Cairo, Egypt’s sprawling capital, is set on the Nile River. At its heart is Tahrir Square and the vast Egyptian Museum, a trove of antiquities including royal mummies and gilded King Tutankhamun artifacts. Nearby, Giza is the site of the iconic pyramids and Great Sphinx, dating to the 26th century BC. In Gezira Island’s leafy Zamalek district, 187m Cairo Tower affords panoramic city views. Apart from these really cool ”serious” stuff, there are so many fun hings to do in the beautiful capital of Egypt, and I have highlighted 3 things you should definitely do when you get to Cairo.
1. Take a hike
From late March to early June, temperatures in Cairo are springtime perfection, wavering around a median 30°C. The trees are in bloom, students are finishing exams and Cairenes are all smiles and more relaxed. Take in the carefree vibe with a walk through downtown’s cluttered maze, along the breezy Corniche or around Zamalek’s leafy streets. Beware of April’s sporadic sand storms and thunderstorms; if the sky turns a dusty colour, it’s time to duck indoors.
2. Drop in on an arts festival
D-CAF, Cairo’s three-week Downtown Contemporary Art Festival, runs to late April, and it’s spread over multiple sites downtown. The festival fuses performing arts with film, photography and urban vision workshops run by top artists and educators from around the world. Expect cross-genre mashing, such as ‘interactive dance calligraphy performance’. Check out the concert photography workshop, which promises to teach the skill of the ‘killer shot’, or a new media arts workshop, such as the 3D projection mapping audio visual performance training. If you prefer to sit back and take in a film, save a night in mid-May for an art house film at Zawya, which hosts the Cairo Cinema Days festival, showcasing around 40 contemporary award-winning feature and documentary films from across the Arab region. The festival also screens some historic heavy hitter films and has panels and Q&A sessions with filmmakers.
3. Scout out contemporary Egypt in Old Cairo
Old Cairo is home to a trove of historic wonders, from the 7th-century Hanging Church of Coptic Cairo to the millennium-old Mosque of Amr Ibn Al As. But within the Fustat area of Old Cairo stands Darb 1718, an outdoor contemporary art and culture centre that in springtime weather, is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. The centre hosts live music concerts, fashion, art exhibitions, open-mic nights and education workshops. This spring you can get your hands dirty with a pottery workshop and or learn about light refraction and shutter speed at a photography class. April’s hieroglyphics workshop is sure to be a hit.
What other things do you love to do, or are you looking to do in Cairo? Feel free to leave a comment.