Surrounding the market is a muddle of roads, home to some of the most beautiful preserved architecture of the old Islamic empires. Visit Al-Azhar Mosque and the dazzling Sultan Hassan Mosque, and make sure you climb to the roof of the ancient medieval gate of Bab Zuweila for the best minaret-speckled panoramas across the district.
Egypt's most tranquil town is Aswan, set upon the winding curves of the Nile.
Backed by orange-hued dunes this is the perfect place to stop and unwind for a few days and soak up the chilled-out atmosphere. Or just drink endless cups of tea on one of the riverboat restaurants, while watching the lateen-sailed feluccas drift past.
Take the river ferry across to Elephantine Island and stroll the colorful streets of the Nubian villages. There are plenty of historic sites here and numerous temples nearby, but one of Aswan's biggest highlights is simply kicking back and watching the river life go by.
Although today, there are few historic remnants of its illustrious past - feted in songs and books - this is a place made for aimless strolling along the seashore Corniche, café-hopping, and souk shopping. Catherine's stands at the foot of Mount Sinai, where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments.
Egypt has so much for travelers to see and do; it's the perfect country for a mix of activities combining culture, adventure, and relaxation.
Even in a country festooned with temples, Abu Simbel is something special.
This is Ramses II's great temple, adorned with colossal statuary standing guard outside, and with an interior sumptuously decorated with wall paintings.
Way out west, Siwa is the tranquil tonic to the hustle of Egypt's cities.
This gorgeous little oasis, surrounded by date palm plantations and numerous fresh water springs, is one of the Western Desert's most picturesque spots.