No matter which are your goals when you are travelling to Egypt, there are two places you can´t miss. There is not much distance from Cairo to Giza so it´s a must that you go to both. As we visited these two cities in one of our trips, we realised how hard is to go to all the places when you don´t have much time. We had three days, but we wished we had more. That´s why we have decided to write about the best places to visit in Giza and Cairo. Here we will include the top sights in Cairo and the most important Giza tourist attractions (not just the pyramids).
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Places to visit in Giza
If you ask people who are visiting Egypt about what is Giza famous for? or about the best places to go in Giza, Probably everyone would answer the famous pyramids o Giza. They are right, Giza is where the Giza Plateau is located. There you will find some of the most important ancient monuments in the world: The Great pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx, other temples and more…
But there are many things people don´t even know about. Giza is actually the third largest city in Egypt. Just so you can imagine how important this city is, there are more than 2.5 million people living there. Plus, it´s important on the history, as it´s really closed to the ancient capital of the old kingdom of Egypt: Memphis.
Next you will find the best places to visit in Giza:
The three pyramids of Giza: One of the 7 wonders of the world
Of course, one thing you can´t miss is visiting the pyramids of Giza. The great pyramids of Giza are: The Pyramid of Menkaure, the Pyramid of Khafre and the Great Pyramid of Khufu. These are the most important pyramids in Egypt and in the world, but in the rest of the Giza plateau you will find other smaller pyramids as well.
We recommend you visiting the three of them from the outside (you can only entry in two). Later you should go to the best spot in Giza where you have a view of the three pyramids.
By the way, if you want to learn more see our blog about all the information about the Pyramids of Egypt
Visit the Great Sphinx of Giza
Other than the pyramids, at the Giza plateau you will also find the Great Sphinx of Giza. Although the Sphinx of Giza is not as well conserved as the pyramids, it´s still very impressive how the statue has been holding hard to stay there.
The Sphinx is a mythical creature and it has the head of a human but the body of a lion. It is said that the face of the statue is a representation of the Pharaoh Khafre.
The most important tip we can give you for your visit to the Great Sphinx of Giza is to go as early as possible. There is a more open space to see the pyramids and you won’t feel the crowds, but at the best spot to admire the Sphinx there is not that much space and it will be really hard to take good photos.
Egyptian papyrus museum of Giza
You may or may not like it, but another of the things to see in Giza is the papyrus museum. It is actually very interesting to learn about the art of the traditional methods of making the papyrus. These ones were made with the plant Cyperus papyrus.
Plus, it´s also a good place to get some good souvenirs of your trip to Cairo and Giza. (Of course, these are way more expensive in the museum)
The Grand Egyptian Museum: The Giza Museum
Although it´s only partially opened, The Grand Egyptian museum (GEM) it´s going to be the largest archaeological site in the world. Inside this huge museum you will be able to appreciate the whole history of Egypt. The best of all is that with the new technology, it will be an international museum that will connect through virtual reality with the rest of Egyptian museums in the world.
The construction process is taking more than what it was expected, but it is said that in the beginning of 2020 the Giza museum will be officially opened! It will be for sure one of the best Giza attractions in the future!
Best places to visit in Cairo
We must admit that although we were staying in Giza, we spent most of our time in Cairo. We enjoyed both, but it is true that there is more atmosphere in the capital of Egypt, but also, there are more things to see in Cairo than in Giza.
Cairo is a disaster, it´s chaotic and with no order at all. The roads are a mess, no one respects the crosswalks, anyway…you´ll love it!
It´s true, we still don´t know how it´s possible. We guarantee you that we couldn´t leave there, but visiting it was an incredible experience. Everything is authentic and it opens your eyes and your mentality.
The amount of fun places to go in Cairo, historical sites and tourist attractions are uncountable, but we are going to try to make it easier for you with a list of the top places to visit in Cairo:
Visit the Saladin Citadel of Cairo
It gets crowded as it´s probably the most famous tourist sites in Cairo but getting inside of the Saladin Citadel is one of best things to do in Cairo. You will probably need a whole day if you want to see it perfectly. Inside you can find three different mosques, but if you don´t have much time we recommend you visiting the Mohamed Ali Mosque (it´s the famous one).
Another of the best things to see in Cairo is the view you have from the fortress which if you are lucky and the day is clear will allow you to see the pyramids of Giza.
If you have enough time, there are also museums and the Gawhara Palace.
Mosque of Mohamed Ali
As we said the Mosque of Mohamed Ali is one of the best places in Cairo and once you are inside the citadel you can not miss it! It´s the most important mosque in Cairo and you will see it from many areas of the city, because its huge.
Mohamed Ali Mosque was designed by Yusuf Bushnak, that´s the reason of its Turkish style as he was from Istanbul.
We recommend you going inside but be well dressed to visit it as when you go to any other Islamic site.
One of the “FREE” things to do in Cairo
The Khan El-Khalili market is one of those Cairo famous places, and one of the best known markets in the world. We remark the “FREE” things to do in Cairo as you will not be able to find many of those. But it will only be free if you are able to not buy any of the million things, they will offer you.
From food, to souvenirs, cheap papyrus or many more things. You need to keep in mind that although locals are really nice, they can be annoying when they are selling you.
Oh! One more tip, always try to low down the prices, as they will start selling you with a higher price than the real one!
And If you are a photographer or film maker, just enjoy it, it will be your paradise!
The Egyptian museum of Cairo
On this list of “Cairo sightseeing places” one the most important historical sites is the Egyptian museum. Inside the museum you will find more than 100.000 elements from the ancient Egypt. Some of the parts of the museum you will probably want to visit are where Tutankhamun and its funeral mask are located. The mummy room it has a separated price, is up to you if you decide to go or not.
One last tip is to bring enough money as if you want to bring your camera inside it will cost you an additional 6$.
Relax at the Al Azhar Park
When you are sightseeing in Cairo, you can´t miss the Al Azhar Park. It´s true that lately this park is starting to have more visitors, but generally is a place to go there and relax as it´s perfect to run away from the crowds. Even local people come here and enjoy a more relaxing day.
The best of Al Azhar Park are its views. Once you start walking you will realise about all the viewpoints that are in the park. Some of them have the best views of the city.
Boat trip through the Nile River in Cairo
Another must do in Cairo is taking a boat through the Nile river. The Nile river is the largest in the world and it goes from Egypt to 11 different African countries. Crazy right??
As the River goes through the city of Cairo, take the chance and enjoy a boat ride. Another great opportunity to enjoy the view of the Nile River and the skyline of Cairo is going for a walk through the Qasr al-Nil, one of the main bridges in Cairo.
Enjoy the best places to visit in Giza and Cairo
These are the best places to go in Giza and Cairo, but of course there are more… If you think we have forgotten any of the best places let us know in the comments. Hope you enjoy these two beautiful cities!