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Cairo has always been an attractive tourist destination thanks to the large range of interests the city caters to. There are various activities one can enjoy while staying in Cairo, especially if you have enough time to experience a little bit of everything.
If you are in for an experience of historic weight, there are various places in Cairo that you could visit to learn more about the different phases of Cairo’s history, from the beautiful and overwhelming ancient Egyptian era to the latest Islamic era. These places are basically where the shopping fun lies. There are many bazaars offering a variety of products that represent Ancient Egypt, the Islamic and Christian arts, and even Bedouin arts and crafts. You can shop for anything starting from clothes, handbags, and perfumes, to home accessories, souvenirs, and items that shape the Egyptian life-style which can make perfect gifts.
To ensure a great experience and journey into the history of Cairo and Egypt, I recommend that you don’t miss on any of the eras. Start by visiting the Egyptian Museum of Archeology where you will experience a profound journey into the time and life of the Ancient Egyptians. You can then go on to experience the lovely and artsy Coptic Cairo where you can visit the Church of Saint Mary Gerges and the Museum of Coptic Cairo to feast your eyes upon the beautiful Christian arts of design. Then take a nice long stroll through Islamic Cairo and explore many mosques and the Museum of Islamic Cairo where you will be taken through a beautiful journey into the arts and crafts of the Islamic era. You can end your visit to Islamic Cairo by shopping and having a great authentic night out in Khan el Khalili.
For people who are more interested in having fun and going out dancing alone or with friends, Cairo offers a loud and lively night-life. You can also hit the bars when you need to have a quiet dinner and listen to relaxing music. Almost every bar in Cairo has a schedule that includes both loud and quiet nights.
One of the most recommended places where you are guaranteed to have a great chilled-out night is at the Cairo Jazz Club. Although only a bit pricey, you are sure to have fun and meet very nice people. If you have a tight budget and don’t want to spend much, you can visit the Greek Club in Downtown Cairo where you can have dinner and a drink for a very good price and meet many interesting intellectual people since many artists hang out there. For an even lower budget and a very Egyptian night out, you can have dinner at one of the Egyptian restaurants around Al-Tahrir Square and then head to a nice Egyptian Café called Al Horriyya where you can have a beer and meet very interesting people and artists.
Many cultural centers are located all over Cairo providing shows and exhibitions of the work of Egyptian artists primarily and international artists on occasion. From music and dance shows and concerts, to arts and crafts exhibitions, to screening of local and international independent films, these cultural centers will satisfy the interests of any tourist looking for an artistic experience. So if you’re into that kind of experience, the two most recommended places would be Cairo Opera House and Al-Sawy Culture Wheel. You can get their schedules from their websites or pick them up when you get here.
When you’re planning your trip to Cairo, make sure to include all these rich and fun activities in your schedule if possible, or most of them if your trip is short. You are sure to have a blast and leave with a great deal of cultural experience!
© 2009 Yasmine Sheaito
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