Spending three 3 Days in Cairo provides a great opportunity to explore Egypt’s capital’s rich history, culture, and vibrant atmosphere. Cairo, Egypt’s bustling capital, assaults the senses with its heat, dust, and chaotic charm. Despite its intense atmosphere, the city captivates visitors with its friendly locals, fantastic shopping, delicious Egyptian Food, and many sights. Exploring Cairo is a true delight!
While many travelers pass through Cairo to the iconic Great Pyramids of Giza, immersing yourself in the city’s rich history and culture for three days can be a rewarding experience. Rather than hastily moving on to Luxor or embarking on a Nile River cruise, consider dedicating three days to unraveling the layers of Cairo’s fascinating offerings.
Given Cairo’s vast size, with a population exceeding 10 million, deciding where to start may seem daunting. Fear not, as we’ve crafted a comprehensive 3-day Cairo itinerary to relieve you of the planning burden, allowing you to savor every moment in this captivating Egyptian metropolis!
Getting To Cairo
Most Cairo visitors enter through Cairo International Airport, situated approximately 13 miles northeast of Old Cairo, the focal point for many tourist attractions. The most convenient mode of transportation into the city is to summon an Uber car. Uber is exceptionally budget-friendly in Egypt, and a trip from the airport to Old Cairo typically amounts to no more than 250 LE (approximately USD 15).
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Where to stay in Cairo
Choosing where to stay in Cairo depends on your preferences, interests, and the purpose of your visit. Here are a few neighborhoods and areas in Cairo that cater to different preferences:
1- KEMPINSKI NILE HOTEL
Indulge in the breathtaking view from the rooftop pool at the Kempinski Nile Hotel. Nestled right on the banks of the Nile River and merely a 5-minute stroll from the Egyptian Museum, the Kempinski stands out as one of our preferred accommodations in Cairo. Following a day of exploration, don’t miss the opportunity to unwind in the complimentary hot tubs, steam rooms, and saunas at the fully equipped spa!
2- SOFITEL CAIRO NILE EL GEZIRAH
For an exceptional treat during your 3-day Cairo getaway, consider reserving a room at the Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah. This opulently adorned 5-star hotel graces Gezira Island, just a few blocks from the Cairo Opera House. Boasting an infinity pool and a private promenade along the Nile River, this hotel promises an indulgent experience.
3- CAIRO MARRIOTT HOTEL & OMAR KHAYYAM CASINO
Originally erected in 1869 as a royal palace, this remarkable establishment underwent a transformation into a 5-star hotel in the 1970s. Adorned with ornate gold mirrors, sumptuous carpets, intricate latticework, and captivating artwork, the Cairo Marriott Hotel melds historic architecture with contemporary amenities.
How to spend 3 days in Cairo?
Spending 3 days in Cairo allows you to explore the city’s rich history, cultural heritage, and vibrant atmosphere. Here’s a suggested itinerary to make the most of your time:
Day 1 [The Pyramids of Giza – The Sphinx -The Grand Museum – Khan el Khalili Bazaar ]
- The Pyramids of Giza: Arrive early to witness the sunrise over the Pyramids of Giza. Begin your exploration with the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the largest of the three pyramids. Consider entering the pyramid’s chambers for a unique experience. Let’s move on to the Pyramid of Khafre and Menkaure. Capture panoramic views of the pyramids and the desert landscape.
- The Sphinx: Walk to the Sphinx, located near the pyramids. Marvel at this enigmatic creature and learn about its historical significance.
- Lunch: Enjoy a leisurely lunch at a restaurant overlooking the pyramids. Sample traditional Egyptian dishes and relax before the next adventure.
- The Grand Museum: Head to the Grand Egyptian Museum, a short distance from the pyramids. Explore the museum’s extensive collection, including the treasures of Tutankhamun. Delve into the rich history of ancient Egypt through interactive exhibits and multimedia displays.
- Khan el Khalili Bazaar: Depart for Khan el Khalili, a vibrant bazaar with winding alleys and bustling shops. Engage in bargaining as you peruse various goods, from spices and textiles to jewelry and Egypt souvenirs. Don’t rush; immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere.
Optional Night Activity
- If you have energy left, consider exploring the surroundings of Al-Azhar at night. The illuminated mosque and nearby areas create a magical atmosphere. Check for any cultural events or performances happening in the vicinity.
Day 2 [ Egyptian Museum – Memphis City – Saqqara and Dahshur Necropolis – A Traditional felucca Nile Cruise ]
- Egyptian Museum: Begin your day at the Egyptian Museum, located in Tahrir Square. Immerse yourself in ancient Egypt as you explore the vast collection of artifacts. Consider hiring a guide to enhance your understanding of the museum’s highlights.
- Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant, sampling traditional Egyptian cuisine.
- Memphis City: Head to Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt. Explore the open-air museum, where colossal statues, including the iconic statue of Ramesses II, offer a glimpse into the grandeur of this ancient city.
- Saqqara and Dahshur Necropolis: Venture to Saqqara, home to the Step Pyramid of Djoser, one of Egypt’s earliest colossal stone buildings. Explore the complex, including the Pyramid of Teti and the mastaba tombs. Then, proceed to Dahshur to witness the Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid, showcasing the evolution of pyramid design.
- Traditional Felucca Nile Cruise: Conclude your day with a serene traditional Felucca Nile cruise. Enjoy the gentle breeze as you sail along the Nile River, admiring the cityscape and the illuminated landmarks. This tranquil experience offers a unique perspective of Cairo from the water.
- Dinner: For a memorable dining experience, consider having dinner at a riverside restaurant or a floating restaurant on the Nile, enjoying local delicacies with a view of the city lights.
Day 3 [ Salah El Din Citadel – Coptic Cairo – Islamic Cairo]
- Salah El Din Citadel: Begin your day at the Salah El Din Citadel, a historic Islamic fortification. Explore the Citadel complex, including the impressive Mohamed Ali Mosque’s distinctive Ottoman architecture. Enjoy panoramic views of Cairo from the Citadel.
- Coffee Break: Take a break at a local café near the Citadel. Enjoy traditional Egyptian coffee or tea while relaxing and soaking in the surroundings.
- Coptic Cairo: Head to Coptic Cairo, the heart of the city’s Christian heritage.
- Hanging Church (Saint Virgin Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church): Explore the Hanging Church, known for its unique architecture and rich history.
- Coptic Museum: Visit the Coptic Museum, which houses a vast collection of Coptic art and artifacts, providing insights into the history of Christianity in Egypt.
- Lunch: Lunch at a local Coptic Cairo restaurant, savoring Egyptian dishes and specialties.
- Islamic Cairo: Explore the vibrant streets of Islamic Cairo, known for its historic mosques, markets, and traditional architecture.
Khan El Khalili (if not visited on Day 1): Take this opportunity to explore Khan El Khalili Bazaar if you missed it on Day 1.
- Al-Muizz Street: Stroll along Al-Muizz Street, which is lined with historic mosques, madrasas, and monuments. Highlights include the Sultan Hassan Mosque and the Al-Rifa’i Mosque.