Cairo: Places to Explore


  • The Citadel and Sayyida Zaynab

    The view of the huge silver domes and needle-thin minarets of the Muhammad 'Ali Mosque against the stark backdrop of the desert cliffs of the Muquattam is one of Cairo's most striking visual icons. The... Read more

  • Coptic Cairo (Mari Girgis)

    The area known as Mari Girgis (Saint George) is centuries older than the Islamic city of Cairo. But even calling it Coptic Cairo isn't entirely accurate, because it includes an important synagogue and... Read more

  • Downtown and Bulaq

    In the middle of the 19th century, the slavishly Francophile khedive Isma'il laid out this district on a Parisian plan across the old canal from Islamic Cairo, which until then had been the heart of the... Read more

  • Giza

    It used to be that you approached Giza through green fields. Cairo's expansion means that now you have to run a gauntlet of raucously noisy city streets clogged with buses, vans, taxis, and the odd donkey... Read more

  • Heliopolis

    In 1905 the Belgian industrialist Édouard Louis Joseph, Baron Empain, bought a swath of land northwest of Cairo. His plan was to build a new self-sustaining community in the desert with housing, shops... Read more

  • Islamic Cairo North

    If the Mamluks hadn't stopped the Mongols' furious advance at Ain Djalout (Palestine) in AD 1260, Cairo, like Baghdad and scores of other towns, might have been left in rubble. As it is, Misr al Mahrousa—a... Read more

  • Islamic Cairo South

    Here is a teeming, commercial area, more typically Egyptian and less geared toward tourism than the Khan area. But if you feel like shopping, you can find all sorts of postmodern "1,001 Nights" gear here... Read more

  • Side Trips from Cairo

    In order that the living could view the grandeur of the dead god-kings—and, in many cases, be buried alongside them—ancient Egyptians used the sites in the desert west of Memphis, one of the most enduring... Read more


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