Cairo is the capital of Egypt and is also one of the greatest capital cities of the world. With this article, learn some interesting and fun facts about Cairo.

Facts About Cairo

Located on the bank of the Nile River, in the north of Egypt, Cairo is one of the greatest capital cities of the world. Known by the name of Al-Qahirah, meaning ‘The Triumphant’ in Arabic, it was a stronghold of many ancient dynasties throughout the ages. The city of thousand minarets was founded in 10th century A.D. Governed by Pharaohs, Caliphs, Romans, Turkish khedives, British colonizers and French colonizers, the city boasts of a rich history and an aristocratic charm. Cairo abounds in many historic tourist attractions, including the Pyramids of Giza, considered as the world’s tallest man-made structure until 1889. With its illustrious beauty, fascinating destinations, royal elegance and modern trappings, it is one of the most frequented tourist destinations in Egypt. It also boasts of the oldest and the largest film and music industries in the world and home to International business and media organizations. Check out some interesting and fun facts about Cairo here.
Image: girolame@flickr
Fast Facts
Country: Egypt
Population: 9,120,350 (2011)
Area: 453 km2
Elevation: 23m
Demonym: Cairene
Fun & Interesting Facts about Cairo
  • Cairo is the capital of Egypt and houses one of the oldest civilizations in the world.
  • Cairo is the largest city of Africa.
  • Cairo has an area of 453 sq. km and has a population of 69.5 million.
  • Founded in AD 969, Cairo was to serve as the royal enclosure for the Fatimid caliphs.
  • Cairo is situated on the banks of the Nile River in Northern Egypt.
  • With a population of over 1  7 million, Cairo is the most heavily populated city in Africa and the 16th most populous metropolitan areas in the world.
  • In the Arabic language, Cairo is known as ‘Al- Qahirah’, meaning ‘The Victorious’ or ‘The Triumphant’.
  • Cairo is nicknamed “the city of a thousand minarets” for its dominant Islamic architecture 
  • The Great Pyramid, built with about 2 million limestone blocks, is the largest and oldest of all the pyramids in Egypt.
  • It took around 20 years to build the Great Pyramid of Cairo.
  • The Ben Ezra Synagogue of Cairo is the oldest synagogue in Egypt.
  • The Al-Azhar University of Cairo is the oldest university in the world, apart from being Sunni Islam's primary seat of learning.
  • The 14th century Mosque and Madrasa of Sultan Hassan in Cairo is one of the largest in the whole world.
  • Cairo was the birth place of plenty of renowned people like Naguib Mahfouz, novelist and Nobel laureate.
  • Cairo, the capital city in its 6000 year history was ruled by Pharaohs, Caliphs, Turkish Khedives, French Colonizers, British and Romans.
  • The Egyptian Museum in Cairo puts on display the largest collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the world
  • Cairo observes Eastern European Time (GMT +2), and is 2 hours ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time.
  • In Cairo, Sunday is not a part of the weekend, but a traditional day off.
  • The legal drinking age in Cairo is 21 yrs.
  • Cairo was hit by a plague for more than fifty times between 1349 and 1517 which led to the population being reduced to 300,000.  
  • Cairo also known as the city of the dead has something which is hard to find in other cities – a four mile area which has a pile of tombs and mausoleums as well as a thriving community of the people.
  • Cairo is one of the largest cities in Africa and Middle East and one of the largest cities in the world.
  • Dating is highly discouraged in Cairo.
  • Egyptians use a water pipe called shisha in Egypt, but also known as a hookah or nargila.
  • An Egyptian meal comprises of Mezza which is similar to appetizers. It also includes hummus, stuffed grape leaves, ta'miyya, felafel, beans, and other light items. Egyptian desserts bassboosa, umm ali and so on.

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