Things to do
What to Do in Cairo
The Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx near Memphis
Stand at the southwestern edge of the metropolis, and an obelisk in the northeast marks the site of Heliopolis, where Plato once studied.
The Giza Pyramid Complex, also called the Giza Necropolis, is the site on the Giza Plateau in Greater Cairo, Egypt that includes the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure,
Along with their associated pyramid complexes and the Great Sphinx of Giza.
The Great Sphinx was built in approximately 2500 BC for the pharaoh Khafre, the builder of the Second Pyramid at Giza.
Coptic & Islamic Cairo
A very interesting and different outlook on Cairo for people who enjoy history is the area including Coptic Cairo, which holds a high concentration of old Christian churches such as the Hanging Church, the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George, and other Christian or Coptic buildings, most of which are located over the site of the ancient Roman fortress.
It is also the location of the Coptic Museum, which showcases the history of Coptic art from Greco-Roman to Islamic times, and of the Ben Ezra Synagogue, the oldest and best-known synagogue in Cairo, where the important collection of Geniza documents were discovered in the 19th century.
To the north of this Coptic enclave is the Amr ibn al-'As Mosque, the first mosque in Egypt and the most important religious centre of what was formerly Fustat, founded in 642 AD right after the Arab conquest but rebuilt many times since.
Al-Muizz Street in Islamic Cairo. Al-Azhar Mosque, view of Fatimid-era courtyard and Mamluk minarets.
Sultan Hassan Mosque-Madrasa and the al-Rifa'i Mosque, seen from the Citadel.
Cairo holds one of the greatest concentrations of historical monuments of Islamic architecture in the world.
The first mosque in Egypt was the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As in what was formerly Fustat, the first Arab-Muslim settlement in the area. However, the Mosque of Ibn Tulun is the oldest mosque that still retains its original form and is a rare example of Abbasid architecture from the classical period of Islamic civilization.
Another Abbasid construction, the Nilometer on Rhoda Island, is the oldest original structure in Cairo, built in 862 AD.
It was designed to measure the level of the Nile, which was important for agricultural and administrative purposes.
One of the most important and lasting institutions founded in the Fatimid period was the Mosque of al-Azhar, founded in 970 AD, which competes with the Qarawiyyin in Fes, Morocco, for the title of oldest university in the world.
Today, al-Azhar University is the foremost Center of Islamic learning in the world and one of Egypt's largest universities
Khan el-Khalil Bazaar
Cairo contains a large functioning bazaar and an extensive, semi-walled medieval city with more than 400 registered historic monuments, including mosques, mausoleums, and massive stone gates.
Khan el-Khalili is an ancient bazaar, or marketplace adjacent to the Al-Hussein Mosque. It dates back to 1385, when Amir Jarkas el-Khalili built a large caravanserai, or khan. (A caravanserai is a hotel for traders, and usually the focal point for any surrounding area.)
This original carvanserai building was demolished and rebuilt as a new commercial complex in the early 16th century, forming the basis for the network of souqs existing today Khan el-Khalili is a major tourist attraction and popular stop for souvenirs.