20 Interesting And Fun Facts About Cairo, Egypt [Explained]

Please note that some posts may contain affiliate links. We may earn a commission should you choose to purchase using these links but at absolutely no extra cost to you.

Cairo is the capital city of Egypt, with a deep and rich history. One of the most well-known facts about Cairo is, without a doubt, that it is home to the awe-inspiring pyramids. After all, that is why many people come to visit. 

However, the Egyptian capital has more to offer than that. We will look at other fun facts about Cairo that give a deeper glimpse into this ancient city.

Historical Facts About Cairo

With all that ancient Egyptian legends, Cairo has always had sort of a mysterious vibe. But the city also has its share of modern history. Here are some fun facts about Cairo that will enhance your historical knowledge.

The Pyramids Of Giza Are Just 11 Miles Away From Cairo


Egypt is most famous for the Pyramids of Giza because of their status as one of the original wonders of the world. These pyramids are located on the outskirts of Cairo, and people visiting the city can easily include a trip to the pyramids. 

The impressive pyramids were designed to serve as a tomb for King Khufu and other Egyptian royals. The structure was the world’s tallest until the creation of Lincoln Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower.  

This ancient pyramid is 147 meters high, and it was made more than 4,500 years ago. Without surprise, this is easily one of the most renowned monuments in Egypt.

The First Arab Writer To Win Nobel Prize Belongs To Cairo

Naguib Mahfouz was the first Arab Writer to win a Nobel award in the Literature category. He was born in Cairo and lived there until his death in 2006. The writer is also considered one of the first Arab contemporary writers.

Most of his work was about nationalism in his country. He won the Nobel Prize in 1988. 

Napoleon Ruled Cairo 

Egypt has suffered from power trips by various nations. Emperor Napoleon also captured the city during ancient times. He defeated the Ottoman Empire to gain control of this region.

However, Napoleon’s rule only lasted for a short period of three years. Ottomans retaliated against Egypt’s seizure and ultimately won against Napoleon. 

World’s Longest River Flows Through Cairo


River Nile is the world’s longest river that flows through various parts of Egypt, including Cairo. This city is located on the eastern bank of the Nile River. Two islands of the city are also found within this river.

The two sites are Roda Island and Gezira. Most aspects of life in Egypt are dependent on the Nile. Undoubtedly, one of the most essential and prominent natural landmarks in Egypt.

Cultural Facts About Cairo

The culture of a country and city is always interesting as it forms the backbone of the society. Here are some fun facts about Cairo and its deep heritage.

Al-Azhar Mosque Was The First Mosque In Cairo

One of the interesting facts about Cairo is that it is called “a city with 1,000 minarets” by various people. The place got this nickname due to the presence of various mosques in the city. Al-Azhar Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Egypt.

There is also Al Azhar University in this city, which is one of the prestigious institutes to learn more about Islam.

Koshari Is Cairo’s Most Famous Dish

Koshari is the most famous Egyptian food you will encounter in Cairo and other cities of Egypt. This dish does not contain meat and can be suitable for vegetarians. Koshari features macaroni and lentils on a rice base.

It also includes toppings of chickpeas, fried onions, and spicy sauce. Almost every restaurant and street food vendor in Cairo serves this national dish.

Babylon Fortress Is One Of The Oldest Structures Of The City

One of the top facts about Cairo is that it has various impressive cultural monuments due to its rich history. Babylon Fortress was made around 30 BC to serve as a citadel. It is a Roman fortress that was built upon the arrival of Emperor Augustus in the country.

The structure is located in Old or Coptic Cairo. Many people visit it to see the unique architecture of this site.

Islam Is The Main Religion In Cairo


There are many churches in Cairo, such as The Hanging Church, the Greek Church of Saint George, and more. This is why many people believe that the main religion of Cairo is Christianity, but that is not true. 

Islam replaced the former religion as the major one during the 7th century. The change mainly happened after Muslim rules defeated the Byzantine Empire in Egypt.

Simple Facts About Cairo For Kids

Here are some straightforward and fun facts about Cairo that can pique the interest of young ones.

It Has The Second-Highest Population In Africa


One of the well-known facts about Egypt is that Cairo is its largest city. This is why the region has a higher population than other African cities. The current population of Cairo is already about a whopping 22.18 million.     

Historic Cairo Is A UNESCO Site


Cairo is divided into various neighborhoods, depending on different key factors. For example, most Islamic mosques and institutes are a part of Islamic Cairo. Meanwhile, many churches come under Old Cairo.

Historic Cairo is one of the most culturally rich sites of this city. The place also has a UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

Cairo Tower Was Africa’s Tallest Tower Until 1971


The Cairo Tower is located on Gezira Island. It has a height of 187 meters and is considered second to the Pyramids of Giza in popularity. 

It was the tallest tower in the African content until 1971, when it was replaced by the Hillbrow Tower. You will find that the Hillbrow Tower is a marquee landmark in South Africa.

Useful Cairo Facts For Travelers

Traveling to the Eygptian capital? Here are some interesting facts about Cairo that can be helpful to know. 

It Is Home To The World’s Largest Food Court

The food scene in every country is always worth the exploration, and in Cairo, you can easily do it at the Oasis. 

Oasis is the largest food court in the world, spanning a large area of 41,000 square meters. The place has 25 restaurants to serve you different Egyptian dishes. From traditional main fares to Egyptian sweets and desserts, you can find all sorts of varieties here.

The food court can accommodate up to 4,200 guests every day. There is even a kid’s zone in the large food court to entertain children; and get you to keep eating, no less.

Cairo Has Two Main Seasons

Cairo has a simple climate of just two seasons: summer and winter. Eight months of the year comprise summer, while the other four represent winter. 

Contrary to many other destinations, summer is actually not the best time to visit. June to August are the hottest months of the year, so avoid visiting Cairo during these months to evade the unbearable heat.

Winter months are also not as severe in Cairo as in other countries. The average outdoor temperature is mainly 19 degrees during the cold season.

The City Hosts Many Festivals Every Year

One of the best facts about Cairo is that it is an excellent spot for people looking for entertainment. Various art, music, and entertainment festivals occur in the city throughout the year. Cairo Jazz Festival and Fashion Festival of Cairo are prime examples of such events.

The International Film Festival is also a major annual event that brings a lot of visitors to this city.

The Egyptian Pound Is The Official Currency Of Cairo


It is important to exchange your national currency before entering Cairo. The city does not accept dollars or euros. You must have Egyptian pounds on you if you want to purchase anything in Cairo. 

Tourists also cannot bring more than 5,000 Egyptian pounds with them. If you want to carry more than this amount, you can bring foreign currency and exchange it after entering Cairo.

These regulations can often change, so make sure you check the relevant government sources for the latest.

Common Facts About Cairo

Cairo Metro Is The Oldest African Rail System

One of the convenient facts about Cairo is that it has a metro system, unlike other African countries. This is the first system out of the three metro networks in Africa. It is also the first rail transit constructed in the Middle East.

The system has been operating since its inception in 1987. Three lines come under this network, along with 74 stations. 

Women-Only Metro Carts Are Present Here

One of the encouraging and important Cairo facts to know for all travelers. The city has an excellent metro system with many carriages allotted for women only. Such trains are marked with red or green stickers.

A red sticker on the cabin means it’s female-only throughout the whole day. Meanwhile, green stickers indicate the cabin is female-only from 9 am to 9 pm.

The Egyptian Museum Is One Of The Largest In This World

The Egyptian Museum was built in 1901, and it is Africa’s largest museum. You can find more than 120,000 items on display in this museum. It is also one of the oldest archaeological museums in the Middle East. 

Be sure to check out the impressive collection; you can spend a whole day here and not see everything. It offers a deep insight into the country’s history and culture.

Other Interesting Facts About Cairo

Britain Ruled Cairo In The Past

The British military conquered Egypt around 1882 and camped around Cairo to maintain their power within the nation. Britain’s rule continued in this city until World War I. 

Cairo Is Known For Its Music Industry

While music is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Egypt, the music industry of Cairo is thriving and adds to the city’s popularity. Many people also call this city the Middle East’s Hollywood. Most of the entertainment videos for songs and series are shot in Old Cairo due to its aesthetics. 

Discovering More Fun Facts About Cairo

These are just some of the interesting Cairo facts that can make one appreciate the rich history, vibrant culture, and modern progress that this amazing city has to offer. From its UNESCO World Heritage Site status to its thriving music industry, Cairo continues to be a fascinating destination for travelers and history buffs. 

So, whether you’re planning a trip or just curious about this remarkable city, you’re bound to uncover even more captivating facts about Cairo that will leave you in awe of its enduring charm and allure.



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

More Adventures


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


other stories