Cairo's main square is Midan Tahrir, at the centre of Cairo and home to the Egyptian Museum, with downtown Cairo, the busy commercial district, to the north-east bordered by the River Nile. Gezirah Island, connected to downtown by three bridges, houses the Cairo Tower and the Cairo Opera House. East of downtown is Islamic Cairo, the medieval heart of the city. Coptic Cairo, the seat of the Christian Coptic community, lies at the heart of Old Cairo, which is also home to Cairo's Jewish community. West of the Nile is Giza, about 18 kilometers south-west of the centre of Cairo, with the magnificent Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx.
Alexandria was known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World), the Library of Alexandria
(the largest library in the ancient world) and the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa (one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages). Ongoing maritime archaeology in the harbor of Alexandria, which began in 1994, is revealing details of Alexandria both before the arrival of Alexander, when a city named Rhakotis existed there, and during the Ptolemaic dynasty.
Aswan, Egypt's sunniest southern city and ancient frontier town located about 81 miles south of Luxor, has a distinctively African atmosphere. Its ancient Egyptian name was Syene. Small enough to walk around and graced with the most beautiful setting on the Nile, the pace of life is slow and relaxing. Days can be spent strolling up and down the broad Corniche watching the sailboats etch the sky with their tall masts or sitting in floating restaurants listening to Nubian music and eating freshly caught fish.
Luxor has often been called the worlds greatest open air museum, as indeed it is and much more. The number and preservation of the monuments in the Luxor area are unparalleled anywhere else in the world that know of. Actually, what most people think of as Luxor is really three different areas, consisting of the City of Luxor on the East side of the Nile, the town of Karnak just north of Luxor and Thebes, which the ancient Egyptians called Waset, which is on the west side of the Nile across from Luxor.