10 Nov Five of the Best Day Tours From Cairo
Egypt is an assault on the senses. From the moment you arrive, a multitude of things competes for your attention. Millennia-old buildings, the Islamic call to prayer, the stifling heat – it’s a rush.
While Cairo itself is an attraction, there are also countless sights to see just outside its core. Trying to sort out the details on your own can be maddening – so let us guide you.
Below, we’ve highlighted five of the best Egypt day tours you can take from Cairo. Check them out below – soon, you’ll have a better idea which trips are best for your group.
Pyramids of Giza
Admit it – you came to Cairo to see this. This complex of ancient mausoleums may be super touristy, but there’s a good reason for that. Of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, these 5,000-year-old structures are the sole survivors.
Getting up close to these awe-inspiring structures is great enough on its own. However, a day tour greatly enhances this experience. Under the guidance of a local, you’ll hear the history that makes this World Heritage Site so fascinating.
Tour of Alexandria
During the times of the Pharaohs, they ran Egypt from centres on the Nile. Fast forward to Greco-Roman times, and the centre of power shifted to its Mediterranean coast. Alexander the Great founded Alexandria in the 4th century BC, and for centuries after, it was a centre of trade, learning, and naval power.
This city was once home to two ancient wonders – the Lighthouse of Alexandria and the Library of Alexandria. While earthquakes and wars laid waste to both centuries ago, this coastal city retains its importance today.
On your tour, you’ll visit attractions that date from the start of Egypt’s Islamic period. These may include Qaitbay’s Citadel, El Montazah Palace, and the Kom el-Shouqafa Catacombs. Before booking, ensure your tour pays a visit to Alexandria’s beaches, as they are stunning.
Nile River Cruise
Ancient Egypt owes its entire existence to this life-giving river. Thousands of kilometres away, heavy jungle rains would move tons of water downstream, enriching farmland on its banks. To this day, farmers still ply their trade along the Nile – a sight you’ll get to witness on a river cruise.
You don’t have to commit to a multi-day journey, as many tour groups offer dinner cruise. Over several hours, you’ll quietly slip along this lazy river. On it shores, you’ll capture a glimpse of everyday Egypt as you sample local cuisine.
Memphis and Saqqara
Further south of Giza, you’ll find the heart of Ancient Egypt. Here, the city of Memphis served as the capital for much of this civilization’s history. Throughout the area, your tour guide will show you the remains of palaces, sculptures, and commoner workshops.
A short distance from Memphis is Saqqara, which is home to another series of pyramids. While less physically impressive than the ones at Giza, they were the final resting places of many great Pharaohs.
Explore Coptic/Islamic Cairo
Before leaving Cairo, be sure to explore its historic districts on foot. Take along a guide, and they’ll bring the Coptic and Islamic quarters of this city to life.
In Coptic Cairo, your tour will take you to highlights like The Hanging Church. This place of worship dates back more than 1,700 years, making it rich in history. On the Islamic side, you’ll see scores of old mosques. The Mosque of Ibn Tulun, which dates back to the 9th century, is easily the oldest of the lot.
Experience Egyptian Culture While in Cairo
Egypt is one of the cradles of human civilization. By hiring local guides, you won’t just see ancient history – you’ll live it.