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Cairo Travel Guide


Cairo Introduction


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Cairo, Egypt, has been called "the mother of the world" and "city of victory." Visitors will find it to be a fascinating and often bewildering mixture of old and new. Cairo businesspeople in suits and locals in traditional robes can both be found at sidewalk coffee shops, and minarets and domes share the skyline with high-rise office buildings and hotel towers. Traditional music competes with jazz or Egyptian pop, as well as with the incessant honking of horns.  Click here to see the full Cairo travel guide on Travel42 »

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Cairo Geography


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Cairo is divided into quarters and neighborhoods, and knowing where these areas are is the best way to orient yourself. Downtown is on the east bank of the Nile River and centers around Tahrir Square. The street called Corniche el-Nil runs along the eastern bank of the Nile. Islamic Cairo refers to the medieval quarter of the city, east of downtown. The famous Khan el-Khalili bazaar, the Citadel and many prominent mosques are found in this area. Old Cairo refers to the oldest part of the city, to the south of downtown. About 9 mi/15 km northeast of downtown Cairo is Heliopolis, with several chic shopping streets and the airport nearby.   Click here to see the full Cairo travel guide on Travel42 »

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Cairo History


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Ancient Egyptian civilization stretches back several thousand years, but the city we know as Cairo did not exist during the time of the pharaohs. The first developments in the area were Persian and Roman fortresses built in Babylon (the area referred to as Old Cairo). A city called Fustat was founded near there following the Arab conquest of Egypt in AD 642. The foundations of modern Cairo were laid in 969 when the Fatimids, a Shiite dynasty from Tunisia, founded El-Qahira.  Click here to see the full Cairo travel guide on Travel42 »

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Cairo Sightseeing & Things to Do


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Cairo's most popular tourist sights are the monuments and relics of Egypt's pharaonic past. The prime attraction in the city itself is the Egyptian Museum—it's so full of ancient artifacts that it's almost bursting at the seams. The big draws of the collection are the contents of Tutankhamen's (King Tut's) tomb and a dozen royal mummies displayed in oxygen-free cases. The museum has too much for you to absorb in one visit—we recommend you spend two half-days there.  Click here to see the full Cairo travel guide on Travel42 »

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Cairo Nightlife


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Once a nightlife wasteland, Cairo now has a number of options. Just about every major hotel in the city has a bar and disco. Some of the best nightspots, however, are not in hotels. Keep in mind, too, that nightlife and food often go hand in hand in Cairo.   Click here to see the full Cairo travel guide on Travel42 »

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Cairo Restaurants & Dining


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The number of restaurants in Cairo has expanded greatly in the past few years, so you'll find eateries in all price ranges. Fresh fish, ordered by the pound/kilogram from a display case and cooked to order, is a local specialty. Dinner cruises on the Nile are also very popular. For variety, you can sample fine Italian, Swiss, French and Asian cuisine or the food of other Middle Eastern countries. Note: Although shrimp is widely available, you may want to avoid eating it. Travelers who do not have a known allergy to shellfish will occasionally have an allergic reaction in Egypt.   Click here to see the full Cairo travel guide on Travel42 »

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