Nilometer Overview

The Nilometer on Cairo's Roda Island is a marvel from AD 861, tucked inside Manasterly Palace. It was a vital agricultural tool for predicting the floods in the Nile, Egypt. With its Turkish-style dome, it showcases the Farouk era's architectural elegance. A visit to the Nilometer offers insight into ancient ways and an admiration for Egypt's heritage.

Nestled on Cairo's Roda Island within the Manasterly Palace, is the ancient Nilometer. It is an engineering marvel dating back to AD 861. This historical instrument was once used to measure the waters of the Nile River. Its primary function was to predict the annual floods, which majorly influenced Egypt's agriculture. The Nilometer is decorated with a distinctive Turkish-style dome. It is also an excellent example of the architectural brilliance of the Farouk era.

The journey to the Nilometer begins at the entrance of Sharia Al Malek As Salih. Here, you can learn about the wonders of ancient Egyptian engineering. Adding to the allure of the Nilometer are its carved markings and inscriptions. These used to serve as a guide for ancient scientists to gauge the future agricultural yield. 

The Nilometer displays a lot of precision and foresight. This further highlights the advanced understanding of hydrology possessed by the ancient Egyptians. Additionally, the Nilometer's strategic location adds to its importance as a significant site in Egypt's historical landscape. This is where you can see the blend of science, agriculture, and the rhythms of natural life.

Location: Al Saleh St., 2 Abd El-Malek Ln, Giza Governorate 

Timings: 9 am to 3:45 pm

Price: 15.66 Egyptian pounds per adult


• Discover the ancient Nilometer on Cairo's Roda Island, an engineering marvel that used to predict the Nile's flooding.
• Learn how the Nilometer was used as an agricultural tool and helped ancient Egyptians anticipate harvests.
• Marvel at the Turkish-style dome, a testament to the Farouk era's design aesthetics.
• Explore the structure's connection to the Nile, and learn about age-old flood management techniques.
• Visit the Nilometer, and discover Egypt's advanced understanding of hydrology and architecture.

How To Reach

By Air: The closest airport to the Nilometer is Cairo International Airport, which is 24.9 kilometres away. To reach the Nilometer directly, take a taxi or a ride-sharing service (Uber or Careem) from the airport. This journey will take 30 to 40 minutes.

By Metro: The most efficient way to reach the Nilometer from the Cairo city centre is by metro. Take a metro from the Al Shohadaa station and get off at Mar Girgis Station on Line 1 (Red Line). From here, the Nilometer is 3.1 kilometres away. You can either walk to the Nilometer from here or opt for a short taxi ride from the station. The walk will take around 45 minutes, while the taxi ride should take around 10 to 15 minutes.

By Car/Taxi: Nilometer is also accessible from Cairo city centre by road via Corniche El Nile. This is the main road that runs along the Nile River through Cairo. From here, head directly to Sharia Al Malek As Salih, where the Nilometer is located. You can cover this 6-kilometre distance in 15 to 20 minutes.

Best Time To Visit

The Nilometer in Cairo is open to visitors throughout the year, each season bringing its distinct beauty.

Best Season: The autumn season, from September to November, is the perfect time to visit the Nilometer. The weather is cooler during these months, making your visit more pleasant. Additionally, the water of the Nile is also quite stable after the summer floods, which will enhance your experience here. 

Best Day: Opt for a weekday visit to the Nilometer. There will be fewer crowds on these days, which will give you the space to observe the details of this historic monument closely. 

Best Time of the Day: Early mornings and evenings are the best times to visit. The cooler temperatures and sparse crowds during these hours make for a serene experience. The gentle morning light highlights the Nilometer's features. Evenings offer a tranquil atmosphere as the day winds down and are perfect to enjoy the sunsets by the Nile.

Other Essential Information

Tips to visit Nilometer

1. Check the opening hours before you visit as they are prone to change.

2. Bring water, especially during Cairo's hot months, to stay hydrated.

3. Photography might be restricted in certain areas, so it is advisable to ask for permission first.

4. Consider hiring a local guide to enrich your visit with historical insights.

5. Visit during the early morning or late afternoon for cooler temperatures and softer light for photos.

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Point of Interest for Nilometer
Descend into Ancient Waters at the Nilometer

Descend into Ancient Waters at the Nilometer

Feel the cool air as you step down into the heart of the Nilometer. Climbing down through narrow, steep stairs of the well takes you back in time. It also allows you to marvel at the precision with which ancient civilizations measured the river's water levels. With each step, you can see carvings on the surrounding walls. You can also gain a deeper understanding of Egypt's dependency on the Nile. This is a unique journey into the depths, where history and engineering intertwine.

Explore the Echoes of the Past in Umm Kulthum Museum

Explore the Echoes of the Past in Umm Kulthum Museum

Right next to the Nilometer, immerse yourself in the history of Egypt at the Umm Kulthum Museum. This space honours the legendary singer Umm Kulthum, who was also regarded as the Star of the East. The museum houses her personal belongings, photos, and recordings. The intimate setting allows for insights into the diva’s life, along with the fame she brought to the country. A visit to this museum offers you a journey through time, celebrating the voice that moved a nation.

Capture the Confluence of Engineering and Art

Capture the Confluence of Engineering and Art

Stand at the edge of the Nilometer, and capture its architectural beauty. As you marvel at the structure, you can see intricate carvings on the Nilometer's walls. Its strategic placement on Roda Island, along the Nile, also makes the Nilometer a photographer’s delight. You can also witness the play of light as it dances through the dome, which illuminates centuries of history preserved within these walls. As you take photos, you are capturing a moment where ancient civilization's innovation comes to life.

Unravel the Mysteries with a Guided Tour

Unravel the Mysteries with a Guided Tour

Enhance your visit with a guided tour of the Nilometer, and learn all about its secrets from experts. During the tour, you can learn how this ancient instrument influenced the agriculture and economy of Egypt. The guide's narratives bring to life numerous other details about the Nilometer. You can learn about the significance of the Nile’s fluctuations and the science behind the measurements of the Nilometer. The guide will also tell you about its impact on ancient society. This interactive exploration lets you deeply understand Egypt's historical relationship with the Nile.

Reflect at the River’s Edge

Reflect at the River’s Edge

After exploring the Nilometer and learning about its rich history, take a moment to sit by the Nile’s edge. Here, you can relax and soak in the panorama of the cityscape. The flowing waters and the serene atmosphere offer a moment of reflection on the significance of this river. Here, you can also think about how the river fuelled ancient civilizations and continues to shape modern Egypt. The tranquil surroundings offer a perfect ending to a journey through time. It lets you ponder the timeless bond between the Nile and the people of Egypt.

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