Madison and I had an amazing week in Cairo and were amazed at all the things you can do in Cairo with kids. Let’s find out what we did and what you can do as well.
Cairo, Egypt, often referred to as the ‘City of a Thousand Minarets,’ is a treasure trove of history, culture, and adventure waiting to be explored with your family. While many might think that visiting Egypt is best suited for adults, there’s a plethora of family-friendly activities to enjoy with your little ones. From iconic pyramids to modern marvels, Cairo has something for everyone. In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the top family-friendly activities in Cairo, ensuring a memorable experience for you and your children.
Cairo, Egypt, is a city with a rich and fascinating history, and it’s a great place to visit with kids. There are many things to see and do in Cairo, and here are just a few of the best options:
1. The Pyramids of Giza: A Journey through Time
No trip to Cairo would be complete without a visit to the Pyramids of Giza. And I have to agree that your family adventure in Cairo must begin with a visit to the world-famous Pyramids of Giza. These iconic structures are one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and they’re truly awe-inspiring to see in person.
The sight of these ancient wonders will leave your kids in awe, and you’ll get to teach them about Egypt’s rich history. To make it even more exciting, consider hiring a local guide who can share fascinating stories and insights about the pyramids. Don’t forget to explore the Great Sphinx of Giza, an iconic monument that captivates visitors with its enigmatic presence.
I highly recommend that while visiting the Pyramids, you also visit Sakkara and Memphis and make a day trip out of this, as this can take quite a few hours. Private tours are relatively inexpensive and while you can book online, your hotel can also book it for you.
2. The Citadel: Exploring History in a Fortress
The Citadel of Saladin, also known as Qal’at Salah El-Din, is a historic medieval fortress that offers breathtaking panoramic views of Cairo. It’s a great place to visit for its stunning views of the city and its well-preserved architecture. It’s also an excellent place for children to learn about Egypt’s historical significance while enjoying the fresh air and scenic beauty.
Inside the citadel, you’ll find the stunning Mohamed Ali Mosque, an architectural masterpiece. While kids may not appreciate the intricate details as much as adults, the grandeur and history will make an impression.
Kids will love exploring the Citadel and learning about its history. There are also several museums inside the Citadel, including the National Military Museum (which Madison and I thoroughly enjoyed) and the Police Museum.
3. The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization: A Dive Into Ancient Times
If you want to introduce your children to the fascinating world of Egypt’s ancient history without the crowds of the Egyptian Museum, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization is the perfect choice. The Museum of Civilization is a new museum that opened in 2021 and houses a vast collection of artifacts from Egypt’s long and rich history. It showcases a wide array of artifacts, mummies, and interactive exhibits, making history come to life for kids.
The highlight for many is the Royal Mummies Hall, where they can see the well-preserved mummies of pharaohs and nobles. The tales of these ancient kings will captivate your children, and you might even pique their interest in archaeology. It is also currently the only place where you can see the mummies up close and personal.
Your kids will absolutely enjoy exploring the museum and learning about Egyptian history and the interactive exhibits.
4. Nile River Cruise: An Adventure on the Water
A Nile River cruise is an absolute must when visiting Cairo with kids and is a great way to relax and enjoy the views of Cairo. Whether you opt for a short daytime cruise or an evening dinner cruise, it’s an enchanting experience that allows you to relax while taking in the sights of Cairo. Madison and I opted for the dinner cruise and were pleasantly surprised. Cruises tend to typically last a few hours, and you get to experience the views of Cairo at night.
The gentle sway of the boat on the Nile is soothing, and the views of the city’s skyline are breathtaking. Many cruise options offer family-friendly packages with entertainment for kids, such as folklore shows and music.
Kids will love the experience of cruising down the Nile River and seeing the city from a different perspective. They’ll also enjoy the food and entertainment.
5. Cairo Tower: A Bird’s Eye View of the City
This was one of the few activities that were within walking distance of our hotel (including the Egyptian Museum, which was right across the street). We hired an Uber to get there before we realized that it was a very easy walk from our hotel, so we decided to take the walk back.
For a unique perspective of Cairo, take your kids to the Cairo Tower. Cairo Tower is the tallest structure in Cairo, and it offers stunning views of the city. Visitors can take an elevator to the top of the tower for a panoramic view.
The tower provides a bird’s-eye view of the city and is a perfect opportunity to teach your children about the city’s layout and landmarks. There’s a restaurant at the top where you can enjoy a meal while taking in the panoramic scenery.
Kids will love riding to the top of Cairo Tower and seeing the city from above.
6. Mall of Egypt: Fun, Shopping, and Dining
If your kids need a break from historical and cultural activities, the Mall of Egypt offers a fantastic family-friendly experience. This modern shopping and entertainment complex features a wide range of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, including an indoor ski slope. It’s an ideal place to unwind and enjoy some leisure time with the family.
One thing that we noted was how relatively inexpensive food was in Egypt, including the price of my favorite Frappuccino® at Starbucks. Generally, I would spend around $6–$8 (depending on my additions) for a venti frap; however, I never spent more than $3 for the same price in Egypt. However, clothing, on the other hand, can be expensive. So buy the food, skip the clothes.
In addition to these fantastic attractions, it’s essential to remember some general tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip to Cairo with kids:
1. Stay Hydrated: The Egyptian sun can be intense, so keep your family well-hydrated throughout the day. Carry water bottles and encourage regular breaks in the shade.
2. Dress Comfortably: Dress your kids in light, breathable clothing and comfortable footwear for all the exploring you’ll be doing.
3. Learn Basic Arabic Phrases: Teaching your kids a few basic Arabic phrases can be a fun and educational part of the trip. It can also be a helpful way to engage with locals.
4. Safety First: Keep a close eye on your children at all times, especially in crowded areas. Cairo can be bustling, so it’s essential to prioritize safety.
5. Try Local Food: Encourage your kids to try Egyptian cuisine, but be mindful of any dietary restrictions they may have. Egyptian food is delicious, and trying local dishes is part of the adventure.
Other things to do in Cairo with kids
In addition to the attractions listed above, here are a few other things you can do in Cairo with kids:
- Visit the Khan el-Khalili bazaar: This is a traditional market where you can buy souvenirs, spices, and other goods. Kids will love the hustle and bustle of the bazaar and the opportunity to see all the different things for sale.
- Take a felucca ride on the Nile River: A felucca is a traditional Egyptian sailboat. You can hire a felucca for a private ride, or you can join a group tour. Kids will love the experience of sailing down the Nile River and seeing the city from a different perspective.
- Visit the Egyptian Museum: This museum houses a vast collection of artifacts from ancient Egypt, including the famous golden mask of Tutankhamun. Kids will love exploring the museum and learning about Egyptian history.
- Visit the Coptic Museum: This museum houses a collection of Christian art and artifacts from Egypt’s Coptic Christian community. Kids will love seeing the beautiful mosaics and other artwork.
- Visit the Hanging Church: This is a 7th-century church that is suspended above a Roman gate. Kids will love seeing the church’s unique architecture.
Cairo is a city that seamlessly blends the old and the new, making it a fantastic destination for family travel. By exploring the pyramids, historic sites, cultural attractions, and modern leisure spots, you’ll create lasting memories that your kids will cherish. So pack your bags and embark on an incredible family adventure in Cairo, Egypt. Your children will not only learn about history but also make wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.
No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something to do in Cairo with your kids. It’s a city with a lot to offer, and it’s a great place to create lasting memories with your kids.