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

Sights & Travel

Cairo on a Budget: Ten Ways to Have Fun For Free!

Cairo on a Budget: Ten Ways to Have Fun For Free!
    written by
    Aleksandra Sekinger

    The only thing better than having fun is having fun
    for free! If you’re low on cash but looking for a good time; fret not. As long
    as you’ve got some time to spare, we’ve got ten ways to maximize your fun
    intake, absolutely free of charge.

    More information on all of the events listed at
    various events below can be accessed at Cairo 360’s events page.

    1. Live Music & Performing Arts: Calling all theatre geeks and music
    junkies,
    Rawabet Space for
    Performing Arts
    offers free art and music performances every week. Located
    right next door to Townhouse’s gift shop, Rawabet regularly hosts concerts by
    local talents like Ana Masry and theatre groups like El Talata.

    2. Sufi Dancing: Experience
    the rush of whirling dervishes against the backdrop of traditional live music.
    Every Wednesday and Saturday, there is a free performance of Sufi Dancers at Wikalet
    Al Ghouri
    . The fantastic hour-long
    show set in a medieval hotel for traders will not disappoint. The show starts
    at 8PM, but get there early to get a good seat. Wikalet Al Ghouri is located on
    the street directly behind Al Hussein Mosque close to Khan El Khalili.

    3. Cairo Walking Group: Since 2008, guide extraordinaire Muhammed Farag has led
    free walking tours all over Cairo.
    Walks begin on Friday mornings at 9AM in Tahrir Square. Previous walks have
    brought participants to the Citadel, Coptic Cairo, the Giza Zoo and Imbaba. It’s
    a great way to explore our labyrinth of a city and get some exercise in too.
    Find out more on the Cairo Walking Group’s Facebook page.

    4. Art Exhibits & Installations:There are several places to enjoy free art exhibits
    and installations. Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art
    and Darb 1718 have regular art
    exhibits and entrance is free. Expect everything from photography exhibits to
    installations and paintings.

    5. Cairo’s Historic Markets: Cairo is full of fascinating historical markets that
    are dying to be explored. Afternoons can be spent browsing through the
    tentmaker’s market, the carpet market in
    Islamic Cairo or even Mohamed Ali
    Street; where you can find traditional instrument
    makers. It’s the perfect weekend activity for someone that appreciates Cairo’s artisan legacy.

    6. Lectures & Film Screenings: There are lectures and film screenings nearly every
    day in Cairo. Cairo’s
    independent art spaces and culture centres always have something going on,
    especially at Darb 1718, the French Cultural Centre and the
    Italian Cultural Institute. Count on
    Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art and the Contemporary Image Collective to
    deliver up some interesting artist lectures and the occasional obscure film
    screenings.

    7. Friday Market: Every Friday morning, there is a circus-like open
    market on the Autostrad freeway (near the City of the Dead towards the Citadel)
    that draws tens of thousands of Cairo’s bargain-loving folk. People both buy
    and sell all sorts of junk, tools, antiques and pets. There is also the
    occasional street performer, including magicians swallowing fire, eating glass
    and performing card tricks. It’s a great place for a curious visitor or for a
    photographer looking for an interesting subject. Located under Al Tonsy
    flyover, the market sits between the Southern Cemeteries and the Khalifa
    district. The market starts bright and early, and gets packed quickly; so plan
    to be there by 8AM. Also, make sure you go with a group and dress
    conservatively; the area is pretty rough.

    8. SAWA Workshops: Townhouse’s Factory Space holds a free SAWA workshop
    every Saturday at 2PM for established artists and amateurs alike. It’s a great
    place to learn and develop artistic skills, such as using acrylic paint and
    pencils. Occasionally, there are other materials available like flexible wire,
    yarn and charcoal.

    9. Gallery Hopping in Zamalek: Off Brazil Street in Zamalek, there are a few lovely
    gallery spots that could occupy an entire afternoon. Start at the beginning of Brazil Street after
    the intersection with 26th of July Street, and Safar Khan Gallery is on the left. A small walk up the street towards Sequoia
    and you’ll find the Zamalek Art Gallery.
    And after another ten minutes, Lot 17
    will be on the right. All three galleries specialise in contemporary Egyptian
    art, and they’re usually full of colourful paintings. The Loft Gallery is also close to the beginning of Brazil Street and features several lovely
    modern and antique furniture pieces and home accessories.

    10. Cairo’s
    Religious Sanctuaries
    : Why not take advantage of Cairo’s centuries of captivating religious
    history by giving the following religious landmarks a visit? The Hanging Church, the Ibn Tulun Mosque in Sayeda
    Zeinab and the Ben Ezra Synagogue in the (Coptic part of Old Cairo) are great
    places to start with. These ancient places of worship date way back to what? The Ben
    Ezra Synagogue was originally built as a Church in the sixth century, while the
    Hanging Church is located inside a Roman
    fortress in Old Cairo. So reclaim a bit of Cairo’s legendary history and get
    inspired by centuries of art and worship.

    recommended