The Hidden Gems of Old Cairo: A Must-Visit for History Lovers
Are you a history lover looking to explore the hidden treasures of Cairo beyond the usual tourist spots? Look no further than Old Cairo, where the city's rich cultural heritage is displayed in various unique and fascinating locations. From contemporary art exhibits at Darb 1718 to the eerie beauty of the City of the Dead, there's something for everyone to discover in this historically rich neighbourhood. Join us as we explore the hidden gems of Old Cairo and uncover the city's lesser-known history.
A brief overview of Old Cairo
Old Cairo, also known as Coptic Cairo, is one of the oldest districts in Egypt. It is home to several religious monuments that date back to the Roman and early Islamic eras. The district was once a thriving centre for Christian culture and retained much of its historic charm. Today, Old Cairo is a must-visit destination for history lovers and anyone looking to explore the city's hidden gems. Some notable attractions of this district are:
- The Hanging Church: one of the oldest Coptic churches in Egypt and a must-visit for its magnificent architectural design
- The Coptic Museum: home to a vast collection of artefacts that tell the story of Coptic history and art
- The Ben Ezra Synagogue: is considered one of the oldest Jewish temples in Egypt and a symbol of religious tolerance in the country
- Amr Ibn Al-As Mosque: the first mosque built in Egypt and a stunning example of Islamic architecture.
In addition to the historical sites, Old Cairo offers several contemporary cultural experiences. Darb 1718 is an arts centre that hosts exhibitions, workshops, concerts, and movie screenings. The district also has several ceramic workshops that offer visitors a chance to learn the ancient pottery-making craft. In the summer, the rooftop of the Nile Zamalek Hotel offers a picturesque setting for concerts and drinks with a stunning view of the Nile. Overall, visiting Old Cairo promises a unique and unforgettable experience for travellers. 
Importance of exploring hidden gems for a well-rounded experience
Exploring hidden gems is an important part of any well-rounded travel experience. While visiting popular attractions can be exciting, the lesser-known sites often leave a lasting impression. Here are a few reasons why you should consider exploring the hidden gems of Old Cairo:
1. Authenticity: Hidden gems glimpse local culture and traditions. These sites are often less commercialized and provide a more authentic experience.
2. Avoiding crowds: Popular attractions can be crowded, making it difficult to appreciate what you see fully. Hidden gems are often quieter, allowing you to take time and fully absorb your surroundings.
3. Unique experiences: Hidden gems offer opportunities for unique experiences that you might not find at popular tourist sites. For example, you can take a ceramic workshop or attend a rooftop concert or movie festival in the summer.
4. Local recommendations: Exploring hidden gems often requires some local knowledge, which can lead to an unforgettable experience. Talk to locals, ask for recommendations, and be open to trying something new.
5. Supporting local businesses: You support local businesses and artisans by exploring hidden gems. These sites often rely on tourism to stay afloat, and your visit can make a big difference.
Overall, exploring hidden gems is an important part of any travel experience. From avoiding crowds to uncovering unique experiences, there are many reasons to venture off the beaten path. So go ahead, be adventurous, and discover the hidden treasures of Old Cairo. 
Culture centre that showcases contemporary Egyptian art
If you're a fan of contemporary art, then you won't want to miss the Culture Center in Old Cairo. This vibrant hub is the perfect place to experience the local art scene and is a true gem for art aficionados. Here are some of the key highlights of this amazing destination:
- The Culture Center boasts an impressive collection of contemporary Egyptian art, which showcases the country's latest artistic talents in all their glory. This is a unique opportunity to experience the cutting-edge of Egyptian art, and to discover new artists that will undoubtedly make their name in the future.
- For those who want to get hands-on with their art, the Culture Center also offers ceramic workshops where you can learn the traditional techniques that have been used for hundreds of years. Here, you'll get the chance to create your own unique pieces and learn about the region's rich cultural heritage.
- During the summer months, the Culture Center's rooftop is transformed into a cultural hub, hosting rooftop concerts and movie festivals that are a real treat for the senses. Here, you can take in the stunning views of Old Cairo while enjoying world-class entertainment.
- To get to the Culture Center, you can take a taxi or ride the metro to the Mar Girgis station, which is just a short walk away. Once you arrive, you'll be blown away by the center's unique blend of traditional and modern architecture.
Overall, the Culture Center is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in contemporary Egyptian art. With its diverse collection of art, traditional workshops, and entertainment offerings, it's truly a one-of-a-kind experience that should not be missed. 
Offers ceramic workshops
At 1718 in Old Cairo, you can learn to create beautiful pottery by participating in ceramic workshops. This fantastic opportunity allows you to immerse yourself in an ancient craft that has been a beloved part of Egyptian culture for centuries. In addition, the culture centre offers exhibits of contemporary Egyptian art, rooftop concerts, and movie festivals during the summer months.
Guests can sit back on bean bags and enjoy subtitled masterpieces in the small garden while taking in the neighbourhood's quirky bookshops, mechanic workshops, and shisha cafes. With so much to explore in Old Cairo, Darb 1718 is a hidden gem that offers a unique and immersive experience. You can easily walk to Darb from landmarks such as the Hanging Church, the Coptic Museum, the Church of St. George, and the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As.
To book the workshops in advance, you can visit Darb's website and view upcoming events on their Facebook page. For those seeking a hands-on experience of Egyptian culture and craft, the ceramic workshops at Darb 1718 are an incredible opportunity not to be missed. 
Rooftop concerts and movie festivals in the summer
Rooftop concerts and movie festivals in Cairo during the summer are a must-see. Darb 1718 Old Cairo, a culture centre in the heart of Old Cairo, hosts rooftop concerts that range from Pink Floyd cover bands to Egyptian folk-inspired jazz. Besides, the small garden at Darb is the perfect spot to sit back on bean bags and catch some subtitled masterpieces during the summers. In addition, this centre also offers ceramic workshops where you can learn the ancient craft of pottery making.
The Nile Zamalek Hotel Roof Top Zamalek is another great spot often filled with ex-pats and locals enjoying the Nile views and beers in the sun. This two-star hotel has a five-star view on its rooftop, making it a perfect location for rooftop concerts and movie nights. With the breezy and cool atmosphere in the summer, it's the best time to try Stella, an Egyptian lager, or Sakara Gold, a lighter beer that is perfect for summer afternoons. Although this spot is good for snacks, it's not recommended for a full meal.
These rooftop concerts and movie festivals in Cairo are the perfect way to experience the city's daily life and contemporary culture. So, if you're a history lover planning to visit Cairo during the summer, add these hidden gems to your itinerary and have an unforgettable experience. 
Location and how to get there
Old is a hidden gem waiting to be explored by intrepid travellers looking to discover the city beyond the major tourist attractions. Darb 1718, a culture centre that showcases contemporary Egyptian art, is located in the heart of Old Cairo, just a 5-minute walk from famous landmarks like the Hanging Church, the Coptic Museum, the Church of St. George, and the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As. To get to Darb, take the Mar Girgis metro station or find it on Google Maps.
Nile Zamalek Hotel roof on Zamalek Island is a 2-star hotel with a 5-star view on its rooftop. It's not close to major tourist attractions, but it's in the leafy residential neighbourhood of Zamalek, known for its art galleries, Instagrammable cafes, and modern yet authentic souvenirs. You can find the hotel on Google Maps. Zamalek has no metro stations, but you can take a taxi or walk to the hotel.
Visiting hidden gems in Cairo requires some research and planning, but it's worth it for a well-rounded city experience. Use this article's basics and insider tips to explore the city independently and discover its daily life, small museums, quirky bookshops, scenic parks, and hip galleries. Cairo is more than just camels and pyramids; you'll be surprised by the vibrant, bustling, and art-filled city that awaits you. 
Two-star hotel with a five-star view on its rooftop
If you're looking for a budget-friendly option with breathtaking views, look no further than the two-star hotel with a five-star view on its rooftop. While the hotel may not offer many amenities or dining options, its rooftop is a hidden gem.
With unobstructed views of the city and the Nile River, the rooftop is the perfect spot to relax and take in the sights. It's especially stunning at sunset when the sky is painted in shades of pink, orange, and gold. Plus, you can enjoy a cold drink or a shisha while you soak in the view.
Getting to the hotel is easy, as it's centrally located and accessible by public transportation or taxi. Once you arrive, head to the top floor and prepare to be amazed. The atmosphere up there is laid-back and casual, making it the perfect spot to unwind after a long day of sightseeing.
While the hotel's rooms may not be anything to write home about, the rooftop more than makes up for it. Plus, with the money you'll save on accommodations, you can splurge on other aspects of your trip, like food, shopping, or excursions. Overall, if you're looking for a budget-friendly option that doesn't skimp on views, the two-star hotel with a five-star view on its rooftop is the way to go 
Great atmosphere, especially in the summer
The Nile Zamalek Hotel in Cairo is a two-star hotel with a five-star view on its rooftop. Despite its shabby decor, the atmosphere on the rooftop is great, especially during the summer months.
This rooftop is usually filled with Zamalek ex-pats and locals who gather there to enjoy Nile views and beers in the sun. The breeze during summer makes it a perfect spot to relax. The vintage beer posters and chandeliers made from beer bottles add to the ambience of the rooftop.
If you’re looking for a refreshing drink, try Stella, an Egyptian lager, or Sakara Gold, a lighter beer perfect for summer afternoons. However, note that the menu is good for snacks but not much else.
While the Nile Zamalek Hotel is not close to any major tourist attractions, it is located in Zamalek. This leafy residential neighbourhood is considered one of the prettiest in Cairo. Visitors can walk through the areas, exploring art galleries, Instagrammable cafes, and modern yet authentic souvenirs.
To arrive at the hotel there are no metro stations in Zamalek, but visitors can find the hotel on Google Maps by searching the Nile Zamalek Hotel in Zamalek (367F+49 Zamalek).
Good for snacks but not much else
The Nile Zamalek Hotel Rooftop is a two-star establishment with a five-star view. The atmosphere is unbeatable, especially in the summer when it's breezy and cool. The vintage beer posters and chandeliers made from beer bottles create an inviting environment for travellers and locals to enjoy the Nile views and beers in the sun.
While the menu is good for snacks, it falls short for meals. Visitors should prefer traditional Egyptian cuisine at nearby restaurants for a more authentic experience. The hotel is located on the island of Zamalek, a leafy residential neighbourhood full of art galleries, Instagram-worthy cafes, and modern yet authentic souvenirs. It's not close to any major tourist attractions, but it's worth stopping by if you're in the area.
One of the best things about the hotel is its proximity to other hidden gems in Cairo, including the Cave Church, Orman Botanical Garden, and the Museum of Islamic Art. While the Nile Zamalek Hotel Rooftop is perfect for a casual afternoon or evening drink, the nearby neighbourhoods provide a much wider array of dining options to explore.
In conclusion, the Nile Zamalek Hotel Rooftop is an excellent spot to unwind and enjoy the view with a cold beer. However, travellers should look elsewhere for a more satisfying meal or a taste of authentic Egyptian cuisine. 
Location and how to get there
If you're planning a trip to Cairo and want to explore some hidden gems, you may be wondering about the location of these unique spots and how to get there. Here's everything you need to know to navigate your way to some of Cairo's best-kept secrets:
1. Darb 1718: This cultural centre is located in the heart of Old Cairo, just a 5-minute walk from famous landmarks like the Hanging Church, the Coptic Museum, the Church of St. George, and the Mosque of Amr ibn al-As. You can also find it easily on Google Maps (263J+7P Old Cairo). The easiest way to get there is by taking the metro to Mar Girgis station, just a short walk away.
2. Nile Zamalek Hotel Roof Top: This two-star hotel with five-star views is situated on the island of Zamalek, one of the prettiest residential neighbourhoods in Cairo. You won't find any major tourist attractions nearby, but you will find some of the city's best art galleries, Instagrammable cafes, and modern yet authentic souvenirs. Search for the hotel on Google Maps (367F+49 Zamalek) to get here. There are no metro stations in Zamalek, so you may need to take a taxi or ride-share service to reach this hidden gem.
Overall, these hidden gems are relatively easy to find and make for a rewarding addition to any itinerary in Cairo. So don't hesitate to venture beyond the beaten path and experience the city from a local's perspective by visiting these must-see attractions.