Mosque Of Muhammad Ali Overview

Perched atop Cairo's Citadel, the Mosque of Muhammad Ali is the most popular mosque in the city. Often dubbed the Alabaster Mosque, it is a marvel of 19th-century architecture. Built by Muhammad Ali Pasha, this mosque is renowned for its Ottoman design, grand domes, and towering minarets. Its interiors, clad in alabaster, offer breathtaking city views. A symbol of Egypt's rich history, it is a must-visit for its beauty and panoramic vistas.

Nestled atop the ancient Citadel of Cairo, the Mosque of Muhammad Ali is a sight to behold. It is also known as the Alabaster Mosque and offers stunning views of the Cairo cityscape. The mosque also offers insights into the Ottoman style of architecture. It was built between 1830 and 1848 by Muhammad Ali Pasha, the ruler of Egypt. The design of the mosque is similar to the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul. The mosque gets its name from the use of alabaster for both the interior and exterior walls. It highlights the unique beauty and clarity it brings to the architectural masterpiece.

Here, you can see the towering minarets and majestic domes that dominate the Cairo skyline. The mosque blends history and spirituality and offers a break from the bustling city life. It also holds a significant place in the hearts of Egyptians. The mosque embodies the era of Muhammad Ali Pasha’s rule and his efforts to modernize Egypt.

As you step inside, you can see the prayer hall, which is decorated with frescoes and murals. Here, the intricate designs, carved with meticulous detail, tell stories of the past. The Mosque of Muhammad Ali is more than just a religious site. It is a journey through time, offering breathtaking views of Cairo and a peaceful space for reflection. This mosque remains a symbol of Cairo's rich heritage, attracting travellers from around the world.

Location: Al Abageyah, El-Khalifa, Cairo Governorate, Egypt

Timings: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (except Fridays)

Price: 156 Egyptian Pounds per Adult


• Admire the Ottoman-inspired architecture and the mosque's grand silhouette from afar.
• Discover the impressive interior adorned with alabaster up to 11 metres high.
• View the city from atop the Citadel, where the mosque offers stunning panoramas.
• Marvel at the grand central dome, surrounded by smaller domes and semi-domes.
• Learn about Muhammad Ali Pasha's legacy and his final resting place within the mosque.

How To Reach

The Mosque of Muhammad Ali is located within the Citadel in Cairo. It is easily accessible from the city centre via different modes of transport.

By Road: The Mosque of Muhammad Ali is located 6.6 kilometres from the Cairo city centre. From here, you can take a taxi or bus to the mosque, which takes around 15 to 20 minutes.  

By Metro: You can also take the Cairo Metro and get off at the Mar Girgis station on Line 1. It is the nearest station to the mosque, around 7.1 kilometres away. From the station, take a taxi or minibus to the mosque, which takes around 20 minutes.

Best Time To Visit

The Mosque of Muhammad Ali is fantastic to visit any time of year, offering insights into Cairo's rich history.

Best Day: Weekdays are ideal for a visit. This is when you will find fewer crowds, allowing for a peaceful exploration of the mosque's intricate designs.

Best Time of the Day: Morning hours are perfect for exploring the mosque. It remains less crowded during this time, and the early light enhances its beauty.

Other Essential Information

Tips for visiting Mosque of Muhammad Ali

1. Keep water handy since Cairo can be hot, especially in summer.

2. Arrive early to beat the crowds and enjoy a quieter visit.

3. Dress modestly, and cover your shoulders and knees.

4. Women should bring a scarf to cover their hair inside the mosque.

5. Check the mosque's schedule to avoid prayer times, especially on Fridays.

6. Photography is allowed, however, be respectful and avoid flash inside.

7. Hire a guide for insightful stories about the mosque's history.

8. Carry some cash for souvenirs and refreshments from nearby vendors.

9. Remember to remove your shoes before you enter the mosque's prayer area.

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Point of Interest for Mosque Of Muhammad Ali
Admire the Architectural Grandeur

Admire the Architectural Grandeur

Step into the world of Ottoman magnificence at the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. Your first sight will be the imposing alabaster walls that glisten under the Cairo sun, a hallmark of its grand design. The mosque, with its majestic dome, is surrounded by semi-domes and towering minarets. It also offers a breathtaking silhouette against the Cairo skyline. Each corner tells a story of architectural mastery, from the intricate calligraphy to the geometric patterns adorning the interior. Learn how the smooth alabaster still retains its original structure, and gain insights about the Ottoman era in this historical attraction.

Witness the Splendour of the Central Dome

Witness the Splendour of the Central Dome

During your visit to the mosque, admire the central dome, which is a beautiful engineering marvel. The dome, resting on four colossal arches, fills the mosque with divine light, casting intricate shadows on the marble floors. This spectacle of light and architecture symbolizes the heavens opening up, inviting you to a moment of reflection and awe. The detailed inscriptions and motifs decorate the dome's interior. They also tell tales of faith and devotion, offering a serene backdrop to your contemplative moments.

Stroll Through the Courtyard

Stroll Through the Courtyard

The expansive courtyard of the mosque, with its geometric marble patterns, opens up a space of peace amidst Cairo's hustle. The central ablution fountain, intricately designed, stands as a reminder of the mosque's spiritual purpose. Surrounding you are a series of arched columns that support the mosque’s courtyard. This is a space where the past and present of Cairo blend seamlessly. The courtyard also offers a quiet moment to admire the craftsmanship and the serene atmosphere of the mosque.

Climb the Minarets for Panoramic Views

Climb the Minarets for Panoramic Views

Embrace the opportunity to ascend one of the two minarets of this ancient mosque. As you climb, the sounds of the city fade, replaced by a tranquil silence that accompanies you to the top. Emerging above, Cairo unfolds before your eyes. It offers a panoramic view that stretches to the pyramids on the horizon. From this vantage point, the mosque’s strategic placement atop the Citadel becomes evident. It also highlights its role as a guardian of the city's skyline and spiritual heart.

Contemplate at Muhammad Ali Pasha's Tomb

Contemplate at Muhammad Ali Pasha's Tomb

Conclude your visit by paying respects to the tomb of Muhammad Ali Pasha, the visionary behind this architectural wonder. Located within the mosque, the marble tomb offers you a chance to pay your respects to the Ottoman ruler. It is marked by intricate carvings and inscriptions that narrate his legacy. Standing by the tomb, you connect with the history of Egypt and the man who shaped its modern path. It is here where you can reflect on the transient nature of power.

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