The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

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13 Must-Visit Historical Spots in Cairo

cairo Historical spots history museums
13 Must-Visit Historical Spots in Cairo
written by
Daniel William

With Cairo being one of the world’s greatest and oldest cities, very few can compete when it comes to historical sightseeing. In addition, it is known for hosting a collection of beautiful historical landmarks scattered all around its streets. With that said, dive into Egypt’s long and rich history by visiting as many of these thirteen historical spots as you possibly can. 

1. The Egyptian Museum

Dating back to 1902, The Egyptian Museum is one of the largest museums in the region. It holds the greatest collection of Pharaonic antiquities, alongside a wide array of Greek, Roman, and Islamic coins and papyri traced back to ancient times. In addition, the museum is home to the majestic statues of the great kings Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, the builders of the pyramids at the Giza plateau. You’ll also find the two cedar wood, gold-covered statues of King Tutankhamun there.   

Location: Downtown Cairo, near Midan Al Tahrir 

Working Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM (every day)  

Entry Fee 

Egyptians & Arabs: 30 EGP/adult and 10 EGP/student 

Foreigners: 200 EGP/adult and 100 EGP/student  

2. Coptic Museum

Established in 1910 by Marcus Simaika, an Egyptian Coptic leader, it spans over 8000 square metres. The Coptic Museum houses the world’s largest-ever collection of Coptic antiquities with over 15 thousand artefacts, ranging from manuscripts, mosaics, wood, metal, mashrabiya screens, stones, and textiles originating from Ottoman, Roman, Egyptian, Byzantine, and Greek eras. You can also visit the six ancient Coptic churches that are scattered around the museum.  

Location: Kom Gorab, Old Cairo 

Working Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM (every day 

Entry Fee:  

Egyptians & Arabs: 20 EGP/adult and 10 EGP/student 

Foreigners: 100 EGP/adult and 50 EGP/student  


3. Museum of Islamic Art


Cairo’s Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) is the world’s largest museum specialising in Islamic Art. Inaugurated in 1903 by Khedive Abbas Helmi, it houses around 100 unique artefacts from across the world, including India, China, Iran, the Arabian Peninsula, the Levant, North Africa, Andalusia, and of course, Egypt. The coverage of Islamic art throughout different ages and civilisations makes this museum a testament to the religion’s impact.  


 Location: Bab Al- Khalq in the heart of Historic Cairo 

Working Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM on Saturdays-Thursdays, and from 9 AM – 11:30 PM and again from 1:30 PM to 5 PM on Fridays  

Entry Fee:  

Egyptians: 20 EGP/Adult and 10 EGP/Student 

Foreigners:120 EGP/Adult and 60EGP/ Student 


4. Hanging Church

Noticeably the oldest standing church in Cairo and arguably the first to be built in the Basilican style, the Hanging Church is also one of the nation’s most famous churches. The church derives its name from being suspended above two Roman gate towers in the ancient fortress of Babylon in Old Cairo. 


Location: Kom Ghorab, Old Cairo 

Working Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM while Coptic Mass is held from 8 AM – 11 AM on Wednesdays and Fridays and from 9 AM – 11 AM on Sundays  

Entry Fee: Free 


5. Saint Samaan the Tanner Monastery

Close to the Zabaleen village, where garbage collectors of Cairo live, lies Virgin Mary and St. Samaan the Tanner Cathedral inside the monastery. The story of Egypt’s largest church dates back to 1969 when the governor decided to move all garbage collectors to Al Mokattam. The mainly Coptic community then began establishing the church in the 1970s.  


Location: Al Abageyah, Al Khalifa 

Working Hours: 7 AM – 8 PM (every day) 

Entry Fee: Free  


6. Mosque of Muhammad Ali

It was built in an Ottoman style between 1824 and 1857 by Muhammad Ali Pasha. Due to its white stone, it’s nicknamed the Alabaster Mosque. It is advised to dress modestly when visiting.  


Location: Cairo Citadel 

Working Hours: 8 AM – 5 PM (every day) 

Entry Fee: Free 


7. Mosque of Ibn Tulun

One of the oldest mosques in Egypt and the whole of Africa surviving in its original form, it is also the largest mosque in Cairo in terms of land area. Its architectural design allows the natural sunlight to reach all its corners, especially with its arched interior windows allowing light to pass through against the hollow dome.  


Location: Ahmed Ibn Tulun Sq, Al Sayeda Zeinab 

Working Hours: 8 AM – 4:30 PM (every day) 

Entry Fee: Free 


8. Ben Ezra Synagogue

Near the spot where baby Moses is said to have been found lies the oldest Jewish temple in Egypt. According to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, it was an Orthodox Church in the 8th century before being sold to the Jews of Egypt.  


Location: Kom Ghorab, Old Cairo 

Working Hours: 9 AM – 4:30 PM (every day) 

Entry Fee: Free  


9. Manial Palace and Museum

Prince Muhammad Ali built this enormous museum and palace in the early 20th century. This astonishing piece of architectural fascination holds a mix of European Art Nouveau, Rococo, and traditional Islamic variants like Ottoman, Persian, and Moorish, with oil paintings covering the walls, and chandeliers dangling from carved ceilings.  

Location: Al Saraya, Old Cairo 

Working Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM (every day) 

Entry Fee:  

Foreigners: 100 EGP/ adult and 50 EGP/student 

Egyptians & Arabs: 20 EGP/adult and 5 EGP/student 


10. Abdeen Palace

What was once the home of Egypt’s last Khedive is now a museum showcasing a variety of tapestries, portraits, and gifts given to presidents by visiting dignitaries.  

Location: Al Gomhoreya St, Downtown 

Working Hours: 9 AM – 3 PM every day except Fridays 

Entry Fee:  

Egyptians: 20 EGP/ adult and 10 EGP/ student 

Foreigners: 100 EGP/ adult and 50 EGP/ student 


11. Khan Al Khalili

Located in the centre of Islamic Cairo is one of the busiest districts you might come across. Its local market has something for everyone. You will come across anything you might be looking for, from fashion to souvenirs and furniture! 

Location: Al Gamaleya 

Working Hours: 9:30 AM – 11 PM (every day) 

Entry Fee: Free 


12. Bayt Al Suhaymi

In a district of architecturally decorative buildings lies a house in a small alley with a beautiful wooden interior engraved in Arabic calligraphy and wooden panels. On special occasions, concerts are held there, so entertainment is guaranteed. 

Location: Al Moez St. 

Working Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM (every day) 

Entry Fee:  

Egyptians: 10 EGP/adult and 5 EGP/student 

Foreigners: 80 EGP/ adult and 40 EGP/ student 


13. Pyramids of Giza

Arguably not in Cairo, but the mere fact that it’s one of the seven wonders of the world makes it worthy of mentioning either way. This must-visit attraction has been wowing visitors for centuries with its breathtaking scenery.  

Location: Al Haram St, Giza 

Working Hours: 7 AM – 5 PM (every day) 

Entry Fee:  

Egyptians & Arabs:  60 EGP/adult and 30 EGP/student 

Foreigners: 240 EGP/ adult and 120 EGP/ student 

(This ticket does not cover the Great Pyramid, Pyramid of Khafre, Pyramid of Menkaure, Tomb of Meresankh III, or Worker’s Cemetery.)