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IFLY tips

Visiting the Pyramids of Giza (½ day)
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A visit to Cairo without visiting a pyramid is no visit. Of course you have to go there. You can see three pyramids on a row, with the Giza Pyramid as the largest and oldest one. These buildings are amazing and a view outside with the desert at the back is wonderful. It’s also possible to see some chambers inside, but they only allow a few visitors a day. Around the big pyramids are some smaller structures where you can go into smaller chambers.

You can see the pyramids in several ways. You can just go there by taxi in 20 minutes from Cairo, drive to the parking and walk around. A much better way is to explore the pyramids by camel or horse. A horse is bit more comfortable, but you need some experience. A camel comes with a driver and gives you the feeling to go back some centuries.

The city of Cairo only stops just next to the Pyramids. And behind the pyramids is nothing, just desert. That makes it a bit weird, but when standing with your back to the city, you can really imagine the old days. In the area around the pyramids are many places where you can rent a camel or a horse. Make sure you ware a long shirt and long pants and preferably a cap, as it can be very hot in the desert.

When you do a tour with a camel or a horse, make sure you agree about all expenses before you start your tour. Sometimes the guides like to see you as an ATM. After the tour they tell you the price was only for the camel but not for the camel driver and the guide and so on. Make it a fixed price. Approximately 120 EGP should be enough for a camel ride and entrance fee to the pyramids.

Horse riding (½ day - 1 week)
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Riding a horse is nice around the pyramids, but it’s also possible to make a longer tour. You can do a half-day, a full day tour or even several days with nights over in the desert. Some experience for those longer rides is necessary. The horses will carry you past beautiful monuments through the desert. A good operator with healthy horses is Farouq Breesh horse riding, or FB Stables as it’s called.

A popular half-day ride is to set off in the morning from FB Stables to the Abu Sir pyramids, which are situated between Giza and Saqqara. On the way you’ll have lunch at their sister farm nestled at the foot of Abu Sir. But there are many more options. If you like more information, click here.
Prices are approximately 150 EGP per hour or 100 EGP for longer tours. The address is: Gamal Abdul Nasser Street in Giza. Just go there by taxi.

Cairo museum (½ day)
The most important museum of Cairo is the Egyptian Museum at Tahrir Square. It was built during the reign of Khedive Abbass Helmi II in 1897, and opened on 1902. It is a huge museum with 107 halls. At the ground floor you’ll see the huge statues. The upper floor houses small statues, jewels, Pharaoh Tutankhamen treasures and the mummies of other Pharaohs.

Everyone who likes to know more about Egypt and the history of the Pharaohs should go to this museum. However, the negative side is that the environmental and display conditions leave a great deal to be desired. Labels on some exhibits date from early in the century and many items have no labels at all. So best thing to do is hire a guide. This will cost about 75 Egyptian Pounds.

The museum is open daily from 9 am to 4.30 pm. The entrance fee is 20 pounds and another 40 pounds if you like to go into the mummies room. If you like to use your camera or video camera, you have to pay another fee as well.

Khan el Khalili bazaar (2 - 3 hrs)
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If you like to see the old Islamic part of Cairo and love shopping, you have to go to the enormous Khan el Khalili bazaar. There are many small labyrinthine streets with shops, stalls, small restaurants and coffee houses. The area is really huge and there are several sections. A section for spices, for clothing, for glass, metal stuff, jewellery, perfume oils and so on. And if you don’t want to buy anything you’ll have some wonderful picturesque moments for sure.

Best time to go there is late afternoon. You can spend a few hours in the bazaar, which is open from early morning till late night. And when you’re tired of shopping and walking around have a coffee at one of the small coffee bars or enjoy a specialty at a local restaurant. Every taxi driver knows where it is and it is very easy to get a taxi back again.

Birqash Camel Market (3 hrs)
A great thing to see is a huge camel market in Birqash. Camels are brought here from Sudan and Somalia. It takes about one month for the camels and their herders to make the trip. The camels can go for at least two months without food or water so this is not a problem. 

Every morning from 6 am till noon, the camels come in ready to be sold to the highest bidder at the Birqash camel market just outside of Cairo. It’s wonderful to see this all the camels and the people bargaining. There are hundreds of camels roaming through the small market area. Goats and other animals are also exchanged here, while a furniture and bric-a-brac market takes place in a nearby compound. This visit can be done in combination with the pyramids, as it’s only half an hour drive away. Best way is to take a taxi and every driver will now Birqash. They will ask tourists to pay a small entrance fee. This shouldn’t be more then 5 EGP.

Windows on the world at Hilton (2 hrs)
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Nearby the Egyptian Museum is the Ramses Hilton Hotel. It’s located at the banks of the river Nile. This hotel has a wonderful bar at the 36th floor. From there you have a great view of the Nile and, if the sky is clear, even at the pyramids.

It is a restaurant with international cuisine, cocktails and evening entertainment. You can go there for just a drink as well. The prices are reasonable and the dress code is smart-casual. You’ll find Ramses Hilton at 1115 Corniche El Nil. It’s open from 5 pm to 2 am.

Pharaonic Village (½ day)
Had enough of staring at archaeological discoveries? Like to feel how real life was in the old days? Go to the Pharaonic Village. This is a living museum with real people, actors in costume and in a realistic locale, taking the place of static exhibits. It is a living, breathing entity that changes day by day with numerous activities from Ancient Egypt.

The Pharaonic Village is an experience like no other. The instant you begin sailing down the canals that circuit through the island you are immersed totally in the Egypt of history and legend. Everywhere you look, you will find more and more of the sights and sounds of ancient Egypt, until finally you could believe that you have truly traveled through time to a distant and glorious past.

A sight not to be missed at the Pharaonic Village is the authentic replica of King Tutankhamun's tomb. This reproduction is vastly superior to an ordinary museum, for the treasures here are arranged in precisely the same manner as they were found in the original tomb. There are very few differences between this one and the original, but there’s one: this tomb is air-conditioned.

The village is located on the West bank of the Nile, on Jacob's Island at 3 Al-Bahr Al-A'zam Street, about six miles from the center of Cairo. The village is open from 9 am to 6 pm daily. In the summer months it remains open until 9 pm. The fee for the trip varies with the itinerary and starts at $15.00 per person.

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Language of the world

Of course you like to speak a few words of the local language onboard the plane or at your destination. Here you find some simple basics of the main language spoken in Cairo.