10 Free Things to do in Cairo

By Soren Rivero

When you hear “Cairo”, do you think of pyramids, museums, and the Nile River? Fair enough, but Egypt’s capital city is remarkable for its unique attractions beyond just those. However, to witness the finer aspects of Cairo, you may have to toss in some coins.

Luckily, you can still get a great taste of Egypt’s culture and excitement without having to spend a fortune. Here are 10 free things to do in Cairo that’ll help you save some money!

Qasr El Nil Bridge

The Qasr El Nil Bridge is an iconic part of Cairo’s history, especially when considering its connection with the Nile River. This bridge was constructed in 1931 as a replacement for the first-ever bridge to span across the Nile River. It connects Tahrir Square to the Cairo Opera House and is a highly enjoyable stroll if you’re looking for what to do in Cairo on a budget. Of course, we recommend taking a cruise through the Nile River. But if you can’t access that, then this is your next best bet!

The Coptic Museum

From mummifying royalty to the invention of ancient writing techniques, Egypt has played a significant part in the world's history – and you can learn much about it by visiting one of the many museums in Cairo! The Coptic Museum is one of the more delicate, yet intriguing museums in Egypt. It’s located in the Coptic Cairo district of Cairo, just south of the city center. You’ll find dozens of unique religious artifacts held within the museum's walls, ranging from ancient Coptic Christian pieces to contemporary Islamic pieces.

Al Azhar Park

You can never go wrong with taking a nice stroll through a park whenever you’re on vacation! This is the perfect escape if you’ve planned a good amount of adrenaline-rushing activities in Cairo, as this atmosphere is relaxing and serene. Some describe it as an oasis inside of an urban city. Whether you agree with that or not, there’s no doubt that kicking it back in this park will be everything you need to rejuvenate your senses during your trip to Egypt. Tip: place this free thing to do in Cairo in the middle of your itinerary to get the most out of your vacation!

Khan Al-Khalili

One alluring characteristic you’ll see in most countries along North Africa and the Middle East are bazaars. These public shopping strips are stuffed into tight streets and usually filled with people. From inch to inch of the bazaar, shops are set up that sell anything from handcrafted jewelry to rich-scented spices. Cairo’s prime bazaar is known as Khan Al-Khalili, located in the deepest crevices of Cairo’s Islamic heart. The bazaar is a great place to take photos in Cairo even if you don’t buy anything. Be on the lookout for the divide that separates the tourist section from the local section. It’s very easy to get lost in the local section, especially if you don’t speak Arabic.

Cave Church

Those who enjoy scenic views combined with history lessons will most definitely want to add Cave Church to their to-do list in Cairo. Cave Church is otherwise known as The Church of Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. The church is carved into a small cave right on the slope of Mount Kopaonik, bordering Serbia. It’s the largest Cave Church in the entire Middle East and a remarkable free thing to do in Cairo. Only one road leads to the church, but the commute is walkable if you’re stationed close by. Though there is no entrance fee, it is highly advised that you get a tour guide to walk you through all the space. You’ll get to hear the fascinating history behind the church as well as spot some of the attraction’s hidden gems.


Modern-day luxury mixes with ancient city feels in the Heliopolis district of Cairo. Previously a standalone suburb outside of the Cairo metropolitan area, Heliopolis has been acquired by Cairo as an official integration of the city. It is one of the most notable parts of the city, mostly because it retains that old Egypt feel similar to the old city of Italy. Touring around Heliopolis is a completely free and quick activity in Cairo.

Mosque of Ibn Tulun

While on vacation in Cairo, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the oldest Mosque in Africa. The Mosque of Ibn Tulun was built somewhere around 870 AD by Ahmad Ibn Tulun. The Abbasid Governor sent from Baghdad to rule over Egypt eventually had a mosque constructed under his name. Aside from history, the Mosque is most beautiful for its red-brick design complimented by the ancient feel. Visiting this best attraction in Cairo is free and definitely worth the time spent. Just remember to read the dress code and behavior rules before visiting the mosque.

The Cairo Opera House

Cairo’s most prestigious fine arts facility has to be the Cairo Opera House, where an assortment of wonderful events are hosted every week. Whether you’re a fan of opera or not, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at the Cairo Opera House. Other live performance options include concerts, symphonies, plays, and dances. Not all the performances are free though, so be sure to look on the venue’s official website for free events in Cairo. You definitely don’t want to miss out on one!

Tahrir Square

Tahir Square, also dubbed the "Martyr Square", is well-known as being a location for political demonstrations in Cairo. Most notably during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, when thousands of protestors gathered to protest the power of President Hosni Mubarak’s regime. You can visit the significant Tahrir Square to observe the area and learn some history, making this a great budget-friendly activity in Cairo.

Downtown Cairo

Like any major city, you can never go wrong with spending a night (or day) out downtown. The downtown area in Cairo is especially nice as it offers more than just an urbanized experience of the city. You’ll find a few religious and historical monuments scattered throughout the area in addition to some popular spots in Cairo to take pictures. There are also plenty of shops, restaurants, boutiques, cafes, and more! But if you're looking for how to save money in Cairo, simply walking around the downtown area is more than enough to suffice.

Which of these free activities in Cairo will you enjoy?


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