Africa's second-largest city, Cairo was founded more than a millennium ago, although this area of Egypt has been inhabited for several thousand years and is internationally acclaimed for its vast collection of ancient antiquities. It is also the location of one of the world's oldest universities, the Al-Azhar University of Cairo, which is housed in the magnificent Al-Azhar Mosque, the first mosque to be built in the Egyptian capital.
Representing more than 4,500 years of history, the Giza Necropolis is one of the great wonders of the ancient world, comprising six striking pyramids, the Great Sphinx, and several other ancient Egyptian landmarks.
The site, which was the capital of the Old Kingdom of Egypt and was built under the orders of the kings Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure is also home to the Solar Boat Museum, where you can witness one of the world's oldest preserved boats. The Great Pyramid was built aligned to the north with only a fraction of a degree of error, a remarkable feat for this time period, and was nicknamed the 'Glorious Light' in Ancient Egypt
The Egyptian Museum
It would seem foolish to book city breaks in Cairo and exclude a visit to the Egyptian Museum, where you can observe around 120,000 artefacts related to the ancient empire. The exhibition venue is probably best known for being the home of the tomb of Tutankhamun and his 11-kilogram Gold Mask, and marked its centenary in 2002.
A pleasant green space featuring the medieval Ayyubid wall, Al-Azhar Park was established in 2005 and offers impressive views of Cairo's historic sights. The area of 74 acres also contains the Mosque and Mausoleum of Khayrbak, built by the Ottoman governor Amir Khayrbak in the early 16th century.
The Mosque of Muhammad Ali
It is hard to comprehend the scale of the Mosque of Muhammad Ali, which dates back to the mid-19th century and is 82 metres wide. The site, which was designed by the Istanbul architect Yusuf Bushnak, is known for its enchanting 41-metre-high dome and towering twin minarets, which can be seen for many miles around.
Some of the city's best-rated hotels
A selection of highly rated, deluxe hotels in the Egyptian capital includes the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza, the Kempinski Nile Hotel Cairo and the InterContinental Citystars Cairo. If you're looking to book affordable rooms in the city, you could consider the Baron Hotel Heliopolis Cairo, the Hilton Cairo Zamalek Residences, or the Pyramids View Inn.