Your driver and guide will collect you from your hotel* and take you to the old city of Cairo, with its narrow winding streets overhung with latticed balconies and its feeling of stepping back in time to an earlier age.
Visit the Museum of Islamic Art, often overlooked by visitors to Cairo but undoubtedly one of the finest museums in the cuty. Its extensive collection of over 10,000 pieces includes calligraphy, manuscripts, mosaics, brassware and armoury from all over the Islamic world dating back to the 7th century AD.
Continue to the great Mosque of Ibn Tulun (9th century), one of the architectural glories of the Muslim world and believed to be the oldest mosque in Cairo. Besides its sheer size, the mosque impresses by its simplicity and restraint. It also boasts the unusual and now famous Spiral Minaret (see picture above), which features a helical outer staircase similar to that of the famous minaret in Samarra, ancient Mesopotamia.
Adjoining the Ibn Tulun Mosque is the interesting private museum housed in the Gayer-Anderson House, set in two converted mansions dating from the 16th and 18th centuries. R. G. Gayer-Anderson was a retired British major who began the collection in the 1930s. Pictured below is the roof terrace of the Gayer-Anderson House.
* This excursion is often taken in the afternoon following a visit to the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, in which case you will retain the driver and guide from the morning's excursion and not return to your hotel in between. Lunch (not included) can be taken in Central Cairo.