Flights to Cairo Cairo is the largest city in the Arab world, and a bustling metropolis that seems far from its ancient beginnings. The capital of Egypt, Cairo is home to museums and hotels, significant cultural attractions, religious monuments, and of course, plenty of history.
The Cairo International Airport (airport code: CAI) is one of the busiest in Africa, and you will have the option of flying with many major airlines for a flight to Cairo from South Africa. Both South African Airways and Egyptair offer non-stop flights, or you can fly with Kenya Airways for a single stop-over in Nairobi. A flight to Cairo with Turkish Airlines also connects just once, but in Istanbul. Virgin Atlantic and British Airways both have flights to Cairo that go via London.
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The Tourist Attractions of Cairo:
What most people think of when planning a trip to Cairo is the ancient pyramids. Strictly speaking these are in Giza, but because Cairo has grown so much the city has swallowed up Giza and is in fact now very close to the pyramids. For some years the pyramids have not been true to their archetypal image, rising from the desert floor, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, and this is sure to disappoint some visitors. Even so, this does not give a good enough reason to avoid the Pyramids altogether, as these really are spectacular, and if you want to act like a real tourist you can take a camel ride and buy a silly souvenir hat!
Though not as old as the pyramids, Old Cairo is still ancient and includes Coptic Cairo where there are many churches dedicated to this ancient form of Christianity. If you’re interested in learning more about the Copts there is the Coptic Museum to explore, and the beautiful Hanging Church, one of the oldest in Egypt. Babylon Fortress is another famous landmark within Coptic Cairo, and the Hanging Church is actually within this fortress.
Though Christianity was here first, most of the Egyptians in Cairo converted to Islam in the 12th century and so the part of the city known as Islamic Cairo, dates from that period. There are many, many mosques to see, including the oldest and largest one in Cairo, the Mosque of Ibn Tulun. This mosque actually pre-dates the city’s conversion to Islam, as it was completed in 879. Another mosque from the same era is Al-Hakim Mosque, completed in 992.
Cairo Citadel is a major tourist attraction in Islamic Cairo, built in medieval times, and still extremely well preserved. The citadel offers great views from its elevated position, as well as several museums to visit.
Despite the ancient origins, today there are large parts of Cairo that are modern and cosmopolitan, and offer really quite a contrast to the streets of Old Cairo. The biggest attraction of modern Cairo are the museums, and if you visit only one, make sure it’s the Egyptian Museum with its fabulous treasures from the tomb of King Tutankhamun.
When Should You Visit?:
Hot and dry is the simplest way to describe the climate of Cairo! With barely any rainfall, planning a visit around the rain is not necessary, though you may want to avoid March and April for their sandstorms. From May to September the heat and pollution combine to make Cairo a rather unpleasant place to visit average highs range between 32 and 35C in these months. Winter is still warm and sunny though, and with an average high of 19C in January this can be a good time to visit.