How to Spend 3 Days in Cairo
With three days in Cairo, you can cover a lot of ground, including the city's famous Egyptian Museum, the Giza Pyramids, and the ancient Ptolemaic city of Alexandria. Here's how to do it all in three days.
Day 1: Classic Cairo
Spend your first day in Cairo familiarizing yourself with the highlights of the city. Start with a tour of the Egyptian Museum, home to thousands of ancient artifacts, many of which were pulled from the tombs of old pharaohs. Book a guided tour and get whisked to the highlights you want to see, including the gold mask of King Tut himself. The museum also has a number of mummies and a gargantuan statue of King Khafre. In the afternoon, head to Coptic Cairo, aka Old Cairo. Tour its ancient churches, including the famous Hanging Church and the Coptic Museum with a guide who adds context to the neighborhood, which also includes mosques and a synagogue. Finally, join a tour of Khan el-Khalili, the most famous souk (bazaar) in the city, where you can pick up everything from food to locally made perfumes to papyrus paintings.
Day 2: Pyramids and Other Ancient Sites
Put your newfound knowledge of Egyptian history to use at the country's most famous attraction: the Giza Pyramids. Join a tour to enjoy round-trip transport to the UNESCO World Heritage Site that's home not only to the pyramids of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, but also to the iconic Sphinx. Many visitors also opt to preebook a camel, horse, or quad ride in the desert sands for ease. Consider a tour that includes visits to Saqqara and Memphis, as well, for more ancient exploration. Saqqara is best known for the Pyramid of Djoser, a step pyramid dating back to the Third Dynasty. Memphis was the ancient capital of Egypt and home to all sorts of ruins, notably ancient temples. Get dropped at your hotel afterwards to freshen up before supper: A dinner cruise on the Nile is an enchanting way to end your day.
Day 3: Journey to Alexandria
Spend your final day on a day trip to Alexandria, the second-largest city in Egypt. Named for its founder, Alexander the Great, this coastal city is home to numerous important points of interest, many dating back to its heyday as the hub of Hellenistic culture. Typical tours include a visit to the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa, the largest roman burial site in Egypt that features an interesting blend of Greco-Roman and ancient Egyptian decorative features. Other notable sights include the Roman Amphitheatre, the only one in Egypt, and the seaside Citadel. Full-day tours also often include a stop at the Modern Alexandria Library, an ode to the ancient Great Library of Alexandria, which thrived under the Ptolemaic Kingdom but later disappeared.