Traditionally Greater Cairo refers to three governorates: Cairo, Giza, and Qalubiyah. 6th October and Hulwan were originally part of Giza and Cairo respectively, but in late 2008 they were incorporated as two separate governorates. However, after the revolution of January 25 2011, they were annexed back to their respective governorates.
The combined population of the five governorates is 20 million as of the last major census in 2006, which makes people think that Cairo has that insane amount of people living in it – not true; Cairo’s population is only 9 million, but still a very crowded city.
When you visit it, you will immerse yourself into the incredible hustle and bustle of one of the world’s largest cities; to see modern architecture contrast with 4000-year-old monuments; and to experience daily life amongst the many different people who live in the city.
Cairo’s best-known monuments are the awe-inspiring Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. The Egyptian Museum, the pyramids of Saqqara and Memphis and the Saladin Citadel are all well worth a visit too.
A (Must See) places to visit in Cairo:
The Egyptian Museum
Egypt’s first national museum of antiquities opened in 1863. It was rehoused in the current pink, purpose-built premises in 1902, which were designed in the Neo-Classical style by French architect Marcel Dourgnon. It is said that the museum displays more than 120,000 items.
The Tower of Cairo
The southern half of Gezira (the Arabic word for “island”) is almost completely flat, making it the ideal site for the 185-m (6l0-ft) Cairo Tower, which affords excellent views of the city. Built in the late 1950s, the tower takes the form of a latticework tube that fans out slightly at the top, supposedly in imitation of the lotus blossom.
Tahrir Square was not always the dauntingly urban square that it is today. Until the 19th century, the area was a swampy plain, flooded each summer by the Nile. When Khedive Ismail (1863-79) came to power, however, he had the land drained as part of his grand scheme to transform Cairo by building a European-style city of tree-lined boulevards and grand public squares.
The Citadel of Saladin
Home to Egypt’s rulers for almost 700 years, the Citadel (Al-Qalaa) is today one of the most popular tourist sites in Cairo, Saladin’s Citadel is one of Cairo’s landmarks. It is indeed from this immense and imposing fortress that Saladin, the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty, reigned over all Egypt. Built by Saladin between 1176 and 1183.
About 20 kilometers southwest of the capital, Cairo, and being part of the metropolitan area of the same, is the city of Giza.
Nevertheless, and although it is the capital of the government of the same name, Giza is famous throughout the world for its archaeological site, located in the Giza Plateau. The famous pyramids belonging to the IV dynasty, which were built about 4600 years ago, are located there. Besides this, Giza is also part of the Great Necropolis of Memphis, which is about 40 kilometers long.
But going back to the pyramids, each one has its own name which, in turn, serves to name the necropolis around it. It is also worth mentioning that in Giza there are other types of burials, such as the mastabas and Sakkara and Memphis.
In this regard, it is important to note that all these tombs and pyramids were part of large funeral complexes in which we can find temples.
A (Must See) places to visit in Giza:
The three pyramids of Giza:
In Giza, you can see the most famous pyramids of Egypt were built in the old kingdom.
The Sphinx is that great animal with the body of a lion and a human head which can be seen on the plateau of Giza, next to the temple of the valley of the Pharaoh Kefren.
The step pyramid of Sakkara is a bit strange because it doesn’t look like a pyramid, but rather a staircase. The truth is that that’s what the Egyptians wanted it to look like because thanks to it they thought that the spirit of the pharaoh who built it, Djoser, could ascend to the sky to meet the dead gods and pharaohs.
The capital of the ancient Egypt 3100 and 2040 BC, and the coronation site of all the pharaohs of the Empire.
The Bent and Red Pyramids are the most beautiful of the four pyramids of Dahshur. It was erected by Pharaoh Senefru, who founded the fourth dynasty and was the father of Cheops.