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Al-Rifai Mosque (Masjid Al-Rifa'i)
Al-Rifai Mosque (Masjid Al-Rifa'i)

Al-Rifai Mosque (Masjid Al-Rifa'i)

El-Refaey, El-Darb El-Ahmar, Cairo, Egypt

The Basics

Enter the Al-Rifai Mosque on a combined ticket with the Sultan Hassan Mosque, opposite: Al-Rifai was designed to complement the older mosque, and the two feel very much of a pair. Just outside the walls of Cairo’s old citadel, the Al-Rifai Mosque is often visited as part of a tour of Islamic Cairo, including the Citadel, the Alabaster Mosque, and perhaps also the Mosque of Ibn Tulun. A few day tours combine Islamic Cairo and Coptic Cairo, adding in sights such as the Hanging Church, the Ben Ezra Synagogue, and the Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Al-Rifai Mosque and Sultan Hassan Mosque are a must-visit for fans of Islamic architecture.

  • Dress modestly when visiting Islamic religious sites, covering shoulders, upper arms, and legs.

  • As always when visiting a mosque, women will need to cover their hair, while everyone will need to remove shoes.

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How to Get There

The Al-Rifai Mosque and Sultan Hassan Mosque stand on Midan Al-Qala’a, just north of the Bab Al-Azab gate to the Citadel of Saladin. A number of buses run from Midan Abdel Moniem Riad bus station, behind the Egyptian Museum on Tahrir Square, but you’ll need Arabic-language skills to use them.

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When to Get There

The Al-Rifai Mosque is open from morning to afternoon from Saturday to Thursday; on Fridays, it closes for prayers from midmorning. It’s a popular attraction for Cairenes and Muslim visitors to Egypt, so it’s worth visiting outside the Islamic weekend (Friday to Saturday).

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The Top Mosques in Cairo

Historic Cairo has been recognized with UNESCO World Heritage status for its grand Islamic architecture. Besides Al-Rifai Mosque and the Sultan Hassan Mosque, don’t miss the 9th-century Mosque of Ibn Tulun, the 10th-century Al-Azhar Mosque, the 15th-century Qait Bey Madrassa, the 13th-century Qalawun complex, and the 10,000-capacity Alabaster Mosque.

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