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24 hours in the ancient Egyptian city of Cairo

The largest city in Africa and the centre of the Arab world, Cairo is a metropolis of modern and ancient wonders.


Egypt's brilliant capital, Cairo, is famed for its historic landmarks, ancient history, and museums full of treasure. Today, Cairo is a busy metropolis that fuses ancient sites with modern economic developments.

The city is truly a magical place, magnetic to travellers from all over. While millions of visitors are drawn there to see the pyramids in Giza, there is plenty more to see beyond Cairo’s famous sites. Here’s how to spend an unforgettable day in Cairo:

7am: Start your day in Cairo with the main attraction: the pyramids. As the Pyramids of Giza are one of the wonders of the world, there will be thousands of other visitors heading there too. For that reason, rise early, eat a delicious hearty breakfast, and make the short drive out to Giza. Each day, the site opens from 8am, so we would recommend you arrive slightly before this time. 

Once you’re on the Giza Plateau, take in the thousands of years of history, culture, and power and revel in the mastery that was the civilisation of ancient Egypt. Be sure to check out the mysterious and majestic Sphinx, the Great Pyramid of Cheops, and Khafre's Pyramid. Resist the urge to hop on a camel, as these animals are not always taken care of.

11am: By this point, the NNorth African heat might be starting to settle in. As such, use this opportunity to settle into a local restaurant. The Moghul Room offers some of the finest views of the Giza skyline - you will hardly believe your eyes. The highly-reviewed eatery serves authentic Indian cuisine and is situated inside the Marriott Mena House. We would recommend booking in advance.

1pm: Once you’ve finished your feast and finished resting your feet, it’s time to head back into the city. The Egyptian Museum is a wonderful, insightful place where you can get acquainted with ancient Egyptian culture. The site is home to the tomb of Tutankhamun, which cannot be missed.

4pm: As the sun settles a little, take to the Nile. The river, one of the world’s longest, is the perfect place to take an afternoon cruise. A boat tour will allow you to see Cairo from another angle, and some services will allow you to enjoy afternoon tea in a relaxed setting, and even live music.

6pm: Take an early dinner, or save it for later, and head back to Giza for the spectacular Sound and Light show, which tells the tale of how the Pyramids were built and what life was like during 2611BC as lights project on the ancient structures. The performance commences at 6.30pm during winter and 7.30pm during the summer.

9pm: Finish up the perfect day in Cairo with a late dinner or perhaps some relaxed drinks. We would recommend NOX rooftop bar and lounge inside The Ritz-Carlton. This happening venue serves up tasty small plates, classic cocktails, and some of the best views of the Cairo skyline. 

To take the fuss out of your Cairo adventure, join one of our award-winning escorted tours. We will take good care of you while you witness some of the highlights of ancient Egypt. Browse our tours today.

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