The Timeless Charm of Cairo: Why Tourists Should Extend Their Stay
From the timeless Pharaonic Pyramids of Giza to the historic walled city of Old Cairo with its ancient cobbled streets and well-preserved structures dating back to the 9th century, from the sacred Cavern in Coptic Cairo, where the Holy Family found refuge during their escape to Egypt, to the intriguing ‘Church that moved,’ from the hidden histories of Muhammad Ali and his dynasty to the Citadel constructed under the rule of Salah al-Din (Saladin), Cairo is a city so enchanting that one could reside here for a lifetime and still not uncover all its captivating charms.
Indeed, I know many foreigners living here who have never explored and haven’t a clue about the treasures they regularly drive past. Following the debacle that began on January 25, 2011, I personally spent the most part of a year—indeed, two years—walking the streets of Cairo without the benefit of Google Maps, finding and researching treasures I never knew existed, and many of the stories associated with those places are extremely difficult to unearth. Yet I still barely scratched the surface of what is Cairo.
After several years of on-and-off researching, I had only just organized our first tour of some of the new sites in 2019 for a guest who was happy to be my test subject, and then in 2020 the world shut down. It is only now that I can return to showing those sites. Indeed, I haven’t had time yet to write about many of them or even put the tours to those amazing places on the website, but they are coming.
Sadly, many of our guests have only a limited stay of two or three nights in Cairo. Moreover, a significant number of our guests are visiting Egypt for the first time. To ensure they can make the most of their visit, discover the essential attractions, and truly relax on their trip, I have put together a special introductory 3-night Cairo itinerary
Basic 3 night Cairo Holidays Itinerary
2 full days’ tours which include the guide, car/driver and entry tickets. To complete the two days tours you will need to be in Cairo at least one night prior to the first tour – hence my recommendation for 3 nights at least in Cairo.
- Day 1 morning tour is to the Giza Plateau, Great Pyramid and the Sphinx
- Day 1 afternoon tour is to the Antiquities Museum at Tahrir Square
- Day 2 Option 1
- Day 2 Option 2
- A full day at Saqqara to take in the new discoveries as well as the old or Saqqara, Memphis and Dashur
- Egyptologist Guide on all tours.
Recommended Extra Tours in Cairo:
You get better value for your money by combining visits to more than one site per day. If planned wisely, it is possible to get more than two sites in on any given day without stress or exhaustion. Extra tours in Cairo are best added at the beginning or end of your trip.
- Abdeen Palace
- Islamic Museum
- Coptic Cairo (plus Cave Church and Garbage City if requested)
- Islamic Cairo (Citadel of Saladin and the mosques of Sultans Hassan and Rifaii)
- Manial Palace and Nileometer
- Aisha Fahmy Palace
- City of the Dead and the Tombs of the Mohamed Ali Dynasty
- Civilization Museum
- Alexandria can be an overday from Cairo, or you can choose to spend a night or more there.
If you wish me to quote you for hotels in Cairo – the following are the main ones I deal with.
- Steigenberger in Tahrir Sq.
- Marriott in Zamalek
- Sofitel El Gezira
- Ritz Carlton
To avoid duplication and because 99% of our guests also take our accommodation at Mara House, in addition to our Tours in Luxor and Cairo, you will find guest comments on our 3-night itinerary in Cairo on the Mara House Luxor page