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Amazing Cairo Travel

Updated on December 28, 2012

Cairo, a city situated on the Nile River, has such a vast reservoir of history behind it that it’s often referred to as the “Mother of all Cities”. Its home to the renowned Sphinx and the spectacular Great Pyramids. Besides, the city is a favourite destination for exotic gold jewellery, perfumes and Egypt’s rare antiques. Cairo is a melting pot of life in many facets. The pollution, ancient monuments, mosques, donkey carts, camels and the crumbling pyramids in its vicinity, is what gives the city its unparalleled culture.

Cairo draws countless tourists from all over the globe, never failing to leave its tourists awestruck by its exotic radiance. Cairo is also Africa’s largest city and Egypt’s capital. The ideal time of traveling to Cairo is between November and April, as summers can be quite sultry. Cairo city primarily comprises of Midan Tahrir, which consists of grand hotels, the Egyptian Museum and is a transport hub, as well. The commercial centre stretches from Midan Ataba to Midan Talaat Harb. The Midan Ramses is the city’s main railway station, with retail shops in its proximity and the Garden City, which is an upmarket area near to Cairo’s city centre.

The suburb of the city is vast also. A few of the places include Islamic Cairo, located east; the Citadel Khan el Khalili having medieval architecture; Old Cairo to the city’s south having the Coptic Cairo and Fustat as its primary attractions; you’ll also find the modern suburbs like Dokki and Mohandiseen with a host of plush restaurants serving delicious kebabs. The Gezira and the Zamalek are areas where you’d get to see the wonderful Cairo Tower and even a few of Cairo’s best hotels. Then of course, there is the sprawling district of Giza, housing the breathtaking Pyramids.

The origin of the present city can be traced back to the year 641, when the Arab general Amr ibn al-As conquered Egypt for Islam and established a new capital by the name Misr al-Fustat. Subsequently in 969AD, the city was confiscated by the Tunisian Fatimid dynasty, helping to establish the modern city of Cairo. The locals still call the city Maşr. Interestingly, Masr is the Arabic name of Egypt too.

There’s a wide array of sightseeing wonders in Cairo, such as the cynosure: Sphinx and The Pyramids of Giza, the sole remnants of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World. Visitors also adore taking a trip to the Citadel, containing a majestic castle built by Salah Al-Din; the Al-Azhar Mosque which holds the oldest university in the world, and the Ibn Tulun, a mosque much admired for its structural beauty.

Among the interesting activities you can do in Egypt are taking a day-trip to Alexandria ,visiting the luxurious resort Ein al-Sukhn, close to the Red Sea and picnicking in Fayyoum or near the picturesque Qantara lake . You’ll also find travellers riding a Felucca along the river; sipping mint tea in one of the famous coffee shops or smoking shisha water pipes, relaxing amidst the bustling life around Cairo. Taking a trip to the zoo, watching horse racing or playing golf at Mena House Golf Course are other activities which will definitely keep you engaged.

Cairo offers a great deal to the culture aficionados, as well. You’ll find the grand Culture Wheel, an independent cultural centre offering concerts every night. There’s even the Garden Theatre in Al-Azhar Park, hosting a range of musical performances. The Cairo Opera House and the Egyptian Center for Culture & Art are places giving tourists a peek at Egyptian traditional music. You might also like to visit the Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art where you’ll see displays of contemporary Egyptian artists, among others.

It has two key airports, about three km apart from each other. The domestic one is use by Egypt Air for domestic and international fights, whereas the International Terminal’s the one where most international airliners operate such as Air France, KLM, Singapore Airlines and the British Airways. Construction of a private jet terminal is underway and is expected to finish by 2009.A free shuttle bus service runs every half an hour, connecting the two terminals. Its prime railway station is the Ramses Station located on Midan Ramses. Trains are available from Cairo to most other major cities of Egypt. The bus service is better networked, arriving to the city from all parts of Egypt, virtually.

Although Cairo has it’s share of negatives, such as its pollution or the searing heat, it still manages to eternally mesmerise its visitors, with it’s unique blend of African, Arab and European traditions, the famous monuments brimming with history and the vibrancy of a modern city.

Cairo at Night

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