Coptic Cairo Overview

Coptic Cairo, located in the heart of Old Cairo, is a remarkable enclave of ancient churches, a synagogue, and the impressive Coptic Museum. Wander through lanes that echo with history, and witness the ruins of the Roman fortress of Babylon. Visit the Hanging Church and the St. Sergius and Bacchus Church to learn about Coptic Christianity. This tranquil district offers a unique glimpse into Egypt's Christian heritage. It invites you to explore its serene beauty and historical depth.

Coptic Cairo is a unique part of Old Cairo that takes you back in time to the early days of Christianity in the country. This area is filled with ancient churches, each telling its own story of faith and history. Here, you can explore the Babylon Fortress, built in 300 AD to link the Nile to the Red Sea. 

One of the major highlights of Coptic Cairo is the Coptic Museum, which was opened in 1910. It is home to an impressive collection of Coptic artefacts, offering insights into Egypt's Christian community. Another must-visit is the Hanging Church, also known as Saint Virgin Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church. Built on the gatehouse of the Babylon Fortress, this church appears to be hanging in the air. It is one of the oldest and most famous Coptic churches in Cairo, dating back to the 3rd century AD. 

Coptic Cairo is a living, breathing part of the city. It is where the Coptic Christian community still gathers for worship. The area features the five original churches and the first mosque ever built in Egypt. You can also find the oldest synagogue here. This district allows you to step back in time and explore the roots of Christianity in Egypt. Whether you are interested in history, religion, or art, Coptic Cairo offers a fascinating glimpse into a past that has shaped the present.

Location: Sharia Mar Girgis, south of Downtown


• Explore the Hanging Church, perched atop ancient Roman gates, and see stunning 3rd-century icons and religious art.
• Discover the Coptic Museum, housing the world's largest collection of Coptic Christian artefacts.
• Visit the Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus, believed to have sheltered the Holy Family during their visit to Egypt.
• Admire the architecture of the Babylon Fortress, a testament to Cairo's rich historical tapestry.
• Experience the unique blend of cultures at the Ben Ezra Synagogue, ranked as the oldest in Cairo.

How To Reach

By Metro: The most convenient way to reach Coptic Cairo is by metro. From the city centre, take the Line 1 metro to Mar Girgis metro station, which is located right outside the Coptic Cairo complex. 

By Road: Driving to Coptic Cairo is another option. From the city centre, Coptic Cairo is 6.5 kilometres away, which takes around 15 to 20 minutes. 

By River Bus: The river bus from Maspero dock to Misr al-Qadimah in Old Cairo is a slower but scenic option. The dock is just 600 metres away, and you can reach Coptic Cairo in under 10 minutes from here.

Best Time To Visit

Coptic Cairo is a treasure to explore any time of the year, offering a glimpse into Egypt's rich Christian heritage.

Best Day: Weekdays are the best times to visit. It is less crowded, allowing you to appreciate the serene beauty and historical sites without the hustle.

Best Time of the Day: Aim for an early start to visit Coptic Cairo. This ensures a quieter visit, avoiding both crowds and the midday heat.

Other Essential Information

Tips for visiting Coptic Cairo

1. Wear modest clothes and cover your knees and shoulders when you visit religious sites like churches.

2. Sunday is busy with Mass, so it is best to visit on weekdays for a quieter experience.

3. Bring snacks or plan to eat before your visit, since the food options here are scarce.

4. Allocate time to shop for souvenirs in quaint alleys around Coptic Cairo.

5. Comfortable walking shoes are a must to explore this historical area.

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Point of Interest for Coptic Cairo
Discover the Wonders of the Hanging Church

Discover the Wonders of the Hanging Church

Step into the serene ambience of the Hanging Church during your visit to Coptic Cairo. It is a masterpiece of Coptic architecture perched atop the ancient Roman fortress. It is one of the oldest Coptic Orthodox churches in Egypt and dates back to the 4th century AD. Here, you can also see the 110 holy icons, the oldest of which dates to the 8th century. Admire the exquisite craftsmanship of the wooden screens and icons that adorn its interior. The church also offers a profound mix of artistic beauty, historical depth, and spiritual tranquillity. It is a great place to witness centuries of devotion and resilience of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Unravel the Secrets of the Coptic Museum

Unravel the Secrets of the Coptic Museum

Immerse yourself in the extensive collection of Coptic artefacts housed in the Coptic Museum. The museum was founded in 1908, and is home to an extensive collection of Coptic art and artefacts. It is here where you can see exhibits from the earliest days of Christianity in Egypt, all the way to the Islamic era. The museum also has the largest collection of Coptic antiquities in the world. This includes carefully preserved ancient bibles and manuscripts, textiles, metalwork and more. It is here where you can see the adaptation of ancient Egyptian traditions in Christian art forms.

Experience Timeless Devotion at Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church

Experience Timeless Devotion at Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church

Visit the serene Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church, believed to have sheltered the Holy Family during their visit to Egypt. Hidden beneath its humble exterior is a history of faith that has welcomed pilgrims and worshippers for centuries. The church is particularly renowned for its crypt, a silent witness to the refuge provided to the Holy Family. It is also a popular attraction of Christian pilgrimage in Cairo. The atmosphere inside is charged with a sense of continuity and faith. It offers a moment of contemplation for those who seek to connect with the deeper layers of Christian tradition.

Spend Some Time Reflecting at Ben Ezra Synagogue

Spend Some Time Reflecting at Ben Ezra Synagogue

Explore the Ben Ezra Synagogue, an emblem of Cairo’s rich, multi-faith heritage. Nestled within Coptic Cairo, this historic site is believed to be where baby Moses was found. It offers a rare glimpse into the Jewish legacy of Egypt. This historical gem was once a church, which was sold and converted into a synagogue in the 9th century. It is home to the Geniza documents. These are a collection of Jewish manuscript fragments detailing the life of the Jewish community in the Islamic world. The serene courtyards and prayer hall here are perfect to learn about the coexistence of different religions in Cairo.

Stroll Through the Tranquil Babylon Fortress

Stroll Through the Tranquil Babylon Fortress

Wander through the remnants of the Babylon Fortress, where history and tranquillity converge. This ancient Roman fortress was built in the 1st century AD. It has witnessed the transformation of the city into a thriving metropolis. The fortress's remaining towers and walls showcase Roman architectural skills. They highlight the strategic value of this spot at the nexus of trade routes. Amidst the hustle and bustle of modern Cairo, the fortress stands as a serene reminder of the city's layered history. It offers a tranquil retreat to those who wander its grounds.

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