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Cairo is a sprawling, capital city that can be hard to understand and find your way around, but it sure is worth the effort. A huge city with many millions of inhabitants living alongside the banks of the River Nile and close to the breathtaking Pyramids of Giza, Cairo is home to some of the world's most famous sights, including the much loved Sphinx and its well-known broken nose, and the treasures of Tutankhamun.
With so many of Egypt's treasures all grouped in one city, tourism has long been booming in Cairo and visiting tourists soon get used to the rather hectic and frenetic lifestyle.
Cairo's backstreets still retain much of their medieval character and are worth exploring, while a stroll along the waterfront Corniche is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Once you have spent just a few days in Cairo you will find yourself being drawn away from the many stunning structures here, becoming almost more interested in the everyday rituals based around city life.
Cairo's most visited and popular tourist attractions include the City of the Dead - also known as the Northern Cemetery and home to many important tombs and burial sites; Khan Al-Khalili - a busy market sited within the very centre of Islamic Cairo and full of colourful, rather fragrant spices; the Pyramids at Giza - Cairo's spectacular and world-famous group of ancient edifices known all around the world; and Saqqara (Sakkara) - the historic capital of Cairo's Old Kingdom, containing a number of important royal tombs and ancient pyramids.
Amongst the most prominent landmarks around the city of Cairo are the Bab el-Futuh (Gate of Conquest) - a historical gateway featuring two large towers and located on the northern side of the old Fatimid City; Cairo Tower - an eye-catching landmark best known for its revolving restaurant and breathtaking panoramic views of the cityscape; Citadel (Al-Qalaa) - a medieval fortress overlooking the city and containing a number of mosques and palaces; Great Sphinx - a truly awesome site and known to many for its broken nose and proximity to the Pyramids of Giza; and the Mosque and Madrasa of Sultan Hassan

 - one of the world's most important and biggest dedications to Islam Many museums and historic art galleries exist in Cairo and offer an insight into days gone by.Cairo's main museums include the Egyptian Antiquities Museum - overflowing with information about Cairo's past and containing more than 100,000 artefacts and treasures; Egyptian Ethnological Museum - featuring a variety of exhibitions and village craftworks; Military Museum - specialising in battle memorabilia and scale models of many of the country's most famous battles, Cairo's Pharaonic Village - very much a hands-on museum providing visitors with historic city information and an opportunity to experience life in ancient Pharaonic Egypt and the Museum of Islamic Art - where you will find in excess of 10,000 paintings, sculptures and other art works.

Fact Point :
  • Country: Egypt
  • Location: Al Qahirah
  • Status: capital city
  • Population: approximately 20 million
  • Language: Arabic
  • Currency: Egyptian Pound (EGP)
  • Time zone: 2 hours ahead of GMT / UTC
  • Country dialing code: +20
  • Telephone area code: 02
  • Religion: 90 percent Muslim, remaining 10 percent Coptic Christian
  • Average daily Cairo January temperature: 9C / 48F
  • Average daily Cairo July temperature: 22C / 72F
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