Egypt Highlights: Cairo
With a population of 17 million, Cairo can be found along the Nile and is the largest city in the entire Africa and Middle East. This is the capital of Egypt and is certainly worth exploring. With a history of about 5 millennia, there is just so much to see in Cairo. In order to get the most of the city, it is recommended to stay here for about 2 days or more. Exploring Cairo is best done in foot, so make sure that you wear shoes that can keep up with all the walking.
Because of the warm climate in the city, it is essential that you time your visit. If you are sensitive to the heat and are not used to extreme temperatures, avoid the summer months. From November to March is the recommended period for tourists as it is during this time that the weather is most comfortable.
For history lovers, among the best areas of the city to the visit is Masr al-Qadima. This is the oldest part of Cairo and was the known site of Babylon. Most of the churches in Egypt can be found here as it is the home of the Coptic Christian community. Be sure to check out Ben Ezra synagogue, which is the oldest synagogue in the country. Cairo also has an Islamic part. In this area, you can find the most fascinating mosques. The Mosque of Mohammed Ali is located here. Aside from the mosques, you will also enjoy shopping here, especially at the Khan Al-Khalili.
To be able to see some of the most dramatic views in the city, you may want to visit Cairo Tower. This can be found at Gazera Island and has a revolving restaurant where you can enjoy great food while admiring the scenery.
Perhaps the most popular attractions in Cairo are the pyramids. The Great Pyramid of Giza is a world-famous site that you should not miss. Of course, you should also take time to admire the Sphinx which is set in front of the pyramids. To see the pyramids, you can walk or ride a camel. You can also choose to ride a horse.
For those who love shopping, Cairo is sure to be a fun destination. Here you can find some of the best local products from shoes to perfumes to spices. Tourists also go to Cairo to shop for gold and other souvenirs that they can take home. Some shopping tips to remember:
• Always buy using local currency, especially if you are planning to get a good bargain.
• Make it a point to see several stores before buying an item.
• To convince the seller lower the price, practice the art of haggling or say thanks and walk away.
• Sellers will usually offer you a cup of tea. As a form of nice gesture, accept the offer. Anyway it does not obligate you to buy anything.
• Plan to bargain. Always ask if you can have the item for half of the listed price. It is recommended to start negotiations from there and just work your way up till you meet a price that you and the trader agree with.