Things to do in Cairo if you have a Cairo Airport Layover or Extended Cairo Airport Stopover
If you have a layover at the Cairo Airport, consider taking the opportunity to get out and about to see the local sights. There's plenty to to see and experience, so take advantage of any extra time to see what you can.
Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx
No trip to Cairo would be complete without a visit to the Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx. The only remaining monuments of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it is the country's most famous tourist attraction. The Pyramids of Giza represent the archetypal pyramid structures of ancient Egyptian civilisation and - together with the Sphinx at the base of the Giza plateau - are the iconic image of Egypt.
All the worthwhile attractions within the Giza area are concentrated on the Giza Plateau at the end of Pyramids Road. Some people are shocked to travel down a street in Giza and see the tip of a Pyramid rise up over the golden arches of a McDonalds with a sign in Arabic - your idea of pyramids rising up out of an empty desert might not match the reality.
Tip: Do not give up your ticket to anyone outside of the gate checkpoints. You will need to show it to enter through the metal detectors at the entrance to the Pyramids area, Sphinx area, and to enter the Pyramid if you choose to pay for that ticket. Beware of scammers who try to take your ticket and try to start a rapid tour for you - then demand a tip.
The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum, in Cairo, Egypt, is home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities, and is a definite must see. The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities contains many important pieces of ancient Egyptian history. It houses the world’s largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities, and many treasures of King Tutankhamen.
Tip: The museum is located in Tahrir Square (Midan Tahrir or Liberation Square) has been the traditional site for numerous major protests and demonstrations over the years, so be careful with your visit if there is unrest in the city at the time of your visit.
Asfour Crystal Factory
The first to develop the art of glass cutting 5,000 years ago, Egyptians carry on the tradition today. The Asfour Crystal Factory is the country's largest, and ships around the world. You'll see everything from chandeliers to 3D laser gifts. Factory prices.
Get off the Tourist Track
See how the locals live in the midst of such ancient surroundings with a visit to the central and much used Khan al-Khalili market; it will give you a chance to experience the bazaar much as it was 700 years ago. You might also want to visit the area referred to as Old Cairo, an ancient Coptic Christian community from Roman times.
Important tips for visiting Cairo: Women and men should wear modest clothing. It is considered disrespectful to wear clothing which reveal thighs, shoulders, bare backs or cleavage, except at beaches and hotels. Men should also not walk about bare chested or wearing very short shorts outside of hotels or beach resorts.
Public displays of affection are not acceptable. Homosexuality is considered particularly disrespectful; gays and lesbians should be discreet while in Egypt.
You will notice male-to-male kissing on the cheeks when Egyptian men meet their friends, family, or someone they know well. This is not to be confused with the male-to-male kissing of some homosexuals in some western countries. Some Egyptian men like to walk next to their male friend with their arms attached together like a loop inside another loop. Again, this is not homosexual behavior.
As always, make sure you leave plenty of time to get back to the Cairo Airport and clear security in time for your connecting flight. Enjoy your transit city rather than whiling away the time leaning up against your luggage in the departures lounge.
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