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Cairo City Guide

Cairo, which Egyptians proudly alarm the 'Mother of All Cities', spreads forth the banks of the River Nile for 40km (25 miles) arctic to south, the better burghal in Africa. Travellers through the ages accept been both absorbed and repelled by Cairo. Visitors are absorbed by its agee streets, medieval buildings, oriental bazaars and Islamic architectonics of carved domes and sculpted minarets, while actuality afraid by its dirt, pollution, noise, crowds and connected demands for baksheesh (gratuities). Paying baksheesh is the bounded custom, however, so apprehend to accord little and often. Culture shock is allotment of the acquaintance of Cairo and can at times be wearing. But as is accounting in the age-old tales of the 1001 Nights, 'He who hath not apparent Cairo, hath not apparent the world'.

Cairo is a disorienting abode but best of the burghal lies on the east coffer of the River Nile. Visitors generally feel best adequate award their anxiety in the Westernised burghal commune of axial Cairo about Midan Tahrir (Liberation Square). This is a accessible carriage hub, afar from the Nile by the massive Nile Hilton Hotel. Here too is the burghal centre's basic attraction, the Egyptian Museum. Opposite burghal is the Nile island of Gezira, with the island of Roda aloof to the south. The Pyramids of Giza, however, are on the west coffer of the river, some 18km (11 miles) from the centre. Old Cairo lies south of axial Cairo, while Islamic Cairo encompasses a ample breadth to the east. The burghal is growing rapidly, both in agreement of citizenry and bounded area, with fresh suburbs accretion on its outskirts, abnormally into the Eastern Desert. Northwest of the burghal centre, abreast the airport, Heliopolis is home to abounding of Cairo's affluent (and the Presidential Palace), while to the west, the common suburb of Giza has broadcast to aural afterimage of the Pyramids.

Although Cairo today is Egypt's basic and better city, abundant with some 18 actor people, its position of bulge in the continued timeline of Egyptian history is almost recent. It did not alike abide back the pyramids at Giza were constructed. Then, the boondocks of Memphis, 24km (15 miles) to the south, was the Pharaonic capital. Cairo was not founded until the Romans rebuilt an old Persian breastwork forth the Nile in AD116, which was accepted as Babylon-in-Egypt, in today's Old Cairo district.

From the closing ninth century, a assumption of Arab rulers fabricated their mark on the city: Ibn Tulun congenital his aristocratic burghal el-Qatai, the Fatimids congenital the belted burghal of el-Qahira, from which Cairo takes it name. In the 13th century, the Mamluks, a degree of Turkish soldier-slaves, rose to power, again the Ottomans, the French beneath Napoleon and assuredly the British disqualified in their turn. The bearing of avant-garde Cairo came in 1863, back the adjudicator Ismail broadcast the burghal forth the Nile in the appearance of the abundant European cities. After the country alternate to Egyptian aphorism in 1952, Cairo rose to the beginning as the basic of the Arab world.

Cairo is additionally alleged the 'City of 1000 Minarets' and it is the alien skyline of adroit domes and aerial minarets that casts a spell of abracadabra over the cutting absoluteness of the metropolis. Best visitors appear to see the abundant Pyramids of Giza, the treasures of Tutankhamun's tomb and added wonders in the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, as able-bodied as to boutique in the sprawling Khan al-Khalili marketplace. There are additionally dozens of mosques, Coptic churches, abate museums and ambagious streets to explore. This tourism is Egypt's key antecedent of adopted income, while the accessible sector, including government and amusing casework and the military, makes up the better 'industry'. The burghal is additionally the centre of a growing trade, accounts and allowance sector.

During the summer, temperatures in Cairo can ascend to 38 degrees Celsius, admitting the low clamminess is some consolation. The best time to appointment is amid October and April. Occasional downpours action in January and February, while during March and April the khamseen, a strong, hot, dry wind, assault in periodically from the desert.