Egypt is somewhat behind other Arab nations in terms of wheelchair accessible travel destinations and proposed updates to the existing infrastructure have yet to be made. The truth is that there are many barriers to wheelchair users, but there are ways to work around some of them. You may choose to travel on customized Egypt Tours, which will likely make getting around easier, especially if this is your first visit to the country. However, whether you are traveling with a company or not, there are some attractions that you’ll be able to visit no matter what. Here is my wheelchair travel guide to 5 fully and partially accessible things to do in Cairo that should not be missed:
Great Pyramids of Giza
The Giza Pyramid complex includes the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx, several cemeteries and a workers’ village, and visiting it is one of the most famous things to do in Cairo. Each of these weather-beaten, towering structures can be viewed by a wheelchair user from the outside, but the inside cannot be accessed due to how ancient architects designed them. The slope leading down to the tombs is too steep and does not have enough head clearance to accommodate a wheelchair. Still, the pyramids are an amazing sight and nothing can compare to experiencing them in person. They are well worth a visit even just to view them from the outside and take some incredible photos.
This 75-acre park opened in 2005 and features beautiful greenery and striking collections of brilliantly colored flowers. The park is on a hill overlooking “Old Cairo”, the oldest neighborhood in the city and offers wonderful views of the area. There are wheelchair accessible ramps and paths laced throughout the park and it is a beautiful place to spend the afternoon.
The Egyptian Museum
This museum is another hugely popular tourist site, and is famous as home to the lavish Tutankhamen exhibit. Parts of the museum are accessible to those in wheelchairs as the building features entrance ramps, wide doorways, and an elevator on the ground floor. The Tutankhamen exhibit on the first floor is wheelchair friendly, but the hugely popular Mummies room is not. Another issue to be aware of is that there are no accessible restrooms in the Egyptian Museum. Overall, the museum is well worth a visit, and there are many exhibits that you will be able to enjoy.
If you’re looking for unusual things to do in Cairo, consider visiting the Cairo Tower. At 614 feet, this communications tower is the tallest building in Egypt. It is designed to resemble a lotus plant and lights up brilliantly at night. The building features an observation deck, restaurant and visitor center with spectacular views of the city. There is an elevator near the entrance to the building, which will take you up to the revolving restaurant. The observation deck can only be accessed via stairs, but there are equally incredible views from the restaurant.
Solar Boat Museum
This museum features an intact ship from ancient Egypt that was stored in the Great Pyramid complex and was most likely built for the Pharaoh Khufu around 2500 BCE. The ship was reconstructed and is now located in the Solar Boat Museum next to the Great Pyramid. The Solar Boat Museum features entrance ramps and wheelchair accessible bathrooms. There is a daily light and sound show here as well with a designated area for those in wheelchairs.
The reality is that if you’re looking for wheelchair accessible travel destinations, Egypt is not the easiest. Visiting Egypt as a wheelchair user will have its challenges, but there are ways to work around these and plan a very enjoyable trip to Cairo. Whether you want to view the impressive pyramids or see ancient artifacts in a museum, you are sure to have a wonderful time.
Let me know what you think of my wheelchair travel guide to things to do in Cairo! Have you experienced any of them?