you’ll find a list of spots not to miss, budgeting tips, and highlights of the city from personal experience.

Top sights to see in Cairo

Pyramids of Giza
Egyptian Museum
Museum of Islamic Art
Al Azhar Mosque
Khan al Khalil Market
Al-Azhar Mosque
Qalawun Complex
Al-Hakim Mosque
Al Seheymi Basha Palace

Al-Hakim Mosque 


Typical Costs When Travelling

Accommodation – 490 EGP (=$30) for a mid-range double room. Try to look for accommodation in one of the following areas: Zamalek, Maadi, Downtown, or New Cairo.

Food – budget around 120 EGP (=$7) for two sit down meals. By the way, say hello to the best falafel and hummus of your life! You can find some really delicious vegetarian options around Cairo. Do try falafel, hummus, ful, and mahshi.

Transportation – Uber is a very cost-effective and reliable way to get around town. Much easier than trying to navigate the public transportation system. Be sure to budget at least 350 EGP (=$21) per day for transportation costs.

Suggested daily budget – 600-1800 EGP (roughly $37-$111) (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a hostel, eating out a little, etc. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more often, expect this to be higher!)


Pyramids of Giza It goes without saying that visiting the pyramids is a must! After all, it is the oldest of the ancient seven world wonders. Do be sure to go early to avoid crowds. You don't really need a tour guide. I would recommend going inside the pyramids (I still regret not doing this ):)
Khan el-Khalili Bazaar This is the best market you'll find in all of Cairo. Khan el-Khalili is a major souk in the historic center of Islamic Cairo. The bazaar district is one of Cairo's main attractions for tourists and Egyptians alike.
Al-Hakim Mosque This breathtaking mosque is a major Islamic religious site in Cairo. It is named after Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, the sixth Fatimid caliph.
Al Seheymi Basha Palace This palace is not known to many tourists and is an absolute gem! The palace was suggested by a photographer friend who helped us get some incredible shots. The museum showcases Islamic architecture.

We hope some of these tips could help ease the planing process!

We understand that the process of planning a trip to a completely new country can be intimidating. Maybe this essential packing list can help get you started? Let us know in the comments. 🙂


An American living and working in Dusseldorf, Germany. If you couldn't tell already, I spend most of my free time cooking, travelling or writing about either of the two. Thanks for stopping by!

post a comment