Coptic Cairo and the Museum

Coptic Cairo and the Museum (STT118)

Coptic Cairo is a part of Old Cairo which encompasses the Babylon Fortress, the Coptic Museum, the Hanging Church, the Greek Church of St. George and many other Coptic churches and historical sites. It is believed that the Holy Family visited this area and stayed at the site of Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church (Abu Serga). Coptic Cairo was a stronghold for Christianity in Egypt until the Islamic era, though most of the current buildings of the churches in Coptic Cairo were built after the Muslim conquest of Egypt.

Hanging Church interior

Hanging Church interior

You’ll visit many of these churches and also Ben Ezra, one of the oldest synagogues in Cairo and said by some to be where Moses was taken from the Nile. Learn about Christian life in Egypt, a country where Christianity is a minority. After an authentic Egyptian lunch and a stroll through the Khan il Khalili you will also visit the Egyptian Museum, the world’s greatest collection of ancient Egyptian art.

St Barbara Church interior

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

The Hanging Church is built into the walls of the water gate of the Roman fortress known as Babylon and is possibly the oldest Christian church in Egypt. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it is one of Cairo’s most beautiful churches. Continue to 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 the Martyr since the 10th-century. It is one of the few remaining circular churches in the Middle East.

Icon of St. Philopater Mercurius in Saint Mercurius Church in Coptic Cairo

Icon of St. Philopater Mercurius in Saint Mercurius Church in Coptic Cairo.

Your next stop is the Abu Serga, the oldest church in Egypt dating back to the 5th century A.D. The church owes its fame to having been 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 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 almost completely renovated.

The Church of St. Barbara is among 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. Finally 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.

The Egyptian Museum

The Egyptian Museum

Enjoy lunch before heading into the Khan il Khalili for a little stroll. After that it is off to 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.

Departs from your accommodation at 8:45am. Hotel pickups may commence prior to this time, exact pickup time will be advised on reconfirmation.
Duration: around 8 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 vehicles
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 Coptic Cairo, while 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
– 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. The streets of old Cairo are possible but 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.
– We’d really like you feedback on all aspects of the tour – find us on TripAdvisor at

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$110 per person
2 – 4 people – US$72 per person
5 – 8 people – US$50 per person
9 -15 people – US$45 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 STT118. You may contact us by email at or phone +2017 3338800.

Gold mask of King Tutankhamun

Tutankhamun's famous burial mask, on display in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.


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