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12 Must-Visit Cultural Hubs in Cairo

cairo Cultural hubs
12 Must-Visit Cultural Hubs in Cairo
written by
Cairo 360
Via Egyptian Streets

For many centuries, Cairo has been a cultural capital–not only to Egypt but the entire Middle East! To this very day, the Egyptian capital is full to the brim with cultural venues for music, film, art, and even Egyptian folk. So, in case you were looking for a more artsy night in the city, allow us to recommend these 12 cultural hubs that will remind you of why Cairo has always been a melting pot of different cultures.

1-     Room Art Space and Café

With two branches, both in the prime locations of Garden City and New Cairo, Room Art Space has various live events almost daily! From live music and stand up comedy to film screenings and more, the world’s your oyster at this space. Apart from enjoying different forms of art, you will also get a thrill out of its freshly brewed coffee. You won’t need much more for a special night?

2-     Zawya Cinema

Are you into independent films that aren’t usually in Egypt’s mainstream cinemas? If so, then Zawya is your go-to cinema. Foregoing the predictable Egyptian and international films, Zawya takes pride in screening documentaries, short films and even experimental works by rising filmmakers. You might even catch a masterclass or a discussion with Arab filmmakers.

3-     Cairo Opera House

As we all know, the Cairo Opera House has doubtlessly been the centre of cultural events in the capital for years. But, if you don’t know, it does not only host opera performances. There are many halls and theatres for all sorts of performances such as ballet, choir, orchestra, folk music, modern Egyptian dance, and much more!

4-     Darb 1718

Located in Old Cairo behind the Hanging Church and Amr Ibn El-Aas Mosque, Darb 1718 awaits you in all its glory. As a non-profit organisation, Darb 1718 is a centre for contemporary art and culture. On a regular basis, this place hosts art exhibitions, theatre, dance, concerts, and even an outdoor cinema. With the cosy, delightful ambience of Old Cairo fully enveloping the organisation, we recommend you go there for a unique experience.

5-     El-Sawy Culturewheel

Most Egyptians already know El-Sakia, AKA El-Sawy Culturewheel. Those who don’t, though, get the pleasure of discovering it for the very first time. A Zamalek staple for more than fifteen years, El Sawy Culturewheel is where you can enjoy musical performances of contemporary bands, poetry, theatre, and the unmissable puppet theatre.

6-     Townhouse Gallery

One of the most popular galleries and visual art spaces in Cairo, Townhouse Gallery is a non-profit organisation that is more than just a standard gallery. Why? Well, it has a library as well as the Rawabet Theatre. The gallery is also a space for independent performing artists of all disciplines, including artists, writers, and filmmakers on international residencies.

7-     Makan

Have you ever thought about attending a Zar just to see what it’s like, just out of pure curiosity? Well, Makan’s sole mission is to maintain the authenticity of traditional Egyptian folk music and performances like “Zar”. The art centre also has Sufi music (Mawawil), as well as Nubian and Sudanese music. In addition to all that, Makan offers a medley by talented Egyptian performers that you do not want to miss.

8-     Wekalet El-Ghouri

In the heart of Khan El-Khalili and Moez Street in Old Cairo, you’ll find Wekalet El-Ghouri, which can also be a great experience for tourists. The place is most famous for its Tanoura show, which is about two hours long and will have you full of energy for the entirety of the show.

Try to get in early to avoid the crowds.

9-     Magnolia, Leaves of Art

Situated in Zamalek, Magnolia is a cool art space with a cooler name. It offers multiple artistic and cultural activities, such as movie screenings, concerts, theatrical performances, workshops, and exhibitions. Magnolia also has a library, from which you can read valuable books for free while sipping on a drink of your choosing. Additionally, this place is generally a superb spot for working, studying, practising, or even just hanging out with friends.

10- Bardo Clubhouse

Found in Maadi, Bardo Clubhouse hosts performances and nightly bazaars, among other things. It also offers classes at all levels in movement, art, design, and multimedia. An astonishing, revamped 1940s villa, the clubhouse charges a nominal entrance fee. Once you enter, you’re free to wander freely inside and choose which activity you want to join in.

11- Gramophone

Gramphone is another unique piece in the large cultural jigsaw puzzle that is Cairo. Located in Degla, Maadi, this art space offers an impressive list of activities and has most areas of culture covered. It also has everything from yoga classes to underground electronic music performances and book discussions.

12- El-Hanager Arts Center

Occupying the grounds of Cairo Opera House, El-Hanager Arts Center has a small theatre and a coffee shop. It exhibits works of art by Egyptian and international artists. We assure you that El Hanager Arts Center will give you all you need and more, from concerts and dance performances to film screenings and even conferences.