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Islamic Cairo
Islamic Cairo

Islamic Cairo

Midan Silah ad-Din, Cairo, Egypt

The Basics

The terms “Islamic Cairo,” “Old Cairo,” and “Coptic Cairo” can seem confusing. Islamic Cairo—like Coptic Cairo—forms part of Old Cairo, although—unlike compact Coptic Cairo—it’s scattered across different districts. Mosques are a centerpiece of any visit to Islamic Cairo, from Ibn Tulun Mosque, built more than 1,000 years ago, to Alabaster Mosque, atop the Citadel. You can also enjoy fountains, ancient Islamic schools, ornate city gates, bustling markets, and more. Tours generally combine vehicle transfers with walking.

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Half Day Tour to Khan Elkhalili & Islamic Cairo
Half Day Tour to Khan Elkhalili & Islamic Cairo
star-4.5
$69.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Immersive walking tour
Our driver was very knowledgeable and courteous. He was a great conversationalist and we enjoyed learning from him. He took his time showing us around the Citadel. I would have gotten lost but he was very familiar with the navigating the maze. He also knew almost every detail and made it such an informative, spectacular day. So much to see and experience in such a short time.
Albert_O, Oct 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Cairo

star-5
Great Look at Cairo
James_S, Aug 2021
Private Islamic and Christian Cairo Day Tour
This tour delivers exactly what is described in the itinerary. My tour guide Noha Nabil was fantastic. We started the day in Coptic Cairo and saw all of the sights there (the hanging church was outstanding), then moved to the Citadel area and saw Islamic Cairo and finished up at the Khan-el-Khalili. It was all fantastic and informative. Thanks Noha!
star-5
Our driver was great. He...
Nebat_S, Jan 2022
Private Islamic and Christian Cairo Day Tour
Our driver was great. He made us very comfortable in his car. He gave us drinks and guide us through out the whole tide. Yasin is very gentle, professional, humble and down to earth. I highly recommend him.
star-5
Treated like family!
Gildardo_M, Nov 2021
Private Guided Tour around Islamic Cairo Mosques Gates & Bazaar
I can not express how great it was! Osama the driver and our tour guide Ahmed (Jackson) treated us like family the last day I actually felt sad to leave because of such great relationship. Highly recommend it very punctual, nice car, supper knowledgeable, and even great photographer, oh and great teacher! Thanks
star-5
Perfect tour
Anja_A, Nov 2021
Layover Tour To Islamic & Christian Cairo
The Driver Osama was very friendly perfect in English very polite and helpful in everything I really enjoyed the trip
star-5
cairo tour
sarah_J, Aug 2021
Day Tour To The Egyptian Museum Islamic Cairo Christian Coptic Cairo
Mina my guide is so informative , I enjoyed alot with his information like fountain of information about Egyptian history , Ahmed is the driver is always number 1 driver in Egypt, highly recommended
star-4
The Tour We Wanted
Kristine_K, Dec 2021
Half Day Tour to Khan Elkhalili & Islamic Cairo
We booked a private tour to visit the Old Islamic Cairo including the marketplace. We arrived quite late to the hotel with our group and our guide Mohamed was there waiting for us. He showed us some attractions on the way to the old district and once there, we walked around for a couple of hours or so. We also had coffee and sweet bread in the famous cafe there El Fishawi. We were impressed with the wonderful architecture and the whole atmosphere of narrow, bustling streets with crazy traffic and friendly people. Our guide was cooperative and helpful and got us back to our hotel in good time.
star-5
Don’t miss Islamic Cairo
adamour856, Feb 2020
Private Guided Tour around Islamic Cairo Mosques Gates & Bazaar
Essam’s knowledge of the history of Cairo - in this case Islamic Cairo - and his enthusiasm to share that knowledge made this a wonderful and highly recommended tour. I came back to Cairo to see and learn more about the city other than ancient Egypt and pyramids. And this tour was exactly what I hoped for. Plus I had my first taste of Egyptian koshari.
star-5
Hala at Egypt Tours delivers!
maryallard6, Feb 2020
Private Tour To El-Moez Street, Cairo Tower & El-Fishawy Café
Hala is the best guide. Not knowing much about Cairo and it's famous sights, Hala introduced me to Cairo with enthusiasm and information. She is a caring guide and I felt she was a friend. Really nice to have a fun and inspired female guide to show me around. We sampled coffee at a very unique coffee place in Islamic Cairo as well as the famous macaroni dish!. I learned a lot. Thank you, Hala!
star-5
Visit the Egyptian museum with a guide to optimize your time!
Mahsima_M, Nov 2021
Day Tour To The Egyptian Museum Islamic Cairo Christian Coptic Cairo
On my last day in Cairo, I decided to visit the Egyptian museum with a knowledgeable guide. I booked this tour and met my guide Ehab and the driver Ahmed in front of the hotel. Ehab was very well-informed about the artifacts at the museum, as well as the Egyptian history and archeological discoveries. I was trilled to see the archeologists at work in the museum, repairing and cleaning the ancient tombs and artifacts, alongside the visitors. Afterward we visited the Christian Coptic neighborhood which was a gem by itself. We also passed by various muslim establishments and historical sites in Cairo. I highly recommend having a guide to visit the Egyptian museum to optimize your time!
star-5
Informative tour
Jon_H, Jul 2021
Half Day Tour to Khan Elkhalili & Islamic Cairo
Muhammad was very friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful throughout our tour with him. We learned a lot!
star-5
awesome lesson and experience!!!
PatriciaStrasser, Jun 2021
Cairo day tour to Egyptian Museum Citadel and Old Cairo
awesome experience w ayman and soulean. we covered a lot of history and it was a very pleasant tour. we even stopped by papyrus factory which was the cherry on top. very complete tour even in the heat. they really take care of you and go with your pace. i very much recommend this. it will immediately submerge u in the culture! a must!
star-4
Good day in the citadel
Ricardo_P, Aug 2021
Private Islamic and Christian Cairo Day Tour
Moussalem, the guide, was very professional and amiable. Thank you. The tour was very good. It proposed 8 to 10 hours, but we finished at 17:00, so this should be corrected in the “ what to expect “ section. We did not go to Khan al Khalili, either, as indicated. The other parts ( citadel and nearby mosques, and Coptic Cairo) we’re impeccable. We liked it very much. Lunch was fine and adequate.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Islamic Cairo is a must for architecture fans and anyone with an interest in Islamic art.

  • Women, particularly solo travelers, will feel more comfortable in Cairo wearing loose clothing that cover shoulders, arms, and legs. Modest gear is essential when visiting mosques.

  • Islamic Cairo is a challenging destination for travelers who rely on wheelchairs, but some sites do have ramps and road access.

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How to Get There

Cairo developed from a number of different cities, so Islamic Cairo’s sights are scattered over a large area. The walled city at the core of Islamic Cairo is best reached from Bab El Shaariya metro station (Line 1), but to see the highlights of the different areas in a day you need to take a tour or book a driver.

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When to Get There

Most mosques are closed for part or all of Friday for Friday prayers, making it a bad day to visit. Be aware that Islamic Cairo can be hectic on Saturdays. Most sights are open until mid-afternoon, but the area can be fascinating after dark.

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Things to Do in Islamic Cairo That Aren’t Mosques

There’s more to Islamic Cairo than mosques. Soak up the atmosphere in the warren of shops and stalls that make up the historic Khan Al-Khalili bazaar; catch a whirling dervish performance in Wekalet El Ghouri Arts Center, a 16th-century inn; sip cardamom coffee or sweet tea in El Fishawi, a heritage cafe; or snap photos on the historic street known as Sharia Al Mu'izz Li-Din Allah.

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