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What to see in Zamalek, the chic neighborhood of Cairo

Zamalek is one of Cairo’s trendiest neighborhoods and its atmosphere is one of the most chic in the Egyptian capital. In this post we tell you where it is, what to see and what to do here, because it is an area with its own personality and very different from the rest of the city.

Where is Zamalek

One of the attractions of Zamalek is precisely its location: on the island of Gezira, situated in the Nile River. the Nile River . This island, elongated in a north-south direction, is actually composed of two areas: the northern half, for the Zamalek neighborhood, and the southern half, for the Gezira neighborhood.

The neighborhood of Zamalek has its origins in the 19th century, when Mehmet Ali, then Egyptian wali, built a residence here, in what was then a practically uninhabited area. Subsequently, the place was urbanized with modern urban concepts, as can be sensed during a walk through the neighborhood: straight avenues and regular blocks, where the wealthier classes and important institutions, such as embassies, were established.

The Gezira neighborhood, on the other hand, has larger spaces, with green areas and large cultural venues. However, because of their proximity, the attractions of Gezira can form a good complement to a tour of Zamalek.

What to see in Zamalek (and Gezira)

Zamalek can be said to have two souls: one by day and one by night. The daytime soul will please art and culture lovers, as here you will find some interesting museums such as:

  • Museum of Modern Egyptian Art, where the main works of local artists of the 20th century are exhibited.
  • Museum of Islamic Ceramics, with a rich collection of pieces from Muslim civilizations of different countries and periods, such as Al-Andalus. It is located in an elegant palace, Prince Ibrahim’s palace.
  • Private art galleries, of interest to collectors: Zamalek Art Gallery and Picasso Gallery are among the most outstanding.
  • Mahmoud Mokhtar Museum, with works by the most renowned Egyptian sculptor in the country in recent years.

In addition, here are located the Corniche Gardens, a pleasant riverside promenade to enjoy after such visits the Cairo skyline, on the banks of the Nile.

What to do in Zamalek (and Gezira)

When night falls, Zamalek shows its other soul, that of leisure, which here is also marked by culture, but also by gastronomy. In this sense, one of the favorite plans for the wealthy classes and premium tourists is to attend a performance at the Cairo Opera House, located south of the island.

In Zamalek, the variety of restaurants is particularly wide, many of them with international cuisine, in spacious and modern premises, with above-average standards of service.

But if what you are looking for is a plan of height, with dinner included, nothing better than going to the revolving restaurant located in the Cairo Tower, the tallest skyscraper in the city and, therefore, the most visible building on the island of Gezira. This tower, nearly 180 meters high, became the roof of the capital after its inauguration in 1961. Its design evokes a lotus flower at the top, while the ‘skin’ that surrounds the construction reminds us of the latticework so popular in Islamic culture, always very concerned with privacy.

As you can see, there is no shortage of plans in Zamalek and Gezira Island in general, both day and night. So if you want to organize an unforgettable day in this area of Cairo, you can put yourself in our hands: we will take care of booking restaurants, experiences and transportation so you can enjoy this trendy neighborhood in the Egyptian capital.

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