The Egyptian capital of Cairo is colorful, chaotic, and magnificent with minarets, ancient churches, mosques, and fascinating museums. Wander through the back streets of old Cairo, visiting Khan el-Khalili bazaar set amongst labyrinth alleyways filled with market stalls selling spices, kitsch souvenirs, and lanterns. Enjoy a camel ride through the desert, marveling at the structural majesty of the Pyramids of Giza and carved stone Sphinx or visit the Egyptian Museum, packed with priceless treasures dating back centuries. Whichever attractions are on your Cairo bucket list, you need to know the best neighborhoods to stay in for easy access. Here are some ideas to help you plan your itinerary in the city, and we also have a longer list of hotels in Cairo.
Best for Groups & Culture Lovers: Downtown Cairo
Downtown is the city’s urban center, rich in history, busy with traffic, and abundant with attractive architecture. The district was designed by French architects on the instruction of Khedive Ismail in a bid to rival Paris, and whilst strolling through streets you begin to notice the contemporary European architectural styles. There are several landmarks to visit Downtown, one is Groppi, the most famous ice cream shop in the city, and Café Riche. The cafe has been a meeting point for creatives and intellectuals since it opened in 1908. The Egyptian Museum sits on the outer edge of Downtown boasting the Tutankhamun collection, a variety of statues, sphinxes, and mummies. Spend a few hours browsing these magnificent treasures and learning about their heritage. After dusk, the neighborhood comes to life with bright shop fronts, sidewalk shisha cafes and lively cafes and restaurants. It’s the perfect place to end your day in Cairo sampling tasty dishes of ful medames, koshary, and falafel.
Le Riad Hotel de Charme
This stunning 5-star boutique hotel in old Cairo is a short walk from Khan el-Khalili bazaar. The building’s interior was inspired by the Ottoman houses of architect Beit El Sehemy. Each of the hotel’s 17 themed suites symbolize the architecture of Cairo, draped with colorful Fatimid textiles and mesmerizing artwork by local creatives. This charming property boasts a rooftop restaurant serving home-cooked Middle Eastern dishes and a delightful tea lounge offering a delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu.
114 El Moez Street, El Gamaleya, Cairo, Egypt
Villa Belle Epoque
This oasis in the city is located in the Maadi neighborhood of Cairo near the banks of the River Nile is Villa Belle Epoque. It’s a short Metro ride from Downtown yet offers a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The hotel is a tranquil retreat featuring a swimming pool with patios surrounded by citrus, olive, and palm trees. Guest accommodations are elegant and fully-equipped with everything you’ll need for an enjoyable stay in Egypt. This hotel is a great choice for those wishing to visit shops, markets, and riverside locations.
D.B Villa, Road 13, 63, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
Best for Families & Access to Pyramids of Giza: Giza
On the left bank of the River Nile near the Pharaonic Village, Cairo University, and Orman Botanical Garden is the neighborhood of Giza. It’s a great place for shopping and dining and is home to many International Embassies along Nile Street. There’s a nearby zoological garden, museums, and it’s only a 20 minute drive from here to the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Sphinx. Spend leisurely days strolling along the river side, explore verdant gardens, or enjoy a scenic felucca ride along the Nile and see the city from a different perspective.
Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at the First Residence
The Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at the First Residence lies on the River Nile’s western shores near the zoological gardens in Giza. With elegant, palatial style hotel rooms, extra-large windows, and impressive views over the river and city, it’s the perfect place for a family, couples, or group stay. The hotel swimming pool invites guests to take a dip, or the surrounding cabanas offer a place for relaxation in the shade. The hotel restaurants overlook the river serving mouth-watering Pan-Asian food, plus there’s a Brazilian grill and an upcoming Greek taverna-style restaurant. This luxury hotel offers excursions too, where you can visit the Egyptian Museum after-hours and see ancient treasures with the place all to yourselves.
35 Giza Street, P.O Box 663, 12311 Cairo
Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino
This 5-star luxury hotel on the banks of the River Nile offers modern accommodations close to the heart of this thriving metropolis. The hotel offers spacious well-appointed rooms, an Italian style restaurant, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center where you can stay in shape during your stay. There are also spa facilities and a fun 24 hour casino, where you can enjoy a massage or a flutter on the roulette or blackjack table.
Galae Square, Ad Doqi A, Dokki, Giza, Cairo
Best for Shopping & Dining: New Cairo
The eastern suburb of Cairo covers around 30,000 hectares and is close to the international airport. New Cairo is not as frantic as Downtown, yet it is home to a multitude of state of the art shopping malls, restaurants, cinemas, and shisha cafes. As the name suggests, it’s a modern area of the city, and popular with those who seek a more familiar, contemporary vibe. It takes around 40 minutes to reach Downtown from here, 50 minutes to travel to the Great Pyramids of Giza, and around two hours by car to the Suez Canal.
The Gabriel Hotel
The Gabriel Hotel is situated in one of Cairo’s most upscale neighborhoods, Heliopolis, a short drive from Cairo International Airport. It’s the perfect place to stay if you are only in the city for a few days and flying to another destination. It’s close to Baron Empain Palace, bustling Al Matareyah Square, and Cairo Festival City. This luxurious hotel offers comfortable rooms and suites, an outdoor swimming pool, a beautifully decorated gourmet French restaurant and 24-hour room service.
Suncity Mall, Autostrad Road, Heliopolis, 99999, Cairo
The 1920s Boutique Hotel
This 100 year old villa in the center of Heliopolis, recently converted into an intimate boutique hotel, gives visitors the chance to step into the past in one of their 9 rooms. Originally built by Jacob Yacoubian, the head of the Armenian community, as an escape from the rest of the city, today it serves guest as an escape from their humdrum lives. With a number of onsite restaurants and their own bar, a fitness center and dry sauna, and the Art Deco accents in every room, this smaller hotel is the perfect place to relax after a long day of sightseeing in beautiful Cairo.
58 Beirut Street, Heliopolis, Cairo, Egypt
The Westin Cairo Golf Resort & Spa
The Westin Cairo Golf Resort & Spa sits in the heart of New Cairo overlooking the emerald fairways of a 27-hole golf course. Spend leisure days playing a round of golf, relaxing in the Heavenly Spa by Westin, swimming in the crystalline pool or working out in the well-equipped fitness room. The hotel offers stylish rooms and fine dining with a focus on dishes made with fresh, seasonally grown ingredients. For an after dinner nightcap, there’s a chic bar where you can sip wine until late into the evening.
Road 90, New Cairo City, Katameya Dunes, Cairo, 11835
Zamalek: Best for Solo Travellers and Couples
Standing proudly in the center of the Nile River with incredible views is the island of Zamalek. It’s a central point for many travelers, making it easy to reach the bazaars of Downtown in one direction and the ancient Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx in the other. The island is home to Cairo Tower, an Aquarium Grotto Garden, and it is the hub of Cairo’s nightlife with stylish bars, upscale restaurants, and shisha cafes.
Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah
Five-star Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah Hotel is located in the Zamalek neighborhood of Cairo. It’s an ideal place for those seeking easy access to Cairo Tower, Khan el-Khalili bazaar, and the Egyptian Museum, and equally convenient if you wish to reach the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. The sophisticated hotel overlooks the River Nile offering comfortable, equipped rooms with all amenities you need for an enjoyable holiday. There are several bars and restaurants on-site, ranging from gourmet to Moroccan and barbecue and amenities include a spectacular infinity pool, fitness center, and spa.
3 El Thawra Council St, Zamalek Downtown, Cairo
Novotel Cairo El Borg
This contemporary 4-star hotel overlooks the River Nile and is within walking distance of the Egyptian Museum and the Opera House. It’s the perfect hotel for business and pleasure offering comfortable, bright and airy accommodations, a range of bars, restaurants, and meeting rooms. This well-placed hotel in the Zamalek neighborhood features a swimming pool and wellness area where you can unwind with a relaxing massage after a day of sightseeing.
3 Saraya, Gezira St, El Cairo Governorate 11211, Egypt