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Because You Can! Make it to Cairo!

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Sink into the City of Sand

THE LAST REMAINING WONDER of the ancient world, Giza pyramid complex has to be the highpoint of any visit to Cairo. The complex was built to entomb pharaohs 4,000 years ago, and must-see sights include the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Khafre, the Pyramid of Menkaure
and the Sphinx. Venture further into the desert to see more tombs, temple
ruins and satellite pyramids.

A CRADLE OF CIVILISATION celebrated for historic treasures that span the centuries, Cairo is also the sprawling and bustling Egyptian capital with a population of over 20 million. Egyptians call the city Umm Ad Dunya – the Mother of the World – and it famously has two sides: Islamic and Coptic. The skyline is a mesmerising mish-mash of mosques and churches, high-rises and pyramids.


THE MIGHTY SPHINX AT GIZA is a lot smaller than you might expect, though no less formidable. The infamous man-lion sculpture is known as Abu Al Hol (the Father of Terror) in Arabic; the name Sphinx was introduced by the ancient Greeks who saw a resemblance to one of their own mythical monsters, a female who killed anyone unable to answer her riddles.

THE TREASURES OF TUTANKHAMUN and other great pharaohs are expected to move this year from downtown Cairo’s historic Egyptian Museum to the new Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) on the Giza Plateau. On opening, GEM will be the largest archaeological museum in the world, home to some 18,000 ancient artefacts, including the 5,000-strong full-tomb collection of King Tut.


A NIGHT CRUISE ON THE NILE opens up another side of Cairo, complete with fine dining and belly dancing. If you have plenty of time on your hands, consider prebooking a slow (12-night) cruise up the Nile to Luxor, the ‘world’s greatest openair museum,’ where you can explore the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes.

FRENCHIFIED DOWNTOWN CAIRO first came into being in the 19th century, when Ottoman ruler Khedive Ismail Pasha set out to turn the largely medieval city into the ‘Paris of the East’. You can catch a glimpse of Cairo’s belle epoque in the fin de siècle, European-style buildings, boulevards and gardens bordering Talaat Harb Square.


TROPHY-FILLED KHAN EL-KHALILI SOUK was built in the 14th century as an epicentre of regional trade, and it continues on as a medieval-style mall, where you can pick up everything from semi-precious stones to shisha. It’s easy to get lost in the maze of cobbled lanes and tiny courtyards as you barter for gold, incense and spices.

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