Old Cairo (Misr Al-Qadima)
Old Cairo will attract visitors wanting to immerse themselves in the city’s classical and medieval history. At its core is the complex of Coptic Cairo, whose sites include the Hanging Church, Ben Ezra Synagogue, Abu Serga Church and the Coptic Museum, and Roman fortress.
Many Cairo city tours concentrate solely on the Coptic quarter, sometimes teaming it with outlying Christian sites such the Cave Church at Mokattam. Most focus on landmarks such as the Hanging Church, Abu Serga, and Ben Ezra, Cairo’s oldest synagogue. To see Old Cairo and widen your net further on the same day, pick a tour that also covers Islamic Cairo’s sights, such as the Citadel and Khan El-Khalili bazaar, or modern Cairo’s Tahrir Square. Other options include Old Cairo tours that add a visit to the Egyptian Museum or a Nile dinner cruise.
Recent reviews from experiences in Cairo
Things to Know Before You Go
Old Cairo is a must-see for history and culture buffs and first-time visitors to Cairo.
Choose to go on a tour with a guide to help you navigate and cover the must-sees.
Wear comfortable shoes suitable for lots of steps and uneven surfaces.
Wear sunscreen: Some of the sights are outdoors and unshaded.
How to Get There
Old Cairo is located in the southeastern part of town and is best reached by cab or on a tour that provides transport between the sights. Alternatively, take the metro to the Mar Girgis stop, just across the road from the Hanging Church and Coptic Museum.
When to Get There
Old Cairo is perfect for exploring year-round, although it’s wise to visit early for the cooler morning temperatures—the sites are generally open from morning to afternoon, with some open from early morning. While the area is less hectic than other parts of the city, going early will also help beat any buildup of crowds.
Things Not to Miss in Old Cairo
Coptic Cairo’s sights lie close to each other, inside what was once the Roman fortress of Babylon and framed by palm-dotted walkways. This means you can hop between them with ease, seeing everything from the Hanging Church—named for being built atop the fortress—Abu Serga, the Coptic Museum, and the Ben Ezra Synagogue back-to-back.
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- Church of St. Barbara
- Ben Ezra Synagogue
- Coptic Museum
- Hanging Church (Al-Muallaqa)
- Church of St. George (Mar Girgis)
- Babylon Fortress
- Mosque of Amr ibn Al-As
- Abu Serga (Church of St. Sergius and Bacchus)
- Pharaonic Village
- Ibn Tulun Mosque
- Gayer-Anderson Museum
- Islamic Cairo
- Sultan Hassan Mosque and Madrassa
- Al-Rifai Mosque (Masjid Al-Rifa'i)
- Alabaster Mosque (Mosque of Muhammad Ali)