Cairo encapsulated

The Egyptian Museum, Citadel and Coptic Cairo (STT119)

Today visit three very well known tourist spots in Cairo, but if you only have a short time in the city then you need to put them on your list. First up in the morning a visit to the famous Egyptian Museum where you can see the Narmer palette carved for probably Egypt’s first pharaoh, imagine rowing a Dahshur boat, marvel at King Tutankhamun’s gold, and stand in quiet wonder in the room of ancient mummies as well as browse the largest collection of ancient Egyptian art in the world.

Dahshur Boat at the Museum

Dahshur Boat at the Museum. Six boats of Middle Kingdom date were found at Dahshur. They're about 10 m long each. In 1893 Jaques de Morgan discovered six boats near the Middle Kingdom pyramid of Senwosret III at Dahshur. He made drawings and measurements of only one boat (the White boat) from the cache at Dahshur. Excavations conducted in A.D. 1894 and 1895 by French archaeologist Jean-Jacques de Morgan at the funerary complex of Senwosret III on the plain of Dahshur revealed five or six small boats. Today, only four of the "Dahshur boats" can be located with certainty; two are in the United States, one in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh and one in the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The remaining two are on display in The Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

Then after a quick lunch it’s off to the Citadel and a tour of the major areas there including the Mosque of Muhammad Ali and to finish the day you’ll come back to Old Cairo (Coptic Cairo) to visit the ancient monasteries and churches and learn something of Christian life in Egypt.

The Egyptian Museum
This museum houses more than 120,000 precious objects which bear testimony to the art and the culture, history and civilization, daily life and religious practices of the Egypt of the pharaohs down to Graeco-Roman times. The famous collection of Tutankhamun (included) and the rooms of the ancient Egyptian mummies (optional extra) are two of the big highlights but there are many other special pieces on display. You need to cram into a few hours what you could spend days discovering.

Above the main doors to the museum

Ornate decoration above the main doors of the Egyptian Museum.

Lunch will be taken en route to the Citadel of Salah al Din, built on the Mouqattam hills in medieval times to protect Cairo and Fustat from the Crusaders. Here there is the famous Mosque of Muhammad Ali built in Turkish style. Also known as the Alabaster Mosque due to its beautiful interior the mosque is one of the main spots you’ll visit at the Citadel.

Icons in the Hanging Church

The iconostasis of the central sanctuary is made of ebony inlaid with ivory, and is surmounted by icons of the Virgin Mary and the Twelve Apostles.

After the Citadel you will be able to walk through Old Cairo, or Coptic Cairo, which one stood on the banks of the Nile, and boasts churches dating back to the 3rd century CE. Perhaps the most famous, the Hanging Church, is built on the remains of the Roman fortress of Babylon and has recently been fully restored. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it is one of Cairo’s most beautiful churches. Another beautiful church is the Monastery and Church of St George. This is not such an old church, dating from 1909, but there has been a church in Coptic Cairo dedicated to this martyr since the 10th-century. It is one of the few remaining circular churches in the Middle East.

Also in this area is the Abu Serga, dating back to the 5th century A.D. The church owes its fame to having been allegedly constructed upon the crypt of the Holy Family where they stayed for three weeks during their sojourn in Egypt, resting after fleeing Israel from King Herod. Ben Ezra Synagogue is one of the oldest in Egypt and the only synagogue you can currently visit. Set in a shady garden, it was built on the site of 4th-century Christian church and itself was originally a church, sold by the Copts to the Jews to pay taxes to the Muslim rulers of the day. The synagogue was severely damaged, but it has been completely renovated.

St Barbara Church interior

The interior of the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Barbara
(open 9am - 4:30pm daily)

The Church of St. Barbara is another of the churches of Old Cairo of historic importance. It was originally dedicated to St. Cyrus and St. John who were worshipped for their healing powers. You may visit some or all of these churches – at times areas are closed for renovation or for other reasons so it will depend on what is open on the day. Finally, if time permits, you will visit the fascinating Coptic Museum, which is located in an area of great historical importance within the precinct of the Babylon Fort. The museum features almost 16,000 objects of importance to the Copts of Egypt

Departs from your accommodation at 8:30am. Hotel pickups may commence prior to this time, exact pickup time will be advised on reconfirmation.
Duration: around 9 hours depending on how long you would like to linger at each site and the ubiquitous Cairo traffic
This tour is available each day of the year

All transportation by private air-conditioned vehicle
Pick up and drop off at your accommodation
Registered tour guide who speaks your own language or English who will assist you in making the most of your visit
Entrance fee to all sites. Some sites do not have an entrance fee but a donation is always welcome

Food and drink unless specified
Some sites in Coptic Cairo do not have entrance fees but donations are always welcome
Entrance to the Mummies Room at the Museum
Tips (recommended)
Any activity costs not mentioned in our program

Things to note:
– Walking through Cairo, while on this tour the sites are close together, can be over uneven surfaces and sensible, comfortable footwear is advised.
– Sunscreen, a hat and water are important.
– No photography of any sort is allowed inside the Museum
– Photography is allowed inside the Hanging Church but without flash
– There are souvenir salesmen everywhere in Egypt and bazaar shop owners can be insistent; be polite but firm if you are not interested in purchasing. Ask your guide for assistance if necessary.
– If required, wheelchair accessibility should be discussed when booking. A vehicle with wheelchair accessibility can be made available but the streets of old Cairo are not always easy with a chair or for people with disabilities.
– Don’t forget your camera!!! Bring a spare battery and card – you’ll take far more pictures than you imagine. No photography is allowed in the Museum but it is allowed in most of the churches, only NO flash.

A confirmation sheet will be sent to you as soon as possible after booking with all details, including local telephone numbers for enquiries.

1 person – US$123 per person
2 – 4 people – US$83 per person
5 – 8 people – US$62 per person
9 -15 people – US$57 per person
Request a quote for 16+ people
Reduced costs for children 4-12, children 3 and under free

If you wish to book this tour please quote STT119. You may contact us by email at or phone +2017 3338800.


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