Cairo Tour of Egyptian Museum, Old Cairo and Khan El-Khalili
Our friendly Egyptologist tour guide will pick you up from your hotel in Cairo at 8.30am and take you to the amazing Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, also known as the Egyptian Museum which houses over 120,000 of the most important ancient Egyptian antiques.
Egyptian Museum Tour
Inside this massive and world-famous museum you'll find the most important pieces of Egyptian history including Pharaonic antiques and the treasure of Egypt's best known King, Tutankhamen. This massive museum in Tahir Square was established in 1902 and includes seven floors filled with fascinating artifacts such as two statues of King Tutankhamen made of cedar wood and covered in fine gold, a statue of King Akhenaton, Ushabtis statues that belonged to the Nubian kings, a mummy of a child and a small plychrome glass vase.
During the Egyptian revolution of 2011the museum was broken into and two mummies were destoryed as well as around 50 objects being lost and several damaged. Since then 25 of those objects have been sucessfuly recovered.
The Egyptian Museum spans across 2 floors, the ground floor housing numerous objects including papyrus with written Greek, Latin, Arabic and ancient Egyptian, and coins, again not only Egyptian ones but also Greek, Roman and Islamic, highlighting Egypt's rich history. The ground floor also houses larghe statues, tables and coffins.
On the first floor you'll find artefacts from the final two dynasties of Egypt including items from the tombs of Pharohs Tutmosis III, Thutmosis IV, Amenophis II, Hatshepsut, and the courtier Maiherpri, as well as many artifacts from the Valley of the Kings, in particular the material from the intact tombs of Tutankhamun and Psusennes I. Two special rooms contain a number of mummies of kings and other royal family members of the New Kingdom.
The Egptian Museum of Antiquities is a fascinating place that allows you to see all the antiques that would have been buried in the ancient kings of Egypt's tombs and pyramids as well as some of the mummified kings themselves.
Lunch on the Nile
After exploring Cairo Museum we'll have a delicious buffet lunch at a resturant alongside the famous River Nile, the lifeblood of Cairo.
Old Cairo Tour
After lunch we'll travel to Old Cairo where we'll discover the churches, synagogues, mosques and the biggest market in Khan El-Khalili.
Tour of the Hanging Church
The most famous Coptis Christian church in Cairo, the Hanging Church is thought to have been built during the patriachate of Isaac (690-92) although churches have existed on this site since the 3rd or 4th Century. The church is the site of several reported apparitions of Mary, she is said to have appeared in one of Pope Abraham's dreams in 970AD. This beautiful church has is highly decorated with its barrel vaulted roof and marble pulpit.
Your next stop is the Abu Serga, one of the places where the Holy Family rested after fleeing Israel from King Herod. There are 24 marble columns lining the central court, and a series of 12th-century icons depicting the 12 apostles.
Ben Ezra Synagogue is one of the oldest in Egypt. Set in a shady garden, it was built on the site of 4th-century Christian church. The synagogue was severely damaged by Arabs after the 1967 war with Israel, but it has been almost completely renovated.
Mosque of El-Azhar
Constructed in the newly established capital City of Egypt in 970, Al-Azhar Mosque was the first to be built in Cairo, a city that would one day be named "the city of a thousand minarets" due to the sheer number of mosques found there.
Since the first 35 scholars in 972, it's now the second oldest continuously run university in the world. Over it's colourful millenium long history the mosque has gone through periods of neglect and being held in high regard as different rulers run Egypt. Today the Mosque of El-Azhar is a symbol of Islamic Egypt and a national treasure.
Khan El-Khalili Market
To finish off our tour of Old Cairo we'll visit the biggest market in the Bazaar district, one of the city's main tourist attractions. Originally the site of Saffron Tomb, a burial site of the Fatimid caliphs, the site was the center of great economic activity in the 14th century despite being ravaged by the Black Death. By the late 15th century the site of Khan El-Khalili market had become the major center of foreign trade, which among many other things included the sale of slaves.
During the reign of Egypt's last important sultan the complex was rebuilt with monumental gates and perpendicular streets resembling the great Ottoman cities where the most precious goods were traded at the time. The most famous sights of the beautiful market are its massive ornate gates and upper stories eith iron grilled windows for the merchants rooms.
Today the market hasnt changed a great deal, except foreign merchants have been replaced by Egyptians geared towards the tourism market. This is a great place so find an authentic and original holiday present for yourself or a loved one.
You'll also come across the market's many shops, coffeehouses, resturants and street food vendors offering fantastic quality Arabic coffee and shisha.
Travel back to your Cairo Hotel
This tour of Cairo old town and museum is a great way to see the real Cairo, maybe if you've already seen the pyramids or simply looking for something a bit different.