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Tlisted here are sometimes moments after I assume to myself that our obsession with journey has led to a less-than-healthy appreciation of sleep, and our 20-hour layover in Cairo was positively a type of occasions.

If I used to be paying extra consideration to sleep cycles than sarcophaguses, the considered turning an already exhausting journey from Paris to Johannesburg right into a multi-day occasion to be able to spend in the future in Cairo and “save” roughly $100 in flight prices might need appeared a tad ridiculous.

And admittedly, it was… however we don’t remorse it a bit.

Throughout our layover in Cairo, we’d have change into exhausted to the purpose of being mildly incoherent by mid-afternoon, however we additionally acquired a style of a brand new nation, admired relics from King Tut’s tomb, noticed dozens of 5,000-year-old mummies up shut, climbed right into a pyramid, took touristy images in entrance of Giza, frolicked with a camel, and strolled by means of the Egyptian Bazaar–all for ridiculously low costs.

Cairo Egypt Local Market

It was price each second of heavy eyelids and sore ft, and we might do it once more tomorrow.

Right here’s what we noticed throughout our in the future Cairo layover (and the way you are able to do the identical).


What to See Throughout a Layover in Cairo

The City of Giza

The pyramids of Giza standing tall and surrounded by sand dunes–if there’s one picture that everyone knows of Egypt, it’s this one. Visiting the pyramids of Egypt is on many bucket lists of vacationers world wide, and we aren’t any exception!

True, much less well-known is that reality that you would be able to see town of Cairo fairly clearly from the pyramids and {that a} Pizza Hut instructions probably the most epic views of Giza, however within the age of the web, even these information aren’t a shock to as many guests as they as soon as had been.

We had been blown away by our time on the pyramids–our information, Bossi, did a unbelievable job explaining the historical past and snapping dozens of images for us (to not point out speaking one of many guys into letting us take an image on his camel free of charge–he resisted even accepting a small tip), and we had been so glad to have her alongside.

We relished the chance to climb on the Nice Pyramid, to descend inside one of many smaller pyramids belonging to a queen (Bossi referred to as it an Egyptian sauna, which was correct–it was so humid in there, we began sweating nearly instantly), to admire the views of Giza from afar, to wander by means of the stays of temples and to take a look at the Nice Sphinx in particular person.

Aspect noticeanybody else develop up with the utterly mistaken impression that the Nice Sphinx was feminine? Simply me?

In case there’s anybody else on the market making that error, the Nice Sphinx represents the King who had it constructed, and is decidedly male. Dwell and be taught.

The Egyptian Museum

Dwelling to round 120,000 artifacts of historic Egypt–the majority of them stunningly well-preserved–this museum brought on our jaws to hit the ground greater than as soon as.

From a statue of a Pharaoh that’s believed to have been carved with diamonds to the large variety of (closely gilded) objects belonging to the well-known Tutankhamun (aka “King Tut”) to the handfuls of precise mummies, this was a museum like no different we now have ever been in.

Egyptian Museum

The constructing itself is massive and delightful, courting again to the early 20th century, however it’s also a bit rundown, lacks the sorts of upscale facilities (like a/c) that you’d count on for a museum of this degree of significance, and has shockingly few limitations between patrons and lots of 5,000-year-old artifacts.

To that finish, Cairo is at present constructing a brand new museum subsequent door to Giza to be able to maintain some artifacts, and based mostly on the development we noticed, it’s going to be huge.

The Egyptian Bazaar

What would a go to to Egypt be and not using a fast journey to a bazaar?

With restricted time throughout our layover in Cairo and no baggage to tuck issues into, we weren’t enthusiastic about making any purchases, however we liked strolling round, photographing the gorgeous retailers and stalls, and naturally stalking all of the cats we might discover.

Other Cairo Stops to Think about

In case your Cairo layover is a bit longer than ours (or just doesn’t contain a 3am arrival time that leaves you exhausted), you might also contemplate including the Step Pyramid of Sakkara (which predates the pyramids in Giza!) or the traditional Egyptian capital of Memphis to your checklist of issues to see in throughout a layover in Cairo.

This popular tour consists of stops on the Step Pyramid and Memphis along with Giza!

Our Incredible Cairo Tour (That You Should Book Too!)

Usually, we wouldn’t contemplate reserving a tour merely to see a metropolis’s most well-known and touristic highlights–journey infrastructure will usually be in place to accommodate these, and Cairo is not any exception.

That being stated, reserving a tour for our layover in Cairo was an especially good determination, and we might suggest it to anybody (and no, our tour wasn’t sponsored–only a nice success!).

Layover in Cairo

There are a number of causes that we suggest a tour on this scenario:

You don’t have to fret about dealing with logistics.
Might we now have used Uber or Cairo’s metro system to get round to the most important sights, waited in line for tickets ourselves, negotiated costs alone, and efficiently seen the highlights of town?

Positive. However there’s no denying that having a non-public driver who knew the place they had been going, entry to a automotive with a/c in it, and a information who knew the lay of the land made our day far much less annoyingand people providers alone would have been definitely worth the worth of the tour.

The culture of ancient Egypt is worthy of a guided tour.

Each Giza and the Egyptian Museum, whereas unimaginable, have a definite lack of indicators and contextual data out there onsite.

The context that our tour information was capable of present, from disagreements between Pharaohs to cultural quirks to timelines, enriched the expertise of our layover in Cairo immeasurably.

Egyptian Museum

The prices are insanely affordable.

Once we began pricing out excursions for our layover in Cairo, we couldn’t imagine the costs–$15-30 USD/particular person for a information, snug transportation, and taking all the stress off our backs?

We had been offered immediately, and our tour ended up being price each penny–actually, they might have charged 50% extra and it nonetheless would have been price each penny.

Having a tour guide will keep the touts at bay.

Whereas we’re properly used to shaking off touts and aggressive salespeople lately, it was definitely way more stress-free to spend our layover in Cairo not having to fret about saying “La shokran” 9,999 occasions to males promoting every thing from pyramid statues to taxis.

The mere presence of a tour information stored the persistent salespeople away, and whereas we didn’t find yourself wanting to buy something, Bossi made it clear that she was completely satisfied to leap in and assist negotiate if wanted.

Camel at Giza

I’ve talked about our tour information Bossi a number of occasions, however I simply actually can’t overemphasize how impressed with had been with this tour. She holds a MA in Egyptology and is clearly extraordinarily enthusiastic about it–her data within the Egyptian Museum alone was virtually encyclopedic.

We additionally had the good thing about having her all to ourselves, however teams are reported to remain small with this firm whatever the time of yr. Bossi additionally stored us in snacks and drinks, and was utterly open to shifting at our tempo.

Our tour solely included one “shopping for cease”, which was a papyrus paper demonstration, and even that was very low-pressure and over within the blink of a watch (and the quick presentation, whereas clearly a gross sales pitch, was genuinely attention-grabbing).

If we return to Cairo, we might not hesitate to book a tour from this company again, and may fortunately suggest the tour to anybody passing by means of.

With an extended layover in Cairo, we’d most likely additionally contemplate excursions to discover the realm extra in depth–we’d like to go to Memphis and do a food tour in Cairo, for instance!

You may book the same tour that we loved in Cairo!

The way to Get Around During a Layover in Cairo

Cairo is a gigantic, sprawling metropolis, however it’s surprisingly straightforward to navigate–particularly once you solely have time to go to essentially the most well-known points of interest.

The metro is meant to be clear and quite simple to make use of, however with solely a short while out there for our Cairo layover, we didn’t think about using it.

Uber is standard in Cairo, with costs being amongst a number of the least costly we’ve ever seen. We used Uber to journey again to the airport on the finish of our Cairo layover and located it simply as easy as Uber is in each different metropolis.

Cairo Nice Pyramid

On our means from the airport to our resort at roughly 4am, we took a taxi as we had hassle discovering the designated Uber pick-up spot on the airport.

We had been hesitant to leap right into a cab, and extremely suggest negotiating properly and keeping track of the instructions, however our cab driver ended up being not solely trustworthy however exceedingly type, driving round a number of further minutes to seek out our well-camouflaged resort with out asking for an additional penny.

We’d nonetheless suggest utilizing Uber when you’ll be able to, however our profitable cab journey positively made for a really heartwarming first expertise within the nation and instantly made us keen to come back again for an extended journey and discover extra of the epic things to do in Egypt.

The place We Stayed During Our Cairo Layover

Eco Inn Cairo — Regardless of solely spending a whopping 4 hours there throughout our lengthy layover, we liked this little resort!

The decor was stunning, the included breakfast tasty, the view off the deck pretty, the room huge, and the proprietor extremely type!

The one (small) draw back was that the resort’s entrance can’t be seen from the road and it could subsequently be a bit tough to seek out, however one fast cellphone name to the entrance desk solved that–even at round 4am, a cheerful receptionist picked up and instantly despatched an worker right down to the road degree to escort us upstairs.

Staying at Eco Inn Cairo was not solely reasonably priced, it was a terrific expertise, and we might not hesitate to e book it once more.

Check rates & book your stay at Royal Apartments Down Town!

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