Best Things to Do in Cairo 2020: Museum, Mummies, Markets

You read our posts for Egypt here and here. Here is the final one from Cairo and the things to do in Cairo, Egypt. 

It was our last day in Egypt, and our schedule was that it would be devoted to archaeology. We felt like Indiana Jones, by visiting the museum, pyramids and all related to Ancient Egypt.

We can’t describe the feeling. Cairo museum was something extraordinary for us since the wooden framed showcases, and all the statues, artifacts, and ornaments create the mystery feeling.

You were feeling like some mummy would jump from some corner, pointing its bonny fingers. And yes, we saw real mummies too, in a special conditions chamber they have them exposed.

Here we go then with our trip, through time and mysteries.

Things to Do in Cairo: The Cairo Museum

Let us tell you that we were fortunate to be at the Cairo Museum, with photographs being allowed. I think this hasn’t happened for around 15 years.

Photographing elements of the museum were not allowed at all until 30 days before we arrive in Cairo. The day after we were there was the last day this was permitted!!!.

The building itself is quite impressive, and it kind of prepares you for the feeling you will receive going inside.

Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum

Now, here are the artifacts from inside.

We were lucky to have a very knowledgeable guide. Since you can spend many hours in the museum, he explained to us all the key points to understand about the different kingdoms of Egypt and how Egyptian culture evolved.

He explained these concerning the artifacts pointing to the differences we saw in art elements, materials, and the scope of these.

For example, we didn’t know that during the Middle Era of Egypt, no art was created.

Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
The Scriber. Egyptians used glass for eyes, and you have the feeling that statues look at you directly.

Through the photo below, we “read” if the person was alive or dead when his statue was made.

Left: A straight beard and one foot in front of the other means that the person was alive during the statue creation.

Right: Hands crossed, beard pointing up, and legs kept together, which means the person was dead when his statue was made.

Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
The symbolism of alive and dead persons.
Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
A case of canopic jars, where internal organs were kept after the mummification process, for re-birth(!) reasons.
Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
A mural of fantastic beauty.
Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
Pseudo-Sarcophagus
Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
King Tut’s burial mask
Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
King Tut’s Sarcophagus
Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
Board games!
Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
Throne and base. The base depicts people of different tribes the King has conquered. Meaning: I own you!
Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
More mummified animals.
Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
Nile God holding the symbol of a Unified Egypt

That is just a tiny sample of the photos we took and the thousands of exhibits of the museum.

Making Papyrus

After leaving the Cairo museum, we were intrigued by the other things to do in Cairo. Our next stop was a shop where they were making and selling papyrus.

We were about to observe how papyrus was made (and is made). We also bought a decorative one at a very nice price.

Here is the video from the process.

Things to do in Cairo: The Pyramids of Giza

This is supposed to be the spectacle for which people fly in from all over the world. Yet, for us, the museum was far interesting.

If you don’t know it, pyramids are tombs. Yes, that is the case.

The pyramids scheme and way of building them is an outcome of efforts through the years to avoid tomb mongers to get the treasures.

Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
See what looks like an entrance? It is not. The real access is a few meters lower.

Of course, this wasn’t successful except in some specific cases. Before the Giza pyramids, another type of tomb “building” was used: The Mastaba. And they were robbed too.

Years passed, and Egyptians tried many ways to avoid robbery of treasures. For example, the actual entrance was hidden.

Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
See the analogy to just one block (row).
Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
Maria posing!
Camel drivers are met all over Cairo, usually outside the center of the city.
Camel drivers are met all over Cairo, usually outside the center of the city. At pyramids of Giza, you can rent a camel to travel through the desert for half an hour.
Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
And of course, there had to be a souvenirs market at the Giza pyramids Plateau.
Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
You can also rent this way to travel to the Plateau. Note Very very dirty carriages.

Our guide warned us not to give in for this kind of rides.

If you go there, you will see that they will jump all over you, trying to get you to their carriages.

The price is not high, but since you are there with a guide and bus/van, there is no reason to rent such. Also, did we mention that they are filthy?

Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
The view from the side of the Great Sphinx. This area hosts the Light and Sound show.

And here is the Sphinx itself from up close.

Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
The Great Sphinx.

Guess what. There is a wishing well everywhere. Even as a dry well.

Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum

We went into one of the pyramids. In case you are somewhat claustrophobic, avoid it. Other than that, you will go through a narrow and not tall at all corridor, to end up in the burial chamber.

Ok, it is an experience after all, right?

Here is a swift video from one of the pyramids we went in. It was the Pyramid of Menkaure.

Photos were not allowed to be taken. We are talking in Greek in this video, but you will see what it looks like.

Last night at Cairo: The Khan el Khalili

This is Cairo-by-Night experience.

Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
Part of Han El Halili

You can find all kinds of things in the market, mostly oriental decorative items, street food (avoid non-cooked), coffee and tea houses, and such.

If you have ever been to Istanbul, then look the same but on a far smaller scale.

Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum
Part of Han El Halili

Prices are very, very low, and you can bargain for anything for a better price.

Most items do not cost more than 4-5 Euro/USD, so keep in mind not to bargain too much since families are living with amounts that may be too small for you.

Just bargain for the fun of it. Sellers expect that.

So, dear friends, that was just one day! We managed to experience all these fantastic things to do in Cairo.

Don’t forget to read about Alexandria and some things to know before traveling to Cairo, Egypt.

If you plan for a cruise in the Nile, then read this post too.

Stand by for more adventures. Until then, say “cheese” to our friend!

Things to Do in Cairo - Cairo Museum

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Comments

  1. Hi 🙂 Thanks for this amazing tips, I will travel to Egypt to spend my vacation in there, but I have not had enough information about Egypt and the best attraction in there. So when I read your article I found some useful information.
    Thank you again, bro, have a great time.
    Best regards 🙂

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