Are you looking for an opportunity to not just learn Arabic, but to gain practical, real opportunities to put it into practice? What about also having fun and enjoying a rich, vibrant culture with a long history?
Arab Academy not only offers students one of the world’s most recognized online Arabic language courses, but we also offer students the ability to put their new Arabic language skills to use through an immersion program in Cairo, Egypt.
As one can imagine, there are numerous things to do and see in this old city. Some of the can’t miss, most popular attractions in Cairo include:
Pyramids of Giza
Eleven miles southwest of Cairo on the Giza Plateau are Egypt’s most iconic attraction: The Pyramids of Giza. Thousands of visitors come each year to see these three majestic 4,500 year old pyramids that were once regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The pyramids mark the tombs of three of Egypt’s pharaohs: Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure.
Adjacent to these three pyramids is the Great Sphinx. Tickets are required for both attractions with additional fees to enter the pyramids. Be sure to come early as only 300 tickets are sold per day. The pyramids are open every day from 8 am-4 pm.
The Great Sphinx
While visiting the Pyramids of Gaza, students can also experience Egypt’s other icon, the Great Sphinx. This massive stone monument that is half pharaoh and half lion measures 66 feet high and 234 feet long, is believed to be the oldest monumental sculpture in the world. The Sphinx sits between two temples, one from Egypt’s Old Kingdom and the other for Egypt’s New Kingdom.
Tickets to see the Great Sphinx is included with admission to the Pyramids of Gaza.
The Egyptian Museum
Right in the heart of Cairo, lays the Egyptian Museum. This is the largest and most popular history museum in Egypt. More than 100,000 artifacts from Egypt’s long past including pottery, jewelry, sarcophagi and of course mummies. It is at this museum students can see artifacts from the tomb of Egypt’s most well-known pharaoh, Tutankhamun, including his famous golden funeral mask.
Tickets for admission are required with additional tickets for the Mummy Room. There is also an additional charge for taking photos.
Salah El-Din Citadel
While this landmark might not be familiar to many visitors, this mighty fortress is Cairo’s most popular non-pyramid-related attractions. The Salah El-Din Citadel was built in 1100 AD by Salah al-Din, the founder of Egypt’s Ayyubid Dynasty. Inside this massive fortress includes multiple mosques and museums. The most famous of the sites are the Mohamed Ali Mosque, and the Gawhara Palace.
The Salah El-Din Citadel is located in the southeastern part of Cairo, in what is called Cairo’s Islamic Neighborhood. Tickets are required for admittance and remember to cover-up and dress appropriately.
While the Pyramids of Gaza may steal the limelight, the Saqqara area in southern Cairo between Giza and Dahshur is home to Egypt’s oldest pyramid: The Step Pyramid of Djoser. This pyramid was constructed for pharaoh Djoser, who reigned during the Third Dynasty, which went from 2649 to 2575 B.C.
Besides the Step Pyramid, Saqqara also features other pyramids and tombs that can be explored.
Tickets are required for admission and include access to the Step Pyramid and the Imhotep Museum.
Al Azhar Park
Students who want some relaxation or a quiet place to unwind from sight-seeing can enjoy the meticulously manicured grounds of Al Azhar Park located on the eastern part of Islamic Cairo. This park is Cairo’s largest and features numerous fountains, recreation areas, gardens and restaurants.
The park also features the Ayyubid Wall, constructed by Salah El-Din 800 years ago. A small admittance fee will gain you access to the park and the Ayyubid Wall.
Khan el-Khalil Bazaar
A trip to Cairo won’t be complete without experiencing the chaos and hustle and bustle of Cairo’s most well-known market, the Khan el-Khalil Bazaar. The marketplace is located in the narrow alleyways of Islamic Cairo. It is here that the most authentic Egyptian souvenirs such as spices, jewelry and hookah pipes can be found.
Here, students can test out their bargaining and Arabic language skills. The market runs every day from 9:30 am until sunset.
Islamic Cairo Neighborhood
Cairo has many distinct neighborhoods, each with its own personality, sites and architecture. The Islamic Cairo neighborhood is on the eastern side of the city and is marked by unique architecture and noisy, crowded, narrow, winding alleyways. The Khan el-Khalil’s bazaar and the Salah El-Din Citadel are the neighborhood’s most popular attractions.
Coptic Cairo Neighborhood
In the southern part of the city students will find the Coptic Cairo neighborhood. This neighborhood makes up the oldest part of Cairo, with a variety of ancient churches that are hundreds of years older than the mosques found in the Islamic Cairo neighborhood. In this old neighborhood, you’ll find Africa’s first Christian Church, the Coptic Church of Egypt. The Hanging Church, located in an ancient Babylonian fortress, the Coptic Museum, the Ben Ezra Synagogue, and the Mosque of Amr Ibn al-Aas, Africa’s oldest mosque, are the neighborhood’s top attractions.
Seventeen miles south of Cairo is Memphis. This ancient city was Egypt’s first capital city before Cairo. Memphis was founded in 2925 B.C., more than a thousand years before Cairo and was said to be the first imperial city on Earth. The city was dedicated to the mythical ruler, Menes.
Not much remains of this ancient city save the scattered ruins of mud-brick necropolises, statues and temples. A large limestone statues of pharaoh Ramses II and an impressive sphinx statue made of alabaster are the area’s must-see attractions.
Egypt is a rich, vibrant city with a long history that has captivated many around the world. Students in the Arab Academy’s Egypt Immersion Program will have an experience of a lifetime sightseeing, being immersed in Cairo’s unique culture and put their Arabic language skills into practice.
To learn more about our Cairo, Egypt immersion program, contact us today and we’d be glad to help you.