Cairo and Giza Egypt

 

Cairo the Capital of Egypt, is located around 222 kilometres (2 hours 30 minutes) from the Mediterranean Coast at Alexandria and sits on the most focal point of the River Nile. Cairo consists of 2 main Governorates, that of Cairo and Giza with an estimated population of 66 million citizens and the largest City in the Middle East. Along with the main central areas of Cairo and Giza, there are now many huge urban areas springing up which stretch great distances taking over 1 hour 30 minutes to reach some of them. Here you will find areas known as New Cairo, Greater Cairo, New Giza and more, hosting many upmarket residential areas with Villas and Condominiums, swimming pools, sporting clubs, parks and shopping malls. you can visit Cairo though our Egypt Tours.


The Lifestyle:
As central Cairo is of such huge proportions and dimensions, it is understable that life in such a populated City can be very crowded during the regular hours of each working week. However, a diverse range of nationals choose to come and work, reside, and live there as there is so much to offer.On the weekends, most Cairenes (who are often living in Cairo for work purposes),tend to either travel out to their original Cities which are generally with a 2 hour distance, or stay in Cairo with other family members or friends. Those who choose to stay in the City are usually found frequenting the local coffee shops and restaurants with the men watching football which is an Egyptian passion and tradition. On Holiday periods, many choose to travel to either Port El Sokhna which is a beach resort just 2 hours from Cairo, or the Red Sea resorts with their families and friends. However, Cairo is a working and business City with most Egyptians dedicated to their daily work schedules which are often long and late into the evenings.

What to do in Cairo and Giza:  
As everyone knows, the first thing anyone thinking about when visiting Egypt is Cairo and the Pyramids. The ancient Pharaonic History sites of Egypt are still the most visited attractions in all of the Middle East and North Africa. Besides the usual attractions within the City such as the Pyramids, Sphinx and Egyptian Museum, there are many more sites of interest to explore for the hungry visitor wanting to see more of  this vibrant City.


Modern:

    Cairo Tower - Zamalek / Gezirah Island 
Built between 1954 to 1961,the tower was designed by the Egyptian architect. Standing at 614 feet tall, it was the tallest structure in all of North Africa for 50 years. It was given permission to be constructed by the then President Gamal Abdel Nasser and was designed in the pattern of a Pharaonic Lotus flower. At night, the tower shows an impressive array and light show along with a revolving restaurant giving spectacular views across the City and River Nile

Nile Dinner Cruises - Cairo by Night 
A lovely option in the evenings is a casual sail along the Nile in Cairo on a river cruise boat enjoying the delightful views of the City at night, along with a delicious dinner and on board entertainment such as traditional Egyptian folk music, singing and belly dancer.

Cairo Opera House and El Gezirah Island
The Opera House in Cairo has been a popular attraction for visitors and locals alike since 1988 and is the Capitals main centre for Arts and culture offering a wide variety of shows and performances both Musical, cultural and plays. It sits on leafy Gezirah Island which also has many upmarket restaurants, cafe’s, and is a local hangout for many foreigners and well to do Egyptians.

Besides the most famous sites in Cairo, there are many more attractions to visit with histories of different time periods throughout Egypt’s long journey through time.


Ancient:

- The 3 Step Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza
- Memphis and Sakkara (original first ever discovered Pyramid in the world)
- Egyptian Museum of Antiquities
- The Citadel of Saladin - Old Fortress from the Ottoman Empire Period
- Old Coptic Cairo (the first Christian settlement in Cairo)
- Khan Khalili District and Old Bazaar (known as Old Islamic Cairo)
- Al Hussein and Al Azhar Mosques (Old Islamic Cairo) 
- Jewish Synagogue in Old Coptic Cairo
- Mamlouk Mosques around the City


The City of Cairo was originally founded in  AD 969 and at that time was nicknamed ‘The city of a thousand minarets’

Midan Tahrir is the busy heart of Central Cairo, and it is here where there are numerous shops, cafes and restaurants in streets such as Qasr el-Nil. There’s also the American University housed in a grand neo-Islamic building, plus the city’s absolute ‘must do’ attraction, the Egyptian Museum. You can reach it via the Sadat subway station.

Housed in a neo-classical building colour washed in pink, it is the home of the largest collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the world. In fact, it is said there are around 120,000 pieces on display, including mummies, numerous sarcophagi and, of course, the world famous Tut Ankh Amum (Tutankhamun) collection of gold and alabaster treasures found when the boy pharaoh’s tomb was discovered in 1922.

You can also see a replica of the Rosetta Stone in the foyer as you enter the museum.
The original was discovered in Rosetta, Rashid, on the north coast and was The Citadel instrumental in deciphering hieroglyphics, the ancient Egyptian form of handwriting that dates from before Pharaonic Egypt times. If visiting the museum you can book a guided tour or purchase a book and wander around at your own pace. Allow several hours or, if a dedicated Egyptologist, many days.

East of Central Cairo is the Islamic part of the city, while to the south is the oldest. Full of atmosphere and charm, they both are characterised by narrow streets and labyrinths of tiny alleyways and lanes, ancient architecture seen on mosques and churches, and residential streets that stretch for several kilometres into the distance.

Khan el-Khalili, the famous network of streets that make up the largest bazaar in the Middle East, and one of the oldest markets in the world, is in the Islamic part of Cairo. It was built by Emir Djaharks el- Khalili who created a khan, a caravanserai for traders. 
From as far back as 1382 traders have plied their goods of gems, gold and silver, copper and highly scented spices. Today, similar items can be found although they are joined by trinkets more suited to holidaying visitors looking for a souvenir to take home.

To wander around the bazaar is fascinating, and good fun.

Nearby, is the great Mosque of Sayyidna al-Hussein, considered the holiest site in Cairo, which is well worth seeing, along with the fabulously old Mosque of al-Azhar, the Mosque of Ibn Tulun, the 12th century citadel built by Salah El Din to protect the city from invaders, the Mosque of Mohamed Ali on the Citadel and the Wikalat al-Ghouri, a medieval former caravanserai that now houses an arts and crafts centre. The Islamic part of the city is generally bustling, but is a key area for visitors new to Cairo to experience.

To the west of Central Cairo are the Pyramids of Giza on the Giza plateau, not far from the site of the ancient city of Memphis and Saqqara. The last remaining Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the pyramids are the iconic image of Egypt. You can visit the Great Pyramid built for King Khufu of the 4th dynasty, the slightly smallerPyramid of Khafre dated from around 2500 BC and the Pyramid of Menkaure. Dotted around are several smaller pyramids where members of the kings’ families would have been entombed. 

To one side stands the much-photographed Sphinx with its body of a lion and the head of a human, while a short walk away is the Solar Boat Museum that houses a full-size ancient Egyptian boat that was discovered in pieces but put together again with much care. It is fascinating to see.

Saqqara complex of pyramids and monuments, the centrepieces of which are the Step Pyramid of Djoser and the Pyramid of Sekhmket, along with the city of Memphis that during much of the Pharaonic Egypt period was the capital city.

While the Pyramids of Giza and the beautiful Sphinx that ‘guards’ them date from Pharaonic times and are one of the oldest monuments in the city today, Old Cairo, or Coptic Cairo as it is known, is where the city actually began. In fact, the area, along with Memphis, Saqqara and Dahshur, predates the city as we know it today.

Old Cairo was founded in around the 6th century AD, at a time when Alexandria was the capital of Egypt and the Pyramids and Sphinx lay way beyond the small community’s boundary. Then the site that was to become Cairo was little more than a few dwellings on the banks of the Nile and a Roman fortress that guarded the route between the ancient cities of Memphis and Heliopolis.

As the stories go, an Arab general, Amr Ibn al-Aas, decided the area was a good spot for establishing a much larger community and began to construct homes and places of worship.
The community grew and grew at a time when the country was predominately Christian. Today, some of the most historic and important Christian buildings and churches in the city can be found in the narrow little alleyways and streets of Coptic Cairo. Be sure to visit the Church of St Barbara, one of the largest in Egypt, is still used regularly for worship.

Other buildings to look out for in this area are the Church of St George, the Church of St Sergius, which is the oldest church in Coptic Cairo and lies a few feet below street level, the Ben Ezra Synagogue, the Amr Ibn al-Aas Mosque andthe beautiful Hanging Church, so called because it is built high on top of the old Roman fortress structure, the Babylon Fort. A splendid building, it has a distinctive front façade with twin bell towers and inside a vaulted roof and a series of columns. 

The Coptic Museum tucked away down one of the alleyways not far away is well worth a visit too. It hides a lovely courtyard garden behind its walls, which is a quiet place to visit amongst the hustle and bustle of Cairo. Look out for the delicately carved mashrabiya windows. Inside, the museum offers a surprise at every turn. With one of the finest collections of Coptic art in the world, it covers the periods from Pharaonic times through to Graeco-Roman and Islamic. 

On display are pulpits, ancient textiles and embroidered silks, icons, manuscripts and ceramics. 
Cairo’s history is wondrous. It has seen pharaohs, Christians and Islam followers, and has also been the seat of the ruling Royal dynasty, the Fatimid Caliphate, the capital during the Mamluk and Ottoman periods, and the centre of Napoleon’s empire when France occupied Egypt in the 18th century. It retained its capital city status under British rule until Egypt became independent in 1922.
 

    FAQs
    Is Egypt safe, considering the spread of the Corona virus ?
    Yes. Egypt is safe and it hasn't registered any cases of infected people. One case of a foreign national was recently announced as the first case of Coronavirus in Egypt but results came negative. Egyptair has temporarily suspended all flights to China, and the Egyptian Government has adopted a prevention plan that covers all the measures, from detection to public awareness.
    Is Egypt considered a safe destination?
    You know a country is safe when you’re able to stroll its streets without a care in mind soaking in your surrounding and enjoying the local’s hospitality. Egypt has always been and still is one of the Safest Tourist Destinations in the world. In addition, the safety of our customers is a top priority in all our Egypt tours, Egypt Holiday’s pyramids and Nile Cruise and every trip to Egypt we offer as Memphis Tours Egypt, a local service provider in the Travel Industry.
    Why choose Memphis Tours Egypt?
    Memphis Tours Egypt is a Local Travel operator that has been leading the Egyptian Travel market since 1955. We offer unique and diversified Egypt holidays pyramids and Nile cruise, Egypt Tours & other Egypt Packages. Moreover, we guarantee you an exceptional Egypt Travel Experience with Guided tours, amazing sightseeing, visits to some of the most captivating monuments of the ancient world and more modern times Such as the temples of Kom Ombo, the Aswan high dam and the Light and sound show at abu Simbel among others, exceptional accommodation & transportation from the start till the end of your trip to Egypt.
    Do you provide a discount for private groups traveling with Memphis Tours Egypt?
    Yes, Memphis Tours Egypt offers reduced rates for private Egypt Tours & Egypt holidays pyramids & Nile Cruise Trips for large groups. To get a discount rate, the group should consist of at least ten people, and the rate varies according to the type and the length of the trip. As for groups of at least fifteen people, you will be offered higher discount rates for your visit to Egypt.
    How much should be the deposit & How can it be paid?
    To make the booking process easier and less taxing for you we have updated our booking conditions. The downpayment needed to secure your spaces including Hotel rooms, cruise cabins, domestic flights & other travel-related services is Just 10% of your Egypt Tour Cost. The remaining balance can either be paid two days before your arrival date or To your Tour manager upon arrival at your destination because your Safety and well being is our top priority. As for payment methods all payment methods are available where it be Visa Card, Master Card or American Express Card.
    Is there any additional fees if I paid using a debit or credit card?
    The answer is definitely No, Memphis Tours Egypt does not add any further fees or surcharges for using credit or debit card transactions on any of our group, private, combined packages or day tours.
    How can I acquire my Visa in order to Visit Egypt?
    A Passport valid for a minimum period of 6 months is needed to start your trip to Egypt. However, for some nationalities, a one-month entry visa will suffice. The aforementioned nationalities are Canada, Australia, Croatia, Republic of Korea, European Union, Georgia, Ukraine, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Macedonia, Russian Federation, Serbia, United Kingdom and the United States.
    What are the available means of transport in Egypt?
    Egypt is filled with different means of transportation to help you get from point A to Point B. Without a doubt, the most abundant form of transportation is the white taxi. However, they do have a tendency to not use the Gps in calculating the distance or ask for an extra taxi Fair. A Better alternative when you visit Egypt is Uber and Kareem that provide transportation solutions with practically the same cost. Another way of moving Around in Egypt is underground transportation aka the Metro, an extremely accessible & popular option especially when the streets get busy.
    Do Egyptians only speak Arabic?
    Normally, the majority of Egyptians are aware & manage to utilize most of the basic terms and phrases needed for smooth communication. Yet the same can not be said about the English, French, Spanish, Italian and German languages. However many of our guides and other travel guides are becoming more proficient with the language making your tours & trips to Egypt that much easier.
    Is it recommended to give tips in Egypt?
    Service charges are included in the bill when dining in a restaurant. However, the bigger share of the revenue goes to the Restaurant and not the waiters. With the previous knowledge tipping as a practice is equal parts favourable and courteous to directly tip the servers with an extra 10 %. This could be travel advice.
    Will I need to learn Arabic for my Egypt Visit?
    It’s definitely useful to have a command over some basic phrases and terms of speech and Egypt is no exception. However, this is not a must but Expanding on your index of Arabic terms is definitely a great way to make your trip smoother.
    Are there different categories of hotels available in Egypt? And what is the check-in-time system?
    Egypt is Filled with Several Categories & Levels of accommodation to suit all of our Egypt Packages and desired Egypt travel experiences. Allowing you to spend a nice vacation in Egypt on your chosen packages. The usual check-in time is 12:00 PM - 13:00 PM however it is preferable to check by contacting the hotel itself.
    Is it permitted to take pictures of the attractions in Egypt?
    In Egypt, photography is allowed in the majority of attractions & museums. However, some places apply an extra charge for taking pictures while others prohibit the use of cameras entirely, such as the Valley of the Kings in Luxor. Is it permitted to bring in cigarettes and alcohol when heading to Egypt? It is favourable to buy them upon arrival from the airport’s duty-free shops. There are many such shops selling a rich variety of cigarettes and alcohol in the airports of Cairo, Luxor, Hurghada, El Gouna and Sharm El Sheikh. It is permitted to purchase up to 3 litres of alcohol and up to 200 cigarettes.
    Is it permitted to bring in cigarettes and alcohol when heading to Egypt?
    It is favourable to buy them upon arrival from the airport’s duty-free shops. There are many such shops selling a rich variety of cigarettes and alcohol in the airports of Cairo, Luxor, Hurghada, El Gouna and Sharm El Sheikh. It is permitted to purchase up to 3 litres of alcohol and up to 200 cigarettes.
    How should we dress in Egypt while visiting a mosque?
    It’s very likely that you visit mosques on one of our tours to Egypt, the way to go here is a simple and more conservative outfit. In some mosques, women have to cover their hair, arms and legs as a gesture of respect to this holy place. Moreover, both genders are required to remove their footwear before entering the prayer area of the mosque.
    Are there any health tips to consider before heading to Egypt?
    The weather in Egypt tends to lean towards the hotter spectrum in extreme cases a sunburn or sunstroke is possible. However, a basic Sun protection kit of sunscreen, sunglasses & headwear on hand throughout your trip to Egypt is more than enough to make the best of your Egypt Holidays pyramids and Nile Cruise
    at what time during the day are the attractions open in Egypt?
    Generally, historical landmarks and museums in Egypt are open from 9 AM to 5 PM. The Pyramids of Giza and all the open-air landmarks open their gates from 8 AM until sunset. As well as, there are a few museums open for two shifts: a morning shift starting from 9 AM to 4 PM and an evening shift from 5 PM to 9 or 10 PM. It is notable that during Ramadan, these schedules change according to the circumstances of this holy month.
    When is the Best time to visit Egypt?
    Choosing the right time to visit the ever-charming land of the pharos can either make or break your Egypt Holidays pyramids and Nile Cruise Experience. Although describing the Suny & Clear weather of Egypt as heavenly would be an understatement, The Best time to visit Egypt would depend on what you want to do on your Trip. The best time to plan your trip to Egypt If you want to go on a Nile Cruise through Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Abu, and Simbel and Kom Ombo and others, would be between October & April with temperatures being just right and well within the manageable range to explore the Great archaeological sites such as the valley of the Kings . If you’re Looking for a coastal experience or the Red Sea then you should plan your trip to Egypt to be between June to September. For example, it’s around 84 degrees Fahrenheit in Hurghada and the sea temperature is around eighty degrees Fahrenheit, ideal temperatures for snorkelling & scuba diving. Despite being the Peak of Summertime in Egypt cities closer to the Coast tend to fare better than those more inland. Bearing in mind that it’s advisable to book in advance especially in July & August. As for those who love the serene calm of the Desert It’s definitely a good idea to avoid deserts in the summer with temperatures exceeding 140 degrees and plummeting to below freezing routinely in Siwa for example. The prime time to explore the deserts of the pharos would be either between February to April or September to November.
    Are there any tips for women during their Egypt Tours & Egypt packages?
    It is preferred to woman to wear comfortable modest outfits, especially in non-touristy places and generally avoid exaggerated tight clothing and to cover their shoulders and knees, and avoid opened front necklines. In the end your free to wear as you please but with consideration to Egypts local norms. It is important to bear in mind that the metro are divided into female and male carts with the first being better for female passengers in times of Rush-Hour.is recommended wearing comfortable and modest outfits, especially in non-touristy places. Women are entitled to avoid exaggerated tight clothing and to cover their shoulders and knees, and avoid too opened front necklines. Thus, travellers can wear whatever they want but in respect to the Egyptian culture. It is important to note that there is a separate car for women in the Metro, and it is preferable for women to use it, especially during rush hours.
    How much should I pay as tips?
    While Dining in a restaurant the norm is an average of 5 to 10% tip directly to the waiter. It is optional to give a few Egyptian pounds when carrying luggage or parking a car or to the person who is responsible for cleaning bathrooms, with a maximum limit of 5 Egyptian pounds. Tipping your designated tour guide and Driver is up to you but is highly appreciated in case of a Satisfactory experience. All in all, when giving a tip determining the amount is your decision to take
    What are the best things to do during my trip to Egypt?
    Egypt has a neverending supply of things to do, places to be & people to meet. If you are planning to visit Egypt. An essential pitstop in your Egypt Travel Experience has to be the capital and beating heart of Egypt, Cairo. In which, you will get to visit the wonders of the ancient world in the Great Pyramids of Giza, Cairo Citadel, Abu Simbel and Kom Ombo amongst others. Another must-see attraction is the Egyptian Museum. One of the essential parts of a true & authentic experience is the historical Al-Moez street. If you are seeking for an unforgettably relaxing yet value-packed vacation in Egypt, you will have to go on an exceptional cruise down the Nile. Pick and choose one of our Nile cruise boats and traverse the pristine, unspoiled waters of the Nile. Not only will you cruise the Nile surrounded by beauty, but you will also get to Explore the history of the Pharaohs making it one of the most enjoyable trips in Egypt. Another Unmissable part of our Egypt Tours is its Beaches, with a plethora of Coastal Cities and beach venues such as Sharm-el-sheikh, Hurghada, Dahab and many more.
    What are the best places to visit in Egypt?
    The beauty and secret behind Egypt’s solid and Continuing positive reputation as a great Tourist destination comes mainly from the diversity and multitude of things to do and places to see amongst other factors such as the warm Egyptian hospitality, great food amongst others. Answering a question like where the best places to visit in Egypt are will mainly be determined by what you want to get from your trip or the experience that your seeking. If you are looking for an adventure in the ancient world of the pharaohs and ancient ancestors of the Egyptians then your best bet is Visiting Citys such as Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Kom Ombo and Abu Simbel that host some of the key attractions such as The Great Egyptian Museum, Pyramids of Giza, ancient temples of Kom Ombo and Luxor among others. Another great alternative is a Nile Cruise onboard the Nile Cruiser of your choice that that usually includes all the aforementioned Locations. If you’re looking for a more coastal centric experience with picturesque beaches, clear sunny weather, and plenty of activities then including places such as Hurghada, Sharm El- Sheikh, Dahab, El- Gouna amongst others. All the previously mentioned are not just amazing places with equally amazing company but they are also Sought ought by divers from around the world for their rich aquatic life and multichromatic coral formations and species. Last but not least if your in for a Desert adventure through fields of Sands and a warm campfire under the Stargazzed sky then the Sina Pinesula and the Deserts of the Red Sea is the place to go
    What are the most must see historical mosques in Cairo?
    The alternative and mostly Locally known nickname of Cairo "the city of a thousand minarets" is due to it being home to a considerable Large amount of truly Remarkable and Historical mosques which are all accessible to tourists every day except Friday. Most Popular amongst the plethora of mosques in Egypt is that of Mohamed Ali in the Saladin Citadel which was constructed at the beginning of the 19th century, second, are the Sultan Hassan and El Azhar Mosque, the first built-in 1361 AD and the second built-in 970 AD after which it was restored and enlarged many times. The third is the first recorded mosque to be built in Africa, the mosque of Amr Ibn El Aas that was established in 640 AD, Last but Not least are the mosques of Ahmed Ibn Tulun and the mosque of Amr Ibn El Aas with the first being built 878 AD and the Second in 1013 AD Respectively.
    will i need to learn Arabic in order to enjoy my visit to Egypt?
    Many travellers enjoy their stay in Egypt without learning a single Arabic word or phrase. Nonetheless its never a bad idea to learn a couple of words and phrases from the native language of your destination, in this case, Arabic such as words expressing greetings or thanks. If you are planning to visit some places other than the popular tourist destinations, it is advisable to learn some Arabic phrases. If you are not able to do this though, don't worry, Generally, Egyptians are friendly and are happy to lend assistance and help you out at any time, especially to foreigners and tourists, language barrier and all.
    Will I be able to exchange dollars, Euros, or other currencies in Egypt?
    You will definitely be able to exchange the local currency of the Egyptian pound with dollars, euros, Sterlin pounds amongst others and vice versa. This exchange can be done through banks or exchange offices, both available and abundant in large numbers in Egypt. Moreover, many restaurants, bars and touristic shops accept dollars and euros for a near similar rate to the official exchange rate. It won't hurt anyhow to familiarize yourself with the exchange rate of your currency.
    How common is the use of credit cards in Egypt?
    Egypt is rapidly evolving and embracing the new era of technology and non-physical means of payment. Credit cards are widely used in several Shops, restaurants, cafes and the majority of the stores in the market. The previous statement applies to both non-touristic market places and more tourist ones such as Khan el Khalili and the Luxor tourist market amongst others. The most used Credit cards in Egypt are Visa, Master Card & American Express.
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