Cairo, Egypt’s sprawling capital, is set on the Nile River.
EGYPT officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red Sea to the east and south, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, and across from the Sinai Peninsula lies Saudi Arabia, although Jordan and Saudi Arabia do not share a land border with Egypt.
Egypt has one of the longest histories of any modern country, emerging as one of the world's first nation states in the tenth millennium BC. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt experienced some of the earliest developments of writing, agriculture, urbanisation, organised religion and central government. Iconic monuments such as the Giza Necropolis and its Great Sphinx, as well the ruins of Memphis, Thebes, Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings, reflect this legacy and remain a significant focus of archaeological study and popular interest worldwide. Egypt's rich cultural heritage is an integral part of its national identity, which has endured, and at times assimilated, various foreign influences, including Greek, Persian, Roman, Arab, Ottoman, and European. One of the earliest centres of Christianity, Egypt was Islamised in the seventh century and remains a predominantly Muslim country, albeit with a significant number of Christians.
10:30am-2:30pm : Pyramids of Giza
The last of the original Seven Wonders of the World, Pyramids of Giza include a complex of World Heritage-listed ancient monuments, including the Great Pyramid. Dating back to around 2560 BCE, the pyramids were built by thousands of workers under the command of successive pharaohs, with teams of men carving millions of stone blocks at nearby quarries, transporting them to the site, then lifting them into position. The pyramids were used as tombs for the pharaohs, with interior temples, chambers, and galleries filled with offerings. The three main pyramids testify to the power of the pharaohs and the ingenuity of the ancient Egyptians--they have also inspired countless artists, architects, and rulers since their construction.
3:00pm-6:00pm : Statue of Ramses II
Statue of Ramses II represents one of Egypt's greatest pharaohs. Discovered in 1820 near Memphis, the 3,200-year-old standing statue made from limestone was restored from six broken pieces to its full height of 10 m (33.8 ft) in 1955. Originally set on a 3 m (9.8 ft) high pedestal in Ramses Square in Cairo, the giant structure now sits inside a small museum built with the sole purpose to protect and display it. The colossus commanding the square is a replica. The museum displays the gargantuan statue in a lying position, and though both of the king's legs remain unfinished, the carefully carved statue leaves a powerful impression on visitors.
10:00am-1:00pm : The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities
Ancient history at its best, The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities boasts a collection notable for its standout pieces and, with a total of around 120,000 pieces, for its depth. First timers will want to see the Gold Mask of Tutankhamen, the young ruler's funerary mask, discovered in 1925 and perhaps the most iconic of the museum's artifacts. The ground floor displays a wealth of coins and papyrus fragments, while up on the first floor you'll find most of the findings from the Valley of the Kings.
1:30pm-2:00pm : Oum El Dounia Gallery
Enter the world of colors and culture at Oum El Dounia Gallery. Offering carefully selected Egyptian handicrafts made by craftspeople from all over the country, the gallery is a great place to stock up on gifts and souvenirs from furniture to clothing to housewares. Check out the books section to discover a great choice of books on the Arab world, mainly in French.
2:30pm-5:30pm : Khan Al-Khalili
Soak up the atmosphere and pick out a souvenir at Khan Al-Khalili, a historic souk built in the 14th century. With a maze-like layout and artfully arranged shop fronts and stalls, the market caters largely to international tourists these days. Some areas, such as the gold and spice-selling districts, remain seemingly unchanged, with countless merchants all located close to one another, creating a striking visual effect and lending itself well to photography.
10:00am-10:30am : Nile River
The lifeblood of ancient civilizations and modern Egypt, Nile River served as the source and inspiration behind many agricultural revolutions, technological innovations, cultural traditions, and works of art. Head down the river as part of a cruise, stopping off to see ancient monuments and storied settlements, all owing their existence to the flooding banks of the mighty waterway. The longest river in the world, this body of water is 6,853 km (4,258 mi) long, flowing through 11 countries.
11:30am-4:00pm : Saqqara (Sakkara) Pyramids
A World Heritage Site, Saqqara (Sakkara) Pyramids once provided the final resting place for the pharaohs and nobles of Memphis. The ensemble of pyramids and mastabas (tombs made of mud bricks) covers a huge area of the desert--this site was used as a burial ground for around 3,000 years. The main structures include the Pyramid of Djoser, constructed by the royal architect Imhotep--it's possibly the oldest intact stone building in the world.
5:00pm-5:30pm : Mosque of Sultan Al-Ashraf Barsbay
Featured on the Egyptian one-pound note, Mosque of Sultan Al-Ashraf Barsbay is one of the most representative examples of late Egyptian Mamluk architecture. The entire funerary complex was built of stone in 1474. Admire marble mosaic floors, painted wooden ceilings, polychrome wall paneling, and wooden furniture of the richly decorated interior prayer hall. Adjacent to the mosque, you'll find the mausoleum chamber with the sultan's tomb and an alleged footprint of the Prophet Muhammad. A huge walled courtyard at the back features tombs of royal family members, while the brick minaret is a late Ottoman-period addition.
10:00am-11:30am : Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre
12:00pm-1:30pm : Great Sphinx
Undeniably one of the most iconic structures of the ancient world, Great Sphinx, a monumental sculpture depicting the mythical creature with the body of a lion and a human head, continues to overlook the surrounding landscape with a discerning gaze. Carved out of the bedrock, also used for the building of the nearby pyramids, the structure is 73 m (238 ft) long and 20.21 m (66.3 ft) high, measurements that make it one of the largest statues in the world. Most modern scholars believe it was built around 2500 BCE, with the face modeled on the pharaoh Khafra, whose tomb, the second pyramid of Giza, lies close by on the plateau.
2:00pm-5:00pm : Giza Plateau
Home to some of the most important and iconic structures created by man, Giza Plateau encompasses a barren area of sandy desert with the three Pyramids of Giza, now a World Heritage Site, as well as the enigmatic Great Sphinx sculpture. Take in the scale and historical importance of the main structures, either from the outside or on a tour of one of the pyramids' interiors. The tallest and oldest of the pyramids, the Great Pyramid of Giza, stands as the last intact of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
5:30pm-6:00pm : Nomad Gallery - Zamalek Main Branch
Egyptian Traditional Crafts and silver Egyptian jewelry inspired by old traditions and heritage from Egypt and beyond. Bedouin carpets , Tuareg jewelry , Egyptian cotton shawls and much more ...
10:00am-4:00pm : Coptic Cairo
See a number of traditional churches belonging to the largest Christian community in the Middle East at Coptic Cairo, a historic part of town with many storied religious sites. The area has been of vital significance to the Copts, the largest Christian denomination in the region, who have built Orthodox churches here since the 4th century CE. Believed to have been visited by Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as they fled to Egypt, the neighborhood today draws scores of pilgrims. Take a tour of the main churches and head to the local museum to gain a better understanding of the history of the group, and how they came to thrive in the area.
4:30pm-6:00pm : Al-Azhar Park
Take in the history and scenery of Al-Azhar Park, a large public space that offers relaxing grounds and cultural intrigue right in the heart of the city. The result of a major redevelopment and archaeological project, the 30 hectare (74 acre) park opened in 2005 with a collection of landscaped gardens arranged in an array of different regional styles, plus renovated 12th-century walls and medieval mosques. Restaurants and cafes serve local delights next to the main water features, and the hills afford attractive views of the citadel.
10:00am-1:00pm : Mosque of Muhammad Ali
Gaze up at the striking array of domes and minarets that make Mosque of Muhammad Ali an imposing and ornate place of worship. Constructed on orders of Mohamed Ali Pasha between 1830 and 1848, the mosque stands atop a hill and features a 52 m (170 ft) high central dome and twin minarets visible from many points around the capital. Head inside the landmark building to admire its ornately decorated cupola and minbar (pulpit), and visit the tomb of Mohamed Ali Pasha.
1:30pm-5:30pm : Safaris
10:00am-6:00pm : Photography Tours