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12 weeks before you go

Cairo holidays

Who is Cairo suitable for?
Destination Cairo is a city with a rich and ancient history and a turbulent and fascinating present. Straddling the Nile River - the ancient lifeline of the country - it has a population of over 16 million people and is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. On first encounter, it can feel dirty, noisy and intimidating but with time its many charms and idiosyncrasies become quite irresistible. Perhaps the main reason to visit Cairo is to see the stunning pyramids and sphinx of Giza, a short taxi ride outside town. However many times you've seen them in reproduction, nothing can quite prepare you for their monumental scale and eery presence in real life.

Cairo is a vibrant and polyphonous city with upmarket, modern areas like Zamalek and very traditional districts like the Islamic Quarter. There is the glitz and glamour of the CityStars Mall and the oriental excitement of the old market of Khan al Khalili Bazaar. Be sure to see the stunning pharaonic art works in the Cairo Museum and explore some of the city's historic mosques like the vast Ali Pasha Mosque, the Al Azhar and the Ibn Tulun Mosque. Be sure also to sample some of the delicious cuisine served in local restaurants.
For Singles

When: Cairo can be practically unbearable in the midsummer months and rarely drops below 20º even in the middle of the winter! You might prefer to visit in spring time or autumn.

Where: What you do and see in Cairo can vary vastly depending on your budget. The Old Town is a lovely place to explore to see the authentic life of the city and it offers an excellent selection of budget pensions for those travelling on a shoestring! Alternatively, sample the more glamorous side of the city by staying in Zamalek or Heliopolis.

Why: Because Cairo's fascinating history and intense pace of life will require all of your attention, meaning its just as exciting solo as with a companion! Egyptians are known for their friendliness meaning you're never short of conversation partners here.

For Groups

When: Groups would be best advised to try to avoid the stifling midsummer sun too. If you're in Cairo on your way to the south, you'll certainly be better travelling in the spring or autumn.

Where: Don't miss out on seeing all of the historic sights, museums and markets of Cairo. If you're also looking to have a good party whilst in Cairo, head to the banks of the Nile where there are a number of great bars and nightclubs or venture over to Zamalek for a more upmarket time out.

Why: Because Egypt boasts some of the best nightlife in the middle east, with a cosmopolitain and modern population perfectly complimenting the grand heritage of its historical sites.

For Couples

When: Forego the heat of the midsummer and try to avoid the dust storms of March and April! May is a great time to visit Cairo and so is October.

Where: Stay in one of the upmarket hotels in Zamalek or Heliopolis and enjoy indulgent spa treatments and romantic meals together. During the day you can see some sights and in the early evening, why not go for a sunset cruise down the Nile on a traditional Egyptian Felucca boat.

Why: Because despite its noisy and hectic appearance, Cairo is a city of great romance and beauty. You can watch magnificent sufi dancing displays or see a performance at the Cairo Opera House.

For Families

When: Children really will find it unbearable in the height of summer, when the heat is overwhelming. Try visiting in the Easter holidays or in the autumn half term when its' very pleasant.

Where: All children will have studied the pyramids in school and will be only too excited to see them in the flesh. Be sure also to see the marvels of the Cairo Museum. There are a number of family friendly mid range hotels in the centre of town, with views of the Nile.

Why: Because the stories of the Egyptian pharaohs and of Queen Cleopatra are the stuff of childhood fantasy. There is plenty to enthral kids and parents alike.

Weather Cairo experiences a desert climate. It has generally low humidity levels, though this can vary because of its riverside setting. The Cairo climate soars around the 40º mark in the middle of summer. With the heat of the traffic and the fog of pollution, it can be quite stifling and is perhaps best avoided between June and August. In fact, it is fairly hot all year round in Cairo, with winter temperatures generally staying in the mid Twenties. Rain is very rare and there are no records of it ever having snowed! The best time to visit is in the spring and autumn though it is also a good destination for a spot of winter sun.
Average monthly Temperature C Average temperature in Cairo
What to expectIt's quite hard to know what to expect when you visit Cairo, it is a city quite like any other, anywhere else in the world. It showcases great antiquity and a very strong sense of tradition as well as exuding a cool, cosmopolitain atmosphere. There are vibrant and energetic market where you'll have to haggle hard to get the real price and shisha cafes where market stall holders puff fragrant nargila pipes whilst playing dominos. Running right through the middle of this is the Nile River, the cradle of an ancient civilisation and watching over it are the enigmatic pyramids of Giza.
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