The capital of Egypt for thousands of years, little remains of this once great city to attest to its glory. Memphis was founded by the I Dynasty pharaoh Menes around 3100 BCE and destroyed after the Arab conquest in the 6th Century CE. Most of its treasures were looted or reused in other monuments and the sparse remains hardly warrant a special excursion. Worth seeing, however, is the colossal statue of Ramses II, alabaster sphinx of King Thutmose III and embalming slabs where the holy Apis bulls were mummified. Most of the artifacts have been gathered for display in a garden. A nominal admission fee is charged.
Built-in 1960 and renovated in 2005, the Cairo International Stadium or Stad El Qahira El Dawly can seat nearly 80,000 and is the main venue for major sports events in this region of the Middle East. The stadium is particularly well known for its hosting of major soccer matches like the 2006 African Cup of Nations and the 1991 All-Africa Games, making it a well-known symbol of Egyptian soccer. It is considered to be the most visited stadium in the country. This massive stadium was designed by German architect Werner March and was inaugurated by President Gamal Abd El Nasser. The Cairo International Stadium is home to the Al-Ahly soccer club and the El Zamalek soccer team.
An everlasting symbol of human endeavor and exemplary ancient architecture, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and only remaining intact member of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. Every year when the great Nile flooded the golden soils of Egypt, Pharaoh Khufu hired several unemployed civilians to contribute to the construction of this mystical structure, a persevering effort that lasted nearly two decades. Appearing to worship the mighty skies, this colossal pyramid rises from the ground to meet its apex at 147 meters (481 feet), and is deemed to be the tallest structure in the world to be built by human hands. While the pyramid is composed of three known chambers, it was originally intended to serve as a tomb for the reigning emperor. The Great Pyramid continues to shine mysteriously under the gaze of the unforgiving sun, a glorious form built of three million limestone blocks, and years of plentiful toil.
This beautiful mosque is affiliated with Al-Azhar University, one of the oldest Islamic universities in the world and a prestigious center of learning since 970 CE. Centuries ago, lectures were held in the mosque itself. Today, they are held in the university's annex buildings, which are located all over Cairo and attract Islamic scholars and students from around the world. Al-Azhar Mosque is one of the most picturesque buildings in Cairo. Its slender minarets pierce the sky and look absolutely stunning when lit up at night. The architecture is an amalgam of styles built over the ages, all coming together to create one harmonious house of worship.
One of the largest Islamic Art museums in the world is the Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo with more than a 100000 Islamic artifacts from recent times as well as antique pieces. The museum occupies the ground floor of a Neo-Mameluke building with quiet rooms that contain a good collection of art, ceramics, calligraphy, metalwork and woodwork. Some of the displays, such as heavy wood doors and Ottoman fountains, are quite large.
The mighty Pyramid of Djoser is one of Egypt’s most iconic attractions and dates all the way back to the Third Dynasty, or roughly 27th Century BCE. This massive structure located in the Saqqara necropolis represents a turning point in Egyptian burial practices. Up until Imhotep designed this pyramid, which is comprised of six stacked mastabas of decreasing size, pharaohs were entombed in singular mastabas, which were flat-roofed rectangular brick structures. This step pyramid served as the predecessor for such smooth-sided structures as the Great Pyramids of Giza. As the name implies, the pyramid houses the remains of the pharaoh Djoser, though many of the wonders he was buried with were stolen by grave robbers over the ensuing centuries. With special permission, guests can explore the funerary complex surrounding the pyramid, including the hypostyle hall and Great South Court, parts of which have been restored.
Enjoy an elegant dinner cruise aboard the Nile Maxim which is operated by the Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino. Enjoy the la carte menu of delicacies like Fried Kofta, Tehina Salad and Fried shrimps. The cruise also hosts a number of dinner shows such as Tanoora shows, belly dancing and a live music band.
Al Masar Gallery is considered the best platform in giving expression to a long tradition of artistic work narrating the evolution of the nation. This gallery’s array of paintings starting with the third generation modern art reflect Egyptian culture and history in a holistic frame. Al Masar, like a true patronage of art and culture, helps in the collection and listing of the iconic paintings, encourages the creation of new ones, provides interpretation of a subject, acts as a unique selling point, provides insurance guidance and shipment arrangement to all parts of the world.
Located in the Zamalek area of Cairo, Gezira Center for Modern Art is a contemporary art museum mainly focusing on artworks, paintings and sculptures made by artists such as Ahmed Morsi, Mahmoud Sa'id, Inji Eflatoun, Mohammed Naghi, Abdel Hadi el-Gazzar and company during the Egyptian movement in the 20th-century. Not only do they have art pieces by Egyptian-born artists, but also boast of rare works by internationally regarded artists such as Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, and Claude Monet.
This museum is located in the splendid palace of Prince Ibrahim which, appropriately enough, is an impressive example of Islamic architecture and decoration in itself. The museum has a priceless collection of Islamic ceramics from, among other places, Egypt, Iran, Turkey and southern Spain. The exhibits demonstrate various firing and decoration techniques.
This institute is renowned for its quality lectures on history, archeology and culture. These usually begin at 5:30p on Thursdays, but it is a good idea to call ahead. The institute also has a library with Dutch and Belgian titles, as well as many other resources. It can arrange tutors for people wishing to learn Dutch and Frisian.
Le Pacha 1901 is one of the city's most iconic dining and entertainment destinations. Construction of the palatial riverboat began in 1887, at the time intended to be a grand and luxurious retreat for the Pacha upon whose behest the plans were drawn up. Unfortunately, following the demise of the Pacha in 1901, the majestic floating palace was abandoned. In 1992, the boat was restored, completed and transformed into a dining destination with a magnificent view over the Nile and Cairo beyond. Le Pacha 1901 offers its guests exceptional service and international cuisine in an unforgettable setting. Sample traditional Italian fare at the signature Piccolo Mondo, tuck into sumptuous French cuisine at Le Steak, or enjoy more contemporary delicacies at the Tycoons, where live entertainment will delight and dazzle as you drink in the elegant ambiance. At Le Pacha 1901 you can also sample Asian cuisine and enjoy drinks with a few pals at a classic English pub. Like a time machine, Le Pacha 1901 will transport you across time and space to the far off lands while rooted to the banks of the river Nile. Elegant ballrooms and a charming patisserie complete the offer, rendering Le Pacha 1901 much more than a simple attraction, but rather an experience that is a must for those who crave excellence.