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Metro-Trip: Exploring Cairo Through 12 Stations

Al Ahram Bab El Shaaria cairo egypt El Attaba El Shohada Maadi Mar Girgis Metro Stations Metro Trip Mohamed Naguib Opera Orabi Saad Zaghloul Sadat Sayeda Zainab
Metro-Trip: Exploring Cairo Through 12 Stations
written by
Nada Medhat

If you’ve ever stepped a foot inside Cairo, then you know road-tripping, or simply driving for the sake of touring the city, is a difficult option because Cairo is busy, really busy! But the true pounding artery of the town actually lies in its Metro. Cairo’s Metro carries around four million passengers daily, and going through it is truly an adventure. It can be a very useful—and affordable—tool to tour the city. With 74 stations, there is very little of Cairo you can’t reach with the Metro, and there’s definitely more to see than what meets the eye. Of course, you don’t have to go through all 74 stations to see the city thoroughly. Through the 12 we’ve picked for you, you’re surely meant to experience the most of what Cairo has to offer, in a way like never before!

Book your tickets and come along!

Sayeda Zainab

El Sayeda Zeinab station lies on the first line (Helwan-El New Marg). Both the station and the neighbourhood are named after the central mosque of the area, Al-Sayeda Zainab mosque. This, in turn, is named in honour of the prophet’s granddaughter, whose grave the mosque is believed to have been built on top of. Sayeda Zainab square brims with the lovely pulsating chaos native to Cairo, contrasting strikingly with the spiritual peace and quiet inside the mosque. In the square, you can find tons of restaurants that serve Egyptian cuisine, especially during Ramadan, when the place is packed with people during the iftar and suhoor. Make sure to visit during that time! While there, you can take a short walk to the Saladin Citadel. 


Next on our trip is El-Sadat Station which leads up to one of Cairo’s most important areas: El-Tahrir Square. The square itself, whose name translates to ‘Liberation’, is a site of major historical value in Cairo. It has acted as the central square throughout the 20th century and has borne many of Egypt’s most important protests and revolutions in its modern history. It’s also where the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities is located. You can walk through the square, travel through the fascinating history of Egypt in the museum, then rest and have a homemade Egyptian meal at Fasahet Somaya.


El-Opera station is quite special on this list, not just because of what you can see around it, but also for what you can see inside the station itself! Beautiful murals cover the walls that range from imitations of Ancient Egyptian pieces to the solar system. Once you’re out, you can buy a ticket for one of Cairo Opera House shows, but If you’re more in the mood for a theatrical piece, you can stop by El-Hanager Theatre. 


El-Shohada Station carries you to some of Cairo’s most well-hidden gems that lack the attention they deserve! One of which is Cairo’s Railway museum, a museum that is unique both in the Arab region and the world. It was first opened in the early 1930s and documents the development and evolution of Egypt’s transportation system!


Like El-Sadat and El-Shohada stations, El-Attaba is one of the most crowded, but if you can bear through it, you’ll be most rewarded once you get outside! You can even consider the crowd its own experience if you’re particularly adventurous and tolerant! You can go to the National Theatre for a spontaneous play or enjoy the unique experience of Cairo Puppet Theatre, the largest in the Arab World. To complete the artistic endeavour, you should also pass by the El-Azbakeya wall for used books, where you’re sure to find a gem or two.


Ahmed Oraby’s Station is next on our list, and for a good reason! Through this station, you can go to Al-Hosabir Theatre, where an exciting cultural activity is always taking place. If you’re a little tired of theatres by now, we understand! You can go for a calming walk on Emad El-deen street. It’s one of the oldest streets of Cairo that carries the “Golden Age” of Egypt’s entertainment industries. Here, you won’t just walk through space, you’ll walk through time too. You can enjoy your night watching a movie in one of Cairo’s oldest operating movie theatres, The Diana Cinema, or just stand outside and admire the beauty of its architecture, among the other buildings in the street.

Mar Girgis

Mar Girgis Station leads up to one of Cairo’s most well-known spots: Mogamaa El-Adyan Complex. If somehow you’ve not been there yet, then you absolutely must. This complex is a living portrait of Egypt’s fascinating interfaith history, one where the best Islamic, Coptic, and Jewish architecture form a brilliant mosaic. This station is reminiscent of Coptic Cairo, which still holds the remnants of the Babylon Fortress, and some of the most fascinating churches in the world, like The Hanging Church. Other than religious tourism, through Mar Girgis Station, you can also head to El Fokhar Village, where you can see the art of pottery making and even buy yourself a souvenir before you head home!

Mohamed Naguib

Now is about time to stop for a good meal, isn’t it? And what’s better than one of Cairo’s best seafood spots! Fish n’ Chips is waiting for you there, where you won’t just have a wonderful and fulfilling meal, but also a colourful and artistic experience. The exterior is covered in colour and flowers, and the interior is covered with dozens of paintings and pictures of Egypt’s old-time stars. Once you’re full, you can take a walk through our own Wall Street: El Borsa St., and visit Abdeen Palace when you’re done. 

Bab El-Shaaria

This newly designed station has become a sight of its own! The interior’s walls are brightly and beautifully painted, with texts narrating the station and neighbourhood’s history and folklore. Once you’re done with your metro trip, you have yet another mesmerising sight waiting for you outside! A short walk, and you’ll find yourself in El-Muizz Street, one of Cairo’s oldest and most historically rich thoroughfares. Among the incredible buildings that adorn the street, there is one notable complex you should give more attention to. The Sultan Al-Ghuri Complex is a beautiful religious and funerary complex with a remarkable layout as a double architectural composition with the two parts facing each other. And like most things in Cairo, it has a history so rich you won’t know where to start! It’s normal to be dazzled afterwards, but worry not, because Cairo’s oldest cafe will be waiting for you with a refreshing finjan of coffee at El-Fishawy Cafe.


Totally different from the lovely hustle and bustle of Al-Muizz are the streets of Maadi. Instead of a cluster of historical buildings, here the roads are dominated with greenery, fresher air, and quieter streets; all great qualities for a relaxing walk! Then, of course, there is Maadi’s famous 9 street, where you’re bound to find a branch of all the restaurants and cafes you can imagine. You can remain full for days by taking just a single bite from every restaurant in this street. 

Saad Zaghloul

This station is named after the revolutionary man who has left even a larger mark on the entire area. First, you can see the Saad Zaghloul Mausoleum, built in 1927 to commemorate him in a design that evokes pharaonic temples. Near the Mausoleum is the house he once lived in, which has transformed into a museum called “Beit El-Umma”, translated to House of the Nation. At the entrance, there is a bronze statue of Saad Zaghloul, and inside, the carefully preserved interior will take you along on a journey through time to Egypt’s political elite life at the beginning of the 20th century. Once you’ve seen the house/museum, you can go to the central cultural centre of the area that also carries his name, where all different sorts of activities take place. 


Last but not least is Al-Ahram station, which leads up to one of Cairo’s ultimate favourite districts, Heliopolis. A walk through El-Korba is a trip on its own! The area is remarkable for its unique architectural style, known as the Heliopolis style, which is a merge of Mediaeval Egyptian Revival, Moorish Revival, Persian Revival, and European Neoclassical architecture styles. You can also pass by Cairo’s most stunning churches: Basilique Notre Dame d’Heliopolis. Finally, after long hours of walking, you deserve a good cup of coffee in Cairo’s most famous local-style café, Aswan Cafe.