Cairo Chronicles: Your Ultimate Guide to Ancient Treasures & Modern Marvels
Welcome to Cairo, Egypt – a vibrant and historic metropolis that never sleeps, and where the sun shines about all year long. So, let's embark on a journey to uncover Cairo's treasures so you can create a personalized experience in this bustling, timeless destination.
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This travel guide will provide you with essential insights to make the most of your visit to this captivating city, from its rich history to the do's and don'ts, and a list of must-do activities. 

🥙 Food

🕌 Mosques

⛪️ Churches

🕍 Synagogues

🏛️ Museums

🌴 Parks

🛍️ Markets & Shopping Malls

🛎️ Hotels

🌉 Cairo's Districts

🥙 Food

What to order? Must-try dishes & desserts

Savoury dishes

● Koshary: A popular Egyptian street food, koshary is a hearty dish made with rice, lentils, pasta, chickpeas, and topped with a spicy tomato sauce and crispy fried onions.

● Molokhia: A green leafy vegetable commonly used in Egyptian cuisine to make a hearty stew. The leaves are finely chopped and cooked with garlic, coriander, and chicken or meat broth, then served with rice or bread.

● Ful Medames: A traditional Egyptian breakfast dish made from cooked fava beans seasoned with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and spices. It is often served with bread and garnished with vegetables and herbs.

● Mahshi: Various stuffed vegetables, such as vine leaves (warak enab), zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers, filled with a mixture of rice, herbs, and spices, and cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce.

● Taameya (Egyptian Falafel): Similar to falafel, taameya is made from ground fava beans mixed with herbs and spices, formed into patties, and deep-fried until crispy. It is typically served with tahini sauce, salad, and bread.

● Shawarma: Shawarma is a popular Middle Eastern dish made from thinly sliced meat (such as beef, lamb, or chicken) that is marinated, stacked on a vertical rotisserie, and roasted. It is often served in a pita or flatbread wrap with tahini sauce, vegetables, and pickles.

● Sayadeya: Sayadeya is a traditional Egyptian fish dish made with seasoned and pan-fried fish (usually mullet or tilapia) served on a bed of fragrant rice cooked with onions, spices, and tomatoes.

Desserts

● Basbousa: Basbousa is a sweet semolina cake soaked in syrup made from sugar, water, and lemon juice, flavored with rose water or orange blossom water, and often garnished with almonds or coconut flakes.

● Umm Ali: Umm Ali is a traditional Egyptian bread pudding made with layers of puff pastry or phyllo dough soaked in milk and sugar, flavored with nuts, raisins, and spices, and baked until golden and bubbling.

● Konafa: Konafa is a popular Middle Eastern dessert made from shredded phyllo dough or semolina dough layered with sweet cheese or nuts, soaked in syrup, and baked until crispy and golden.

● Zalabia: Zalabia is a type of fried dough pastry similar to funnel cake or churros, made from a simple batter of flour, yeast, and water, deep-fried until crispy, and soaked in syrup or honey.

● Roz Bel Laban: Roz bel laban, or rice pudding, is a creamy dessert made with rice cooked in milk, sugar, and flavored with vanilla, cinnamon, or rose water, then chilled and garnished with nuts or fruit.

● Qatayef: Qatayef are small semicircular pancakes made from a sweet batter of flour, yeast, and water, filled with sweet cheese, nuts, or sweetened cream, folded, and fried or baked until golden and crispy.

● Baklava: Baklava is a rich and sweet pastry made from layers of phyllo dough filled with chopped nuts (such as pistachios, walnuts, or almonds), soaked in syrup or honey, and baked until crispy and golden.

Top restaurants, cafés & bakeries

Authentic Egyptian Restaurants

Kabdet Al Prince (Imbaba)
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This popular restaurant specializes in Egyptian street food favourites, particularly liver (kebda) sandwiches and koshari, a hearty dish made with rice, lentils, pasta, and chickpeas topped with a spicy tomato sauce and crispy onions.
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9 Pyramids Lounge
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Abou Tarek
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Brunch

Desoky & Soda Victoria Square Villa
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Cafés not to miss

Khan El Khalili Restaurant et Naguib Mahfouz Coffee Shop
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Named after the renowned Egyptian writer, Naguib Mahfouz Cafe is located in the Khan El Khalili district and offers a charming setting to enjoy traditional Egyptian cuisine. The menu includes a variety of classic dishes, such as fattah, mahshi, and tagines, accompanied by live music and cultural performances.
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Café Riche
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Established in 1908, Café Riche is a historic landmark in Downtown Cairo. It has been a gathering place for intellectuals, artists, and politicians throughout its long history. The café offers a cosy atmosphere, delicious coffee, and a menu featuring traditional Egyptian dishes.
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Café Greco
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Bakeries

La poire Cafe
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Mandarine Koueider
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Mandarine Koueider is a renowned Egyptian pastry shop with a long history dating back to 1928. They specialize in traditional Egyptian desserts like kunafa, basbousa, and qatayef, as well as European-style pastries and cakes. With multiple locations across Cairo, Mandarine Koueider is a beloved destination for sweet indulgence.
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Ratios Bakery
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Delight Maadi
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Night outtings

SHINKŌ Cairo
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Minglings
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The Tap East
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🍽️ Hungry for more?

You may also join me on my Cairo's gastronomic guidebook where I navigate the city's culinary landscape. The guide includes +70 restaurants, cafés, supermarkets, rooftops and more, all visited by myself at least twice.

🕌 Mosques

Egypt is a country renowned for its rich tapestry of religious diversity, where ancient traditions and contemporary faiths intersect to form a unique cultural landscape. At the heart of Egyptian spirituality lies Islam, the predominant religion practiced by the majority of the population. With a heritage deeply rooted in Islamic history, Egypt boasts a myriad of mosques, each a testament to the country's devout adherence to the teachings of the Quran.

From the iconic domes and minarets that punctuate the skyline to the intricate designs and ornate decorations that adorn their interiors, mosques in Cairo are not merely places of worship but also embodiments of the city's cultural and religious heritage.

● Al-Azhar Mosque

Al-Azhar Mosque
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The historic Al-Azhar Mosque, nestled within the heart of Islamic Cairo, serves as a beacon of Islamic learning and scholarship, drawing pilgrims and scholars from around the world. 

● Mosque of Muhammad Ali

Mosque of Muhammad Ali
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The Mosque of Muhammad Ali, perched atop the Citadel, offers panoramic views of the city and showcases the opulence of Ottoman design. 

● Sultan Hassan Mosque

Mosque-Madrasa of Sultan Hassan
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The majestic Sultan Hassan Mosque stands as a testament to the grandeur of Mamluk architecture, with its towering minarets and sprawling courtyards.

● Ibn Tulun Mosque

Ibn Tulun Mosque
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Situated in the heart of Cairo, stands as a majestic testament to Islamic architecture and cultural heritage. Built in the 9th century during the Abbasid era, it is one of the oldest and largest mosques in Egypt, renowned for its distinctive design and historical significance.

● Amr Ibn Al-A'as Mosque

Amr ibn Al-A'as Masjid Jama
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Considered the first mosque built in Egypt, this historic mosque is located in Old Cairo and holds significant religious and historical importance.

● Al-Aqmar Mosque

Al-Aqmar Mosque
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Known for its intricate Kufic inscriptions and beautiful facade, Al-Aqmar Mosque is located in the historic area of Islamic Cairo and is considered a masterpiece of Fatimid architecture.

⛪️ Churches

Amid the minarets and call to prayer, Egypt's religious mosaic extends beyond Islam. Christianity has flourished in Egypt for centuries, with Coptic Orthodox Christianity standing as one of the oldest Christian traditions in the world. Coptic churches, adorned with intricate iconography and steeped in centuries-old rituals, dot the Egyptian landscape, bearing witness to the enduring legacy of early Christian communities.

● The Cave Church

The Cave Church
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The Cave Church in Cairo, also known as the Monastery of Saint Simon the Tanner, is a remarkable testament to faith and ingenuity. Carved into the cliffs of the Mokattam Mountain, this extraordinary church complex comprises a series of interconnected caves and tunnels that serve as places of worship, meditation, and community gatherings for Egypt's Coptic Christian community. The largest cave, known as the Cathedral Church of Saint Simon, can accommodate thousands of worshippers and is adorned with intricate Coptic artwork and iconography. Despite its humble origins, the Cave Church has become a symbol of resilience and devotion, attracting visitors worldwide who come to marvel at its awe-inspiring architecture and experience the spirit of faith that permeates its hallowed halls.

● The Hanging Church

The Hanging Church
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The Hanging Church, also known as Saint Virgin Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church, is a historic marvel in Old Cairo's heart. Dating back to the 3rd century AD, this ancient church stands atop the ruins of a Roman fortress and is renowned for its unique architectural design, characterized by a wooden roof that appears to "hang" over the nave. Adorned with intricate Coptic artwork and colourful murals, the church serves as a testament to Egypt's Christian heritage and enduring faith. Pilgrims and visitors alike are drawn to its sacred halls, where they can marvel at its timeless beauty, explore its rich history, and experience a profound sense of spiritual reverence amidst its serene surroundings.

● Saint George's Church

St. George's church
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Saint George's Church, located in the Coptic neighbourhood of Old Cairo, is a venerable symbol of Christian devotion and heritage. Dating back to the 10th century AD, this historic church stands as one of the oldest in Cairo, revered for its timeless architecture and sacred significance. Dedicated to Saint George, the patron saint of Egypt, the church is adorned with intricate carvings, colourful frescoes, and ornate woodwork, reflecting centuries of Coptic craftsmanship and tradition. Pilgrims and worshippers flock to Saint George's Church to pay homage to the revered saint, seek solace in its hallowed halls, and partake in the rich liturgical rituals that have been practised within its walls for generations. As a beacon of faith and resilience, Saint George's Church continues to inspire awe and reverence among all who visit, serving as a testament to the enduring spirit of Egypt's Christian community.

● Church of The Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Bishoy, Fifth Settlement

Church of The Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Bishoy, Fifth Settlement
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The Church of The Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Bishoy, located in the Fifth Settlement district of Cairo, stands as a beacon of Christian worship and community in the bustling metropolis. Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Bishoy, a revered Coptic saint known for his piety and asceticism, this modern church complex serves as a spiritual oasis amidst the urban landscape. With its contemporary architectural design and state-of-the-art facilities, the church provides a welcoming sanctuary for worshippers and visitors alike. Inside its sacred halls, adorned with vibrant stained glass windows and intricate iconography, worshippers gather to partake in liturgical services, prayer, and fellowship. As a hub of Coptic Christian life and devotion, the Church of The Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Bishoy fosters a sense of community and belonging, enriching the lives of its parishioners and reflecting the enduring faith of Egypt's Christian heritage.

● Church of Saint Cyril Greek Melkite

Church of Saint Cyril Greek Melkite
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The Church of Saint Cyril, situated in Cairo, stands as a testament to the enduring presence of the Greek Melkite community in Egypt. Founded by the Greek Melkite Catholic community, this historic church serves as a spiritual anchor for worshippers seeking solace and connection to their religious roots. With its distinctive Byzantine-inspired architecture and ornate interior, adorned with intricate iconography and sacred relics, the Church of Saint Cyril exudes a sense of reverence and devotion. Throughout its storied history, the church has remained a focal point for Greek Melkite Catholics, providing a sacred space for prayer, liturgical celebrations, and communal gatherings. As a symbol of faith and tradition, the Church of Saint Cyril continues to enrich the spiritual lives of its parishioners and stands as a testament to the vibrant diversity of Egypt's religious landscape.

🕍 Synagogues

Egypt's religious tapestry is further enriched by the presence of Judaism, a faith that traces its roots back millennia. Although the Jewish population in Egypt has dwindled significantly over the years, remnants of Jewish heritage can still be found in ancient synagogues and historical sites scattered across the country, serving as a reminder of Egypt's multicultural past.

● Synagogue Ben Ezra

Synagogue Ben Ezra
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Located in Old Cairo, near the Coptic neighborhood, Ben Ezra Synagogue is one of the oldest synagogues in Cairo. It is believed to have been built on the site where baby Moses was found among the reeds of the Nile. The synagogue features a beautiful interior with ornate decorations and historical artifacts.

● Synagogue Shaar Hashamayim Synagogue

Sha'ar HaShamayim Synagogue
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Located in downtown Cairo. It was established in the 19th century and served as a prominent center for the Jewish community in Cairo. While the synagogue is no longer active, its building still stands as a reminder of Egypt's Jewish heritage.

●  Maimonides Synagogue

Maimonides Synagogue
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Named after the famous Jewish philosopher and scholar Maimonides, this synagogue is located in the Old Cairo neighborhood. While the synagogue is no longer active, its historic significance and architectural beauty make it a notable landmark in the city.

🏛️ Museums

The Grand Egyptian Museum GEM
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Museum Of Modern Egyptian Art
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Museum of Illusions, Cairo
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The Egyptian Museum in Cairo
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The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization
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Mohamed Ali Palace
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The Coptic Museum
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Gayer-Anderson Museum
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Umm Kulthum Museum
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🌴 Parks

●  Al Azhar Park

Al-Azhar Park
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Al Azhar Park, nestled amidst the bustling streets of Cairo, is a verdant oasis that offers respite from the city's hustle and bustle. Created in 2005 on historic landfill, the park is a testament to urban renewal and environmental conservation. With its lush gardens, tranquil lakes, and panoramic views of the city's skyline, Al Azhar Park provides a serene escape for locals and tourists alike. Visitors can stroll along winding paths, relax in shaded pavilions, or enjoy a picnic on sprawling lawns while soaking in the sights and sounds of nature. The park also boasts cultural attractions, including the Ayyubid wall and the restored Ayyubid structures, which offer glimpses into Cairo's rich history. As a green lung in the heart of the city, Al Azhar Park stands as a symbol of hope, beauty, and community, inviting all who enter to find solace and rejuvenation amidst its tranquil surroundings.

El Andalos Park
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Orman Garden
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Darb 1718
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Umm Kulthum Park
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🛍️ Markets & Malls

● Khan el-Khalili 

Khan el-Khalili is a historic market located in the heart of Islamic Cairo, Egypt. Dating back to the 14th century, it is one of the oldest and most famous souks (marketplaces) in the Middle East. Spread across narrow alleyways and bustling squares, Khan el-Khalili offers a labyrinth of shops, stalls, and vendors selling a diverse array of goods, including spices, textiles, jewellery, souvenirs, and traditional crafts.

Khan el-Khalili
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Khan el-Khalili is a historic market located in the heart of Islamic Cairo, Egypt. Dating back to the 14th century, it is one of the oldest and most famous souks (marketplaces) in the Middle East. Spread across narrow alleyways and bustling squares, Khan el-Khalili offers a labyrinth of shops, stalls, and vendors selling a diverse array of goods, including spices, textiles, jewellery, souvenirs, and traditional crafts. Steeped in history and culture, Khan el-Khalili is a vibrant hub where locals and tourists alike gather to shop, bargain, and soak in the lively atmosphere. Visitors can explore its winding streets lined with centuries-old buildings adorned with intricate Islamic architecture, while the aroma of spices and the sound of bustling activity fill the air. In addition to shopping, Khan el-Khalili is also a popular destination for dining and entertainment, with numerous cafes, restaurants, and street food vendors offering traditional Egyptian cuisine and refreshments. Visitors can sample local delicacies, sip mint tea, or enjoy shisha (water pipe) while watching the bustling scene unfold around them. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and eclectic array of goods and experiences, Khan el-Khalili is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Cairo and seeking to immerse themselves in the city's vibrant and colourful atmosphere.
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Steeped in history and culture, Khan el-Khalili is a vibrant hub where locals and tourists alike gather to shop, bargain, and soak in the lively atmosphere. Visitors can explore its winding streets lined with centuries-old buildings adorned with intricate Islamic architecture, while the aroma of spices and the sound of bustling activity fill the air.

In addition to shopping, Khan el-Khalili is also a popular destination for dining and entertainment, with numerous cafes, restaurants, and street food vendors offering traditional Egyptian cuisine and refreshments. Visitors can sample local delicacies, sip mint tea, or enjoy shisha (water pipe) while watching the bustling scene unfold around them.

With its rich history, vibrant culture, and eclectic array of goods and experiences, Khan el-Khalili is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Cairo and seeking to immerse themselves in the city's vibrant and colorful atmosphere.

● Al-Moez Street

Al Moez Ldin Allah Al Fatmi
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Located in Islamic Cairo, Al-Moez Street is a historic thoroughfare lined with traditional markets, shops, and vendors selling a variety of goods, including textiles, jewelry, spices, and souvenirs. The street also boasts stunning Islamic architecture and historic landmarks, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

● Souq Al-Gomaa

Souq al-Goma'a (Friday Market)
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Souq Al Gomaa, or Friday Market, is a bustling open-air market held weekly in the Al-Gamaleya district of Old Cairo. It offers a wide range of products, including clothing, accessories, household items, antiques, and handmade crafts, attracting bargain hunters and shoppers looking for unique finds.

● Souq El Fustat

Souq El Fustat
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A modern reconstruction of the historic Fustat Market, located near the Coptic neighborhood of Old Cairo. The market features a mix of traditional and contemporary shops selling handicrafts, textiles, artwork, and Egyptian-themed souvenirs, providing visitors with a glimpse into Egypt's rich cultural heritage.

● Ataba Market

El Ataba market
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Ataba Market is a vibrant commercial area located near Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo. It features a maze of narrow alleys and stalls selling everything from clothing and electronics to books and souvenirs. The market is known for its bustling atmosphere and affordable prices, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

🏬 Shopping Malls

Looking to experience the shopping scene in Cairo? Here are all the main shopping malls, stocked up with floors full of local and international retail and fashion stores, supermarkets, cinemas, restaurants, food courts and more.

There you can spend hours shopping, eating and walking around, so visiting these at the end of the day would be a better option for those seeking to immerse in the day-to-day bustling Cairo lifestyle. 

For those avoiding crowds, I recommend visiting during the mornings on the week days.

☞ Tip: these malls are a proper complex set of buildings better accessed by car, so a better option would be to order an Uber or similar.

City Centre Almaza
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Citystars Mall
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Cairo Festival City Mall
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Mall of Egypt
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Mall of Arabia
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🛎️ Hotels

Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza
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Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino
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Marriott Mena House, Cairo
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Hilton Cairo Heliopolis
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Hilton Pyramids Golf
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Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah
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🌉 Cairo's Districts

Comprised of two main Governorates: Cairo and Giza, with a population estimated at 66 million citizens, it also makes it the largest city in the Middle East and North Africa.

● Giza

Located across the Nile River from Downtown Cairo, Giza is known for its iconic landmarks such as the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, and the Giza Plateau. It also features residential neighbourhoods and bustling markets.

Al Giza
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Located across the Nile River from Downtown Cairo, Giza is known for its iconic landmarks such as the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, and the Giza Plateau. It also features residential neighbourhoods and bustling markets.
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Pyramids of Giza
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● Islamic Cairo

Also known as "Old Cairo", here is where you will find all the ancient, true gems of the city like Mohammed Ali mosque, Khan El-Khalili market and Al Azhar park.

Islamic Cairo
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● Zamalek

Located on Gezira Island and embraced by the Nile River, Zamalek is an upscale neighbourhood known for its tree-lined streets, art galleries, embassies, and high-end restaurants and cafes.

Zamalek
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Located on Gezira Island and embraced by the Nile River, Zamalek is an upscale neighbourhood known for its tree-lined streets, art galleries, embassies, and high-end restaurants and cafes.
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● Dokki

Located near Zamalek, Dokki is a residential and commercial neighbourhood known for its affordable housing options, shops, and restaurants.

Ad Doqi
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Located near Zamalek, Dokki is a residential and commercial neighbourhood known for its affordable housing options, shops, and restaurants.
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● Downtown Cairo

Known also as Wust El Balad, it is the heart of the city and home to bustling streets, historic buildings, and cultural landmarks such as Tahrir Square and the Egyptian Museum.

Downtown Cairo
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Known also as Wust El Balad, it is the heart of the city and home to bustling streets, historic buildings, and cultural landmarks such as Tahrir Square and the Egyptian Museum.
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● Mohandessin

Situated west of Downtown Cairo, Mohandiseen is a bustling commercial and residential area known for its shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Mohandessin
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Situated west of Downtown Cairo, Mohandiseen is a bustling commercial and residential area known for its shops, cafes, and restaurants.
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● Al Agouzah

Adjacent to Mohandiseen, Agouza is a vibrant neighbourhood known for its lively streets, markets, and diverse dining options.

Al Agouzah
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Adjacent to Mohandiseen, Agouza is a vibrant neighbourhood known for its lively streets, markets, and diverse dining options.
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● Maadi

Situated in the south of Downtown Cairo, Maadi is a residential suburb popular among foreigners. It features tree-lined streets, green spaces, and a vibrant community atmosphere.

Maadi
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Situated in the south of Downtown Cairo, Maadi is a residential suburb popular among foreigners. It features tree-lined streets, green spaces, and a vibrant community atmosphere.
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● Heliopolis

Developed in the early 20th century, Heliopolis is a planned neighbourhood characterised by elegant villas, lush gardens, residential areas, shopping malls, and cultural institutions.

Heliopolis
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Developed in the early 20th century, Heliopolis is a planned neighbourhood characterised by elegant villas, lush gardens, residential areas, shopping malls, and cultural institutions.
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● Nasr City

Originally designed as a residential district in the 1960s, Nasr City is now a bustling commercial and residential area with shopping centres, office buildings, and residential complexes.

Nasr City
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Originally designed as a residential district in the 1960s, Nasr City is now a bustling commercial and residential area with shopping centres, office buildings, and residential complexes.
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● New Cairo City

New Cairo City
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● 6th of October City

6th of October City
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Cairo Unveiled: Embark on an Adventure of a Lifetime

As you conclude your journey through the vibrant streets of Cairo, may your memories be filled with the kaleidoscope of colours, flavours, and wonders that this captivating city has to offer.

From the timeless pyramids to the bustling markets, from the majestic mosques to the serene Nile, Cairo is a city that beckons adventurers, history buffs, and culture seekers alike and is bound to leave an indelible mark on your soul. So, what are you waiting for? Embark on your Cairo adventure today and uncover the treasures that await you in this mesmerizing metropolis. 

"Egypt is a land of dreams and mysteries, a gateway to the past and a window to the future."

- Hosni Mubarak

Ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure? Explore the wonders of Egypt, from the majestic pyramids of Giza to the vibrant streets of Cairo. Book your trip now and let Egypt's timeless beauty captivate your soul!

Citadel Saladin
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* * *
CURATED BY
🌍 Born in Ecuador, raised between Spain and China, and trained to scuba dive in Egypt, I have lived and breathed different cultures my entire life. Now residing in Berlin, I am eager to share my knowledge and experiences with you. Let me be your guide to truly immerse yourself in local culture & creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime. 🎏
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Cairo Chronicles: Your Ultimate Guide to Ancient Treasures & Modern Marvels
Welcome to Cairo, Egypt – a vibrant and historic metropolis that never sleeps, and where the sun shines about all year long. So, let's embark on a journey to uncover Cairo's treasures so you can create a personalized experience in this bustling, timeless destination.
75 Places • 2 Saves • ago
Free

This travel guide will provide you with essential insights to make the most of your visit to this captivating city, from its rich history to the do's and don'ts, and a list of must-do activities. 

🥙 Food

🕌 Mosques

⛪️ Churches

🕍 Synagogues

🏛️ Museums

🌴 Parks

🛍️ Markets & Shopping Malls

🛎️ Hotels

🌉 Cairo's Districts

🥙 Food

What to order? Must-try dishes & desserts

Savoury dishes

● Koshary: A popular Egyptian street food, koshary is a hearty dish made with rice, lentils, pasta, chickpeas, and topped with a spicy tomato sauce and crispy fried onions.

● Molokhia: A green leafy vegetable commonly used in Egyptian cuisine to make a hearty stew. The leaves are finely chopped and cooked with garlic, coriander, and chicken or meat broth, then served with rice or bread.

● Ful Medames: A traditional Egyptian breakfast dish made from cooked fava beans seasoned with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and spices. It is often served with bread and garnished with vegetables and herbs.

● Mahshi: Various stuffed vegetables, such as vine leaves (warak enab), zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers, filled with a mixture of rice, herbs, and spices, and cooked in a flavorful tomato sauce.

● Taameya (Egyptian Falafel): Similar to falafel, taameya is made from ground fava beans mixed with herbs and spices, formed into patties, and deep-fried until crispy. It is typically served with tahini sauce, salad, and bread.

● Shawarma: Shawarma is a popular Middle Eastern dish made from thinly sliced meat (such as beef, lamb, or chicken) that is marinated, stacked on a vertical rotisserie, and roasted. It is often served in a pita or flatbread wrap with tahini sauce, vegetables, and pickles.

● Sayadeya: Sayadeya is a traditional Egyptian fish dish made with seasoned and pan-fried fish (usually mullet or tilapia) served on a bed of fragrant rice cooked with onions, spices, and tomatoes.

Desserts

● Basbousa: Basbousa is a sweet semolina cake soaked in syrup made from sugar, water, and lemon juice, flavored with rose water or orange blossom water, and often garnished with almonds or coconut flakes.

● Umm Ali: Umm Ali is a traditional Egyptian bread pudding made with layers of puff pastry or phyllo dough soaked in milk and sugar, flavored with nuts, raisins, and spices, and baked until golden and bubbling.

● Konafa: Konafa is a popular Middle Eastern dessert made from shredded phyllo dough or semolina dough layered with sweet cheese or nuts, soaked in syrup, and baked until crispy and golden.

● Zalabia: Zalabia is a type of fried dough pastry similar to funnel cake or churros, made from a simple batter of flour, yeast, and water, deep-fried until crispy, and soaked in syrup or honey.

● Roz Bel Laban: Roz bel laban, or rice pudding, is a creamy dessert made with rice cooked in milk, sugar, and flavored with vanilla, cinnamon, or rose water, then chilled and garnished with nuts or fruit.

● Qatayef: Qatayef are small semicircular pancakes made from a sweet batter of flour, yeast, and water, filled with sweet cheese, nuts, or sweetened cream, folded, and fried or baked until golden and crispy.

● Baklava: Baklava is a rich and sweet pastry made from layers of phyllo dough filled with chopped nuts (such as pistachios, walnuts, or almonds), soaked in syrup or honey, and baked until crispy and golden.

Top restaurants, cafés & bakeries

Authentic Egyptian Restaurants

Kabdet Al Prince (Imbaba)
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This popular restaurant specializes in Egyptian street food favourites, particularly liver (kebda) sandwiches and koshari, a hearty dish made with rice, lentils, pasta, and chickpeas topped with a spicy tomato sauce and crispy onions.
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9 Pyramids Lounge
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Abou Tarek
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Brunch

Desoky & Soda Victoria Square Villa
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Cafés not to miss

Khan El Khalili Restaurant et Naguib Mahfouz Coffee Shop
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Named after the renowned Egyptian writer, Naguib Mahfouz Cafe is located in the Khan El Khalili district and offers a charming setting to enjoy traditional Egyptian cuisine. The menu includes a variety of classic dishes, such as fattah, mahshi, and tagines, accompanied by live music and cultural performances.
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Café Riche
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Established in 1908, Café Riche is a historic landmark in Downtown Cairo. It has been a gathering place for intellectuals, artists, and politicians throughout its long history. The café offers a cosy atmosphere, delicious coffee, and a menu featuring traditional Egyptian dishes.
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Café Greco
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Bakeries

La poire Cafe
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Mandarine Koueider
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Mandarine Koueider is a renowned Egyptian pastry shop with a long history dating back to 1928. They specialize in traditional Egyptian desserts like kunafa, basbousa, and qatayef, as well as European-style pastries and cakes. With multiple locations across Cairo, Mandarine Koueider is a beloved destination for sweet indulgence.
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Ratios Bakery
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Delight Maadi
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Night outtings

SHINKŌ Cairo
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Minglings
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The Tap East
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🍽️ Hungry for more?

You may also join me on my Cairo's gastronomic guidebook where I navigate the city's culinary landscape. The guide includes +70 restaurants, cafés, supermarkets, rooftops and more, all visited by myself at least twice.

🕌 Mosques

Egypt is a country renowned for its rich tapestry of religious diversity, where ancient traditions and contemporary faiths intersect to form a unique cultural landscape. At the heart of Egyptian spirituality lies Islam, the predominant religion practiced by the majority of the population. With a heritage deeply rooted in Islamic history, Egypt boasts a myriad of mosques, each a testament to the country's devout adherence to the teachings of the Quran.

From the iconic domes and minarets that punctuate the skyline to the intricate designs and ornate decorations that adorn their interiors, mosques in Cairo are not merely places of worship but also embodiments of the city's cultural and religious heritage.

● Al-Azhar Mosque

Al-Azhar Mosque
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The historic Al-Azhar Mosque, nestled within the heart of Islamic Cairo, serves as a beacon of Islamic learning and scholarship, drawing pilgrims and scholars from around the world. 

● Mosque of Muhammad Ali

Mosque of Muhammad Ali
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The Mosque of Muhammad Ali, perched atop the Citadel, offers panoramic views of the city and showcases the opulence of Ottoman design. 

● Sultan Hassan Mosque

Mosque-Madrasa of Sultan Hassan
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The majestic Sultan Hassan Mosque stands as a testament to the grandeur of Mamluk architecture, with its towering minarets and sprawling courtyards.

● Ibn Tulun Mosque

Ibn Tulun Mosque
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Situated in the heart of Cairo, stands as a majestic testament to Islamic architecture and cultural heritage. Built in the 9th century during the Abbasid era, it is one of the oldest and largest mosques in Egypt, renowned for its distinctive design and historical significance.

● Amr Ibn Al-A'as Mosque

Amr ibn Al-A'as Masjid Jama
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Considered the first mosque built in Egypt, this historic mosque is located in Old Cairo and holds significant religious and historical importance.

● Al-Aqmar Mosque

Al-Aqmar Mosque
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Known for its intricate Kufic inscriptions and beautiful facade, Al-Aqmar Mosque is located in the historic area of Islamic Cairo and is considered a masterpiece of Fatimid architecture.

⛪️ Churches

Amid the minarets and call to prayer, Egypt's religious mosaic extends beyond Islam. Christianity has flourished in Egypt for centuries, with Coptic Orthodox Christianity standing as one of the oldest Christian traditions in the world. Coptic churches, adorned with intricate iconography and steeped in centuries-old rituals, dot the Egyptian landscape, bearing witness to the enduring legacy of early Christian communities.

● The Cave Church

The Cave Church
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The Cave Church in Cairo, also known as the Monastery of Saint Simon the Tanner, is a remarkable testament to faith and ingenuity. Carved into the cliffs of the Mokattam Mountain, this extraordinary church complex comprises a series of interconnected caves and tunnels that serve as places of worship, meditation, and community gatherings for Egypt's Coptic Christian community. The largest cave, known as the Cathedral Church of Saint Simon, can accommodate thousands of worshippers and is adorned with intricate Coptic artwork and iconography. Despite its humble origins, the Cave Church has become a symbol of resilience and devotion, attracting visitors worldwide who come to marvel at its awe-inspiring architecture and experience the spirit of faith that permeates its hallowed halls.

● The Hanging Church

The Hanging Church
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The Hanging Church, also known as Saint Virgin Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church, is a historic marvel in Old Cairo's heart. Dating back to the 3rd century AD, this ancient church stands atop the ruins of a Roman fortress and is renowned for its unique architectural design, characterized by a wooden roof that appears to "hang" over the nave. Adorned with intricate Coptic artwork and colourful murals, the church serves as a testament to Egypt's Christian heritage and enduring faith. Pilgrims and visitors alike are drawn to its sacred halls, where they can marvel at its timeless beauty, explore its rich history, and experience a profound sense of spiritual reverence amidst its serene surroundings.

● Saint George's Church

St. George's church
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Saint George's Church, located in the Coptic neighbourhood of Old Cairo, is a venerable symbol of Christian devotion and heritage. Dating back to the 10th century AD, this historic church stands as one of the oldest in Cairo, revered for its timeless architecture and sacred significance. Dedicated to Saint George, the patron saint of Egypt, the church is adorned with intricate carvings, colourful frescoes, and ornate woodwork, reflecting centuries of Coptic craftsmanship and tradition. Pilgrims and worshippers flock to Saint George's Church to pay homage to the revered saint, seek solace in its hallowed halls, and partake in the rich liturgical rituals that have been practised within its walls for generations. As a beacon of faith and resilience, Saint George's Church continues to inspire awe and reverence among all who visit, serving as a testament to the enduring spirit of Egypt's Christian community.

● Church of The Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Bishoy, Fifth Settlement

Church of The Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Bishoy, Fifth Settlement
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The Church of The Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Bishoy, located in the Fifth Settlement district of Cairo, stands as a beacon of Christian worship and community in the bustling metropolis. Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Bishoy, a revered Coptic saint known for his piety and asceticism, this modern church complex serves as a spiritual oasis amidst the urban landscape. With its contemporary architectural design and state-of-the-art facilities, the church provides a welcoming sanctuary for worshippers and visitors alike. Inside its sacred halls, adorned with vibrant stained glass windows and intricate iconography, worshippers gather to partake in liturgical services, prayer, and fellowship. As a hub of Coptic Christian life and devotion, the Church of The Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Bishoy fosters a sense of community and belonging, enriching the lives of its parishioners and reflecting the enduring faith of Egypt's Christian heritage.

● Church of Saint Cyril Greek Melkite

Church of Saint Cyril Greek Melkite
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The Church of Saint Cyril, situated in Cairo, stands as a testament to the enduring presence of the Greek Melkite community in Egypt. Founded by the Greek Melkite Catholic community, this historic church serves as a spiritual anchor for worshippers seeking solace and connection to their religious roots. With its distinctive Byzantine-inspired architecture and ornate interior, adorned with intricate iconography and sacred relics, the Church of Saint Cyril exudes a sense of reverence and devotion. Throughout its storied history, the church has remained a focal point for Greek Melkite Catholics, providing a sacred space for prayer, liturgical celebrations, and communal gatherings. As a symbol of faith and tradition, the Church of Saint Cyril continues to enrich the spiritual lives of its parishioners and stands as a testament to the vibrant diversity of Egypt's religious landscape.

🕍 Synagogues

Egypt's religious tapestry is further enriched by the presence of Judaism, a faith that traces its roots back millennia. Although the Jewish population in Egypt has dwindled significantly over the years, remnants of Jewish heritage can still be found in ancient synagogues and historical sites scattered across the country, serving as a reminder of Egypt's multicultural past.

● Synagogue Ben Ezra

Synagogue Ben Ezra
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Located in Old Cairo, near the Coptic neighborhood, Ben Ezra Synagogue is one of the oldest synagogues in Cairo. It is believed to have been built on the site where baby Moses was found among the reeds of the Nile. The synagogue features a beautiful interior with ornate decorations and historical artifacts.

● Synagogue Shaar Hashamayim Synagogue

Sha'ar HaShamayim Synagogue
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Located in downtown Cairo. It was established in the 19th century and served as a prominent center for the Jewish community in Cairo. While the synagogue is no longer active, its building still stands as a reminder of Egypt's Jewish heritage.

●  Maimonides Synagogue

Maimonides Synagogue
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Named after the famous Jewish philosopher and scholar Maimonides, this synagogue is located in the Old Cairo neighborhood. While the synagogue is no longer active, its historic significance and architectural beauty make it a notable landmark in the city.

🏛️ Museums

The Grand Egyptian Museum GEM
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Museum Of Modern Egyptian Art
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Museum of Illusions, Cairo
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The Egyptian Museum in Cairo
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The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization
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Mohamed Ali Palace
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The Coptic Museum
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Gayer-Anderson Museum
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Umm Kulthum Museum
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🌴 Parks

●  Al Azhar Park

Al-Azhar Park
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Al Azhar Park, nestled amidst the bustling streets of Cairo, is a verdant oasis that offers respite from the city's hustle and bustle. Created in 2005 on historic landfill, the park is a testament to urban renewal and environmental conservation. With its lush gardens, tranquil lakes, and panoramic views of the city's skyline, Al Azhar Park provides a serene escape for locals and tourists alike. Visitors can stroll along winding paths, relax in shaded pavilions, or enjoy a picnic on sprawling lawns while soaking in the sights and sounds of nature. The park also boasts cultural attractions, including the Ayyubid wall and the restored Ayyubid structures, which offer glimpses into Cairo's rich history. As a green lung in the heart of the city, Al Azhar Park stands as a symbol of hope, beauty, and community, inviting all who enter to find solace and rejuvenation amidst its tranquil surroundings.

El Andalos Park
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Orman Garden
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Darb 1718
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Umm Kulthum Park
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🛍️ Markets & Malls

● Khan el-Khalili 

Khan el-Khalili is a historic market located in the heart of Islamic Cairo, Egypt. Dating back to the 14th century, it is one of the oldest and most famous souks (marketplaces) in the Middle East. Spread across narrow alleyways and bustling squares, Khan el-Khalili offers a labyrinth of shops, stalls, and vendors selling a diverse array of goods, including spices, textiles, jewellery, souvenirs, and traditional crafts.

Khan el-Khalili
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Khan el-Khalili is a historic market located in the heart of Islamic Cairo, Egypt. Dating back to the 14th century, it is one of the oldest and most famous souks (marketplaces) in the Middle East. Spread across narrow alleyways and bustling squares, Khan el-Khalili offers a labyrinth of shops, stalls, and vendors selling a diverse array of goods, including spices, textiles, jewellery, souvenirs, and traditional crafts. Steeped in history and culture, Khan el-Khalili is a vibrant hub where locals and tourists alike gather to shop, bargain, and soak in the lively atmosphere. Visitors can explore its winding streets lined with centuries-old buildings adorned with intricate Islamic architecture, while the aroma of spices and the sound of bustling activity fill the air. In addition to shopping, Khan el-Khalili is also a popular destination for dining and entertainment, with numerous cafes, restaurants, and street food vendors offering traditional Egyptian cuisine and refreshments. Visitors can sample local delicacies, sip mint tea, or enjoy shisha (water pipe) while watching the bustling scene unfold around them. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and eclectic array of goods and experiences, Khan el-Khalili is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Cairo and seeking to immerse themselves in the city's vibrant and colourful atmosphere.
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Steeped in history and culture, Khan el-Khalili is a vibrant hub where locals and tourists alike gather to shop, bargain, and soak in the lively atmosphere. Visitors can explore its winding streets lined with centuries-old buildings adorned with intricate Islamic architecture, while the aroma of spices and the sound of bustling activity fill the air.

In addition to shopping, Khan el-Khalili is also a popular destination for dining and entertainment, with numerous cafes, restaurants, and street food vendors offering traditional Egyptian cuisine and refreshments. Visitors can sample local delicacies, sip mint tea, or enjoy shisha (water pipe) while watching the bustling scene unfold around them.

With its rich history, vibrant culture, and eclectic array of goods and experiences, Khan el-Khalili is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Cairo and seeking to immerse themselves in the city's vibrant and colorful atmosphere.

● Al-Moez Street

Al Moez Ldin Allah Al Fatmi
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Located in Islamic Cairo, Al-Moez Street is a historic thoroughfare lined with traditional markets, shops, and vendors selling a variety of goods, including textiles, jewelry, spices, and souvenirs. The street also boasts stunning Islamic architecture and historic landmarks, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

● Souq Al-Gomaa

Souq al-Goma'a (Friday Market)
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Souq Al Gomaa, or Friday Market, is a bustling open-air market held weekly in the Al-Gamaleya district of Old Cairo. It offers a wide range of products, including clothing, accessories, household items, antiques, and handmade crafts, attracting bargain hunters and shoppers looking for unique finds.

● Souq El Fustat

Souq El Fustat
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A modern reconstruction of the historic Fustat Market, located near the Coptic neighborhood of Old Cairo. The market features a mix of traditional and contemporary shops selling handicrafts, textiles, artwork, and Egyptian-themed souvenirs, providing visitors with a glimpse into Egypt's rich cultural heritage.

● Ataba Market

El Ataba market
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Ataba Market is a vibrant commercial area located near Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo. It features a maze of narrow alleys and stalls selling everything from clothing and electronics to books and souvenirs. The market is known for its bustling atmosphere and affordable prices, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

🏬 Shopping Malls

Looking to experience the shopping scene in Cairo? Here are all the main shopping malls, stocked up with floors full of local and international retail and fashion stores, supermarkets, cinemas, restaurants, food courts and more.

There you can spend hours shopping, eating and walking around, so visiting these at the end of the day would be a better option for those seeking to immerse in the day-to-day bustling Cairo lifestyle. 

For those avoiding crowds, I recommend visiting during the mornings on the week days.

☞ Tip: these malls are a proper complex set of buildings better accessed by car, so a better option would be to order an Uber or similar.

City Centre Almaza
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Citystars Mall
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Cairo Festival City Mall
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Mall of Egypt
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Mall of Arabia
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🛎️ Hotels

Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza
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Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino
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Marriott Mena House, Cairo
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Hilton Cairo Heliopolis
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Hilton Pyramids Golf
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Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah
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🌉 Cairo's Districts

Comprised of two main Governorates: Cairo and Giza, with a population estimated at 66 million citizens, it also makes it the largest city in the Middle East and North Africa.

● Giza

Located across the Nile River from Downtown Cairo, Giza is known for its iconic landmarks such as the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, and the Giza Plateau. It also features residential neighbourhoods and bustling markets.

Al Giza
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Located across the Nile River from Downtown Cairo, Giza is known for its iconic landmarks such as the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, and the Giza Plateau. It also features residential neighbourhoods and bustling markets.
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Pyramids of Giza
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● Islamic Cairo

Also known as "Old Cairo", here is where you will find all the ancient, true gems of the city like Mohammed Ali mosque, Khan El-Khalili market and Al Azhar park.

Islamic Cairo
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● Zamalek

Located on Gezira Island and embraced by the Nile River, Zamalek is an upscale neighbourhood known for its tree-lined streets, art galleries, embassies, and high-end restaurants and cafes.

Zamalek
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Located on Gezira Island and embraced by the Nile River, Zamalek is an upscale neighbourhood known for its tree-lined streets, art galleries, embassies, and high-end restaurants and cafes.
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● Dokki

Located near Zamalek, Dokki is a residential and commercial neighbourhood known for its affordable housing options, shops, and restaurants.

Ad Doqi
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Located near Zamalek, Dokki is a residential and commercial neighbourhood known for its affordable housing options, shops, and restaurants.
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● Downtown Cairo

Known also as Wust El Balad, it is the heart of the city and home to bustling streets, historic buildings, and cultural landmarks such as Tahrir Square and the Egyptian Museum.

Downtown Cairo
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Known also as Wust El Balad, it is the heart of the city and home to bustling streets, historic buildings, and cultural landmarks such as Tahrir Square and the Egyptian Museum.
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● Mohandessin

Situated west of Downtown Cairo, Mohandiseen is a bustling commercial and residential area known for its shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Mohandessin
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Situated west of Downtown Cairo, Mohandiseen is a bustling commercial and residential area known for its shops, cafes, and restaurants.
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● Al Agouzah

Adjacent to Mohandiseen, Agouza is a vibrant neighbourhood known for its lively streets, markets, and diverse dining options.

Al Agouzah
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Adjacent to Mohandiseen, Agouza is a vibrant neighbourhood known for its lively streets, markets, and diverse dining options.
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● Maadi

Situated in the south of Downtown Cairo, Maadi is a residential suburb popular among foreigners. It features tree-lined streets, green spaces, and a vibrant community atmosphere.

Maadi
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Situated in the south of Downtown Cairo, Maadi is a residential suburb popular among foreigners. It features tree-lined streets, green spaces, and a vibrant community atmosphere.
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● Heliopolis

Developed in the early 20th century, Heliopolis is a planned neighbourhood characterised by elegant villas, lush gardens, residential areas, shopping malls, and cultural institutions.

Heliopolis
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Developed in the early 20th century, Heliopolis is a planned neighbourhood characterised by elegant villas, lush gardens, residential areas, shopping malls, and cultural institutions.
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● Nasr City

Originally designed as a residential district in the 1960s, Nasr City is now a bustling commercial and residential area with shopping centres, office buildings, and residential complexes.

Nasr City
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Originally designed as a residential district in the 1960s, Nasr City is now a bustling commercial and residential area with shopping centres, office buildings, and residential complexes.
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● New Cairo City

New Cairo City
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● 6th of October City

6th of October City
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Cairo Unveiled: Embark on an Adventure of a Lifetime

As you conclude your journey through the vibrant streets of Cairo, may your memories be filled with the kaleidoscope of colours, flavours, and wonders that this captivating city has to offer.

From the timeless pyramids to the bustling markets, from the majestic mosques to the serene Nile, Cairo is a city that beckons adventurers, history buffs, and culture seekers alike and is bound to leave an indelible mark on your soul. So, what are you waiting for? Embark on your Cairo adventure today and uncover the treasures that await you in this mesmerizing metropolis. 

"Egypt is a land of dreams and mysteries, a gateway to the past and a window to the future."

- Hosni Mubarak

Ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure? Explore the wonders of Egypt, from the majestic pyramids of Giza to the vibrant streets of Cairo. Book your trip now and let Egypt's timeless beauty captivate your soul!

Citadel Saladin
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* * *
CURATED BY
🌍 Born in Ecuador, raised between Spain and China, and trained to scuba dive in Egypt, I have lived and breathed different cultures my entire life. Now residing in Berlin, I am eager to share my knowledge and experiences with you. Let me be your guide to truly immerse yourself in local culture & creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime. 🎏
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