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Activities in Cairo

Cairo Tower

The Cairo Tower is a free-standing concrete tower located in Cairo, Egypt. At 187 m (614 ft), it has been the tallest structure in Egypt and North Africa for about 50 years. It was the tallest structure in Africa for 10 years, until 1971 when it was surpassed by Hillbrow Tower in South Africa.

One of Cairo’s well-known modern monuments, sometimes considered Egypt’s second most famous landmark after the Pyramids of Giza, it stands in the Gezira district on Gezira Island in the River Nile, close to Downtown.

Built from 1954 to 1961, the tower was designed by the Egyptian architect Naoum Shebib. Its partially open lattice-work design is intended to evoke a pharaonic lotus plant, an iconic symbol of Ancient Egypt. The tower is crowned by a circular observation deck and a rotating restaurant with a view over greater Cairo. One rotation takes approximately 70 minutes.

In the 1960s, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser announced that the funds for the construction of the Tower originated with the Government of the United States, which had provided $6,000,000 to him as a personal gift with the intent of currying his favour. Affronted by the attempt to bribe him, Nasser decided to publicly rebuke the U.S. government by transferring the entirety of the funds to the Egyptian government for use in building the tower, which was ‘visible from the US Embassy just across the Nile, as a taunting symbol of Arab resistance and pride’.

Between November 2004 and 17 May 2009 it underwent a EGP 35 million restoration project, completed in time for its fiftieth anniversary on April 2011.


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Mosque of Muhammad Ali

Gaze up at the striking array of domes and minarets that make Mohamed Ali Mosque an imposing and ornate place of worship. Constructed on orders of Mohamed Ali Pasha between 1830 and 1848, the mosque stands atop a hill and features a 52 m (170 ft) high central dome and twin minarets visible from many points around the capital. Head inside the landmark building to admire its ornately decorated cupola and minbar (pulpit), and visit the tomb of Mohamed Ali Pasha. Use our Cairo holiday planner to arrange your visit to Mohamed Ali Mosque and other attractions in Cairo.


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Khan Al-Khalili

Soak up the atmosphere and pick out a souvenir at Khan Al-Khalili, a historic souk built in the 14th century. With a maze-like layout and artfully arranged shop fronts and stalls, the market caters largely to international tourists these days. Some areas, such as the gold and spice-selling districts, remain seemingly unchanged, with countless merchants all located close to one another, creating a striking visual effect and lending itself well to photography. Make Khan Al-Khalili a centerpiece of your Cairo vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Cairo travel itinerary planner.


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Egyptian Museum of Antiquities

The museum boasts the world’s largest collection of Egyptian antiquities, including Tutankhamen’s solid gold death mask. Expect strict security measures, but it’s truly a must-see!


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Pyramids of Giza

The last of the original Seven Wonders of the World, Pyramids of Giza include a complex of World Heritage-listed ancient monuments, including the Great Pyramid. Dating back to around 2560 BCE, the pyramids were built by thousands of workers under the command of successive pharaohs, with teams of men carving millions of stone blocks at nearby quarries, transporting them to the site, then lifting them into position. The pyramids were used as tombs for the pharaohs, with interior temples, chambers, and galleries filled with offerings. The three main pyramids testify to the power of the pharaohs and the ingenuity of the ancient Egyptians–they have also inspired countless artists, architects, and rulers since their construction. Arrange to visit Pyramids of Giza and other attractions in Giza using our Giza vacation route planner.


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