Heading to Egypt? This 3 days in Cairo Itinerary covers everything you need to know including things to do in Egypt & the best time to visit.
Cairo is disrupted beauty at its finest and no one can deny its magnificence. Cairo is where ancient sites mix with a modern city’s buildings. If you’ve never visited Egypt before, exploring its capital city is a must!
Egypt’s largest metropolis, with its perpetual tumult and commotion, is not a location that entices visitors at first glance. Cairo can be obnoxious, domineering, and aggravating. However, despite its dust and glory, Cairo has a plethora of intriguing locations to visit.
If you’re planning to spend three days in Cairo, it’s crucial to prepare beforehand. Make sure to read on to find a perfect 3-day itinerary to Egypt’s capital city!
Best time to visit Egypt
Visiting Egypt in the Spring is the best time to visit the country. The weather is warm but pleasant, the attractions aren’t too crowded and rates are slightly cheaper too.
Avoid visiting during Ramadan and during the months of June and August; the temperature in Egypt during the summer is too hot to see the attractions properly and they are often very busy at this time too.
High season in Egypt is December to February; so expect higher prices and busier attractions. Head here in November or March to get cheaper rates.
Things to know before you visit Egypt
- Water – You can use the tap water to brush your teeth but you won’t want to drink it; it is heavily chlorinated. Instead, stick to bottled water that costs as little as 5 EGP ($0.30).
- Hydration – On a similar note, keep hydrated. It gets incredibly hot in the desert so make sure to drink plenty of water and we recommend bringing electrolyte tablets to give you that extra boost during your visit.
- Currency – The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound, written £E or LE. They are then divided into piastres (like cents). Make sure to recognise the different between these notes before you visit the country.
- Expect to pay – Make sure to bring plenty of change with you, especially when visiting the popular attractions. There are many opportunities to take photos with camels or in front of various temples but most animal owners will ask for payment if you do try to get a photo.
How to get a visa for Egypt
Egypt is among the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and thanks to the Egypt e-Visa Program, visiting Cairo and other Egyptian cities now is easier than ever!
You can apply online for your e-Visa on visa-for-egypt.com and get the approved document via email.
The Egyptian e-Visa comes in two varieties: a single-entry permit and a multiple-entry permit. Both can be used for tourist trips as well as for business ones. The cost of single-entry and multiple-entry visa types are 69 Euro and 99 Euro, respectively.
Once you already know what e-Visa to Egypt is, now you can start preparing yourself for an Egyptian trip. Below, we present a 3 Day Cairo Itinerary that you can use as a model when creating your own.
3 Days in Egypt Itinerary
Day 1 in Cairo
Start with Saqqara
This area is believed to be almost five thousand years old and covers about seven kilometres of desert.
Even though these pyramids may not pop into your head first when thinking of Cairo, these are best for a more relaxed tour with less people around.
Travellers with additional time should also pay a visit to Kagemni’s Tomb and Ti’s Mastaba.
Here, you can take all day to explore these:
- The Pyramid of Djoser
This pyramid the earliest example of a royal mausoleum and serves as the foundation for succeeding pyramids.
The shape of the Djoser Pyramid, usually referred to as the Step Pyramid, is one-of-kind. It is not a uniform structure. It’s built just like steps, with the biggest constructions on the bottom and gradually getting smaller towards the top. This is not a regular pyramid, which is one of the reasons you should definitely see it!
- The Pyramid of Teti
Probably, like most tourists you had never heard of Teti before your trip to Egypt, but it will definitely be worth exploring!
The Pyramid of Teti looks to be a little mound of rocks in disarray from the outside. It seems to be in such a bad state that you will hesitate whether or not to enter.
However, Teti Pyramid’s interior is absolutely stunning. You will find numerous beautiful hieroglyphs that have actually been well-maintained.
End your day with a rooftop view of the Giza Pyramids
Mark your stay at Giza for the night to copiously experience the majesty of the pyramids at night and early in the morning. In Giza, a slew of hotels fight for near-unobstructed views of the three triangle monuments that tower above the city.
Day 2 in Egypt
Spend the day exploring the Pyramids of Giza
Now this is probably the part you’ve been waiting for the most. The Giza Pyramids and its surrounding attractions. This is a staple when visiting Cairo and cannot be missed even on a short visit of three days.
The Great Giza Pyramids
The magnificent Pyramids of Giza, which date back approximately 6,000 years, have captivated the imaginations of travellers and scholars for millennia. However, their tremendous popularity comes with a cost.
Since Giza pyramids are the most popular ones in Cairo, prepare to explore it with hundreds of other tourists. The site can get too crowded and is most definitely not as relaxed as the Saqqara pyramids from day one. You need to especially be aware of possible scams for tourists.
Nevertheless, exploring the Pyramids of Giza is a once-in-a-lifetime Egyptian experience!
The Three Pyramids of Giza
The Giza Necropolis is mainly made up of three large pyramids—Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure. You will spend most of the morning roaming around the archaeological site’s grounds.
It’s best to arrive as early as possible to avoid long waiting lines.
The Great Sphinx
The Sphinx is Egypt’s oldest known monument, dating to be from around 2500 BC. It’s 20 meters high and more than 70 meters long. This limestone structure will definitely be impressive once seen in person!
Day 3 in Egypt
Take this last day to explore the lesser-known attractions. If you want to get the most out of your visit to Cairo, make sure to see:
The Hanging Church
The Hanging Church is the oldest church in the whole of Egypt. Can you believe that this building comes from the third century?
It’s incredible that we can still admire and explore it. The courtyard of the Hanging Church is decorated with biblical themes resulting in numerous icons to discover.
The mosque-like floral designs and exquisite embellishments of the Hanging Church will most definitely appeal to its visitors!
The Mohammed Ali Mosque
You’ve most likely have already heard of the Mohammed Ali Mosque before. The structure was completed in memory of Mohammed Ali’s son. It’s extremely impressive, especially due to the fact that its minarets come up to 80 meters in height!
Even if you won’t have time to explore it from the inside, it’s a must to at least seen it from the outside.
The Khan El Khalili Market
The vibrant Khan al Khalil Market is located in the center of Islamic Cairo and serves perfectly as ending to a beautiful visit to Cairo. The bustle of activity here is caused more by street merchants striving to entice people into their businesses than by honking car horns.
Khan Al Khalili’s tiny car-free pathways house one of the Arab world’s largest and most recognized souks. With anything from washing powder to spices to gaudy alabaster pyramids and pharaoh sculptures may be found in this jumble of shops. This is a perfect way to end your stay and get yourself a souvenir to remind you of your trip!
Cairo, despite its fame and enormous appeal, is a difficult city to navigate. That is why it’s best to travel there prepared, especially when you have limited time while exploring the Egypt’s capital.
Use our Cairo itinerary for a perfect 3-day trip and get to see as much as possible!
What to pack
- No matter where we travel to, I always take these trusty hand sanitizer’s and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these, over backpack and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favourite travel Insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offers year coverage.