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25 Unique And Unusual Things To Do In Cairo, Egypt

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Mystical Egypt has earned its spot as a top tourist destination- from the Sphinx, Pyramids, Pharaohs to exotic palaces, the history here is unrivaled. Visit the Cradle of Civilization for an enchanting culture, culinary surprises, golden deserts and architecture you won’t be able to get enough of. What better city to start your Egyptian adventure than the thriving capital itself- Cairo! Let’s check out the most awesome things to do in Cairo, Egypt.

25 Unique & Unusual Things to do in Cairo, Egypt

1) Go for a Cruise on the Nile

Amazing views along river Nile

When visiting Cairo, Egypt, who can forget about the world-famous river Nile? Your plans of things to do in Cairo should take you straight to the Nile for a cruise first. Also known as Felucca, see modern and old Egypt come together in harmony for a marvelous experience.

Recommended For: Amazing views along river Nile

Location: Cairo

Price: Varies based on duration/ operator

Pro tip: The best time for a day cruise is close to sunset.


2) See the Whirling Dervishes in Action

Music and Dance enthusiasts

Witness the mystical whirling dervishes; Cairo’s attractions include the “tannoura”. A famous ritual traced back to the Sufi culture, see the dervishes whirling to music in a trance-like state. The Egyptian tannoura outfits are more colorful and add to the entertainment aspect of the performance.

Recommended For: Music and Dance enthusiasts

Location: Cairo

Price: Approx. USD $30

Timings: Depends on venue

Pro tip: The dervish theater is located near the famous Khan el-Khalili bazaar.


3) Visit the Captivating Egyptian Museum

Seeing Egyptian artifacts and heritage

Ranking amongst the world’s top museums, don’t miss The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. Cairo’s museum has the world’s largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts exceeding 120,000 in number. From mummies to pottery to royal treasures- this visit is simply exhilarating.

Recommended For: Seeing Egyptian artifacts and heritage

Location: Cairo

Price: $10 USD

Timings: 9 AM – 5 PM daily

Pro tip: The museum only accepts cash payments.


4) Enjoy Family Time in Al-Andalus Garden

cairo things to do - Al-Andalus Garden

Cairo is a big city with urbanization taking up the green spaces. This is why the Al-Andalus Garden stands out as a highly recommended place to explore. Located minutes away from downtown, its paved promenade along the river Nile is a great afternoon spot to relax.

Recommended For: Nature lovers 

Location: Cairo

Price: Approx. $0.65 USD

Timings:

9 a.m – 2 p.m during Summer

9 a.m – 10 p.m during Winter

Pro tip: Walk around to see wonderful statues of some Pharaohs, lions, and one of Ahmed Shawky known as the “Prince of Poets”.


5) Feast on an Authentic Egyptian Breakfast

Experiencing local flavors

Your body needs fuel for the sightseeing in Cairo city; immerse in Egyptian culture by enjoying an authentic breakfast with cooked fava beans, eggs, cheese, and the local Baladi bread. Ingredients include fresh herbs such as cilantro, parsley, and garlic- a healthy and flavorful start to the day.

Recommended For: Experiencing local flavors

Location: Cairo

Price: Varies

Pro tip: Egypt is best known for Koshary- a mix of rice, macaroni, lentils, chickpeas and special tomato sauce with a pinch of vinegar.


Also Explore: 10 Reasons Why Visit Egypt?

6) Feel The Aura of Old Cairo

Affordable shopping like a local

Things to do in Cairo will always bring up the mention of the famous Khan Al-Khalili bazaar. A vibrant open market or “souk”, you’ll love the friendly locals, artifacts, souvenirs, food, spices, and perfumes in addition to other exotic merchandise.

Recommended For: Affordable shopping like a local

Location: Cairo

Timings: 12 pm till late at night.

Pro tip: The market is very busy at night, serious shoppers should visit early in the day.


7) Admire the Historic Al-Azhar Mosque

Historic Al-Azhar Mosque

While you’re in the old Islamic Cairo district, don’t miss this chance to see the Al-Azhar Mosque up close. One of the earliest surviving mosques, you enter the building through a 15th-century gate. The beautiful architecture and unique minarets are gorgeous and the history here can be felt in the air.

Recommended For: Local historic landmark

Location: Cairo

Price: $10 USD

Timings: 9 a.m – 5 p.m

Pro tip: This mosque holds the prestige of housing the oldest university in the world.


8) Discover Exquisite Collections at the Museum of Islamic Art

Visiting Museum of Islamic Art

Cairo’s museums are abundant with excellent collections from all periods, old and modern. The Museum of Islamic Art is another gem in the city with a lavish display of Islamic artifacts, a peaceful ambiance, and displays dating back to the 6th century.

Recommended For: Art and History Museum lovers

Location: Cairo

Price: USD $2.75

Timings: 9 a.m – 5 p.m daily 

Pro tip: The art from Ummayad, Abbasid, Fatimid, Mamluk and Ottoman periods are a must-see for art lovers.


9) See the Treasures of the Abdeen Palace Museum

Abdeen Palace Museum is a Cultural landmark and museum

This former palace has now been converted to multiple museums (Silver Museum, the Arms Museum, the Royal Family Museum, a Presidential Gifts Museum, and a Historical Documents Museum). The detailed Italian, Oriental, Turkish and French architectural designs are an impressive sight to witness for tourists.

Recommended For: Cultural landmark and museum

Location: Cairo

Price: USD $6.25

Timings: Friday: Closed/ 9 a.m – 3 p.m daily 

Pro tip: Abdeen Palace’s historical collection of arms and weaponry are its most famous attractions.


10) Hit the Desert Sand Dunes for Sandboarding

Desert Sand Dunes for Desert and outdoor sports

Cairo’s gigantic size means that there’s plenty of action for everyone from art to adventure lovers. This destination is perfect to try your luck at sandboarding; the dunes are perfect to take pictures and the experience itself is quite exhilarating.

Recommended For: Desert and outdoor sports

Location: Cairo

Price: Varies

Pro tip: Wear long socks to prevent your ankles from burning in the hot sand.


11) Do a Photoshoot at the Manial Palace

Visiting Manial Palace for Historic Palace Experience

A landmark as beautiful as its name itself, the Manial Palace and Museum takes you back in time to witness the luxurious life of royalty. The blend of Ottoman, Moorish, Persian and European rococo styles, glittering golden antiques and rare plants are exciting to behold.

Recommended For: Historic Palace Experience

Location: Cairo

Price: Starts at USD $3.10

Timings: 9 a.m – 4 p.m daily

Pro tip: There’s a tour guide available to guide you around the palace for free.


12) See New Views from the Bab Zuweil’s Minarets

views of historic Cairo from Bab Zuweil’s Minarets

If you really want to see this city from a view that’s unlike any other, the climb up the Minarets is a must-do. Considered one of the 3 gates of Islamic Cairo, Bab Zuweil is a well-kept secret. You won’t find this on an average list of places to visit in Cairo, Egypt!

Recommended For: Seeing views of historic Cairo

Location: Cairo

Price: USD $2.50

Timings: 9 a.m – 5 p.m daily

Pro tip: The stairs are too steep and winding for children to climb.


13) Quench Your Thirst with Asab Al Sokar

Asab Al Sokar an Energizing national drink

With all the adventure that surrounds your trip, the Cairo area has delicious sugarcane juice that’s perfect for long summer days. A favorite amongst the locals and absolutely refreshing, this thirst quencher is fantastic.

Recommended For: Energizing national drink

Location: Cairo

Price: Varies

Pro tip: Asab is a preferred beverage due to its healing properties.


14) Discover Fascinating History at the Hanging Church

Hanging Church is a Famous Coptic Orthodox Church

When visiting Coptic Cairo, you’ll hear about the Hanging Church of Cairo. This whimsical sounding name is also known as the Church of the Virgin Mary and got its name because it was built on top of the walls of the 4th-century Roman fortress of Babylon.

Recommended For: Famous Coptic Orthodox Church

Location: Cairo

Price: Free

Timings: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm daily

Pro tip: Coptic Cairo is the area abundant with Christian Churches when they were an Egyptian majority.


15) Go Camel Riding in the Dunes

Local camel riding in the Dunes

A thrilling experience, switch up your mode of transport and go for a camel ride in the desert. Admire the beautiful sunset or sunrise with views of the pyramids. The local Bedouin guides are great at ensuring your safety as you make your way up the high hill mountain.

Recommended For: Local camel riding

Location: Cairo

Price: About USD $30 for 2 hours

Pro tip: Haggle if you’re just interested in going for a short ride to take fun holiday pictures.


16) Take a Day Trip to Luxor

Trip to Luxor

If you have ample time to take the trip, travelling from Cairo to Luxor can be done by taking a convenient train ride. Egypt’s railway has come a long way in terms of comfort. Fall in love with the views of the Nile. Also, it’s a great alternative to avoid road traffic and the high costs of airfare.

Recommended For: Visiting Luxor

Location: Cairo

Price: USD $110 approximately

Pro tip: The internet booking system only allows 2 tickets to be purchased at a time. For more tickets, you’ll need multiple accounts.


17) Relax on the Beaches of Hurghada

Visiting the beaches of Hurghada

Speaking of day trips, a quick escape from Cairo to Hurghada is also easily doable. This lovely city is known for its famous resorts and beach activities. From scuba diving to a happening nightlife and clubs, it’s a fabulous getaway for tourists Egypt.

Recommended For: Visiting the beaches of Hurghada

Location: Cairo

Price: Approx $40 for a high-end bus service

Pro tip: Hurghada is great for deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, and jet skiing.


18) Feel Wonder in the Colourful Al-Muizz Al-Deen Allah Street

Historic sightseeing at Al-Muizz Al-Deen Allah Street

The spellbinding Al-Muizz Al-Deen Allah Street is a Cairo attraction named after the first Fatimid Caliph in Egypt. As their influence grew stronger, many of the most significant palaces, mosques and landmarks were built here making it an Islamic heritage icon.

Recommended For: Historic sightseeing

Location: Cairo

Pro tip: Al Aqmar Mosque and Bayt Al Suhaymi are very popular tourist destinations here.


19) See the Capital from the Cairo Tower

Historic sightseeing from the Cairo Tower

The observation deck at the Cairo Tower offers some of the most mesmerizing views. The restaurant at the top provides a great ambiance for a memorable meal and the unforgettable panoramic sights are bound to keep you thrilled throughout.

Recommended For: Historic sightseeing

Location: Cairo

Price: USD $3.75

Timings: 8 a.m till midnight daily

Pro tip: The restaurant is designed to occasionally revolve around the Cairo Tower’s main axis.


20) Get Familiar with the Eternal City- Heliopolis 

Visiting a Holy landmark of Heliopolis

The Heliopolis city in Egypt was once recognized as the most sacred site on river Nile. Heliopolis was a site where Egyptians had worshipped widely for thousands of years. The city has been mentioned multiple times in the Old Testament as well. 

Recommended For: Visiting a Holy landmark

Location: Cairo

Price: Varies based on tour operator

Pro tip: The Heliopolis area is close to the Cairo airport, it can take up to an hour to travel during high traffic from downtown.


21) Spend a Day in Unforgettable Giza

Exploring famous Gaza sites

Giza’s glory lies just not in its pyramids! From Cairo to Giza, the trip is worth the effort for many other experiences such as the Pharaonic Village, Valley of the Whales, and more hidden treasures such as Salah El Din Al Ayouby Citadel.

Recommended For: Exploring famous Gaza sites

Pro tip: Uber is a great option to travel between Cairo and Giza cheaply.


22) Find Yourself Fascinated in the Coptic Area

Exploring religious influences in old Egypt in the Coptic Area

The Coptic area of Cairo is a powerful journey back in time to the days when ancient Christianity had a huge influence on life in Egypt. The art, exhibits, and remains of history are very intriguing.

Recommended For: Exploring religious influences in old Egypt

Price: Varies based on museum

Pro tip: The Cavern Church is where Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus are meant to have sought shelter for 3 months.


23) Unwind with Fragrant Sheesha and Coffee

Relaxing afternoon experience with Fragrant Sheesha and Coffee

The Egyptian culture thrives on coffeehouses. The warm and rich coffee brews, thick Turkish mixes, and a side of flavorful sheesha is a great afternoon activity for locals and visitors alike.

Recommended For: Relaxing afternoon experience

Price: Varies

Pro tip: Always tip your servers between 5 to 20 EGP based on the service.


24) Discover the 10th Century Monastery of Saint Simon

Famous cave church 10th Century Monastery of Saint Simon

This cave church is undoubtedly one of the most unique Cairo attractions. Seating up to a whopping 20000 people, nearby caves are connected to form a complex that thousands of people visit for pilgrimage annually.

Recommended For: Famous cave church

Price: Depends on the tour operator

Pro tip: The monastery can be hard to reach due to it’s concealed location. You can always ask the locals for directions.


25) Catch a Thrilling Football Game in Action

Watching Football Game in Action at Olympic standard sports facilities

Egyptians are very passionate about football and the best place to see the fans come together is the Cairo International Stadium. This massive stadium not only symbolizes Egyptian football but has a whopping capacity of 75000 that adds to an amazing atmosphere.

Recommended For: Olympic standard sports facilities

Location: Cairo

Price: Varies

Pro tip: Cairo’s most famous clubs are Al-Ahly and Zamalek.

Also Explore: 50 Epic Things To Do In Egypt

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