Away From The Pyramids: Family Days Out In Cairo

The Pyramids of Giza definitely deserve their place on any list of must-see attractions, but even they won't keep the kids occupied for a whole week in Cairo. Fortunately, there's no shortage of other activities that are perfect for families, from fascinating museums to dining in the sky. 

Explore the past

A treasure trove of antiquities, the Egyptian Museum brings history to life in a way that's both accessible and completely absorbing. It's said that if you spent a minute on each exhibit in the museum, you’d be there for nine months, so it's a good idea to do some research beforehand and plan your route. Ease your children into this cornucopia of culture by starting out at the Children's Museum in the basement, which opened a few years ago. Its Lego replicas of mummy masks, the Sphinx and other iconic Ancient Egyptian relics will delight little ones, accompanied by simple and insightful explanations of the stories behind the images. Once you've piqued their interest, move into the main museum and head straight for its biggest attraction: the real Tutankhamen’s burial mask. Imposing enough when rebuilt in colourful plastic bricks, the original, solid gold version is unforgettable.

Set sail on a felucca

With temperatures in Cairo frequently reaching the mid-30s, the gentle breeze along the river can be a godsend. Feluccas, traditional wooden sailing boats, provide the ideal way to journey down the Nile. Mid-afternoon cruises will be best for small children, but those travelling with teens should book onto one of the evening voyages, which take in the glorious colours of a Cairo sunset on the way out before returning in hushed tranquillity past city lights reflected by the water.

Hit the shops

From the historic market of Khan al-Khalili to bespoke craft boutiques and state-of-the-art malls, Cairo takes good care of tourists who like to shop. The Sun City mall, a new and exciting complex in Heliopolis, is located just 2km away from our Radisson Blu Hotel Cairo Heliopolis. Packed with an eclectic collection of European, American and Egyptian brands, you'll find Burger King and Clarks in between hijab shops and Abou el Sid, a chain restaurant serving mezze, tajines and fetirs. There's also a gaming arcade, a bowling alley and a 3D cinema.

Picnic in the park

Situated at the heart of Islamic Cairo, Al-Azhar Park provides a much-needed retreat from the busy city streets. Transformed from a rubbish heap to a public park in the 1980s, today you'll find an expansive lake, shady palm trees and several fountains. Pack a picnic and settle down to enjoy views over the mediaeval Citadel and surrounding mosques. In the evening, head to the appropriately named Citadel View restaurant to savour grilled lamb, chicken and vegetables along with the spectacular sunset.

Climb the tower

As the tallest building in Egypt, you'd expect Cairo Tower to be a pretty impressive lookout point. The latticework observation tower originally opened in 1961, but was given an interior makeover in 2009. The views have changed dramatically over the past 50 years, but the highlights remain the same: the Citadel, Saqqara, and the Pyramids. There are several restaurants inside, but the safest bet for kids is the Revolving Restaurant, which completes a 360° revolution while you eat.

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