Cairo is famous for its ancient Egyptian Heritage, and it is situated nearby to the archaic cities of Memphis and Giza – home of the Sphinx and the Pyramids.
Cairo is the second largest city in Africa, after Lagos in Nigeria, and the biggest in the Middle east. With a population of roughly 9,120,000 people, it isn’t hard to see why.This city was founded in 969 AD mainly because of its close proximity to the Nile Delta.
If you are in de-Nile (sorry!) and think that traveling to this city will break the bank, then we will aim to prove you wrong with our list of the top five free things to do in Cairo:
5. Coptic Cairo
Up first on our list of five free things to do in Cairo is the “old City”, Coptic Cairo.
With the first mosque built in Egypt, the oldest synagogue and all the churches of the Coptic community; the old city represents three of the worlds most influential religions. No matter your religious affiliation, it is hard not to appreciate the architecture and design of these old buildings.
The term “Copt” refers to the Egyptian Christians that inhabited Egypt after the reign of the Pharaohs. The artwork they have created is why Coptic Cairo is on our list.
4. Sufi Dancing Show
In the past, for the busy seasons, you may have had to wait for up to two hours to watch number four on our list of free things to do in Cairo – the sufi dancing show.
Luckily you can now pick up the tickets in advance from the Wikalat Al Ghouri entrance, best of all it is still free!
For a description of Sufi dancing follow this link.
3. Street of the Tentmakers
If you want a taste of Egyptian history then head on down to number three on our list of free things to do in Cairo – the Street of the Tentmakers. This covered market has been in continuous use since approximately 1250 AD and has not changed much for those centuries.
If you are willing to spend some money on souvenirs, this area of Cairo is perfect. It is generally cheaper than the more touristy souvenir shops and you can get all sorts of textiles, even some miniature tents.
Even if you aren’t willing to loosen the purse strings, the street is worth a visit for the remarkable sights on offer.
2. Khan el-Khalili Bazaar
An open air marketplace or general commercial area is called a souk/souq or a bazaar in North African and Middle Eastern regions. Khan el-Khalili Bazaar is one of Cairo’s main attractions, not just for tourists but for locals as well.
There aren’t just the typical tourist souvenir shops at this market, however, it also encompasses a variety of coffeehouses, restaurants, street food, and shisha.
As you walk among the labyrinth alleys of the bazaar you can view the different items for sale all whilst the scents of spices fill the air.
1. Qarafa, City of the Dead
Number one on our list of free things to do in Cairo is visit Qarafa, City of the Dead. It is an Islamic Necropolis that have been visited by travelers for centuries.
The City of the Dead is comprised of two 4 mile long cemeteries and after the 1967 war in Egypt displaced people have moved into it.
It may seem like a strange choice for a tourist destination, and the name may be terrifying, but it is certainly worth a visit if you are in Cairo on a budget. Don’t believe us? Check out the reviews from virtualtourists.com for more information.
We do have a warning though, don’t travel here late at night if you can help it – it is much less safe after dark.
That concludes our list of the top five free things to do in Cairo, if you have anything to add feel free to leave a comment!