Cairo

At the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe stands the metropolis of Cairo, the largest city in the Middle East and Africa and one of the most populous in the world. With more than 25,000 inhabitants per square kilometre, Cairo has an estimated 16 million souls living in a place designed for two million. The Nile runs like a vein through the centre, sustaining hearts and bellies as it has for millennia. On either bank extraordinary remains of civilizations past - thousands of years of pharaonic, Coptic and Islamic history - commingle with the dwellings and lives of modern Egyptians.

Cairo has more than one face. Part of the city wants to hold hands with the most cosmopolitan world cities and boast the splendours of its past; the other just wants to get by. Mega-malls and manicured
midans
sprout up with an air of contrived sophistication, but the rubble of failed building projects and the bulk of the population that concerns itself more with finding food and housing simply doesn't care about the absence of rubbish bins.

Testimony to Cairo's multiple faces is everywhere. A walk around the city is a walk through thousands of years: from the colossal Pyramids of Giza at the edge of the Western Desert to the Old Coptic Quarter on the east bank; through the alleys of Islamic Cairo, gushing with life and hundreds of ancient monuments to the downtown quarter where the stunning fa├žades of 19th-century buildings remind onlookers of the profound influence of European occupiers. And in between the ancient monuments and modern buildings,
souks
and
ahwas
(coffee houses), bazaars and
falafel
stalls fill every crevice where the contagious energy of Cairo, perhaps the city's greatest attraction of all, looms on as it always has.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
Products in this Region

Uganda Handbook

Land-locked in the heart of the African continent, Uganda has a fantastic climate, an ever-changing...

Jordan Handbook: Petra - Wadi Rum - Dead Sea

Jordan is an enticing, curious mix of new and old. From the glass-and-steel high rises of Amman to...

Morocco Handbook: Marrakech - Essaouira - Fes - Atlas

Marrakech evokes images of labyrinthine souks, vibrant colours, and minarets stretching towards the...
PDF Downloads

  No PDFs currently available

Digital Products

Available NOW!
Read more...