Going to Cairo to see the pyramids is often the highlight of any family Egyptian holiday. But there are so many more things to do in Cairo with kids.
From well-preserved mummies to sunset cruises on the world’s longest river, Cairo with children is a rich and cultural family experience.
As the capital of Egypt, Cairo is home to over 10 million people. It is known as the “city of a thousand minarets.” Spotting and counting minarets could be a fun activity to do with kids throughout your stay in Cairo.
- Best Time to Visit Cairo With Kids
- How to Get Around in Cairo With Kids
- 9 Best Things to do in Cairo With Kids
- 1. Gaze at the Pyramids of Giza and take a Selfie with the Sphinx
- 2. Find Mummies at the Egyptian Museum
- 3. Dive Into History at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization
- 4. Meander Through Old Town into Khan Al-Khalili and Coptic Cairo
- 5. Visit the Citadel and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha
- 6. Marvel at the Expansive Cave Church
- 7. Navigate the Nile via Boat Cruise
- 8. Explore other Pyramids at Saqqara and Dahshur
- 9. Visit Memphis, Ancient Egypt’s first Capital
- How Long Do You Need in Cairo With Kids?
- Where to Stay In Cairo With Kids
Best Time to Visit Cairo With Kids
We recommend visiting Egypt during the cooler months from October through March. December can get even get chilly so pack a sweater.
Egypt is swelteringly hot from the months of May to August and summers can be extremely humid due to its location near the Mediterranean Sea.
The shoulder season of April and September can still be quite warm but there will be fewer crowds and oftentimes you will find better prices on flights and hotel rooms.
How to Get Around in Cairo With Kids
Getting around Cairo is easy as it has an extensive metro system of trains and buses. There is also Uber and Careem (a regional version of Uber).
But if you want to maximize your time and prefer more comfort, then the better option would be to hire a private car with a local guide or book a private tour package.
Some recommended tours with reputable booking platform Get Your Guide:
Egypt is not particularly stroller friendly so do plan on doing a lot of carrying if you’re travelling with infants. It is highly recommended you bring your own portable car seats.
9 Best Things to do in Cairo With Kids
We’re all kids at heart when it comes to visiting the pyramids of Egypt. It’s something we’ve learned about in school and seen in countless movies as we’re growing up, so there is the wow factor of finally seeing it first-hand and up close.
And afterwards, what next? Well, read on for more ideas of some of the best things to do in Cairo with kids.
No family trip to Cairo is complete without seeing the pyramids and this activity is usually what gets children (and parents!) excited about Egypt.
The pyramids of the Giza Plateau, also called the Necropolis (which means city of the dead) of Giza, were built between 2700 and 2500 B.C. as royal tombs. The Great Pyramid is the only surviving Wonder of the Ancient World.
A favourite with children is riding a camel or horse up to the pyramids. If the camel ride is not part of your tour package, be prepared to haggle.
If you decide to go on foot, then start by walking around the Great Pyramid, also known as the Pyramid of Khufu. Then head over to the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menjaure. Have a look inside the Pyramid of Menjaure, which is included in your entry ticket price. There’s not much to see inside, so there is no need to pay to go into the other pyramids.
Then head up to Panoramic Point and enjoy sweeping views of all three pyramids. Take a selfie with the sphinx and make guesses with your children about why it’s missing a nose. The Great Sphinx of Giza is a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the face of a human. The sphinx is believed to represent the pharaoh Khafre as an embodiment of the Sun God which is why he’s facing East.
You may want to start the day early at 8 AM to avoid the midday heat and the crowds that show up around 10 AM. If you go in the evening, you can also catch the sound and light show.
In August 2021, the solar ship was moved to the nearby Grand Egyptian Museum which will is scheduled to open at the end of 2022.
If you’re famished after your morning of sightseeing, there are restaurants within walking distance of the pyramids where you can stop for lunch and enjoy Egyptian and Middle Eastern food.
Is it better to stay in Giza or Cairo to visit the pyramids? Check out our guide to the best family accommodation near the Pyramids to help you decide.
At the Egyptian Museum, you can let your imagination go wild and fancy yourself as a time traveller amidst rooms full of sarcophagi, statues, jewellery and other treasures. There is plenty to see, and this museum is one of the favourite places in Cairo for children to visit.
Officially known as the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, this museum contains a vast collection of Egyptian artefacts including the gold mask and golden sarcophagi of Tutankhamun.
It’s a wondrous place to just wander around and marvel at all the different mummy statues in various sizes and positions. Given the size of the museum and the volume of artefacts, children may need help keeping their energy up as there are so many rooms to explore.
It is important to note that many exhibits may be closed as the new Grand Egyptian Museum is expected to open on the Giza Plateau in late 2022 and will then house the largest collection of Egyptian artefacts in the world.
If seeing more mummies and immersing yourself in Egyptian history is high on your to-do list, then head over to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization and definitely visit the popular Royal Mummies Gallery. The museum is smaller than the Egyptian Museum so it is more manageable for children
In April 2021, the world witnessed a huge dazzling parade of 22 royal mummies and 17 royal coffins being transported in grand style along the streets of Cairo. Their new resting place was the Gallery of Royal Mummies at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization.
After seeing the impressive Gallery of Royal Mummies, you can embark on an immersive chronological journey through Egypt’s different time periods from prehistoric times to the present day.
Not to be missed when visiting Cairo is the lively Khan Al-Khalili souq (which means “bazaar” in Arabic). It can be touristy but worth a visit to see traditional Egyptian architecture while meandering through the tiny alleyways and quaint little shops filled with colourful jewellery, accessories, clothing and spices.
It can get overwhelming for kids when the souq gets busy around late afternoon and evening. For a quieter experience, visit the shops when they open around 11 AM.
Afterwards, head over to Coptic Cairo, a neighbourhood in Old Cairo that is home to churches that predate the actual founding of Cairo. Coptic refers to Coptic Orthodox Christians, the largest Christian denomination in Egypt and the Middle East.
The area is pedestrian-only and has lots of space for young ones to just run around outside. You can wander in and out of historic churches, synagogues and buildings like the Babylon Fortress, the Hanging Church, the Greek Church of St. George and the Ben Ezra Synagogue. The buildings are all free to visit except for the Coptic Museum.
The Citadel was a medieval Islamic fort and home to Egypt’s rulers for nearly 700 years from the 13th to the 19th centuries.
Here you will find a few mosques and museums. Wander around the ancient streets and visit inside the Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha which was built in memory of Tusun Pasha, Muhammad Ali’s oldest son, who died in 1816.
When visiting the mosque be sure to remove and carry your shoes and women need to wear a headscarf.
Also up in the Mokattam Hills of Cairo is St. Simon “The Tanner” Monastery, known as Cave Church because it was carved out of the hills. You can see bible scenes carved into the limestone outside and inside the church.
Cave Church can hold 2000 people which makes it the largest church in the Middle East.
What’s also interesting about Cave Church is that it is located in an area known as the Zabbaleen city, which literally means “garbage city” because it has the largest population of garbage collectors and recyclers in Cairo.
A fun activity for kids to do in Cairo that they can tell all their friends back home would be to sail along the longest river in the world.
You can set sail down the Nile for an hour or two aboard a felucca which is a traditional Egyptian wooden sailboat. One of the best times to go is late afternoon, so you can catch the sunset.
There are different areas along the Nile from which you can catch a felucca and you can check with your hotel regarding which one is closest to you.
Another option is to do a dinner cruise with live music, belly dancing and Sufi dance. The Sufi dance is a favourite with children because the dancer is dressed in a long, dazzlingly colourful skirt which he twirls at a dizzying speed.
(Note the big Nile cruise ships don’t take off from Cairo! You will need to head to either Luxor or Aswan to take off on a longer Nile cruise – our full guide to family cruising on the Nile coming soon!)
A unique thing to do in Cairo with kids is to take a half-day trip to see the pyramids of Saqqara and Dahshur, which are located less than an hour’s drive south of Cairo. The area is much less crowded than the Pyramids of Giza, and there is plenty of open sand for little ones to run around.
Saqqara is home to several pyramids, some of which are even older than the Great Pyramid of Giza. You will see and learn about the great Step Pyramid, so named because of its rectangular base. It is known as the earliest pyramid in Egypt, built about 2650 BCE as the burial chamber for the Pharaoh Djoser. Inside the pyramid, the hieroglyphics are still colourful even after all this time.
Next head further south to Dahshur to see the Bent Pyramid, built during the reign of the Pharaoh Snefru, father of Khufu who built the Great Pyramid at Giza.
This unique structure isn’t a perfectly shaped pyramid but bends slightly about halfway up due to a steeper slope. Inside the Bent pyramid, you can clamber down a narrow tunnel with steps to reach two chambers deep inside.
There are many theories as to why the pyramid is bent; no one knows for sure, but it’s as if halfway into building a step pyramid (like in Saqqara), the builders changed their minds and started building one more similar to the Pyramids of Giza.
If you are visiting Saqqara and Dahshur, then consider adding in a trip to Memphis which is about a 10-minute drive from Saqqara.
Memphis was the first capital of ancient Egypt and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was founded by King Menes, who united Upper and Lower Egypt. It used to be a thriving city with temples and palaces and thrived as a regional centre for commerce, trade, and religion.
Little remains from the ruins of ancient Memphis, but you can visit the historic Open Air Museum, where you’ll find a limestone colossus of King Ramses II which is over 3,700 years old and is about 10m (33.8ft) long. You can also see a giant alabaster Sphinx, weighing more than 80 tons.
How Long Do You Need in Cairo With Kids?
We recommend two to three days if you don’t want to feel rushed.
On day one, you can visit the Pyramids of Giza (allocate yourself three to four hours) in the morning and have a relaxing lunch by the pyramids. Then in the afternoon, head over to the Egyptian Museum and spend two to three hours there. In the evening, you can embark on a sunset dinner cruise down the Nile.
On day two, you can meander around Old Cairo and Islamic Cairo, including the Citadel, and do some souvenir shopping at the sprawling Kahn Al-Kahlili souq.
If you have one more day, then on day three, you can make a day trip to escape the city and explore the step pyramid at Saqqara, the bent pyramid at Dahshur, and visit Memphis, which was the first capital of Egypt.
Or, for day three, you can do a day trip from Cairo to Alexandria.
Where to Stay In Cairo With Kids
Some popular kid-friendly hotels in Cairo include:
- Fairmont Nile City
- Marriott Mena House
- Ramses Hilton Hotel
- Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah
- Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir Cairo
- The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo
See all your accommodation options in Cairo.
More About Visiting Egypt With Kids
We have a great selection of articles to help you plan your dream trip to Egypt with your family. We’d recommend starting with our guide “Planning a Family Trip to Egypt“, then for diving into more of the detail, things to do, and how to plan your days we also recommend you check out:
- The ideal 7-day itinerary for Egypt with kids
- Is it “safe” to travel to Egypt with kids?
- The best hotels to stay with views of the Pyramids
- Red Sea resort towns to try for a relaxing Egyptian vacation
- Baksheesh! Dealing with the tipping culture in Egypt
- An Egypt family packing list for all seasons
We’d also highly recommend for family a trip to Egypt to prepare yourself with a few Egypt fact books before you go (and keep one in your day bag if you can!).
The guides and Egyptologists you’ll encounter on your trip do a superb job bringing history to life – but the facts and timelines can get a little overwhelming (for the adults, let alone the kids!)
Have you explored Cairo with kids? Are there any other attractions you’d recommend as family-friendly you’d add to this Cairo family itinerary? Join the conversation over at our Facebook group “Family Travel Middle East“.
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