Cairo is Egypt's greatest city - affectionately known as the "Mother of the World". It's a city of over 16 million people, the largest city in Africa.
The core foundations of Cairo were laid in AD 969 by the Fatimid Dynasty and the city sits on the site of Babylon, near the ruins of ancient Memphis.
Neighbouring Cairo are the 4000 year old Great Pyramids of Giza - some of the most magnificent feats of ancient engineering and are must-see for any visitor here.
Cairo offers an incredible selection of shopping, leisure, culture and nightlife. Shopping ranges from the famous Khan el-Khalili souk to modern air-conditioned centres.
Giza is where the Pyramids and Sphinx are located, but there is more to the west bank of the Nile. Several important districts are located here, along with wonderful restaurants and great shopping opportunities.
Each night the Sphinx 'narrates' a Sound and Light Show which shows off the pyramids by star light. There are 2-3 shows each evening.
There are extra entry charges for each of the three pyramids and the solar barque museum. Only Egyptian pounds are accepted at the ticket office.
Before visiting check the official website of Dr Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and director of the Giza Pyramids Excavation: http://www.drhawass.com/
Donkey, camel and horse & cart rides around the pyramids are offered to tourists. Hiring a horse from one of the stables is a far better option than taking one at the Pyramids. A sign next to the ticket office and the Tourist centre announces official prices.
The Egyptian Museum is situated at Tahrir square in Cairo. It was built in 1897 and opened on November 15, 1902. It has 107 halls.
The ground floor houses huge statues and the upper floor houses smaller statues, jewels, the Tutankhamun treasures and the mummies. The Museum also comprises a photography section and a large library.
Each section of the Museum is arranged in chronological order. It's possible to get a case of "Pharaonic fatigue" from trying to cram in all the displays in the museum. It's best to visit twice, perhaps tackling one floor at a time!
There's no 'best time' to visit the Museum as it's pretty much always full but late afternoons can be a little quieter. Official guides can take you around for about AUD$11.50 (50 Egyptian Pounds) per hour.
Souks are central marketplaces where textiles, jewellery, spices and other valuable goods are sold. In a souk, the final price of an item is reached by bargaining with the shopkeeper. Khan el-Khalili, once known as the Turkish bazaar during the Ottoman period, is now usually just called the 'Khan'.Together with the al-Muski market to the west, the Khan comprises one of Cairo's most important shopping areas. Both areas represent the market tradition which established Cairo as a major centre of trade, and at the Khan, you'll still find foreign merchants and best of all some great deals!