Cairo Outskirts & the Nile Delta

If you want to dig a little deeper into Egyptian culture and history, the area surrounding the capital is home to several intriguing and important sites rarely included on typical Egypt itineraries. Although few can honestly be put in the 'must-see' category – except of course for the majestic ancient site of Saqqara, which lies on the city’s southern edge – those with time up their sleeve will enjoy delving into this lesser-seen region.

The Coptic monasteries of Wadi Natrun have roots 17 centuries deep, while a morning at Birqash camel market provides plenty of not-for-the-squeamish, chaotic action. Wadi Al Hittan's prehistoric whale skeletons are one of the most important evolutionary sites in the world, while you'll have the rest of this region's scattered slumping ruins and lonely fallen colossi all to yourself.

Every destination here can be visited as an easy day trip or a leisurely overnight excursion from Cairo.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Cairo Outskirts & the Nile Delta.