Egypt art guide  

Cultural Highlights In Cairo
By Isla Campbell
No trip to Cairo is complete, it's true, without the obligatory camel ride to the Sphinx, the countless photographs of vast pyramids and an unforgettable boat ride up the tremendous river Nile - but that isn't all there is to this culturally dense city.

Cairo is one of the world's oldest cities and reputedly one that has seen all influences of the world descend within its limits. That's why you'll see architecture from many great civilizations collected in Cairo, with the land of the Pharaohs converging into a breathtaking enigma alongside echoes left by the Romans and the Greeks, amongst others.

You can find out about the stunning history of Cairo, spanning 4,000 years, through a visit to the Egyptian Museum. This timeless building, with its striking outer facade, displays over 136,000 artefacts including the world's largest collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities, which is a must-see for all ancient Egypt buffs.

Even those with just a mild

interest in memories of the past will find something to fascinate at this famous museum, from artefacts brought from the very tomb of Tutankhamen - including treasures and prized possessions - to mummified corpses of royal bodies of the New Kingdom, a display that will mesmerise and enthral both adults and children.

But leaving the past and moving into the modern, Cairo has plenty to offer to the up to date tourist as well. For example, its live music scene is one to be experienced, with cultural sounds thrumming late into the night in bars and clubs, and those choosing the right time to visit might coincide with the Cairo International Film Festival, a globally famous event that attracts thousands of stars and reaffirms Cairo's status as the cultural capital of the Arab world.

At the film festival, you can see the latest in blockbuster and arthouse films gathered together in one location, with thousands of fellow spectators joining you to appreciate what's on offer at this exciting event. You may even catch glimpse of a celebrity or two - the festival has seen many famous faces over the years, including Christopher Lee, Morgan Freeman, Nicolas Cage and Elizabeth Taylor.

And if you fancy taking in more of Cairo's musical scene, why not sample a memorable experience at the Cairo Opera House or the Khedivial Opera House? These stages have seen performances from world famous talent and the highest quality operas, making them an unmissable attraction for fans.

There's so much you can do other than the usual tourist attractions when you step off your flights to Cairo - just make sure you have enough time in which to do them!

Isla Campbell is an online, freelance journalist and avid traveler and pilates devotee. When not on the road she lives on the outskirts of Oban.

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