Cairo Day Out
Photography by Ahmed Salah &Manal Abdel Rehim
Our tour of central Cairo began at the Cairo Tower in the heart of Zamalek. Standing at 187 meters high, the Tower is flanked by the Cairo Opera House, the Egyptian Museum, Tahrir Square, as well as several small gardens.
A short pedestrian excursion over Qasr El Nil Bridge, while enjoying more Nile views, led us to Tahrir Square. Originally designed to mimic the streets of Paris, Downtown has a unique architecture unlike anywhere else in Egypt. We took a walk through the historically rich area, taking in the sights of the buildings, the shop windows, and the traditional cafés. Also worth taking pause at Downtown is the revolution graffiti that bred a new art movement in the area.
While on your Downtown tour, why not take in a play at the famous Miami Theatre, followed by a tea at Café Riche, a historical landmark tied to the 1919 Revolution and the 1952 Revolution. There you will find posters of Um Kulthoum’s first vocal performances as a teenage girl, as well as many antiques and artifacts in the museum-like basement bar. You just have to ask for permission to descend.
Other historical landmarks include ice-cream parlor and café Groppi in TalaatHarb Square, as well as Al Amrecan café on TalaatHarb Street.
Other activities you can enjoy are a carriage ride around the island of Zamalek, or have a lunch-with-a-view on one of the many Nile boats as well.
Iconic Downtown Spots
- Estoril Restaurant
12 TalaatHarb St., Downtown. ( Located in an alleyway between TalaatHarb Street and Kasr El Nil)
- Café Riche
This narrow restaurant, allegedly the oldest in Cairo, was the favoured drinking spot of the intelligentsia. A certain old guard still sits under the ceiling fans, along with tourists who like the historic ambience.
17 TalaatHarb St., Downtown.
29 Sherif St. Downtown
Steeped in tradition, Simonds Bakery & Cafe has been serving the Cairene community with the highest-quality baked goods, French and Oriental pastries and coffee since 1898.
- Windsor Hotel
19 AlfiBeyStreet, Downtown.
Located in the heart of Cairo’s shopping, business and theater districts, the hotel is within walking distance of some of the city’s most celebrated attractions. The Windsor is also a venerable Cairo institution and boasts a rich history and warm hospitality.