Cairo, ex-cultural power house of the middle east

In modern times, since the early 1900 and the late 1980s, Egypt was so dominant that its dialect was much understood throughout the middle east and north Africa because of its export of TV productions, films, music, and all kind of art forms.

That dominance has steadily eroded since experiencing a humiliating defeat after the 6 days war against Israel in 1967. Since then, and with the rise of oil boom in the Gulf, the powers have shifted and Egypt is nothing now than a shell of its former glory.

If anything, Cairo is a testament of the good old days of modern Egypt. The city looks grand but outdated and chaotic, yet still offers a glimpse of its former good times. Its grandiose structures, museums, streets are still around and worth a visit. Here are the 5 must see places in Cairo.

Egyptian Museum

One the most important museums in the world. Here you can find the best remnants of Egyptian history from the famous mummies of ancient Kings, colossal statues, papyrus scrolls, jewelry and many treasures. Since 1902, the palace overlooking Cairo’s Tahrir Square has been the world’s premier showcase of ancient Egyptian artifacts. Don’t miss the symbolic Funerary mask of Tutankhamen, and Royal Mummies.

Tahrir square and central Cairo

Cairo at night as seen from the tallest building in Cairo, the Nasser tower.

This is now the famous square from the 2011 revolution. Nearby the square there are many important landmarks such as Nile Cornice (come at night and take one the entertainment boats for $2). Many historical streets are within walking distance from the square.

Khan el Khalili

This is an old market (bazaar) that worth checking in the afternoons. It is busy place!

Mohamed Ali Mosque

The mosque is situated in an area full of historical building and citadels.

Al Azhar mosque

Al Azhar mosque and university, one of the most influential Islamic institution in the world.