Going to Egypt was a different & unforgettable trip for me, not planned as I went there for personal reasons with my mum and sister and not the happiest. I am half Egyptian and had only been there when I was a child so I had no real memory of it, just pictures I had been watching for years.
It was great to see the city where my dad grew up and feel a little of what he had always missed back in France. The weather was lovely and a bit chilly at night. People are smiley and friendly. The traffic is absolutely crazy and Dubai roads are quiet next to it. Life is hard in Egypt so I would say not to trust anyone & you can negotiate absolutely everything !
WHERE TO STAY?
I would recommend to stay in the center of Cairo and not directly at the Pyramids. You will get hassle a lot over there.
The Pyramids are about 45 min from the center so you can easily organize a day trip there.
We first stayed at the Nile Hunters, it was cheap, well located close to the Nile and Gezira island with free airport taxi but the view was not as promised, the rooms dark & old and we didn't get the room we had booked! That trip started well!
So we moved to the hotel next door : Four seasons Nile
Our stay there was just amazing, the Nile view was stunning and we could even see two of the pyramids far far away just like in a dream. If you get a room on the other side, you get a beautiful city view, you can even see the famous Citadel. The service was perfect, the pool lovely & relaxing but had the sun only in the morning. Not cheap though but very comfortable and that's just what we needed.
Be aware that you need to buy a tourist visa for 25 euros when you get to Egypt, so prepare some euros with you. Aso Uber is much cheaper than a normal taxi over there, if you have the 3G there you will be able to use them. If you use a normal taxi, always set up the price before!
WHAT TO DO?
Great Pyramids of Giza
Go with a tour such as Memphis Tours or with a personal guide as you will get hassle on the site. Make sure you set up the price before if you want to go on a horse or camel as they will tell you "pay what you want" and then be angry. Visit the inside of the big pyramid Kheops first as there is a limit of people who can enter per day. Personally I didn't do it as I was heavily pregnant and it is just tiny corridors and stairs. Then you can go see the full view of the pyramids, about 10 min in a horse-drawn carriage or a car. After that you can end your visit with the Sphinx, it's located down the hill on the site and you can exit next to it.
Also called Coptic Cairo, this area has a museum, Christian churches, old Roman walls, the earliest Mosque ever build in Egypt, and the oldest Synagogue. A great place where three of the four main religions are represented.
You willl learn a lot about Egyptian history and culture there. Enjoy the mummies hall and Tutankhamun wonderful treasures. This place is not to be missed and it can take a couple of days to see it all!
Citadel Al Qalaa
The citadel includes the Mohamed Ali Mosque and a couple of museums. One of the most beautiful places and a must visit in Cairo. Beautiful and highly recommended. Easy access. Wonderful view of the city.
Al Azhar Park
This park is the largest green place in Cairo, surrounded by the Islamic Cairo, the most significant historic districts. It is great to go to get away from the craziness of the city, it is perfect for families and has superb views over Cairo.
Khan Al-Khalili Souk
If you want to bring some souvenirs home, this is the place for you! You can find everything from papyrus, perfumes, crafts, cotton, clothes, shoes, food...Be ready to negotiate !
WHERE TO EAT?
I didn't get the time to try all of those places, only U Bistro and Loft 21, but those were recommended by an Egyptian friend.
Sequoia MUST GO One of the best restaurants in Cairo, on Gezira island
U Bistro on Gezira island, French style restaurant, trendy and with a bar. Be aware it is smokey and with loud music.
Mezcal Restaurant cocktail bar from South America
Loft 21 rooftop Lovely food and beautiful Nile view
Mena house MUST DO: Breakfast at the Pyramids
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