Cairo, Egypt travel tips

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Visit Al-Azhar park to escape the noise and congestion of Cairo.

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For traditional Egyptian food, head to Felfella.

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If you want to see the pyramids without the masses of tourists, go late in the afternoon--around 3. The pyramids close at 4, and as the guards begin rounding up tourists, just assure them that you're on your way. If you're lucky, you'll get to spend some time there after the crowds have thinned out.

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If you want to sail the Nile, book a ride on a sailboat from Dok-Dok Felukas. If possible, arrange your ride near sunset for a memorable experience.

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Visit the Burquesh Camel Market. The animals aren't treated well, but it is a rich cultural experience.

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Check out the Monastery of St. Tanner, a massive structure that is really something to see.

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If you want to see something off the regular tourist path, check out Garbage City, where Cairo's Coptic Christians live and sorts through and recycles most of Cairo's trash. It may not sound like it, but it's one of the city's most welcoming areas.

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Visit Giza Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the world.

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If Cairo gets to be too hectic for you, relax for a while in Al Orman Gardens.

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While you're wandering the bazaar, stop to have tea or smoke sheesha.

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Check out the Wadi Digla Protected Area for a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, running, or rock climbing.

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Head to the southern end of Cairo, the old Islamic part of town where you can see elaborate mosques.

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Hiring a driver for the day can be a great way to see the sights, especially the ones that are just outside the city, like the pyramids. However, you'll likely be hit with numerous sales pitches along the way. Be firm, don't give in, and this can be a great way to see Cairo's sights.

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Within the Egyptian Museum, you'll find a separate exhibit on the Royal Mummies, with a high admission charge. Some people say it's not worth the cost....you be the judge.

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An unforgettable experience is sailing the Nile on a felucca.

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Be sure to do some shopping at Khan al-Khalili, a massive bazaar.

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Women who travel alone to Cairo should be prepared for an unusual degree of male attention. The stereotype of western women is that they're easy, so just deal with and don't be offended.

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In the souks of Cairo, you can find virtually anything you might want as a souvenir of your time here. Scarves, jewelry, and all manner of colorful clothing.

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When bartering with shopkeepers, don't be shy about simply walking away. Chances are, they will chase you down and offer the price you want.

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Women traveling in Cairo will be happy to find that beauty treatments such as manicures, pedicures, and facials are very affordable.

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RebeccaW01
RebeccaW01
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