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Why fly to Cairo?
It is a city steeped in 5,000 years of history and sitting on the legendary Nile River which has a colorful past of its own. The mention of Cairo automatically brings to mind images of desert, minarets, camels and sphinx.
The Great Sphinx is really an awesome piece of work to see with your own eyes and made more so if you give yourself a few minutes to think about the fact that it was constructed by humans who did not have the aid of modern construction equipment.
Historic structures dot the city, a simple stroll will bring you face-to-face with buildings that are hundreds of years old. Head to Fatimid city to see the Gate of Conquest. For a truly medieval Cairo experience head to the Citadel, which is a complex of palaces and old mosques that take you back hundreds of years.
The city is home to numerous museums like the Egyptian Ethnological Museum, the Military Museum, the Egyptian Museum and the Museum of Islamic Art which is home to an incredible collection of ancient art numbering in the thousands.
The city has been called the city of 1,000 minarets and that just might be true. Beautiful mosques dot the city including some ones that have played an important role in Islamic history like the Mosque and Madrasa of Sultan Hassan. When visiting the mosques note the incredible details in the domed ceilings, really quite beautiful.
Cairo sits in the desert so temperature are warm to hot throughout the year. The fact that the Nile is close by makes for cooler winters than in other desert cities. Temperatures in the winter hover in the low teens while in the summer they are in the 30s.
When to fly to Cairo
Summer vacations in Western countries mean peak travel season in Cairo. The summers are hot, but visitors flood the city nonetheless and this means flight prices are especially high in July and August. Mid-December is also a fairly expensive time to fly into the city unless you book your tickets far in advance.
The spring is a great time to travel to Cairo, flight ticket prices are at a low and the high heat is yet to hit the city. Late fall is also a good time to getaway to Cairo and experience all the sites without the line-ups.
Getting into Cairo
Cairo International Airport is your gateway into the city and is located just 15 minutes away from the city center. Public transportation from the airport is limited. The best way to travel from the airport is to take a flat fee taxi or the airport shuttle or bus.
Getting around Cairo
Most foreigners touring Cairo tend to use the taxi service or hired car as it is easier to travel further distances in the heat. There are public transportation options if you don't mind getting a little outside of your comfort zone. You can use the city's light rail or bus system to get around and if you are supremely adventurous you can give the minibuses a try - they are what locals use so it can be a colorful experience.
- Head to the city's Phaoraonic Village to experience what life was like in ancient Cairo. The village is essentially a working museum and allows you to get interactive with exhibits.
- The Egyptian Antiquities Museum is a must-see. The museum houses more than 100,000 artifacts that tell the story of Egypt and many of these items are unique to the museum.
- To visit some of the world's oldest churches head to Coptic Cairo. This is the home of Egypt's Christian community and history says its been that way for close to 2,000 years.
- For an experience that will take you way out of familiarity head to a camel market. Yes, a camel market. The Birqash Camel Market is located outside of Cairo and would require a good portion of your day, but getting there is an adventure in itself and really a unique experience.
- Compare flights to Cairo from Australia on AirfaresFlights.com.au.
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