Old Cairo Overview

Explore the magnificent historic sites of Old Cairo and time travel several centuries back. Also referred to as Historic Cairo, Old Cairo is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site. Located by the Nile River, this historic district is home to several ancient monuments like mosques, churches, and markets. Old Cairo portrays the rich culture and heritage of Egypt and immerses you in the various eras of Egyptian history.

Discover the charm of Old Cairo with special Cairo packages. Explore its ancient streets, mosques, and markets for a journey back in time you'll always remember.

Nestled along the banks of the Nile River, Old Cairo is a living museum. This historic district is home to several historic monuments like fortresses, mosques, churches, and markets that are several centuries old.

The Mosque of Amr ibn al-As is the first mosque built in Egypt and it dates back to the 7th century AD. The Mosque of Ibn Tulun is famous for its unique architectural design and massive courtyard. The Al-Hussein Mosque, located near the Khan El Khalili market is a sacred pilgrimage site for Shia Muslims. If you are interested in Christian heritage, you can visit the Hanging Church, the Church of St. Sergius and Bacchus, and the Church of St. Barbara. All these ancient churches offer insights into Egypt's Coptic Christian community. The Coptic Museum has a fascinating collection of artefacts, manuscripts, and religious icons from the Coptic civilization.

Old Cairo is a shopper's paradise that bustles with market scenes. Khan Al-Khalili is the primary bazaar where you can shop for metalware, precious gems and exotic spices. At the Street of the Tentmakers (Sharia Khayamiya), you can shop for Khayameya pieces, cushion covers, and table runners. While shopping at the Old Cairo markets, you can also savour delicious Egyptian street food like Fuul, Taameya, and Koshary.

Explore Cairo and other incredible Egyptian destinations with customized Egypt packages. Dive into ancient history at the pyramids, cruise the Nile, and uncover the beauty of this historic land.


• Walk through the Khan El Khalili's maze-like lanes and shop for traditional handicrafts, colourful textiles, intricate jewellery and aromatic spices.
• Visit The Mosque of ‘Amr ibn al-‘As which is the oldest surviving mosque of Egypt and soak in the tranquil ambience inside the mosque.
• Wander through the ancient walls of the Babylon Fortress, which once served as a defence for the Babylon city.
• Be amazed at the intricate beauty of the Hanging Church and marvel at the centuries-old Coptic art and architecture.
• Witness the largest collection of Coptic Christian artefacts at the Coptic Museum and appreciate the beauty of the collections.

How To Reach

Old Cairo is in the southeastern part of Cairo in Egypt. It is easily reachable via public transport, private cars, and ride-sharing systems.

By Car: Old Cairo is located 4.7 km from the city centre and it will take 10-15 minutes via the Cairo-Al Wosta/Nile Corniche route.

By Bus: The nearest bus stop to Old Cairo is Darb 178. It is easily accessible via various bus routes across Cairo. You can reach the lake by taking a quick 10-minute walk from the bus stop

By Metro: Mar Girgis station is the nearest subway station to Old Cairo. It is located 600 from Old Cairo and you reach by a short 8-minute walk.

By tuk tuk: Tuk Tuks are the most budget-friendly way to reach Old Cairo. You can easily hire autos from all parts of Cairo and reach Old Cairo in less than 45 minutes.

Nile Taxi: These boats cruise along the River Nile and offer convenient stops from Zamalek to Maadi Pier. From there, you can take a cab or tuk-tuk to enjoy a unique experience.

Best Time To Visit

Old Cairo is a year-round destination that you can visit at any time of history and immerse yourself in the rich history of Egypt.

Best Season: The cooler months from November to March are the best for visiting Old Cairo. The temperatures are milder so you can conveniently explore the outdoor sites.

Best Day: Old Cairo is open on all days. Visiting it on weekdays lets you enjoy visiting the sites and markets without the weekend crowds.

Best Time: Early mornings are ideal. During these times, the weather is pleasant and the sight of the sunrise rays painting the monuments in shades of orange, yellow and red is truly spectacular.

Other Essential Information

Tips to visit Old Cairo

1. Drink enough water and keep yourself well-hydrated.

2. Tap water in Cairo is not drinking water. Buy well-sealed mineral water bottles.

3. Wear comfortable walking shoes to walk through narrow and uneven streets.

4. Wear light-colours, loose, sweat-absorbing cotton clothes.

5. Dress modestly while maintaining social decorum while visiting religious sites.

6. Join a guided tour for a more immersive experience.

7. Stay vigilant and keep your belongings safe.

8. Keep at least 5-6 hours in hand to spend at Old Cairo.

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Point of Interest for Old Cairo
Visit the Coptic Museum

Visit the Coptic Museum

This museum in Egypt has the largest collection of Coptic Christian artefacts worldwide. It is located within the grounds of the Babylon Fortress and was built by Simaika Pash. The museum has various Coptic antiquities and artefacts like ornate manuscripts, icons, beautifully carved woodwork and frescos with religious scenes. These were collected from various older Coptic churches when they were renovated. Some of the masterpieces that you should visit here are the Icon of Saint Anthony and Saint Paul, the Ivory comb, and Three monumental keys of Monasteries.

Admire the architecture of The Hanging Church

Admire the architecture of The Hanging Church

Originally known as Saint Virgin Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church, The Hanging Church is located above the gatehouse of the Babylon Fortress. This gives it an illusion of actually hanging mid-air and hence gets the name "The Hanging Church". This Coptic Church is famous for its beautiful wooden iconostasis, intricate marble pulpit, and stunning religious artworks. The church dates back to the third century and is one of the oldest churches in Egypt.  Do not miss admiring the church's unique wooden roof which has a unique shape of Noah's ark.

Visit the oldest surviving mosque of Egypt

Visit the oldest surviving mosque of Egypt

The Mosque of ‘Amr ibn al-‘As is the oldest surviving mosque in Cairo and the whole of Egypt. The mosque was built by General ʿAmr ibn al-ʿAs, one of the early companions of Prophet Muhammed in 640 AD. The mosque has undergone several phases of destruction and renovation. The structure that stands today is a reconstruction of it from the twentieth century. You visit this historic mosque and explore its serene interiors which are adorned with beautiful calligraphy, marble columns, and ornate mihrab (prayer niche).

Explore the Ancient Walls of the Babylon Fortress

Explore the Ancient Walls of the Babylon Fortress

Also known as the Fortress of Babylon or Qasr al-Sham'a, it is an ancient fortress located in the heart of Old Cairo. It was originally built by the Persians in the 6th century BC. It stood as a key defensive outpost for centuries and guarded the eastern entrance to the city of Babylon. As it is situated on the east bank of the Nile River, it also has commanding views of the river. Most structures of the fortress like gates, watchtowers, and moats are lost due to centuries of erosion and damage. However, you can still witness some remnants of the fortress's walls and structures that offer glimpses into its former grandeur.

Shop at Khan El Khalili markets

Shop at Khan El Khalili markets

Khan El Khalili is a bustling bazaar located in the heart of Old Cairo. It has an eclectic mix of shops and stalls all through its alleyways and bustling squares. You shop for a wide range of goods like traditional handicrafts, colourful textiles, intricate jewellery, aromatic spices, and exotic souvenirs here. The market also has several food stalls selling Egyptian street food, such as falafel, koshari, and freshly squeezed juices. Throughout the day, street performers and musicians entertain crowds with lively performances.

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