Cairo has a long and rich history, reminders of this are scattered throughout the city. A city with a fair share of interesting landmarks. Cairo plays host to a beautiful collection of landmarks for visitors to admire and learn the history behind its ancient days and current-day glitz and glamour. Immerse yourself in Egypt’s long history at these 8 historical sites in Cairo. And experience the nation’s capital rich and ancient history, one of the richest cultures in the world.
We also recommend our guide to the best kept secrets in Cairo, top unique things to see and do in the city.
The Al-Azhar Mosque is easily the finest building of Cairo’s Fatimid era and one of the city’s ancient surviving mosques. Originally built in the 970s AD, is one of Cairo’s most famous historical landmarks. Beond its historical importance, it still serves as a foremost institution for Islamic studies. The Al-Azhar University, integrated within the mosque as part of a mosque school since its inception. Regarded today as the second oldest continuously run university in the world after Al Karaouine in Fez, Morocco.
Address: El-Darb El-Ahmar, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
The Coptic Cairo is a part of Old Cairo which encompasses various historical sites including Babylon Fortress, the Coptic Museum and the Hanging Church. This iconic place draws Christian tourists that visit the Church of St. Sergius and Bacchus; where local legend says the Virgin Mary, baby Jesus, and family took refuge during King Herod’s massacre of male babies. A landmark that dominates Sharia Mar Girgis area, south of Downtown.
The Hanging Church
In a city full of outstanding churches, the Hanging Church is notable as one of the oldest standing church in Cairo. Arguably first church built in Basilican style with construction dating back as early as the 3rd or 4th century. The church was the official dwelling of the Coptic Pope. A very exotic and peaceful landmark with historic architecture.
Address: Kom Ghorab, Misr Al Qadimah, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
Pyramids of Giza
The Pyramids of Giza is another iconic image of Cairo and features predominately in many skyline silhouettes seen in photographs, paintings, postcards or social media. This pyramid complex is one of the 7 wonders of the world. A must-visit attraction whenever in Cairo, a major landmark of the city that has been wowing visitors for centuries. One of the country’s major highlights that brings an amazing experience and satisfaction to the tourists.
Address: Al Haram, Giza Governorate, Egypt
City of the Dead
Located bellow the Mokattam Hills, the City of the Dead aka Cairo Necropolis is one of the oldest cemeteries in Cairo. And is certainly an interesting place to visit on a warm day. Cairo Necropolis is known for its warren of ornate tombs, mausoleums and historic burial sites. Visitors should beware their emotions, as this is an ancient cemetery where people actually live.
Museum of Islamic Art
Impressive art exhibit, but it is the grounds and exterior that are worth a visit on this historical tour of Cairo. There’s something for everyone who interested in history, architecture or art, this place is your gem. Houses everything about the Islamic art, one of the greatest in the world. It was designed and built over 100 years ago as a palace dedicated entirely to Egyptian and Islamic art.
Address: Port Said, St Abdeen, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
This Khan el-Khalili is a major souk in the historic centre of Islamic Cairo. In this bazaar district, stalls are erected by shopkeepers and artisans, selling everything from fashion and furniture to food. Hard to miss if you’re in Cairo, it’s one of the city’s main attractions for tourists and locals alike. Loud, energetic and busy. Great local market, and probably nothing you haven’t seen before!
Mosque of Muhammad Ali
The Great Mosque of Muhammad Ali is situated in the Citadel of Cairo in Egypt and commissioned by Muhammad Ali Pasha between 1830 and 1848. A commanding attraction at in the Citadel of Cairo, not far away from the airport. People from every belief background are welcome, no dress restrictions. Extremely pretty historic site in a very pleasant atmosphere. Take your time exploring in, you’ll love it!