Cairo, The City of a Thousand Minarets


Mother of the World and City of a Thousand Minarets are just a few of the popular expressions used to describe this momentous city, set at the heart of the Middle East.

Travelers of every age have been drawn to the ancient city of Cairo, which was founded by the Fatimid dynasty in the 10th century, and successively passed through the hands of the Ayyubids, Mamluks, Ottomans, French and British, up until the revolution in 1952, which established the first Egyptian republic.

Today, Cairo remains the largest city in the Middle East and the 6th most populous city in the world. Set along the Nile River, Cairo is a city of contrasts: between antiquity and modernity, wealth and poverty, chaos and serenity. The sprawling metropolis of Greater Cairo is home to the only remaining Ancient Wonder of the world, the Giza Pyramids, as well as a wide array of other ancient Pharaonic, Islamic and Coptic monuments. Some of the city’s more modern features include the leafy island of Gezira and the belle époque facades of downtown Cairo, on the east bank of the Nile.

Between honking cars, howling street vendors and the call to prayer ringing out across the city five times daily, Cairo’s cheerful chaos is an assault on the senses. In the teeming streets of this city that never sleeps, there is no shortage of food, culture, and entertainment.

Cairo’s climate is desert-like with hot summers and relatively warm winters and sunshine all year round.

Local attractions:

Pharaonic monuments

  • Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx
  • Museum of Pharaonic Art
  • Step Pyramid of Saqqara, the “Mastabas”, and the Serapeum
  • Pyramids of Dahshur

Islamic monuments

  • Amr Ibn el-Aas Mosque
  • Mosque of Ahmed Ibn Tulun
  • El Azhar Mosque
  • Mosque of Sultan Hassan
  • El Refai Mosque
  • El Moayyed Mosque
  • Blue Mosque
  • Fortress of Salah El-Din (Saladin)
  • Mohammed Ali Mosque or Alabaster Mosque
  • Museum of Islamic Art
  • Khan El Khalili Bazaar
  • Walls of Old Cairo: Bab El Futuh, Bab Zuela, and el-Moez Street.

Coptic Christian monuments

  • Hanging Church
  • St. George Church
  • Church of San Sergio
  • Church of San Macario
  • St. Mark’s Cathedral
  • The Coptic Museum

Other places of interest

  • Cairo Opera House
  • Cairo Festival City
  • Cairo Tower
  • Pyramids Sound & Light Show

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