Cairo, Egypt is a city with a blend of history and Islamic art, and it’s a place you will never forget your first visit to.  It’s one of the oldest cities in the world with iconic landmarks like the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids.  

Don’t leave Cairo without at least spending two to three days to explore this unique city. I urge you to breakaway from too many structured tours and take the time to explore this amazing city. Cairo will captivate you like no other city will. Here are my five experiences you can’t miss for your three day “popover” trip to Cairo. 

Top 5 Things to See in Cairo, Egypt 

great pyramids of giza

1. Visit the Great Pyramids of Giza 

Does this Ancient Wonder of the World even need an introduction? Bring history to life as you look, touch, explore, and even crawl in these massive pyramids. Don’t forget to pay a visit (or a kiss) to the Great Sphinx that dates back from 2520-2494 BC. Take it all in and remember your first glimpse of these majestic structures

The Great Pyramids of Giza are located around 25-30 minutes outside of Cairo in the town of Giza. 

2. Shop in Khan 

Khan el-Khalili market


The Khan el-Khalili market, locals refer to as the  “Khan” was one of my favorite memories of Cairo. The Khan has been the center of trade in Cairo for centuries. If you enjoy shopping you won’t find a better place in Cairo! Popular items to buy are spices, silver, and beautiful handblown glassware. 

If you’re a natural at bartering, Egypt is the place to be.  Negotiating and tipping are a significant part of the culture – which often comes as a bit of a shock to first time visitors to Egypt. If you’re not interested, a firm but polite “la shukraan” (no thank you) wards off even the pushiest of vendors.

Do your research in advance for would like to purchase. I also recommend asking a hotel, or a local guide on a tour for the best shop recommendations. 

       Khan el-Khalili Shopping Tips


My favorite shop for handblown glassware in the Khan was Moustafa Glass. Moustafa Glass is the place to go for stunning hand blown glass gifts including perfume bottles, ornaments, and wine glasses. The shop has a variety of options and styles, and the quality of the work will amaze you. You won’t need to barter here – as everything is at a fixed, but very fair price.

Address: Moustafa Glass |12 Khan el-Khalili | Cairo, Egypt

Where to Eat in the Khan

Naguib Mahfouz Cafe
Naguib Mahfouz Cafe

 If you’re looking for an authentic and charming Egyptian lunch in the heart of the Khan – stop by the Naguib Mahfouz Cafe. Naguib Mahfouz Cafe is an elegant spot in the middle of the busy Khan.  It is my pick for a  lovely place to have a glass of tea and a before continuing your shopping. 

3. Visit the Muhammad Ali Mosque

Head to the Citadel in the Cairo city center and see an incredible view overlooking Cairo at the top of the hill. On a clear day you can see the Pyramids of Giza in the distance.

In the walls of the Citadel is the Muhammad Ali Mosque.  Sitting atop a hill, the Muhammad Ali Mosque can be seen from all around Cairo.  From the elegant alabaster-covered courtyard to the carpeted interior which is lit with light bulbs suspended from the ceiling, the Muhammad Ali Mosque is to Cairo what the Blue Mosque is to Istanbul.

When you’re planning your visit to the Muhammad Ali Mosque think ahead on what you’re wearing that day because of the dress code to enter the mosque. For women, it’s required to wear a dress, pants, or skirts that cover your knees. As a women, you’re also required to wear a scarf or shawl to cover your shoulders and hair. Everyone will be asked to remove your shoes. I recommend you bring socks, or buy the foot covers ($1) as the floor can be a little dirty.

Top 5 Things to See in Cairo, Egypt 

Top 5 Things to See in Cairo, Egypt 

4. Take a Sunset Cruise on the Nile 

Feluccas are the traditional sailboats of Egypt’s Nile River. After a day of sightseeing, a chance and enjoy the a sunset over the Nile is a welcomed end to a perfect day. Feluccas typically have cushioned furniture that’s great for large groups. I recommend packing a picnic along with food from a local market to snack on during sunset!

Popover Tip: You can easily find a felucca and a captain to take you out onto the Nile along the riverbank. Just be sure to negotiate prices before you get onboard! 

Top 5 Things to See in Cairo, Egypt 


5. Wander the Egyptian Museum 

The Egyptian Museum is one of the worlds premier museums and a must for history lovers. If you’re limited on the I recommend spending at least half a day or a little more to see the highlights. 

King Tut’s mask is one of the most popular pieces, as well as the mummy room. The entrance to the mummy room is not included in your admission, but it’s only around L£ 100 (roughly $15) extra for adults and L£ 50 for students. A small price to pay to see these mummies which are so well preserved that you still see their teeth, hair, and fingernails. 

If you wish to take photos, they do have a photography fee you’ll need to purchase. Because the artifacts are not that well marked, you might want to splurge on hiring a guide who can be arranged through your hotel, or outside the museum around the courtyard.

Is Cairo Safe?

Egypt is safe to visit, and now is time to travel there with a very low exchange rate for the U.S. The climate in 2011 were challenging after the revolution. However, Egypt has not only improved its own conditions since the revolution, but the experience as a tourist has improved.

Don’t let yourself be influenced by negative press and explore the city yourself you’ll discover the real side of this breathtaking country.

If you’re an American citizen I encourage you to enroll through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so it can automatically notify the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate of your visit. 


Have you been to Cairo? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!


Pin this Cairo Guide Below for a Future Trip! 

Top 5 Things to See in Cairo, Egypt 


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    1. They definitely have some crazy drivers there! It’s best you arrange private transpiration so you’ll be with some of the best drivers when you visit.

  1. It’s so good to see tourists are able to start heading back to Cairo! It was such a historically important place and it’s a shame what happened in 2011. The handblown glassware sounds lovely as does a cruise down the Nile. What a great experience!

    1. It has changed so much since Arab Spring in 2011, and it’s definitely the time to go! They’re excited for tourists!

  2. This is at the top of my bucketlist! Hoping to go next year! Pinned to remember to come back when we start planning to go back through this again.

    1. Thanks Christine! Let me know if you have any more questions when you go! I have a Cusco City post too that I published too.

  3. This sounds like an amazing trip! Would you consider it safe for families, particularly those with young children? This is a bucket list trip for me for sure, but I’m a little wary about taking the kids. Your pictures are fantastic!

    1. I think maybe hold off until the kids are a little older! It’s a lot of walking and history. It would be best for them to full appreciate. Especially if you can tie in the Egyptian history to what they’re studying in school!

  4. I’ve only had the opportunity to spend one evening in Kairo and having read your post I wish I’d had more time to explore it.

    1. I’m very guilty of that too! (hence all my “popover” trips), but Cairo really is worth a good full 48-72 hours!

  5. Every time I see photos of Egypt, my heart beats just a little quicker! It’s so stunning! I want to get out there and make a trip to Morocco one day, but I am living through these photos!

    1. It’s stunning! It feels like you’re walking in a history book! Luxor in Egypt is definitely worth visiting too!

  6. I was in Cairo a few years ago and did a huge trip through Egypt! Loved this city so much and it was mind blowing to see the pyramid in real life!!

  7. Ok firstly your photos are gorgeous!!! Im dying to visit Cairo – the whole place just seems like it has an amazing feel and vibe. Definitely on the top of my list for post global pandemic. Thanks for sharing such an awesome guide!

  8. Egypt is SO high on my bucket list, I’ve wanted to go for so long! I’m so glad there’s so much more to see and do near Cairo than just the pyramids. I’ll definitely save this post for whenever I get the chance to go 😁

    1. Thank you Jen! You’ll love Cairo when you! Let me know if you have any questions when it comes to planning your trip!

  9. Egypt is so high on my bucket list. I was hoping to go later this year and still keeping my fingers crossed. Your time in Cairo looked so dreamy. 🙂

  10. My husband has been wanting to see the pyramids forever and I really want to go scuba diving in Egypt, so we’ll definitely be stopping in Cairo. What a great list of things to do and tips! Thank you :0

  11. It has been a childhood dream to go here! Saving thing for when I finally get to go! Also, love all your photos!

  12. Cairo seem’s like a dream destination – so much history and culture 🙂 Thanks for such a detailed travel guide! I can’t wait to visit one day 🙂

  13. What an amazing place. I would love to visit the pyra.ids at Giza and do a little shopping in Khan. Of course, that sunset cruise looks pretty awesome too.

  14. I am Egyptian and I live in Cairo and it is lovely to know that you overall had a great time! I would add visiting Old Cairo which has old churches such as the Hanging Church, mosques and a synagogue so you get a well rounded experience of Egyptian history and culture!

    1. Thank you for the suggestion! I had the Hanging Church in here before, but then made a change! I really appreciate that suggestion! I need to go back myself and get photos of it!

  15. I’ve wanted to go to Egypt for so long! And this post made me even more excited 🙂 I was hoping to go this year so fingers crossed it will be safe to travel soon!

    1. If you have any questions about planning it once you get closer to the date please let me know!

  16. I was just in Egypt and in Cairo this past March. I loved it! I did get to see/do 4 of the activities on your list. Sadly I missed the Khan Market. Although, to be honest, bargaining in a place like Egypt is not my strong suit.

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