Cairo has been an attractive destination for tourists and travelers for over ten centuries. It is the capital of Egypt, and the name of Cairo in the Arabic language means the Victorious city. Cairo is the largest city not only in Egypt, but in Africa too. It’s located on both banks of the River Nile and is more 6000 years old. Cairo is also locally called Misr, which is a synonym of Egypt in the Arabic language, for its centrality in Egyptian life, as it was the capital of many Egyptian civilizations.
The expression Greater Cairo is called as such because it expands over three parts of three governorates in Egypt at once – the west bank which is part of the Giza governorate, the northeastern area which is known as Kaliobia governorate, and the southeastern area which is known as Cairo.
The Cairo city area covers more than 453 km, Cairo contains many business establishments, cultural institutions, universities, and hotels and governmental offices, which create constant activity together.
Tahrir Square is the center of Cairo downtown, which located on the east bank of the River Nile, and it is a very important tourist site. Tahrir Square contains many sightseeing and attractions such as The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, Omar Makram’s Masjid, the Arab League headquarters and the amazing Nile Corniche. It also contains the Cairo Opera House which was founded in the year 1869, but it is located on the west bank of the Nile River. There are three bridges linking both banks of the river Nile in downtown, and also the rail traffic “Metro” across the River Nile.
You will find outside the center of Cairo the Islamic Cairo; this area is known by its narrow streets and bazaars, and also hundreds of old Masjids. It dates back to the medieval period, and beside that you will find the old Cairo, where many architectural monuments can be found, along with Coptic Museum and many of the Coptic churches.
Cairo international airport is located about 24 kilometers northeast the city, and the railway station of Ramses and the bus terminal are situated near downtown.
Cairo plays an important role in Egypt life, for serving most of the service industries and the government activities beside the numerous historical, tourist attractions and the culture. Cairo’s population was estimated to be 16 million in the year 1998, and the people there are known as Cairenes. Small numbers of them are foreigners and most are Egyptians. People in Cairo are predominantly Muslims, and there is a sizable Coptic community too.
Culture and Education – Cairo contains most of the oldest educational institutions in the world such as Al-Azhar University, which is the oldest Islamic university in the world which was founded in the year 970. Also, Cairo University was founded in the year 1908 and Ain-Shams University, which was founded in the year 1950 enroll about 100,000 students per year, Egyptian history is preserved and displayed in the collections of museums in Cairo such as The Egyptian Museum of antiquities, which was founded in the year 1902 and contains a wide range of artefacts, the Museum of Islamic Arts which was founded in the year 1881 and contains a good collection related to early Islamic civilization, and the Coptic Museum which was founded in the year 1910 which traces and shows the history of the Coptic community in Egyptian history. Cairo also provides a great culture through music halls and art galleries; you will find the Sawy Culture Wheel and the Cairo Opera House.
Shopping – Cairo embraces a wide selection of leisure, nightlife and shopping activities. You can find the Khan El-Khalil Bazaar which has been unchanged since the 14th century. There are also the modern centers and air-conditioned malls which displayed all the latest fashions and all brands are available here, along with perfumes, silver, gold, leather work and famous spices of the east.
You can feel the sweetness of this city and lose yourself in the majestic nights of Cairo when you visit the amazing city, which is full of movement and life 24 hours a day.
Most popular sightseeing to visit in Cairo: