Top 10 Free Attractions in Cairo

Bab al-Futuh, Bab Zuwayla and Bab al-Nasr – These are the gates of the Old City of Cairo, built in the 11th century. They are free to visit, but also mesmerizing in their beauty.

Bab Zuwayla-01 via flickr by Asim Bharwani licensed CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Sufi performances in Wakalat El-Ghouri – In this cultural institution which was once a merchant’s center, you can visit an art studio, and on Wednesdays and Saturdays there are free Sufi performances.

The City of the Dead (El-Arafa cemetery) – The cemetery dates from the 7th century AD, and today it is home to millions of homeless people. Some family mausoleums have been turned into houses.

El-Arafa cemetery-03 via wikimedia by Bertramz (Own work) licensed CC-BY-SA-3.0

Mansheiyet Nasser and St. Simon Cathedral – Both of them are part of the monastery complex of St. Simon, with 7 churches and chapels carved in caves.

Panoramic view of the city from the citadel – This complex was built by Saladin in the 12th century. The walls, the palaces and the mosques provide a beautiful view of Cairo.

 

Aqsunqur Mosque (Blue Mosque) – Dating from the 14th century, this is one of the most visited mosques in Cairo. Only Muslims and respectably clothed can enter.

 

The City Gallery – This cultural center is devoted to film, music, theater and visual arts. It was acclaimed as one of the biggest private galleries on the Middle East.

Khan el-Khalili Bazaar – This very picturesque bazaar will amaze you with its impressive Fatimid architecture, such as the Al-Hussein mosque dating from the 10th century.

Khan_el_khalili-08 via wikimedia by Joelsuganth (Own work) licensed CC-BY-SA-3.0

Observation of the vibrant local life in the city squares – You can have a seat at one of the many cafes and you have an all-day entertainment unfolding in front of your eyes. The crowds here will never bore you. The best places to go are Talaat Harb Street, Tahrir Square, and Talaat Harb Square.

Al-Muallaqah Chruch – This Coptic church is known as the ‘hanging church’. It was finished in the 7th century and features impressive icons.

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