Posted by: RasmaSandra | May 29, 2017

Cairo On the Nile


Our next stop in Egypt is its amazing capital Cairo located in a lovely setting on the Nile River.

cairo the nile

Tourists love to come here because they can take a walk back into history and see the site of Giza with its iconic pyramids and the Great Sphinx.

The Pyramids of Giza is a one half-day trip from Cairo. They are located on the edge of the city and have long been one of the country’s major highlights.

cairo cheops

The largest of them is The Pyramid of Cheops also known as the Great Pyramid or Pyramid of Khufu. Visitors can explore the narrow passages in the interior.

cairo boat museum

Directly behind this pyramid you’ll find the Solar Boat Museum. Here are displays of one of the ceremonial solar barques that have been unearthed in this area.

cairo chepren

To the south is the Pyramid of Chephren also known as the Pyramid of Khefre. Here you can enter an inner tunnel area.

cairo menkaure

The smaller is the Pyramid of Mycerinus or Pyramid of Menkaure.

 cairo sphinx 2

On guard over all of these pyramids is the lion bodied and pharaoh-faced Sphinx.

 cairo egyptian museum.jpg

Visit the impressive and fascinating Egyptian Museum which counts as one of the world’s great museums. This museum was founded in 1857 by French Egyptologist August Mariette. It has found its home in a powder pink mansion in Downtown Cairo.

cairo egyptian tut

Since it is impossible to take in everything this museum offers take in some of the highlights like the Tutankhamun Galleries. Here you can see Tutankhamun’s death mask, sarcophagi, the pharaoh’s lion throne and his amazing wardrobe collection.

cairo egyptian mummies

Then there is the Egyptian Jewelry Collection and the Royal Mummies Collection.

 cairo al azhar

Al-Azhar Mosque is the finest building from the Fatimid Era. It is also one of Cairo’s earliest surviving mosques, completed in 977AD and one of the world’s oldest universities. Today Al-Azhar University is still the leading theological center of the Islamic world.

cairo barber gate.jpg

The main entrance is the Gate of the Barbers on the northwest side. After leaving your shoes here you can walk into the central courtyard. To the right is the El-Taibarsiya Medrese, which has a mihrab or prayer niche that dates from 1309.

From the central courtyard you can get the best views of the mosque’s five minarets. Across the way is the prayer hall, spanning a vast 3,000 square meters.

cairo old

Old Cairo or Coptic Cairo

Visitors love exploring Old Cairo where you can wander along many different lanes, past small churches, the walls of Old Babylon and you can still see some of the Roman Towers.

cairo Coptic Museum

The Coptic Museum has lots of information about Egypt’s early Christian period. It is also home to one of the country’s finest collections of Coptic Art.

cairo hanging

Next door you’ll fine the 9th century Hanging Church showing some lovely examples of Coptic architecture. It was founded in the 4th century and originally built over the Roman Gate Towers therefore getting its name. It was rebuilt in the 9th century.

cairo st. sergius

For many the real highlight of a visit to Old Cairo is the Church of St. Sergius and Bacchus where local legend has it that the Virgin Mary, baby Jesus and family took shelter during King Herod’s massacre of male babies.

cairo ben ezra

Further on you’ll come to the Ben Ezra Synagogue which is said to be the spot where the baby Moses was found in the reeds.

cairo amr ibn

Just outside of the quarter is the Mosque of Amr Ibn al-As which is the first mosque built in Egypt.

cairo old bazaar

For a great shopping experience head for Khan el-Khalili which is a Middle Eastern souq or bazaar. Here you will find a labyrinth of narrow alleyways in a shopping district that dates from 1400 AD. You can find most anything on sale and many tiny stores and workshops. This is also the place of Cairo’s most famous coffee shop, Fishawis, offering syrupy Arabic coffee and sweet tea.

cairo mohammed ali

Cairo’s citadel was built by Saladin in 1176. The Mosque of Muhammad Ali is the most famous monument. It is nicknamed the “Alabaster Mosque” with its white stone and tall minarets. It has become one of Cairo’s great landmarks.

cairo gawara palace

Gawhara Palace

For fantastic views across the city head for the Gawhara Terrace. .

cairo el-nasir

To the northeast of this mosque you’ll come to the El-Nasir Mosque, built in 1318-35 by Mohammed el-Nasir. On this site you’ll also find such museums as the Police Museum, National Military Museum and Carriage Museum.

cairo bab zwuela

The most fascinating of all of the Islamic Cairo district gates is Bab Zuweila. Visitors can climb to the top of this medieval structure to get some spectacular views over Islamic Cairo. The gate has two minarets,

Right next door is the red and white stonework of the Sheikh al-Mu’ayyad Mosque.

There are many other architectural delights in the citadel so take the time to explore.

cairo ibn tulun

Ibn Tulun Mosque is the oldest standing mosque in Cairo. It was built between 876 and 879 AD. At the time it was built it was considered to be the largest mosque in the world. The Main Court’s colonnades open onto a series of narrow-fronted halls. On the mosque’s northern side is the 40-meter-high minaret with a horseshoe arch over the entrance and a spiral staircase twisting through the interior. You can get wonderful views by climbing the 173 steps to the upper platform looking over the roofs of houses to the north and the Mokattam Hills to the east.

cairo al azhar park

Al-Azhar Park is a lovely green space that was built over a medieval rubbish dump. It opened in 2005 with manicured gardens. Here people enjoy strolling and it is especially lovely at sunset. For relaxing there are some good restaurants here. On the weekend families come here for rest and picnicking.

cairo gezira zamalek

Zamalek district is located on the Nile Island of Gezira. This is the place where you can find most of Cairo’s fashionable boutiques and trendy restaurants. The area dates from the mid 19th century and the entire area has a European feel with impressive architecture and wide boulevards all lined with Jacaranda trees.

cairo palace of arts

While here take the time to explore the Palace of Arts in the Nile Grand Hall. It features rotating exhibits.

cairo modern art

The Museum of Modern Egyptian Art has a fine collection of 20th century Egyptian art that includes art work by Mahmoud Said and Mahmoud Mukhtar.

cairo sports club

Much of the southern section of Gezira has exclusive tennis courts and riding stables at the Gezira Sports Club.

cairo tower 2


Towering above all the lush greenery is the 187-meter-high Cairo Tower, built in 1961 by President Nasser. A trip up the observation deck at sunset to see dusk settle over the city is a must.

In Arabic Cairo Tower is known as Borg al-Qahira and it was built for two purposes to function as a TV tower and to act as a symbol of Egypt’s engineering capabilities.

When you have enjoyed the views from the observation deck enjoy the revolving restaurant at the top of the tower that completes one full rotation every 70 minutes.

cairo rhoda island

Visit lovely Roda Island just south of Gezira Island.

cairo monter palace

It is home to Monastirli Palace, once the residence of an Ottoman pasha.

cairo nilo

Inside the palace gardens is Cairo’s Nilometer which at one time was used to measure the ebb and flow of the Nile and predict the annual flood heights.

Outside of the palace it is enjoyable to wander along the streets and see some of the architecture.

cairo manial 2

At the north end of the island you’ll find the ornate Manyal Palace which was built in 1805-18 at the time of Mohammed Ali. Presently it is closed for renovation.

cairo downtown

Downtown Cairo offers the feel of the city as it was in the late 19th century when it was nicknamed the “Paris of the East”. Here you can see impressive Belle Epoque buildings.

cairo Abdeen_Palace

On the western edge of Downtown you’ll find the 19th century Abdin Palace. Today it is a museum and has an unusual collection of photos, tapestries and gifts given to Egypt’s presidents by visiting dignitaries.

cairo zoo entrance

The Giza Zoo is a zoological garden in Giza, Egypt and includes Giza’s largest park. The zoo stretches for around 80 acres and is home to many endangered species.

cairo zoo tea island lake

The gardens include black stone flag paved roads, footpaths decorated with pebbles and a pond with a marble island known as the zoo’s Tea Island.

cairo zoo suspension bridge

The zoo also has a suspension bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel which allows visitors to view animals from above.

.This is one of the most beautiful zoos in the world and has a many animal and plant species. It is located near the west bank of the Nile. The hilly areas are planted with cactus trees. It has a huge exhibition of African wild life. You can see mountain goats and rams, Egyptian gazelles and heron.

It consists of five hilly areas:

cairo zoo citadel hill

Citadel Hill is the largest and decorated with statues of the extinct Fayoun rhinoceros, crocodiles and strange birds.

cairo zoo bird lake

There is a small park with plant-covered walks and streams that flow through caves with white coral reefs hanging down into waterfalls, leading to a lake with two islands connected by a wooden bridge. In front of the house of lions are two artificial hills connected by a rare iron suspension bridge.

cairo zoo hippo

There is also a museum that was built in 1906. It has three big halls exhibiting large groups of Egyptian and foreign embalmed birds, reptiles, fish and animals.

cairo zoo and the zebra had the last laugh

And the zebra had the last laugh

The zoo is an institute for scientists to study the behavior of animals and birds. There are five non-governmental organization that carry out campaigns to encourage people to preserve wild life and promote environmental awareness in Egypt.

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  1. As always a great travel post. Loved the pictures.

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