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A jumble of ancient, medieval and modern, Cairo exudes a sense of romantic nostalgia; an ever-expanding metropolis with an unconditional love for its own rich history. Though the grandeur of Cairo is a little faded, it’s all part of the charm; the locals still shop at the immense rabbit warren that is Khan el-Khalili Bazaar, some six hundred and fifty years old, and traditional felucca boats still sail up the Nile, their triangular white sails rippling in the breeze.

Be sure to soak up the ambience at the old-fashioned Egyptian Museum, overflowing with thousands of antiquated treasures ranging from ancient coins to immense statues and sarcophagi. Over time this museum is due to be replaced by the ambitious new Grand Egyptian Museum next door to the pyramids in nearby Giza; for now, it remains one of the highlights of the city.

Cairo has its fair share of modern architecture, too; visit the island of Zamalek in the Nile, with its upscale restaurants, foreign embassies and lively jazz bars. The revolving restaurant atop Zamelek’s Cairo Tower is popular with tourists, but for good reason; this is the best spot in Cairo for views of the sprawling city.

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