Back in January, my husband and I visited Cairo for a few days with family and had a wonderful time. My husband is Egyptian, from Alexandria so we were staying in Alexandria for a couple of weeks and then travelled to Cairo by car. The drive from Alexandria is just over 2 hours.
The weather in Egypt in January is beautiful. In the day it is mild with sun and at night it becomes a little bit chilly. It is a great time of year to visit Cairo and sightsee as the temperature is comfortable and there are not many crowds.
Al Azhar Park
We stayed in the Safir Hotel Cairo which was located right in the heart of the city. The hotel was basic but had a beautiful pool area and the breakfast had a huge selection. We arrived in the evening, and our first stop was Al Azar Park where we had dinner overlooking the stunning Al Azhar Mosque – one of the oldest mosques in the country.
Just a short drive from here, we went to a place called Khan el-Khalili which is a famous bazaar/market where you can find lots of souvenirs. We didn’t end up buying anything here as it was quite late in the evening and some of the market stalls were closing, so instead, we sat in a coffee shop called El Fishawy cafe which had traditional live music playing and a great vibe.
The only downside to this place was the constant flow of beggars, particularly children which was really quite sad. There was a lot of people and children coming up to us selling things and asking for money.
Pyramids of Giza
The next day, we were up bright and early and ready to tackle Cairo’s most famous landmark – the Pyramids. The whole entrance to the Pyramids was very confusing and chaotic and the queues were pretty long, even early morning. Once we finally made it through, we wandered around the Pyramids taking in all the sights.
There are lots of tour guides around the area trying to sell guided tours and horse and cart rides. The area is huge and to see the lovely view point of all three pyramids, you need to walk very far, so we decided to try out the horse and cart ride. It was all going well, until our horse decided to overtake another, and we ended up colliding with another cart and falling out! Let’s just say, after that we was all pretty shaken up and decided not to continue with the journey.
Later on, we actually went inside one of the pyramids which was incredible. You can pay to enter some of the Pyramids so we purchased tickets for Khufu – The Great Pyramid of Giza. At the entrance to the pyramid, we saw lots of people walking out, crying and telling us not to go in there as it was ‘scary’ and they ‘couldn’t breathe’. We were quite worried at this point, but decided to go in and see what it was like. Luckily for us, it was fine, but if you are particularly claustrophobic, or have breathing difficulties, then it might not be for you. One thing to note is that there are lots of steps and it is extremely hot in there!
By far, this was the best part of the day as it was so much fun crawling and climbing our way to the top. Unfortunately, when you do get to the top, there is nothing inside, which is a bit disappointing, but still an accomplishment! We stayed for a little while longer and then walked to the Great Sphinx of Giza.
We got to the Sphinx quite late in the day, so the sun was directly above it which meant the photos came out quite bad but it was still lovely to see. Just outside of the exit, we stopped by some souvenir shops and picked up a few gifts for family.
At night, we stopped off along the river Nile for a drink and a sit down. I loved how people just sit along the river and on the bridges for a drink or a bite to eat. I tried a traditional Egyptian drink called Halabessa which is a spicy chickpea soup and was perfect for a chilly evening.
The Egyptian Museum
The next day we visited the Egyptian Museum which was the highlight of the trip. I’m not normally a fan of museums as it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes reading all of the information, however, we decided to hire a private tour guide who took us around the whole museum and explained everything. It was excellent and it made the whole experience so much more interesting. I learn’t so much about the fascinating ancient Egyptian history and we got to see some incredible tombs, mummies and relics. I would highly recommend hiring a guide.
For sunset, we went to a place called Grand Cafe which was right on the river Nile and had beautiful views across the river. It was the perfect way to finish off our trip to Cairo and the food was delicious.
We had the most amazing time in Cairo and it was so nice to finally see the Pyramids! My favourite part was definitely the Egyptian museum as it was so interesting learning about all of the history. Cairo is a truly unique city and at times it can be chaotic, but it is one of those places you just have to go!! I’m not quite sure I will go back as I much prefer Alexandria but I loved every second of our time there.
Thanks for reading.