Trip Plan Details
commented on this trip
I live in Cairo and I did many tours in Cairo with my american and Italian friends to visit Egypt sightseeing and also to go to Jordan, sites that I advise you to visit in Cairo, Giza, Sakkara and Dahshur Pyramids, Egyptian museum, citadel. sound and light show, dinner cruise, and not forget to visit Khan El Khalili Market, we did these tours with egyptonlinetours.com
commented on this trip
Luxor today is a city of some 150,000 people and is governed by special statutes that allow it more autonomy than other political areas of Egypt. One thing you might notice is that various government and other buildings conform to an 'ancient' building code. Particularly, the National Bank of Egypt (located near the Winter Palace Hotel), the spa south of the police station, and the railway station are all designed to appear as pharaonic constructs. All of this occurred after the Egyptianization of the modern town resulting mostly from the mania that resulted from Howard Carter's discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun. As one might think, the city has all the amenities tourists might expect, including a variety of hotels, bars, nightclubs and restaurants.i visited Luxor with alltoursegypt.com
recommended Tahrir SquareSo this is where it all happened: the daily protests which eventually led to the Lotus Revolution, a key moment in the Arab Spring of 2011. The square itself speaks more to the echoes of dictatorship ... read morethan the bustling, cosmopolitan metropolis Cairo is. Though there is the gem of the Egyptian Museum at one end. At the time of writing, the some protest camps are still in the square. Visit it at least once to say you've done it.
- Abu el Sid157 26th Of July St.recommended Abu el SidThis was the place which kicked off the whole trend for Egyptian restaurants in Cairo - before it opened Caireans tended to eat Italian or French when going out for a meal. The original branch is in ... read morethe European-influenced Zamalek district, which is well worth exploring before or after lunch for some fine examples of art deco architecture. The restaurant has a great, funky Egyptian retro look and the menu a variation on street food classics like koshary (rice, lentils, chickpeas and macaroni with a tomato sauce topping - sounds a bit unappetising but is very filling and satisfying). Open noon-1am daily.
- Khan El Khalili-bazaarCairo, Cairo (Area), Egyptrecommended Khan El Khalili-bazaarHectic, wonderful and like you've stepped straight into the pages of 1,001 Nights.
- Luxor MuseumMadinet Al Oqsor, Luxor, Egyptrecommended Luxor MuseumIf you are going to both Cairo and Luxor then skip the museum in Cairo and go to this one instead. The Luxor Museum is much better laid out and everything is explained unlike the Cairo Museum. There ... read moreare also a few mummies to see.
- Coptic Cemetery of Old CairoReligion Compound, Cairo Egyptrecommended Coptic Cemetery of Old Cairo
- Egyptian MuseumTahrir Square, Cairo Egyptrecommended Egyptian Museumto much for one day, but very interesting
- Cape of Good Hope Reserve Cape Town, South Africarecommended Cape of Good Hope ReserveDon't know how many different ways you can review this on Gogobot, but great park. You definitely need a car. Hey have bus tours but cars give more flexibility. Enjoy the trails and be careful to lock ... read moreyour cars as the baboons will have a field day!
- Cape of Good HopeCape Town, South Africarecommended Cape of Good HopeThe very end of Africa, this rocky peninsula-on-a-peninsula at the far southern edge of Cape Town is a starkly beautiful and surprisingly untouched natural landscape. You might see ostriches or ... read morehumpback whales here, in season, but the rugged, rocky coastline is beautiful any time of year.Matthew Crompton
Also very worth a visit. Check out the Cape Town section of my passport for more ideas.
- Kirstenbosch Botanical GardenSouthern Suburbs, Cape Town, South Africarecommended Kirstenbosch Botanical GardenGorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous botanical gardens set in the lee of Table Mountain's southern flank, which towers above them, Kirstenbosch is nothing short of delightful. Showcasing the indigenous flora ... read moreof the Western Cape, its sprawling, immaculately manicured lawns, arboreta, glades, and flower gardens are home to scads of bird- and animal-life, and make together make for what is likely Cape Town's most beautiful non-beach outing. Grab a bottle of Simonsig Chenin Blanc, a baguette, and some brie, and make it a picnic.
recommended Simon's TownDo you like penguins? Do you like gorgeous beaches? Do you like penguins on gorgeous beaches? Do you like cute, old-worldish seaside towns with fabulous fish-and-chips? Then go to Simon's Town. South ... read moreon the Cape Peninsula, resting on the western shores of False Bay, you can take the train here from Cape Town station -- a truly lovely journey down the coast -- but however you get here, the sight of hundreds of nesting African penguins at Boulder Beach just meters away from your camera lens will seldom disappoint. You can shop, eat, check out the yachts at anchor, or just marvel at one of the most beautiful stretches of urban coastline in the southern hemisphere. Highly recommended.Matthew Crompton
- Table MountainTafelberg Road, Cape Town 7493 South Africarecommended Table MountainThe symbol of Cape Town, Africa's 'Mother City', the 1000-meter plateau of Table Mountain looms over CT like a prehistoric giant, and the sight of clouds spilling off its flat peak in the twilight, ... read morehigh above the city, might just be the thing that makes you fall in love with Cape Town. With a nifty cable-car offering fabulous views out over Lion's Head peak, the city, and the Atlantic, you don't need to lace up your hiking boots to take in the spectacular views, but if you're feeling even the least bit active, the 1.5 hour one-way trek to the top from the lower cable-car station via Platteklip Gorge is one of the world's best 'city hikes': rugged, with stunning views.
recommended Cape TownPossibly (ok, PROBABLY) the world's most beautiful city, Cape Town is the cosmopolitan heart of southern Africa. Five-star dining, five-star shopping, five-star nightlife, and one of the most ... read morecolorfully mixed cultures on Earth make it a stunning place to explore for a week or more. This, however, is just the beginning. With the 1000-meter colossus of Table Mountain looming above stunning white-sand beaches, and the peaks of the Twelve Apostles backing some of the planet's most dramatic cliffs and coastline, it's also blessed with a natural setting that puts other cities positively to shame. Whether you're partying, catching a concert in the park at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, chilling with the penguins at Boulders Beach, or just eating some of the tastiest Cape-Malay food ever made, Cape Town is a city that will captivate you, and have you planning your next visit before you've even left.Matthew Crompton
- Bein al-QasreenMuiz Li-Din Allah Streetrecommended Bein al-QasreenThis stretch of Mamluk monuments--the pinnacle of medieval Cairo--is just north of Khan al-Khalili. It has been beautifully restored in the last decade, and is a bit of an open-air museum. All the ... read moremonuments are free to enter and the mosques have been decommissioned, so you can go in without taking your shoes off (minor hassle spared). At night, it's beautifully lit and has a lot of benches set around, so people come here to hang out a bit. Bein al-Qasreen means "between the two palaces", though it was translated as "Palace Walk" as the title of Naguib Mahfouz's novel.Zora O'Neill
I heard a rumor recently that there might be an admission fee now, which covers all the monuments on the street. But even so, it's worth it. This is a beautiful bit of restoration.
- Al Azhar ParkSalah Salem Street, Cairo 11562 Egyptrecommended Al Azhar ParkThere's basically no green space in Cairo that's not a private club--and in a way, this park is private too, because it charges admission. But it's less exclusive than other green spots, and it has a ... read morebeautiful view across medieval Cairo. It's a great place to hang out and people-watch--families come here with picnics and kids hang out and flirt a bit. And for women, it's a rare spot to hang out without getting too much attention. Still, it does feel a little resort-like, with piped-in music and lots of fountains. But I'll take it. Oh, and the restaurant here is quite good and not insanely expensive.Zora O'Neill
Note that you can get into the park on the downhill side (closer to the rest of Islamic Cairo) at a gate in the Darb al-Ahmar neighborhood, until 6pm or so.
- Berlin Hotel2 El Shawarby St 4th Floor | Off Kasr El Nil St Down Town, Cairo 11111, Egyptrecommended Berlin HotelTypical of Cairo's budget hotels, this place has the rankest, most terrifying stairwell...and then turns out to be quite nice once you get inside. It's in a big old apartment building, with a whole ... read morerange of rooms--with and without bath, etc. Everything got a paint job in 2011, and you have to like bright colors (pink! green!), but it's nicely taken care of. One great asset of this place is the owner, Hisham, a polite older gentleman who can arrange anything at a reasonable price.Zora O'Neill
I also just love the owner here--he is honest and gentlemanly and can arrange anything. You might prefer this over the totally hands-off Roma.
- Pension Roma169 Muhammad Farid, Cairo, Egyptrecommended Pension RomaA budget traveler's dream come true: a cranky old French woman (born and raised in Egypt, mind you) runs this guesthouse with an iron fist. Everything is perfectly clean and delightfully ... read moreold-fashioned. She has even sewn little cozies to cover up the gas tanks for the hot water heaters. The only drawback (for some people) is that the beds are quite firm, and the cheaper rooms are all shared-bath, though a few of the rooms have private showers. Upstairs are pricier rooms with en-suite bath, but they're not as old-fashioned.Zora O'Neill
My personal fave.
recommended Dar HatimThis family restaurant is so, so sweet--it is literally in their living room, and the mom is upstairs in the kitchen. At first glance, it doesn't look promising--it's got that same overfurnished, ... read moretoo-big-room-and-too-short-a-menu kind of vibe that lots of bad Moroccan restaurants have. But the food is pure home-cooked goodness. We ordered bistilla (the flaky chicken pie) and couscous, and both were exceptional. And the salads that come with are all lovely--and just like in someone's home, we got chided for not cleaning our plates! Oof, we nearly popped. You have to reserve ahead, and the guy will come collect you at your hotel so you don't get lost, which is exceptionally nice!Zora O'Neill
Definitely a tourist place, but the food is really nice, and the family that runs it is sweet.
- Dar Fes Medina3 Lot Benjelloun, Ziat | Fes Medina, Fes, Moroccorecommended Dar Fes MedinaSuper-fantastic guesthouse at a very reasonable price. The place isn't old--it was actually built up on a vacant lot--but all the decoration is hand-crafted and the place features beautiful old doors, ... read morecalligraphy and weaving from the owner's father's antiques shop. Mohamed (the owner) is great and personally very interested in what his guests are up to and whether they need help with anything. The downstairs rooms (as at all dars and riads) don't feel very private because they open onto the breakfast area, but the one I was in was actually surprisingly quiet and well covered with curtains and things, so I felt hidden away. Excellent, excellent value. Oh, and a handy location right near Bab Ziat--so you can walk out easily and get a taxi, or walk about 10 mins to Bab Boujeloud.Zora O'Neill
I've stayed here twice now. Lovely staff, and the location is really great--edge of the medina, so easy to get to by taxi with luggage, but inside, so walking distance to wherever.
- Cafe Clock7 Derb El Magana, Talaa Kebira, Fez Medina, Moroccorecommended Cafe ClockLovely, lovely little cafe, very much geared to travelers but also nicely rooted locally. The food is great--a mix of Moroccan-style street snacks and more creative cafe food (there's a camel ... read moreburger!). The place goes up and up and up (eesh, the poor waitstaff), and there are even seats on the roof. I ate here a couple times and liked just about everything but the slightly bland lamb burger. Great couscous, good harira (soup) and tasty little fried-potato thingies (maakouda). And they've just published a cookbook, and they run cooking classes, so if you like something, you can figure out how to make it yourself!Zora O'Neill
Great place to eat in the medina--as there aren't that many restaurants.