Haajar Abu Ismail
If you feel like getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life in Cairo, you might find some peace of mind at some of the many gardens the city has to offer. While they’re not free, most are very affordable, and the change of scenery is definitely worth the trip.
1. Japanese Botanical Garden
The botanical garden offers a taste of the Japanese aesthetic right here in Cairo. Whether you’re taking a walk amid the greenery or beside the pink stone Buddhas, this spot is a unique and bright place to spend the day. Located in Helwan, the garden’s entry fee is only LE 5. Built in 1917 by the Egyptian architect Zulfaqar Pasha, this garden has been a favourite local hangout ever since.
Tickets: LE 5
Opening Hours: Sunday – Saturday, 9 AM – 9 PM, except on Saturdays when they close at 11 PM.
Address: Fayzi St, Helwan
2. Al-Azhar Park
This is quite possibly the most well-known garden in Cairo and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful. Al-Azhar Park, which opened in 2005, is a welcome interruption to the crowded, urban setting of Old Cairo and takes up an impressive 30-hectare expanse of greenery. The park is also constantly hosting events, so be sure to check them out and see what’s coming up next.
Tickets: LE 30 for visitors (including non-Egyptians), LE 20 for Children (4-10 years). Except on Fridays, when it is LE 5 more expensive.
Opening Hours: Sunday – Saturday, 9 AM – 10 PM.
Address: Salah Salem St, El-Darb El-Ahmar
3. Aquarium Grotto Garden
The Aquarium Grotto Garden was originally built in 1867, and over 150 years later, the garden commissioned by Khedive Ismail still stands. While it had originally only been for the noble community, it was eventually opened to the public in 1902 under the supervision of the Central Administration of Zoos. That is because aside from the quaint and rocky walk, guests can also see the aquarium filled with rare African fish. There is also a lake that is home to ducks, geese, and swans.
Tickets: LE 5 for Egyptians and LE 20 for non-Egyptians,
Opening Hours: Sunday-Saturday, 9 AM – 5:30 PM, except on Tuesdays when they close.
Address: El Gabalaya St, Al Gabalayah, Zamalek
4. Omran Garden
Dating back to 1875 and commissioned by the Khedive Ismail, the Omran Garden is one the most famous botanical gardens in Egypt. The garden is home to 100,000 kinds of rare plants, and it also began a spring flower show tradition in 1920 that lives on today.
Tickets: N/A, but more information about the garden can be found here.
Opening Hours: Sunday – Saturday, 8 AM – 3 PM, except on Fridays and Saturdays, when they close at 4 PM and 6 PM, respectively.
Address: Ahmed Zewail, Oula, Giza
5. Umm Kulthum Park
This park is both a treat and a hidden gem for Cairo residents. Founded in 1988, the park is dedicated to the iconic national singer Umm Kulthum. It’s beyond wonderful for a pleasant walk between neat flower beds or having tea while overlooking the serene Nile.
Tickets: LE 5
Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM
Address: Abdul Aziz Al Saud Street, Manial Al Rawda