The easiest way to get around Cairo is by using one of the city’s white cabs, fares can be negotiated before you get in so everyone knows exactly how much they’re paying for the journey. If you’re more of a luxury traveller you can use Uber, Careem or Easy Taxi for more of a chauffeur service.
Day one: visit the pyramids. I recommend going first thing in the morning. Have fun with the sellers who approach you. They’re stubborn but they know how to have a joke so don’t be put off. An unusual experience to have with the pyramids as your backdrop is to rent a quad bike and race through the sand for an hour. With guides who know the perfect spots for a pyramid-panoramic photograph, you won’t regret the experience.
If pyramids are your thing; don’t just stop at Giza. Take a drive out into the countryside and visit Egypt’s older pyramids. Out in the sticks of Sakkara and Dashur, you can find Djoser’s Step Pyramid and other archaeological ruins. At Sakkara, there is also a brand new museum that I’ve never seen another visitor in! Head out further again and you’ll come across the wonky pyramid.
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In the evening, head down to Old Cairo and marvel at the architecture of the city’s old walls and cobbled streets. Dodge the passing motorbikes as you enter Khan el Khalili market. Squeeze into a seat at El Fishawy’s café where you can enjoy smoking shisha and sampling local tea. Have fun haggling with the traders as you stock up on scarab beetles, papyrus papers and replica pyramids.
On day two, head to downtown Cairo to the Citadel. Set on a sprawling complex of different architectural structures, you could lose a whole day walking around. Enjoy the stroll as you go inside the different mosques and buildings. This is especially enjoyable during spring when the temperatures are warming up. Go inside the famous Mohamed Ali mosque but don’t forget to take something to cover your head and shoulders if you’re female.
After that, pop down the road to Al Azar Park, which is located nearby. Stop for lunch in one of the restaurants and admire the view. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see the pyramids! Walk around the park, munch on ice cream or sit and watch the world go by.
In the evening, hire a felucca and sail down the River Nile – wind dependent as to which direction you’ll head in. Watch the sunset as you enjoy drinks and nibbles on your private boat. Don’t forget to tip the captain once you’re done.
Finish your time in Cairo with a visit to Egypt’s tallest building: Cairo Tower. Located on the island of Zamalek, it offers some of the best views of the city. You can enjoy a drink or meal in the revolving restaurant or book a table at one of the fancier hotels across the water: Kempinski, Four Seasons, Intercontinental to finish your forty-eight hours in Egypt’s capital.
Words and Images: Jessica Ingles.
To read more on Jessica’s travels check out her blog Jess is a wanderer