Destination Cairo: The City That Never Sleeps

A graduation with a lifetime experience
As we get closer to the graduation date, we're thrilled to be celebrating it in the city that never sleeps. With a population of over 20 million, you will always find something to keep you entertained - whether it be visits to some of the worlds most historic sights or party until dawn with incredible skyline views.

The Pyramids of Giza and The Sphinx

The Pyramids of Giza, along with the Sphinx and a handful of smaller tombs, form one of the most iconic sights in the world. Go to the restaurant to have a panoramic view of all three pyramids and have a delicious Egyptian breakfast, visit the inside of the pyramid, visit the sphinx and take a camel ride. Don't forget your selfie stick.

Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan

A monumental mosque and madrasa located in Salah al-Din Square in the historic district of Cairo. The Mosque-Madrassa of Sultan Hassan is one of the largest mosques in the world and home to some remarkable architectural achievements for its age. This is an awe-inspiring building and well worth a visit.

Cave Church

Nestled at the heart of Mokattam Mountain in southeastern Cairo, St. Simon Monastery, also known as the Cave Church, is the largest church not only in Egypt but also the Middle East. It is located in an area known as the Zabbaleen city, meaning literally ‘garbage city’, which has the largest population of garbage collectors and recyclers in Cairo. Though located at a non-touristy site, the Cave Church is among the top must-see attractions in Cairo that is bound to mesmerize you.

Museum of Egyptian Civilization

the museum comprises all the civilizations that passed through Egypt starting 35,000 years ago; going through the different families of the pharaonic era, and then through the Greek and Roman eras, the Coptic and Islamic eras, and then the contemporary period. The visitor goes on a journey through all the civilizations that passed by Egypt in one room, in one hour. It doesn’t just display pieces; there’s a story behind the displays, which might be a number of pieces or objects put together to tell you a story about motherhood, cooking, medicine, or music, and how a piece in a certain era is related to other eras that are displayed.

Cairo Citadel

The Citadel of Sultan Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi (Saladin) is one of the most iconic monuments in Islamic Cairo, and among the most impressive defensive fortresses dating to the Middle Ages. Its strategic location on the Muqattam Hills gave it a formidable defensive position, and offered, as it still does today, an unrestricted panoramic view of Cairo. Friday at noon is a great time to go to hear Dhuhr Prayer and witness the spiritual exercise of a typical Egyptian Muslim. You can also go for sunset and take beautiful pictures at the spot with the panoramic view of the city.

Felucca Ride

Take a ride on our traditional open-decked felucca boat on the mythical life source - Nile River - for one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Flanked on each side by historic sights, the Nile River is the optimal spot to enjoy a drink and relax as you're riding through history. Early birds will appreciate the sunrise over the Cairo from the Nile, but make sure to bring your sweaters because it can get a little cold.

Al Azhar

Located at the heart of Islamic Cairo, the Al-Azhar complex, mosque and university, does not only house the oldest university in the world but it is also the place where the graduation black gowns originated from. The costume worn by students all around the world during their graduation seems to have been inspired by the flowing robes of the Islamic scholars 'graduating' from Al-Azhar. The University is now distributed between different buildings, but the mosque, founded by Jawhar al-Siqilly, the Fatimid conqueror of Egypt, in 970 is still a true marvel and a not-to-be-missed attraction while visiting Cairo. Moreover, due to its location, it is the perfect place to start your exploration tour of Islamic Cairo.

Cairo Tower

It's nice to be up high in Cairo. It gives one a prospective view of this great city, with its very modern and very ancient districts. Anyone who has stood atop the Citadel or from the upper floors of some of the taller hotels is aware of the grand views that Cairo offers. One of the best views is from the Cairo Tower, located on Gezira Island (Zamalek) just north of the Museum of Modern Art (which is also very much worth a visit), which provides a panoramic vision of Cairo. This 187 meter tall tower, in the form of a latticework tube that fans out slightly at the top, is said to imitate a lotus plant, and ranks only fourth among the world's highest towers. It is made of granite, the same material often used by the ancient Egyptians, and is about 45 meters taller than the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Khan al Khalili

Established in the 14th century, the Khan El-Khalili market in Cairo has always been an important district for cultural and economic activity. Khan el Khalili is *a lot*. Whether it’s a lot in a positive way or a lot in a negative way really depends on the eye of the beholder. It’s crowded, chaotic and loud, which can either be fun or overwhelming, but in most cases, usually a mix of both. Imagine a labyrinth of tiny alleys stuffed to the brim with shops and vendors peddling all kinds of treasures and all kinds of crap. You’ll find everything from great quality gold and silver jewelry and painstakingly intricate Egyptian handcrafts to plastic bob-headed dogs (who buys those things, anyway?) and everything in between. It’s the best place in Egypt to buy a gift for someone (or, you know, a gift for yourself) and to stock up on kitschy cheap souvenirs for everyone back home in the office.
Contact AUC Travel Office to Book Your Tours