mosque of muhammad ali cairo 2

Cairo in Depth

Discover the City of a Thousand Minarets

Please note that this extension is exclusively for participants in the Wonders of Ancient Egypt special event.


Explore the bustling ancient city of Cairo, the “Mother of the World” and a whirlpool of life and culture. Enjoy the magnificent medieval architecture of Islamic Cairo, walk in the colorful, historic Khan-el-Khalili Bazaar, roam the maze of ancient and modern churches and monasteries in Coptic Cairo, and tour the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization to see the mummies of Egypt’s rulers.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1, Dec 14, 2022
Islamic Cairo / Khan-el-Khalili Bazaar

As we explore Islamic Cairo, we visit the graceful Mohammed Ali Mosque within the ancient Citadel, a spectacular medieval fortress perched on a hill above the city. Originally built by Salah El-Din in 1176 to fortify the city against the Crusaders, the Citadel was modified and enlarged over the centuries by subsequent rulers. Mohammed Ali, one of the last rulers to reside in the Citadel, built what is now called the Alabaster Mosque, where his gilded tomb still lies inside.

We head into the world-famous Khan El Khalili bazaar to enjoy lunch at a restaurant in the heart of the bazaar, then explore the labyrinth of narrow streets, discovering artisans building, dyeing, carving, and sewing, as well as shop after shop selling wares from woodwork and glassware to leather goods, perfumes, and fabrics. The Khan El Khalili is one of the largest bazaars in the Middle East. …BL

Note that for your convenience, the night of December 13, 2022, the final night of the symposium program, will be at the Four Seasons First Residence instead of the Fairmont Towers Heliopolis.

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Day 2, Dec 15, 2022
National Museum of Egyptian Civilization / Coptic Cairo

Visit Cairo’s new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC). The museum has well-planned exhibits covering the vast sweep of Egypt's story, from pre-history to the Greco-Roman and Coptic periods, but down in its basement you’ll find the star attraction, the royal mummies in all their glory. In an internationally covered event in April, 2021, 22 Egyptian mummies were removed from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square and transported through Cairo in an extravagant public celebration called The Pharaoh’s Golden Parade. As they were carried to the new museum, each ruler (18 kings, 4 queens) traveled in an oxygen-free, nitrogen-filled container on a boat-like vehicle equipped with shock-absorbing material. The mummies on view at the new museum include Queen Ahmose Nefertari, King Amenhotep I and II, King Thutmose I, II, III, and IV, Queen Hatshepsut, and King Ramses II, along with some of the special belongings of Amenhotep II and Thutmose IV. Modern preservation technology is in place to protect these essential elements of Egyptian history.

Spend the afternoon discovering Coptic Cairo, the oldest part of the city. Coptic Christianity was brought to Cairo in the first century during the reign of the Roman emperor Nero and thrived in Egypt. One of the most iconic Coptic churches in the district is the 7th century Hanging Church, standing atop a 2nd century Roman fortress. It was the seat of the Coptic Patriarch until the 13th century and houses the “Coptic Mona Lisa,” an icon of the Virgin Mary, Jesus, and John the Baptist. Also in the district is the Ben Ezra synagogue, an architectural gem and the place where the Geniza documents were discovered, offering an eye-opening window into the life of Jews in Egypt. Nearby, visit the Coptic Museum, which holds the largest collection of Coptic artwork and cultural artifacts in the world, cataloguing the history of Coptic Christianity and its interactions with several different cultures and religions, including the ancient gods of Egypt, the pagan faiths of Rome and Greece, early Christianity, and Islam. Overnight at Four Seasons First Residence…BL

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Day 3, Dec 16, 2022

Transfer to airport for departure.


The trip leader for this special symposium extension will be Ahmed Abul Ella.


Length: 3 days
Cost From: $1495  
Arrive: Cairo, Egypt
Depart: Cairo, Egypt
Lodging: 2 nights hotels
Meals: All meals included except 2 dinners
Activity: Archaeology, Cultural Adventures, Walking
Trip Level:

Cultural explorations and walking tours