Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

Cairo Travel Guide

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 mosque is just one feature of the Citadel, an immense fortified enclosure that housed the local power brokers from Salah al-Din, its 12th-century founder, to Napoléon in the 18th century

and the British colonial governors and troops until their withdrawal in 1946. It served as the base of operations for Mamluk slave kings as well as for a series of sultans and pashas with their colorful retinues, including al-Nasir Muhammad's 1,200-concubine-strong harem.

The Citadel commands wonderful views of the city—smog permitting. From there, you can visit some impressive monuments, including the amazing Mosque and Madrasa of Sultan Hasan, one of the largest such structures in the world, and the remarkably calm, austere Mosque of Ibn Tulun, one of Cairo's oldest buildings.

Read More

Explore The Citadel and Sayyida Zaynab

Advertisement

Advertisement

Trip Finder
Store
Travel Phrases

Learn Arabic Phrases before or while you're on the go!

Download Now