Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, has a fascinating history that dates back over 4,000 years. It was founded in the 10th century AD by the Fatimid dynasty and quickly grew into a major center of trade and culture in the Islamic world. Over the centuries, Cairo has been ruled by various dynasties, including the Ayyubids, Mamluks, and Ottomans.
During the medieval period, Cairo became renowned for its architectural wonders, including the iconic mosques and madrasas. The city also served as the political and administrative center of Egypt, attracting scholars, artists, and traders from across the region.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Cairo witnessed significant modernization and urban development. Today, it is a bustling metropolis with a population of over 20 million people. Cairo continues to be a cultural hub, with its vibrant arts scene, bustling markets, and world-class museums.
FAQ for Cairo
What is the best way to get there?
By air: Cairo International Airport is the main gateway to the city, with numerous international flights.
By train: Egypt's railway network connects Cairo to other major cities in the country.
By bus: There are bus services available from neighboring countries and cities.
What is Cairo famous for?
The Great Pyramids of Giza
The Egyptian Museum
The Citadel of Saladin
The Nile River
The bustling Khan El Khalili market
What are five interesting facts about Cairo?
Cairo is the largest city in Africa.
It is home to the oldest university in the world, Al-Azhar University.
Cairo's Tahrir Square was the epicenter of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.
The city is known for its vibrant street food culture.
Cairo has inspired numerous works of literature and films.
How did Cairo get its name?
Cairo's name is derived from the Arabic word "al-Qāhirah," which means "the victorious." It was named by the Fatimid Caliph Al-Mu'izz li-Din Allah, who founded the city in 969 AD.
What are some travel tips for Cairo?
Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites.
Bargain when shopping in markets.
Stay hydrated and use sunscreen, as Cairo can get hot.
Be cautious of pickpockets in crowded areas.
Try local delicacies like koshari and falafel.
Do I need a visa?
Yes, most visitors to Egypt require a visa. It is recommended to check with the Egyptian embassy or consulate in your country for the specific requirements.
When is the best time to visit Cairo?
The best time to visit Cairo is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant.
Are there local customs I should know for i.e. Drinking, Greetings, Public transit?
Drinking alcohol is legal in Egypt, but it is advisable to respect local customs and drink responsibly. As for greetings, a handshake is a common form of greeting. Public transit in Cairo includes buses, metro, and taxis.
What is the time zone for Cairo?
Cairo operates on Eastern European Time (EET), which is UTC+2.
What are the voltage/plug types?
The voltage in Cairo is 220V, and the plug types commonly used are the European two-pin plugs.
What is the currency?
The currency in Cairo is the Egyptian Pound (EGP).
Are ATMs readily accessible?
Yes, ATMs are readily available in Cairo, especially in tourist areas and major commercial districts.
Are credit cards widely accepted in Cairo?
Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, upscale restaurants, and larger stores. However, it is advisable to carry cash for smaller establishments and markets.
Can you use ApplePay and Google Pay?
ApplePay and Google Pay are not widely accepted in Cairo. It is recommended to carry cash or use credit cards for transactions.
How much do I tip in Restaurants/bars, Hotels, Taxis, Tour guides, etc.?
Tipping is customary in Cairo. In restaurants/bars, a 10-15% tip is appreciated. In hotels, it is common to tip the staff who provide services. For taxis, rounding up the fare is customary, and for tour guides, a tip of around 10-15% of the tour cost is recommended.