Cairo is big and there is so much to see and do. But what are the must-see and do’s if you just have 24 hours in Cairo?

For those spending only a day in Egypt, possibly on a layover, here’s how to make the most out of your 24 hours.

24 hours in Cairo

5 Things to do in 24 hours in Cairo

Here are my suggestions for things to do in 24 hours in Cairo.

1. The Giza Pyramids plateau

Yes, this is definitely the first thing you should do! It’s impossible to be in Cairo and not visit the pyramids. If you go early enough, you might be able to avoid the crowd of tourists. Apart of the three main pyramids and the Sphinx, you can visit the solar boat, go inside the Great Pyramid, and have a nice camel ride.

There are loads of different tours to the Giza Pyramids, view a few offered by GetYourGuide. Read our post on walking inside the Pyramids in Giza.

Visiting inside the Pyramids of Giza
Visiting the Pyramids of Giza

2.  The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities

Located in Downtown Cairo, this is with no doubt another thing you have to visit. It might not be the most organized museum you will ever see, but is the richest collection of Egyptian artifacts in the world, which makes it special. Particular attention should be paid to the Tutankhamon’s treasure room, and especially the golden mask. Taking pictures banned inside the museum itself, but you can in the garden, where you can also find statues and artifacts.

3. The Citadel

Located in the south of the city, this fortress is worth a visit. Inside you will find a few museums and mosques, and the beautiful and well known Mohammad Ali mosque. Avoid Fridays as it is always very busy and you won’t be able to go inside the mosques due to the pray.

Side note: inside you will find people selling drinks and sneaks (as well as restaurants), but the prices are much more expensive then normal stores; I would recommend you to bring your own bottle of water from outside!

4. Felucca mini cruise

When sunset comes, you can take a walk down the Cornish (the street along the Nile), and get one of the many feluccas that you will find on your way. You have to bargain the price and then you can start your mini cruise on the Nile, relaxing in the middle of the river and admiring the city from this exclusive point of view. You can bring your own food on the felucca, which would make it a very nice intimate dinner cruise!

24 hours in Cairo, Egypt
A cruise on the Nile in Cairo, Egypt

5. Tahrir Square

I guess Tahrir Square doesn’t need any further presentation. It lately become famous due to the peaceful protests which started in February 2011, but it has always been a very important part of the city. You can take a nice walk, and in the many side streets you will find a lot of cafeterias, where you might want to sit down and have something to drink or smoke a shisha.

P.S: Note that if you have a valid Student Card (or anything that proves you area student) you will pay half of the price in all attractions in Egypt.