What to do in Cairo – 11 must-see attractions in the city

Discover the secrets of the Egyptian capital and know what to do in Cairo for those who visit the city in up to 5 days

Tickets bought or almost booked to the capital of Egypt?! Now it's time to discover what to do in Cairo in 5 days, with tips on the best places to visit in the city. 

Whether to be lulled by the incessant movement of Arabs who sleep very late and wake up very early, to feel the welcome of the people or to be dazzled by the fascinating history of the city, it is necessary to organize the itinerary so as not to miss anything of this emblematic culture.



For this, we help you here with the must-see attractions and sights. In addition to the “survival” tips that every traveler should know, recommendations for good restaurants and hotels in the city.

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What to do in Cairo – 11 must-see attractions in the city

Pyramids of Giza | Photo: Fynn Schmidt, via Unsplash

What to do in Cairo

What to do in Cairo – 11 must-see attractions in the city

Cairo | Photo: Sherif Moharram, via Unsplash

Here, we organize the essential points in order of priority according to the number of days you have available in the city.


The ideal is to stay at least 3 or 4 days to absorb the energy of Cairo and visit the most relevant points. However, if you can stay for 5 days, a week or more, there is no shortage of things to discover.

There are several sights and countless options for what to do in Cairo in 5 days. And here are the main ones: 

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Then check out the options for the first day. 

1 - The Pyramids of Giza 

What to do in Cairo – 11 must-see attractions in the city

Photo: Simon Matzinger, via Unsplash

They cannot fail to be the first popular tourist spot and your first activity in Cairo, right?! The pyramid complex that is considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world is indeed impressive, unmissable and fantastic.

To imagine that men did that without today's technology is curious to say the least. And to think that they survived and are there, intact, for almost five thousand years to the present day.


The pyramids of Giza are located on the outskirts of the capital, about 20 km from Cairo, in a city called Giza. To get there, it's best to order a taxi or uber from your hotel. Another option is to book a tour to the Pyramids with a guide who explains the history even more.

The basic ticket costs 15 reais and gives you access to the three pyramids: “Cheops”, “Kephren” and “Miquerinos” and the Sphinx. However, only specific tickets for each pyramid allow you to enter them. If you are extremely curious, it is worth entering all of them. However, only one is enough to understand the concept and get to know the interior of the monument. The ticket to Quéops costs on average 40 reais and for the other two 10 reais. 


Be sure to visit the pyramids, it is a unique opportunity. For those interested, it is possible to walk around the pyramid complex on camel rides. Inside the area there will be Bedouins selling the adventure or you can guarantee it more securely on tour booking websites, by clicking here. 

Fun fact: The Giza Pyramids complex is the only one of the seven wonders of the ancient world that still stands intact. 

2 - Khan El Khalili Market

What to do in Cairo – 11 must-see attractions in the city

Photo: Frapho, via Flickr

If you have the opportunity, visit the city market more than once. There are so many things to discover in Cairo's biggest market that it takes more than a day to get lost in the countless shops, which sell everything from gold (literally) to cooking spices. It is the best place to buy souvenirs and memorabilia and decoration.


Just be smart with the prices, ALWAYS bargain! They like to trade and want you to shop with them because they know they might lose to the store next door. Also pay attention to the quality of the objects, it is possible to find from garbage to luxury. 

A good tip is to eat in the surroundings. We recommend Shawarma, a “street” sandwich made from mutton that is delicious, for vegetarians a good falafel is highly recommended. 

The market tour is free. To get there, it's best to take a taxi or Uber.

>> See all tours to Cairo's main market by clicking here.

3 - Egyptian Museum 

What to do in Cairo – 11 must-see attractions in the city

Photo: Airton Morassi, via Flickr

The Egyptian Museum, also known as the Cairo Museum, brings together an impressive collection of works and objects from the history of the country and the ancient world. There are so many pieces that understanding the dates and organization is a little precarious. 


Especially after the Arab Spring, the conflicts and political tension that the country suffered, the museum is a little abandoned, but the visit is still very worthwhile. To get to know it, spend at least 3 hours in the museum.  

The Museum is located in Midan Tahrir and is open every day from 9 am to 19 pm (on the Ramadan holiday only until 17 pm). Entrance costs an average of 16 reais for foreigners and half the price for foreign students. 

Don't miss: The Treasures of Tutankhamun, on the first floor.

>> Buy your ticket online by clicking here and skip the long lines to one of Egypt's top museums.

4 - Cairo Tower 

What to do in Cairo – 11 must-see attractions in the city

Photo: Nile Sun Travel, via Flickr

The TV Tower is the perfect tourist spot for a panoramic view of the city. Both during the day and at night, the visits are worth it, but we recommend especially in the late afternoon and early evening so that you can see the city lit up and enjoy a good dinner at the restaurant at the top of the tower. 

It is 187 meters high in the Zamalek district of Cairo. You go up by elevator and the entrance costs on average 20 reais. The Tower is open from 8 am to 00 am in winter and from 9 am to 1 am in summer.

The revolving restaurant at the top of the tower is separate and not too expensive. The tour is super fun for families with older kids who can enjoy the height.

>> Book your ticket for a romantic evening at the revolving restaurant by clicking here.

5 - Boat ride on the River Nile

What to do in Cairo – 11 must-see attractions in the city

Photo: Spencer Davis, via Unsplash

The Nile River allowed not only the emergence of ancient civilizations in the region of Egypt, but even today it is essential for the city of Cairo.

In addition to its practicality and indisputable importance, the Nile is still stunningly beautiful throughout its immense length and breadth. The tour is exceptional and allows you to see more of the city of Cairo. 

There are numerous ways to travel on the River Nile, from a cruise lasting a few days that takes you to other cities such as Luxor and Aswan, to small trips on smaller boats with meals included or not. 

The recommendation is to close the tour through an agency or tour sites, especially if it includes meals, to find something more organized. If you want a cheaper tour, there are the falakas, small boats that are on the riverbank, where you can buy a tour for a certain time. 

Take the opportunity and book your tour to the Nile River!
Click here and check which tours will be available for the date of your trip through GetYourGuide.

7 - Coptic Cairo

What to do in Cairo – 11 must-see attractions in the city

Photo: Songsl, via Unsplash

The neighborhood that is in the area of ​​Old Cairo (east of the River Nile) is considered the Catholic region of the city, where most of the practitioners of this faith live.

It is interesting to know an area with such a different influence from the rest of the city, since the predominance is of an Islamic Cairo. When visiting the neighborhood, be sure to check out the Suspension Church and the Church of São Jorge. 

Fun fact: It is believed that the Holy Family (Mary, Joseph and Jesus) visited the place in the flight to Egypt.

>> Access here and discover the main attractions of Old Cairo.

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8 - Tahrir Square

What to do in Cairo – 11 must-see attractions in the city

Photo: Wikiphotographer, via Flickr

Tahrir Square is the largest public square in Cairo. It is located in the center and was built around 1860. In addition to being a landmark tourist spot in the city, the square became even more relevant in the country's history in 1952 with the revolution that turned Egypt into a republic and in 2011 when was the scene of the so-called Arab Spring protests. 

The square is in Cairo Governorate and in practice there is not much to see or do, but the place is interesting anyway. 

>> Find out what to do in the Tahrir Square area by clicking here.

9 - Belly dance 

A super cool tour is also to see a belly dance show or go to a restaurant that has the show included. In Arab culture this style of dance is highly valued and not only women dominate it, men also love to dance and often know the steps. 

In most five star hotels you will find a belly dancing show and in some cruises and boat trips on the Nile as well. Additionally, you can schedule to attend a presentation on tour booking websites such as the ones below:

Purchase tickets to attend a Belly Dance show
buy your ticket and check tour availability by clicking here.

10 - alabaster mosque

What to do in Cairo – 11 must-see attractions in the city

Photo: Marcius Iwai, via Flickr

The Alabaster Mosque is sumptuousness in building form. The monument located in the Citadel of Saladin took almost 30 years to complete and has Muhammad Ali Pasha (former governor of the Ottoman Empire) as its creator. 

To enter the mosque it is necessary to put on the special robes that they provide there in a form of respect. The entrance costs 36 reais and the rental of the robes is separate (if you have the necessary vest, you can take yours).

>> Book your ticket to the Alabaster Mosque by clicking here.

11 - Saqqara

South of Cairo, you can visit the Pyramid of Saqqara, one of the most important necropolises in ancient Egypt. The stepped pyramid dates from 2.630 BC (in the Christian calendar) and was built by Pharaoh Djoser and his men. 

It is 60 meters high that characterize the first pyramid built. Although not the most notable in Egypt, it gave rise to all the others. It's special to know the place.

The regular entrance costs 39 reais. For students, the value drops by half.

Take the opportunity and book your tour to Saqqara!
Click here and check which tours will be available for the date of your trip through GetYourGuide.

How to get around in Cairo 

What to do in Cairo – 11 must-see attractions in the city

Photo: Simon Matzinger, via Unsplash

Traffic in Cairo is chaos, it seems that there is no law or any organization. Public transport follows the same line, with the exception of the subway, which is still a little quieter.

It is also quite common to see vans running around the city, people pay around 5 reais and get off wherever it is best (literally they get off, including buses, people stand at the door and throw themselves from the moving transport, it's crazy) .

Therefore, the best thing to do is to opt for a taxi or Uber for a smoother trip. Try to establish the price with the taxi driver and always be accompanied. 

Where to stay in Cairo 

What to do in Cairo – 11 must-see attractions in the city

Photo: Disclosure

Five stars - Four Seasons Hotel - All the quality of a Four Seasons with the energy of the city of Cairo. Excellent service and unquestionable quality.

>> Click here and make your reservation online

Three stars - Sahara Pyramids Inn. With breakfast included and a rating of 10 on Booking.com, the Sahara Inn promises comfort and a good location in the city.

>> Click here and make your reservation online

What to do in Cairo – 11 must-see attractions in the city

Photo: Disclosure

Economic - Hotel Velvet. Simple and with an extremely attentive staff, this is the hotel that helps you save money, but still offers a great stay in the city. 

>> Click here and make your reservation online

What to do in Cairo – 11 must-see attractions in the city

Photo: Disclosure

Cairo – Travel Guide

Despite an incredible destination and the certainty that the trip will be fantastic, Cairo requires some behaviors from you that are not typical of first-time travelers. Check the Cairo tips that will make you enjoy the ride without worries, in this post.

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