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10 Things to Do in Cairo in July

Visiting Cairo in July is, despite the intense heat, an unforgettable experience. To make the most of your stay I have prepared a small list of things you can do in addition to be amazed by the immense historical and artistic heritage of the city.

Joaquín Montaño

Joaquín Montaño

10 min read

10 Things to Do in Cairo in July

Cairo | ©Hisham Elshazli

The month of July in the Egyptian capital is marked by high temperatures. This heat will not prevent you from visiting all the attractions of Cairo, but in some cases it will be convenient to delay the visits so that they do not coincide with the hottest hours. An advantage of this climate is that, like all summer, these dates are low season and the tourist influx falls a little.

The city also offers during this month some interesting events to make the experience more enjoyable, such as the summer season of the Opera House or the massive parades of the Revolution Day. Besides, I recommend you to imitate the locals and escape the heat with a visit to the Red Sea or simply relaxing in the evening with a good tea and a hookah.

1. Watch the Revolution Day celebrations

Revolution Day celebrations| ©Mohamed
Revolution Day celebrations| ©Mohamed

If you are in the city during the Revolution Day (July 23) take the opportunity to experience the atmosphere that is created throughout the day and go to one of the many events taking place in many parts of Cairo.

On July 23rd, Revolution Day is celebrated throughout Egypt to commemorate the date on which the last king of the country was deposed. In Cairo, this event is remembered in style, with large parades (both military and festive), concerts and many other events.

Note, on the other hand, that this day is a national holiday, so many establishments remain closed. However, tourism-related activities usually continue to operate normally, so you should not be directly affected.

2. Attend an open-air concert at the Opera House's Summer Festival

Cairo Theater| ©Jessica Splain
Cairo Theater| ©Jessica Splain

Many of the activities taking place during July in Cairo are designed to avoid the heat of the daytime hours. Among them is the Opera House Summer Festival, which offers a variety of outdoor musical performances.

Note that, despite the festival's name, it only takes place during July, as the theater is closed in August.

Located in the Zamalek neighborhood, the Opera House houses seven halls with different capacities. During the rest of the year, the events are held in these auditoriums, but in July take advantage of the sensational space offered by its beautiful gardens to set up a concert area there.

Normally, the program consists of the Traditional Arab Music Company, the city's Symphony Orchestra or some Egyptian modern dance groups. There is also room for performances by young artists, both classical and contemporary ballet.

After watching the performance of your choice, I recommend a stroll across the Qsar el Nil Bridge, a place where many families and young people from the city gather to contemplate the sensational views of the river on summer evenings.

Take a guided tour of Cairo

3. Relax with a tea and a hookah as night falls

Narguile| ©Maira Fornazza
Narguile| ©Maira Fornazza

As one of the maxims followed by any traveler states, where you go, do as you please. In Cairo in July, this means sitting quietly while the sun goes down to enjoy a good tea and a hookah, the name given there to the water pipe.

If you are walking down any street just before the sun goes down you will see how many cairotas take chairs out of the doorways or sit on the terraces of the cafes while the streets begin to fill with people.

It is at these times, when the heat begins to drop, that the city's inhabitants socialize and relax. Imitating them and choosing a quiet terrace is the best way to spend a pleasant time and relax after visiting places like the Egyptian Museum.

Obviously, if you don't feel like trying hookah you don't have to. In case you are curious, you should know that you will be able to choose from several different flavors, although in summer they are very successful mint. You can also change the tea for a fantastic lemonade or, if you are on the terrace of a hotel, for a cold beer.

4. Escape for a day on the beaches of the Red Sea

On the Red Sea| ©V Manninen
On the Red Sea| ©V Manninen

Once you have toured the pyramids, visited the Coptic Quarter and other areas of the city, it may be time to escape the heat and bustle of El Cario for a day and enjoy the beaches of the Red Sea.

The nearest Red Sea excursion will only take you a little more than an hour and a half from the capital. Like the rest of the beaches located on the Sinai Peninsula, it is perfect for lying on the fine sand and forgetting about everything.

In the area the temperature is milder than in the capital and, in addition, July is a month in which fewer people come than at other times of the year.

If you like water sports or you feel like trying them, many of these beaches offer the option of diving or snorkeling to see the extraordinary marine fauna of the area. Finally, you can also hire a nice balloon ride.

Book an excursion to the Red Sea

5. Don't leave without at least one glass of Asab El Sokar

Asab El Sokar Glass| ©Jim
Asab El Sokar Glass| ©Jim

It is quite likely that when you walk through the streets of Cairo you wonder what are those strange machines with tubes present in the doors of some cafes and stores. Well, with them the Egyptians prepare one of the drinks consumed in summer: the Asab el Sokar or sugar cane juice.

Despite what it may seem, the taste of this juice is not excessively sweet. In fact, it is a rather light drink and perfect for drinking in July as it helps to replenish the liquid lost through sweating.

For all of the above and simply to try something new, you should not leave the city without ordering a glass of this juice, which is also usually quite inexpensive.

6. Visit Khan el Khalili by night

Khan el Khalili at night| ©jing0423
Khan el Khalili at night| ©jing0423

Certainly, visiting Cairo's most important bazaar, Khan el Khaili, is a must when you are in the city. Walking through its narrow streets (and getting lost in them) goes beyond buying a souvenir, as it also helps to better understand the way of life of the Cairenes. In July, in addition, I recommend that you go to the area at night to see the market from another point of view.

Khan el Khalili is located in Islamic Cairo and its stalls, stores and artisan workshops are distributed through a maze of narrow streets.

When the sun sets, the traditional metal lanterns are lit in almost every store and the whole area takes on a very different atmosphere. It is best that you go from 19:00 hours and walk around Khan el Khalili calmly before dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Also visit Al Moez Street

Before (or after) entering Khan el Khalili it is very interesting to walk the kilometer-long nearby Al Moez Street. In the month of July, this popular pedestrian artery comes alive at dusk and its colorful lights are turned on.

During this walk you will not only enjoy the great atmosphere in the street, with a multitude of stores and cafes in every corner, but you can also admire some interesting buildings, both mosques and madrasas. Among all these buildings I recommend you not to miss the Beit al Suhaymi, a really impressive Ottoman style house.

Book your tour of the bazaars of Cairo

7. Cool off in a swimming pool

Gezira Club.| ©J Robert
Gezira Club.| ©J Robert

The streets of Cairo, its monuments and its markets are really irresistible for any visitor, but in July you may want at certain times to cool off somewhere. The best option is to go to a swimming pool and spend some time bathing in it or simply lying down while having a drink.

Most of the hotels located near the pyramids have swimming pools for their guests. Similarly, some of the hotels located in the center, such as the Hilton, also offer these facilities, although on their terraces. In the latter places, you will be able to combine the stay in the pool with wonderful views of the city.

In case your hotel does not have a pool, the best thing to do is to go to Zamalek, specifically to the Gezira Club. The only problem is that, if you are not a member, the entrance fee can be a bit expensive (around 10 €), but the facilities are worth making an effort.

8. Participate (or at least come to browse) in the Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festival

Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festival| ©Angelina Oriental
Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festival| ©Angelina Oriental

As you no doubt already know, Egypt is one of the places where the famous belly dance is most practiced. In recent years, there are more and more fans of this type of dance and it is to this group, in addition to professionals, which is dedicated to the Ahlan Wa Sahlan Festival held in Cairo for a whole week in July.

The event takes place at the Mena House Hotel, one of those located next to the pyramids. Although part of the activities are aimed at professionals of this type of dance, amateurs and the curious can also approach and, if they wish, receive a class from a teacher.

Likewise, you can also see samples of the costumes used to perform the dance, as well as listen to the music that accompanies it or take a look at the different accessories worn by the dancers.

9. Spend some time in Al-Azhar Park, an oasis of coolness in the middle of the city

Al-Azhar Park| ©Jesse
Al-Azhar Park| ©Jesse

If you are looking for a green area with plenty of shade and undeniable charm, Al-Azhar Park is definitely your best option. For starters, it is located in a very central area, which allows it to have great views of the medieval part of the city, especially the Citadel of Saladin.

On the other hand, this park is home to numerous trails where you can stroll in absolute calm, a beautiful lake that refreshes the environment, hills with views, gardens and picnic areas. In short, a true oasis in the heart of the city.

As for the vegetation, it includes an important variety of species, although those that come from Egypt itself stand out.

To enter, through Salah Salem Avenue, it is necessary to pay an entrance fee, although the price does not exceed 1.5 euros. Upon entering you will find a map on which are marked all the points to visit, including a restaurant and a cafeteria. On some dates events are organized for children and adults.

Take a guided tour of Cairo

10. Sail the Nile at sunset in a falucca

By Falucca on the Nile| ©Silviapef
By Falucca on the Nile| ©Silviapef

For centuries, the Egyptians navigated the Nile River in a type of wooden boat propelled by the wind. These boats, called falukas, are still widely used in the south of the country, although much less so in the capital.

However, you can still find faluccas in Cairo dedicated to giving a ride to tourists who want it just at dusk. Unlike the boats that offer dinner and shows, these rides are only intended to enjoy the views of the city from the Nile and to live an experience capable of taking the passenger back in time.

Obviously, if you prefer, you can always book one of the smaller Nile cruises on larger boats. In these cases, a dinner is usually included (in summer it is much nicer to do this activity at night so as not to spend too much heat on deck) and various types of shows, especially belly dancing and traditional music performances.

Book a cruise on the Nile

Weather in Cairo in July

The pyramids of Giza| ©Hipses
The pyramids of Giza| ©Hipses

Only one word explains the weather you will find in Cairo if you travel in July, as well as in August: heat. The average highs are around 35º C, which means that many days will reach 40º without any problems.

Although at sunset the sensation is somewhat better, the minimum temperatures do not drop too much either, averaging around 23º C. Most of the hotels have air conditioning, but it is worth making sure before booking.

In any case, it is always good to check the weather forecast shortly before traveling, but in this case there will not be too many surprises.

Some tips to travel to Cairo in July and not have too much trouble with the heat

La Esfingue| ©Jorge Láscar
La Esfingue| ©Jorge Láscar

Although in Spain we tend to leave the maximum amount of skin uncovered when the heat arrives, the truth is that in this case it is best to look at the traditional way of dressing of the people of the desert. The best is cool cotton clothing and it is not a bad idea to cover your arms to avoid burns and sweat.

It is also a good idea to bring something to cover your head, as well as sunscreen for the whole body.

On the other hand, it is essential to avoid any risk of dehydration. Even if you are not thirsty, it is very important to drink water (always bottled) frequently.