Cairo, Egypt Travel Guide

Cairo is the largest metropolis on the African continent with a population of 16 million. The Egyptians refer to their capital city as the “Mother of the world” (Um Al Dunya). Cairo is a city of choreographed chaos and hypnotizing charm. Founded 1,000 years ago, it’s the political, economic, and cultural heart of Egypt. Straddling the banks of the River Nile in the far north of the country, the city wears its history on its sleeve.

There are lots to see and do here, from the Babylon Fortress and roman tower ruins built in 100 AD to the resplendent mosques and mausoleums like the Al-Azhar mosque built at the pinnacle of the Islamic empire.

Pyramids of Giza

On the southwestern edge of the city are the pyramids of Giza the oldest structures of all, dating back to the days of the Pharaohs. Guarded by the Sphinx and hordes of camel drivers, the pyramids tower over Cairo’s urban sprawl and the desert beyond.

Egypt Museum

The Egypt Museum at Tahrir Square houses the world’s greatest collection of Egyptian antiquities. It is a great place to experience the legendary treasures of ancient history. In 1857, the French antiquity scientist Auguste Mariette founded what still remains to this day the world’s greatest and most important collection of ancient Egyptian art. This impressive museum contains more than a hundred and twenty thousand different objects from approximately 4,500 years of Egyptian history.

Because the belief in life after death played a highly important role in the religion of the ancient Egyptians, the tombs of the dead Pharaohs were adorned with beautiful objects. The fast wealth of ancient Egypt’s royal families and dynasties is clearly visible in the magnificent and abundant use of gold. The museum contains work from all the great cultural epochs of Egypt from the Three Kingdoms to Ptolemaic Roman times.

Al-Azhar Park

Unlike much of the rest of Cairo Al-Azhar Park combines inspired architecture and thoughtful urban planning. The park opened in 2005 and is a gift to the city from the Aga Khan. Its fountains and water channels reference classical Islamic gardens and are a great place to cool off on a summer day.

Khan El-Khalili

The city’s commercial instinct reigns supreme in the souks where bargaining is part of everyday life. Jaded travelers often dismiss Khan El-Khalili is a tourist trap but Islamic Cairo’s great Bazaar is still a fine place to haggle for souvenirs and semi-precious stones.

El Fishawy Coffee House

Stop by El Fishawy coffee house to smoke a shisha, the bubbling water pipe that is as essential to life in Egypt as the Nile itself. Established in 1773, the coffeehouse is one of the oldest and most celebrated in the city.

Brasilia, Brazil Travel Guide

In the heart of Brazil is the country’s capital, an example of futuristic urban planning. Brasilia has its city center shaped like a bird in flight as it is designed to be viewed from above. With its cutting-edge architecture, Brasilia is an example of innovative designs and new beginnings. It was built from the ground up as Brazil’s new capital and it is this nation’s pathway to the future. It took president Kubitschek only five years to transform this central plateau into an urban utopia. This achievement made him the country’s hero.

With its symmetrical layout, its abstract shapes, and its curving lines, Brasilia is a giant work of installation art. This city is shaped around the Praca dos Tres Poderes wide open space. Admire the facade of the seat of government, the Planalto Palace. It is a perfect example of Modernism that was designed by Oscar Niemeyer. He was a prolific Brazilian architect who dreamt up many of this new city’s elegant buildings. Many of his designs seem to balance delicately on the earth surface as he loved free-flowing structures. This resulted in exciting and functional buildings.

From the city’s layout to the official building’s architecture, you will find harmony in every of the city’s element. The avenues of the Monumental Axis run parallel but this space is filled with many contrasting shapes such as an abstract painting on a black canvas. Niemeyer’s creations energy comes right through the Itamaraty Palace, flows past the National Museum, and pours out of the Ministry of Justice.


If you squint your eyes, you will see as this energy spiral upwards in the halls of the National Theater. It also ignites the pride in the Pantheon of the Fatherland and Freedom. You will see how the TV Tower creates a perfect counterpoint for the bowl and the twin towers of the National Congress. And the shape of the Metropolitan Cathedral stands in stark contrast to the National Museum. It is easy to see why Niemeyer received many architecture awards for his heavenly designs.

This bustling city has a population of about 2.8 million people and it is smart to make your way around by rental car or taxi. Dom Bosco sanctuary is a great place to escape the crowds. Bosco was an Italian saint who predicted this area would play a critical part in this country’s “New World”. Oscar Niemeyer dedicated much of his life to designing imaginative works that now occupies Brasilia’s vast exhibition space. A visit to this city is like paying homage to his legacies.