Cairo Travel Guide
Explore Our Cairo Travel Guide
Cairo is the capital of Egypt. The city’s metropolitan area is one of the largest in Africa, the largest in the Middle East and the Arab world, and the 15th-largest in the world, and is associated with ancient Egypt, as the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis are located within its geographical area.
Located near the Nile Delta, modern Cairo was founded in 969 CE by the Fatimid dynasty, but the land composing the present-day city was the site of ancient national capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo.
Cairo has long been a center of the region’s political and cultural life and is titled “the city of a thousand minarets” for its preponderance of Islamic architecture. Cairo is considered a World City with a “Beta +” classification according to GaWC (Globalization and World Cities Research Network).
With a population of over 19 million spread over 3,085 square kilometers (1,191 sq mi), Cairo is by far the largest city in Egypt. An additional 9.5 million inhabitants live in close proximity to the city. Cairo, like many other mega-cities, suffers from high levels of pollution and traffic.
Cairo’s metro, one of two in Africa (the other being in Algiers, Algeria), ranks among the fifteen busiest in the world, with over 4 million annual passengers. The economy of Cairo was ranked first in the Middle East in 2005, and 43rd globally on Foreign Policy’s 2010 Global Cities Index
Egyptians often refer to Cairo as Maṣr, the Egyptian Arabic name for Egypt itself, emphasizing the city’s importance for the country Its official name al-Qāhirah means “the Vanquisher” or “the Conqueror”, supposedly due to the fact that the planet Mars, an-Najm al-Qāhir (“the Conquering Star”), was rising at the time when the city was founded, possibly also in reference to the much-awaited arrival of the Fatimid Caliph Al-Mu’izz who reached Cairo in 973 from Mahdia, the old Fatimid capital. The location of the ancient city of Heliopolis is the suburb of Ain Shams (“Eye of the Sun”).
Nicknamed as the city of the thousand minarets, Cairo hosts a large number of attractions which interest tourists from around the world.
On top of the list, we can find the Pyramids of Giza, the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, the Step Pyramids in Saqqara, the Citadel of Saladin, the Mosque of Mohamed Ali, the Mosque of Amr Ibn El Aas; the first mosque to be constructed in Africa.
Coptic Cairo is featured with a large number of remarkable Coptic monuments including the famous Hanging Church, St. Gurguis Church, and Coptic Museum. On the other hand, here you can enjoy Khan El Khalili, the most famous touristic market in the whole world.
Cairo has the oldest and largest film and music industries in the Arab world, as well as the world’s second-oldest institution of higher learning, Al-Azhar University. Many international media, businesses, and organizations have regional headquarters in the city; the Arab League has had its headquarters in Cairo for most of its existence.