Believe it or not, creating the Top 5 Cairo was harder than I thought. I wasn’t a huge fan of Cairo, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think everyone should go at least once in their life to see the Pyramids! Between getting sick (whatever you do, don’t drink the water) and staying in the city too long, it was not my favorite place to visit. There is not a whole lot to do in the actual city of Cairo. My Top 5 Cairo list is a must see (and do), but I recommend only going to Cairo for 3 days tops….
TOP 5 CAIRO
- The Giza Pyramids – It would be a crying shame for anyone to go to Egypt without seeing the Pyramids. These are massive structures that need to be seen with your own eyes. The site of the Pyramids will leave you speechless! I highly recommend getting a guide to make your experience more memorable as well as hassle free. Check out Tour Egypt Online for the BEST tour of the Pyramids in Cairo. Ask for Osama as your guide. I ended up booking 5 other tours with this company….that’s how good they are. Check out their link:
com/en/ Discount code is WELOVEEGYPT (15% off tours and this code can be use up to 5 times)
- Camel Ride Around the Pyramids – This, by far, was the highlight of my trip! If you have a tour guide he/she can negotiate a fair price for you to take a 50 minute camel ride around the Pyramids. You will end up getting the best views of all of the pyramids at Giza for about 100 Egyptian Pounds (around $10 USD).
- Take the Climb Inside the Great Pyramid– Not a good idea for anyone that is claustrophobic or afraid of heights. If you can handle the tight space and long climb, it is an amazing experience. There is a cost to go in, 200 Egyptian Pounds ($20 USD), but it is worth every penny! Check out this link for Taking the Pyramids by Storm for a better idea of what it is like inside: http://www.apinonthemap.com/taking-pyramids-by-storm/
- The Egyptian Museum – This is a great place to learn the history of all things Egyptian. The best parts are the mummy exhibits and King Tut’s treasures. The museum has thousands of years’ worth of precious artifacts and is a heaven for history buffs.
- A Trip to the City of Luxor – An hour plane ride away from Cairo, Luxor is home to many temples of the famous pharaohs that once ruled Egypt. Many of these temples have been pretty well preserved and you can see the hieroglyphics in color, the way they were in their glory so many years ago.
What to Avoid in Cairo…
Although I like to keep my list of things to do in a city more on the positive side, I do think it is beneficial to know what to avoid in Cairo. Like any travel destination, there are things to avoid due to many reasons. Cairo is no exception, and the city has its fair share of tourist traps. Here are five things to avoid in Cairo:
- The Bazaar – This is probably the biggest tourist trap in all of Cairo. Everything is promoted as “Egyptian hand made products” but really they are just cheap items from China. Nothing in the bazaar has a price tag on it which means you have to haggle for everything you want to purchase. The price doubles as soon as they realize you can’t speak Arabic.
- The Water – Don’t Drink It – The water in Cairo is unsafe to drink so do not consume it under any circumstance, it will make you sick. Check out this article for more info on how to avoid unsafe drinking water:
- Avoid Eye Contact With Store Owners – everywhere you go in Cairo, someone is trying to sell you something and they don’t take no for an answer. Store owners will hang outside and try and lure you into their store. Making eye contact with one of them is like an unspoken signal that guarantees a lengthy conversation. Before you know it, you are in their shop looking for something small to purchase just to make them leave you alone.
- Doing Major Tourist Sites on Your Own – Cairo is perfectly safe to travel to and to see all of the major sites on your own, but if you don’t know the language it is likely that you will pay double for certain things. By having a local as a guide, you are guaranteed to score fair pricing on everything.
Tour Egypt Online: http://www.egypt-tours-online.
com/en/ Discount code is WELOVEEGYPT (15% off tours and this code can be use up to 5 times).
- Feeling Like You Have to Tip Everyone – Unfortunately, tipping everyone for every little thing is expected, but not required. Tip for services that you feel deserve it, not just because they make you feel guilty. It is customary, however, to tip 10% to the server at restaurants. Please keep in mind that the 12% service charge on your bill does not go to the server. It is a standard fee on every bill.
Knowing what to expect in Cairo will certainly prepare you for the actual adventure and hopefully my Top 5 Cairo help to get you started. This city does have amazing things to offer to each and every traveler, but it is a city that really only requires a three day stay at the most. As long as you are willing to respect the culture and embrace your experience, you will enjoy your stay.