3 Perfect Days in Cairo, Egypt

Fora Author Henley Vazquez


Henley Vazquez

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Think Cairo is only about antiquities? Think again. (Although the museums and historical sites are absolute musts.) The city is buzzing with great food, fantastic hotels, shopping, art...the list goes on.

Read on for a perfect three-day Cairo itinerary for a little inspiration. Then, connect with Fora to plan and book your dream Egypt getaway today.

Day 1: The Great Pyramids & the Sphinx

The Sphinx, Giza

The early bird gets the worm, so we've heard. The maxim is especially true on Fridays in Egypt. Fridays are the Egyptian weekend, so that morning, take advantage of the lighter traffic and head to the Great Pyramids of Giza. (Giza is technically its own city, but it's only a 30ish-minute drive, without traffic, from Cairo.)

Begin with breakfast at 9 Pyramids Lounge, which offers stunning views of, you guessed it, the Pyramids. Enjoy your meal and take in the views: you’re literally right in front of the ancient monuments, so it’s an especially great spot for anyone with mobility issues. (The sand can get tricky to navigate.) Once you've finished breakfast, there's no need to plan on going inside the Pyramids — the interiors basically just consist of a long tunnel that leads to a tiny room, and it’s claustrophobic. Instead, enjoy a camel ride in the desert.

Then, you’ll visit the Great Sphinx — the giant sculpture of a man's head on a lion's body — which is in the same complex as the Pyramids, but still requires a short car ride. Although all this sightseeing will be accomplished in the morning, that’s a lot of history to cover in one day. In the afternoon, we recommend returning to your hotel for lunch and relaxing by the pool. You'll be glad for a bit of down time.

In the evening, enjoy a sunset cruise on the Nile (a favorite activity among locals) and then have dinner at Pier 88 for swanky Italian right on the river.

Day 2: Nearby towns & extra sightseeing

Saqqara Necropolis, Saqqara, Egypt

On day two of your perfect three-day Cairo itinerary, head to Saqqara, a town about a 30-minute drive southwest of Cairo, and explore the ancient pyramids there. (One pyramid in the complex houses the oldest pyramid burial chamber decorated with texts.)

Then venture into Saqqara itself. There, you can visit the town's famed carpet school and peruse the beautiful hand-woven carpets — and take one home, if you’d like (the best souvenir, if we say so ourselves).

You can also visit the city of Memphis nearby. There are some ancient ruins here to explore, but unless you’re a dedicated history buff, you can skip it. Trust us: you'll already be getting in plenty of history.

Return to Cairo to check out some of the city's other sites, like the famous Hanging Church, which dates to the third century, or one of the city’s many mosques. Then have your guide select a lunch spot for a leisurely midday meal.

Cairo's sightseeing is truly world-class, but it can also be tiring. We recommend spending the afternoon enjoying the spa at your hotel.

In the evening, dine at one of the restaurants on the First Nile Boat, Four Seasons Cairo’s luxury floating restaurant, lounge and event complex. Head to Riva for brick-oven pizza and cocktails, Zoé for seafood and Xodó for a stylish Brazilian steakhouse moment. For more cocktails and refined pan-Asian cuisine, we love Nairu & Nairu Lounge. And, if you have energy after dinner (we're impressed!), pop into a night market for some shopping beneath the stars.

Day 3: The Egyptian Museum & exploring the rest of Cairo

The Egyptian Museum

Start day three with a visit to The Egyptian Museum — the Middle East’s oldest archeological museum, no less. Go in the morning, as there’s no air conditioning. We repeat: there is no AC, so go in the morning, when it's cooler. (Trust us.) The museum is home to an incredible amount of treasures — you can easily spend a good few hours here. With so much to see, you won't want to be rushed. Now is the time to really take it in, read alllll the placards and enjoy what will probably be the best history lesson you'll ever have.

Spend your afternoon filling in anything you haven’t done already. Didn’t get to explore a market last night? Wander around one this afternoon. Or maybe visit the Cairo Citadel, a medieval hillside fortress. There's so much to see, so it's really about what piques your interest the most. (Fora can help recommend a few options based on your preferences, of course.)

For dinner, make a beeline for Byblos, a hot new Lebanese restaurant at the Four Seasons’ Nile Plaza. Fresh tabbouleh speckled with parsley and mint? Roasted beetroot dip with tahini and pistachios? Chargrilled lamb showered in herbs and pine nuts? We're already there.

Bonus: Easy trip extensions

Citadel of Qaitbay, Alexandria, Egypt

Cairo is a gem of a city, and it's also nearby several other cities that make fantastic vacation add-ons. Consider adding extras like a trip to Sharm El-Sheikh, a dreamy beach town on the Red Sea (we're obsessed with the Four Seasons there), or to Alexandria, a Mediterranean port city once home to its namesake lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. You also can't go wrong with a Nile cruise, a relaxing and scenic way to take in the surrounding landscapes. Trust us, you really can’t go wrong.

Ready to travel? Connect with Fora to plan and book your dream Egypt getaway today.

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