Islamic Cairo walking tour

Islamic Cairo walking tour – STT110

Cairo’s streets are renowned for their traffic and parking chaos. So beat the traffic blues and take a walking tour to see the sights of World Heritage listed old Islamic Cairo up close and personal, and at a leisurely pace. We have mapped out a comfortable day full of interest for you walking with your guide. We’ve allowed time for a fresh juice or a coffee along the way with a visit to a famous café or two, a bit of shopping and lunch at a local kosheri.

Pedestrian street in Islamic Cairo

Now a pedestrian street, El Muizz is a fabulous place for a walking tour.


Around ten centuries ago El Mui’zz li Din Allah was the principal street in Cairo. It is named after the Fatimid ruler who conquered Cairo in 969 AD. El Mui’zz Street was the main road through the city in this period when people would access the city through Bab Zuweila in the south and through Bab El Futuh in the north. Over the centuries many buildings have been constructed on this street and of course, it is no longer a central street in Cairo. It is very narrow and one of the city’s most historical streets; indeed it is Cairo’s largest open-air museum of Islamic and medieval monuments and buildings.

Muizz Street in Islamic Cairo

El Muizz Street in Islamic Cairo is one of the oldest streets in the city, approximately one kilometer long. A United Nations study found it to have the greatest concentration of medieval architectural treasures in the Islamic world. The street (shariʻa in Arabic) is named for Al-Muʿizz li-Deen Illah, the fourth caliph of the Fatimid dynasty.


On your walking tour from one gate to the other you will see so many fabulous buildings and sites. You will begin at Bab Zuweila and then next door see the Mosque of Sultan Mu’ayyad, which was built in 1415. There’s an excellent view of the city from the minaret of this mosque. You’ll pass through the Wakala of Ghuri, which is a large market that mainly specializes in products made of cloth with many shops that sell colourful pieces of cloth of different materials. This is in addition to the traditional souvenir and gift shops. You will also see the Wekalet el Ghouri which is now a cultural centre but is one of the last 17th century wekalet (or caravanseri) in Cairo. You’ll see the Mosque of Al Azhar, on the other side of the street there is the Saydena El Hussein Mosque. It was built in 1870 and it replaced another mosque of the 12th century. Next to it is Khan il Khalili bazaar, Al Sagha, which means ‘the gold sellers’, bazaar, and the area of Bein El Qasrein, and the Madrassa and Mausoleum of Sultan Qalawun. If time permits you also see the Beshtak Palace. There’s also a nice little textile museum along the way and the Street of the Tentmakers.

The Wekalet el Ghouri, an old house in Islamic Cairo

The Wekalet el Ghouri, an old house in Islamic Cairo, built in Cairo in 1504 - 1505 by order of Sultan Mamluk Al-Ashraf Al-Ghuri Qansuh (r. 1501 - 1516 ) near of the Mosque al Azhar.

Naghuib Mahfouz, the famous Egyptian author who won the Nobel Literature Prize in 1988, used to live in this area. Most of his writings were inspired by the place and the first novel of the Cairo Trilogy, the famous Egyptian novels, was even called Bein El Qasrein after this area.

You will continue walking passing many historic houses and mosques, ending your walk finally at the Bab El Nasr.

Dependent on the day and start time you may undertake this walk in the opposite direction.

You will wander through the streets, view the sites from outside, and enter the ones you feel attracted to. During this fascinating walk in Mui’zz Street, it is great to freshen up in the El Fishawy Café, the most famous café in Khan il Khalili, where Naguib Mahfouz frequently sat. Lunch will be a traditional koshery meal.

The famous Fishawy Cafe

Crowded and chaotic with eclectic decoration and waiters who never write anything down - it's a wonderful experience to sit and have a fruit juice at the very famous El Fishawy Cafe.

Duration
8 hours approx. (will vary a little dependent on how long you might like to linger as well as the Cairo traffic). The tour operates daily at all times of the year. You will be collected from your hotel at approximately 9.00 am. Hotel pickups may commence prior to this time, exact pickup time will be advised on reconfirmation.

Inclusions
A registered guide who speaks your language (or English) to make sure you don’t miss anything on this extremely interesting day
Transport in an air-conditioned vehicle
Accommodation pick-up and drop-off
Lunch
Entrance fees at any sites
Children 3 and under are free

Options
Tea, coffee or juice break (with or without a shisha pipe)

Exclusions
Tips (recommended)
Food and drink unless specified
Other optional activities
Your shopping 🙂
Anything not mentioned in this programme

Things to note
– Many of these sites and streets have uneven surfaces and sensible footwear is advised. Care should also be taken at all times.
– Sunscreen, a hat and water are important. Most of our drivers have cold water on board that you can purchase at a small price.
– You’ll be walking all day so some level of fitness is required. It also means the tour is not really suitable for children unless in a stroller.
– You will meet lots of souvenir salesmen and bazaar owners, be polite but firm if you are not interested in purchasing. Ask your guide for assistance if necessary.
– If required, wheelchair accessibility should be discussed when booking. A vehicle with wheelchair accessibility can be made available but the streets of Old Cairo are not always easy with a chair.
– Don’t forget your camera!!! Bring a spare battery and card – you’ll take lots of pictures to remember this extraordinary day.
• We’d really like your feedback so please let us know what you think of all aspects of your tour.

Confirmation
A confirmation sheet will be sent to you upon booking with all details, including local telephone numbers for enquiries.

Cost
1 person – US$105 per person
2 – 4 people – US69 per person
5 – 8 people – US$49 per person
9 -15 people – US$44 per person
Request a quote for 16+ people
Reduced costs for children 4-12, children 3 and under free

Thank you for choosing Nile Wave Travel. If you wish to book this tour please quote STT110. You may telephone +2017 3338800. We hope you enjoy your tour.

The Khan il Khalili at night

The Khan il Khalili at night. The souq dates back to 1382, when Emir Djaharks el-Khalili built a large caravanserai in Cairo under the Burji Mamluk Sultan Barquq.

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