Weirdly enough Cairo or Egypt have never been the first thing that crossed my mind when I wanted to travel. To be honest, the idea to go to Egypt was quite random, actually. I just came back from Tenerife and I decided I need another holiday. When I searched where it is hot in October, Egypt was one of the first places that came up. And when I saw that it’s very affordable I decided to book 3 nights in Cairo and 4 by the Red Sea (post to come next week).
But my trip turned out to be quite amazing. First of all, when I was a kid I used to be obsessed with the movie(s) The Mummy. I watched them all day every day for a good few months of my childhood. ‘And holy crap now I am going to actually see the pyramids! In Person!’… these were my first thoughts when I landed in Cairo. Honestly, I never understood the expression that life comes full circle until that morning.
I wanted a hotel located between actual Cairo and Giza, so I checked in at the Novotel Cairo El Borg in Zamalek, an island between the two cities. I wanted to be within a walking distance to the main attractions in the capital I guess. Also, the hotel is very close to the Cairo Tower, which is what caught my eye in the first place.
You can’t go to Cairo and not go up the tower that has the city’s name, can you? I am glad I did because the views were simply amazing. However, I wish I would have gone earlier in the day, as in the evening it gets quite windy and you don’t see everything in the distance. Apparently, on a clear day, you can see the pyramids from the top, which is awesome!
Speaking of my hotel, I chose a room with river view and it was a great idea. I mean, check out my morning and evening views, they look pretty cool to me! By the way, I always book my hotels with booking.com because they always have awesome deals and big discounts. 🙂
And before I move on to actually experiencing the city, I want to add 1 more thing about my hotel. I am not sponsored, I promise! But I had such a good time and it was a great value for the money. It had a rooftop bar/restaurant! Yaaas, honey! I had a cool view of the Nile and the busy Kasr Al Nile Bridge while enjoying a seafood pizza. Plus, a late night pancake run was just what I needed after long days of walking around.
Since I was in a walking distance from Tahrir Square and the Egyptian Museum, that’s where I headed first. I walked on the Kasr Al Nile Bridge, and I was impressed with how green and lovely Cairo looks. Check it out!
I feel like there wasn’t much to do or see in Tahrir Square, so I headed to the Museum. Be careful with overly polite people inviting you inside their shops. They will try to hustle you until you buy half their stuff! And believe me, it was hard to say no. But at least I did end up getting a few cool drawings…
The Egyptian Museum is big and impressive. It’s kind of fascinating to walk around and see all of these antique stuff from thousands of years ago! I’ve never been a big fan of history, but I am glad I went to the museum. And oh, did I mention hieroglyphs look so cool?
The highlight of my trip to Cairo was seeing the pyramids. They look awesome in movies and photos, but seeing them in real life is a whole ‘nother experience! Beautiful and breathtaking are two ways to describe them.
And of course, riding a camel was something I had to do! Tip: negotiate with them and pretend to leave if they don’t lower the price. I got a 2 hour camel ride around the pyramids with a guide for more than half of what they initially asked for!
Speaking of camels, meet Michael. Yup, that was the name of the camel I rode. So cute! I also got on my guide’s horse, but I mean c’mon… There are horses everywhere in the world, but you don’t the chance to ride a camel every day, do you? #obsessed
Another really cool thing I loved was going on a boat ride on the Nile. Seeing them from outside my hotel window all the time made me want to give it a shot, and it was awesome! I don’t know if these boats have a specific name… or I forgot. I mean in Dubai they have Abras, which of course are different, but I can’t for the life of me remember if these were called anything else.
Another thing worth checking out is Coptic Cairo. It’s the Christian part of the city, and to be fair I was rather surprised to find out that ages ago they were Orthodox. Going inside the churches or walking around a small cemetery looked basically identical to Romania. Except in Egypt it’s cleaner and maybe a tad bit more pleasing to look at.
Some of the other things I loved, but unfortunately didn’t really take pictures of were checking out the bazaar, enjoying a drive in and around Cairo or how active the city is at evening/night. I feel like living in UK for a couple years made me feel like everyone is old and boring come sundown, but that’s when things start picking up in Egypt. Every night I could hear music coming from everywhere, cars strolling around and people chatting. Back to something normal and that I am used to! I loved it :).
In a few words (and quite a few pictures) these were some of the things I really loved when I was in Cairo. By the way, if you’re scared to go because of the reoccurring terror attacks worldwide, DON’T. They have airport security type scanners at the entrance of every hotel, museum, restaurant and any building with a lot of people going in and out. I couldn’t feel any safer.
Have you ever been to Egypt? Would you like to go? What places are on your travel bucket list?
Until next time…