Cairo is known for the Pyramids of Giza, the Egyptian Museum, Islamic Cairo and the majestic Nile river, not to mention its delicious food. However, there are many places that for some reason are not obvious choices, or perhaps not many know about. Here’s a guide to some fun places that are in some way a blend of modern and historic Cairo, and some gorgeous landmarks that you definitely must visit.
The Saffron Palace
Do you know that the Saffron palace, known as “Zaafran” in Arabic, located in Abbasia, was given this name because the surrounding area was famous for saffron plantations? The palace was built by Khedive Ismail, one of the most benovolent khedives of Egypt, by a French educated Egyptian architect, and is now the administrative headquarters of Ain Shams University. Interesting right?
The Revolving Restaurant
Are you acrophobic or do you find it fun to eat at a revolving restaurant on the 41st floor with a panoramic view of the Nile River? Cairo’s Revolving Restaurant at the Grand Nile Tower, located in Zamalek, serves delicious international food with a view that revolves 360 degrees overlooking the most beautiful places in Cairo. There’s also a lounge that offers snacks, desserts and drinks on the 40th floor. It’s a must-try experience.
Africa Park (Alexandria Desert Rd.)
It is not a zoo, but rather a safari park where families and kids can enjoy and create unforgettable memories with a wide variety of animals in their ‘natural habitat’. Beside the car ride inside the green park, families can also enjoy a joyful boat ride at the lake. An added bonus is that the entrance fee is fixed no matter how many people are in your car!
The Museum of Islamic Art
If you love taking artsy pictures, you sure don’t want to miss the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo. The museum is not like any usual museum you’ve ever visited before. It’s more of a gallery that holds many artifacts representing different historical eras throughout Egypt’s long and majestic Islamic history.
The Coptic Museum
Egypt’s coptic history is perhaps the most overlooked era of our beutiful country’s extensive history. The Coptic Museum houses the largest collection of Egyptian Coptic and Byzantine artifacts and artworks. The Museum details the journey of the Holy family, Jesus Christ, Mother Mary and Joseph, through Egypt, as told by the monuments and artifacts that they left behind during their stay here.
The Pharaonic Village
The Pharaonic Village is one of the overlooked places for a visit to Cairo. The village covers every detail about the lives of the pharaohs in that amazing historically ground-breaking time period. Kids can also enjoy a plethora of activities at the Arts Center in the village, including making papyrus boats, jewellery and pottery. The Arts Center also offers educational courses for children on weekends and summer holidays.
The Baron Empain Palace
Édouard Louis Joseph, known as Baron Empain, was a wealthy Belgian architect who built the suburb of Heliopolis and the Baron Palace, and that’s how the name of the palace came to be. The Baron palace has now been restored and reopened for the public to admire its architectural beauty, influenced by the Indian culture.
The Hanging Church
Have you ever lit a candle and made a wish in a church before? Well, this church is the perfect place to light your candle. It is said that Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus, lived there for three years with her family. The church is regarded as one of the most important churches in Old Cairo.