https://www.thebrokebackpacker.com/where-to-stay-in-cairo-egypt/
Interested? PIN NOW, read later!

Egypt’s capital, Cairo, is a fantastic city for travellers, that offers so much more than the Great Pyramids and the Nile River.

But Cairo is a massive city and not all of its neighbourhoods will be of interest to tourists.

Which is exactly why we put together this list for where to stay in Cairo.

Written by our expert travel guides, this article breaks down Cairo’s neighbourhoods into easy to digest categories, so you can quickly find the one that best suits your travel needs.

So whether you’re looking to eat the best food, explore the coolest neighbourhood, or simply save a little money, our guide will show you everything you need to know – plus we’ll share a few of our best-kept secrets!

This no-stress guide for where to stay in Cairo, Egypt will get you exactly where you need to be!

So, let’s get to it!

 

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Cairo

  • Where to stay in Cairo first time – Midan Tahrir
  • Where to stay in Cairo on a budget – Downtown
  • Best area to stay in Cairo for nightlife – Zamalek
  • Coolest place to stay in Cairo – Zamalek
  • Best neighbourhood in Cairo for families – Giza

 

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

 
Midan Tahrir
Midan Tahrir is a small neighbourhood located in the centre of modern Cairo. Nestled between the Nile River and downtown Cairo, Midan Tahrir (Liberation Square) has been the site of many political and social protests over the years
 
Places to Visit:
  • Take a stroll along the Qasr Al-Nil bridge and admire its tall stone lion statues
  • Explore Midan Tahrir, the site of so many political and historical uprisings
  • Dine on an incredible selection of Egyptians sweets and savoury treats at Fatari Pizza Tahrir

 

Where to Stay in Cairo

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Cairo.

 

Best Hostel in Cairo: Dahab Hostel

This hostel is located at the heart of Cairo. It is a short walk to major tourist. They offer a collection of whitewashed huts on a downtown rooftop, attempting to recreate a beach oasis at the centre of town. This is our pick for the best hostel in Cairo.

If you love hostels, you should check out our list of the coolest hostels in Cairo!

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Cairo: Cultural and Unique Home

You wanna get you exposed to Egyptian culture and traditions right? of course you do and thats why you gotta stay in this home. Its perfect for couples looking to get to know the Egyptian culture and food with everything within walking distance, not to mention the host of the home is super helpful with any questions you might find yourself asking. Oh! And they offer breakfast in the morning for a small price for those mornings you just can’t fathom walking around to find something to eat.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in Cairo: Hilton Cairo Zamalek Residences

The Hilton Cairo Zamalek is our choice for the best hotel in town. It boasts modern and spacious rooms with excellent features, including refrigerators, bathrobes and wifi. There is also a beauty centre, a swimming pool, and a delicious restaurant on-site. You’ll also enjoy plenty of restaurants, shops and nightspots nearby.

View on Booking.com

 

Cairo Neighborhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Cairo

tbbn-table__image

Midan Tahrir

  • Midan Tahrir is a small neighbourhood located in the centre of modern Cairo. Nestled between the Nile River and downtown Cairo, Midan Tahrir (Liberation Square) has been the site of many political and social protests over the years
Check Top HostelCheck Top AirbnbCheck Top Hotel

Downtown

  • Cairo’s downtown district is the commercial heart of the city. Designed by French architects, downtown Cairo is characterized by its wide boulevards and streets reminiscent of 19th century Paris
Check Top HostelCheck Top AirbnbCheck Top Hotel

Zamalek

  • Located on the island of Gezira is Zamalek. A relatively affluent area, Zamalek is known for its pseudo-European aesthetic and architecture, and its large expatriate population
Check Top HostelCheck Top AirbnbCheck Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

Zamalek

  • But, there’s more to Zamalek than nightlife. This centrally located and well-connected neighbourhood also gets our vote for the coolest neighbourhood in town thanks to its abundance of cultural and historic sights, great restaurants, world-class shopping and spectacular views
Check Top HostelCheck Top AirbnbCheck Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

Giza

  • West of the city centre is the sprawling district of Giza. A city in its own right, this district has slowly been absorbed by the capital as Cairo continues to expand its reaches
Check Top HostelCheck Top AirbnbCheck Top Hotel

 

Cairo is a city steeped in history and culture. It is awash with well-preserved medieval landmarks and ancient sights, and the country’s rich heritage seeps out around every turn.

But there’s another side to this megacity. Weaved in and amongst all of Cairo’s history is a vibrant and modern society that is home to more than 16 million people. Faced-paced and packed with people, Cairo is the largest city in both Africa and the Middle East, and is the 19th biggest city in the world!

Cairo covers an area of 528 square kilometres, with the metropolitan region encompassing 17,267 square kilometres. It is divided into more than 70 distinct districts rife with things to see, do and explore. This guide will take a look at the best neighbourhoods to stay in Cairo.

Beginning with Midan Tahrir. Located at the heart of the city, Midan Tahrir is one of the most important squares in the city. It’s where many historic events have taken place and where you’ll find the incredible Egyptian Museum.

Set to the east of Midan Tahrir is downtown Cairo. Built by French architects, this district combines the history and culture of Egypt with a modern European twist, and is one of the best places to visit in Cairo.

Travel west across the Nile River to Gezira Island. Home to trendy and vibrant Zamalek, this neighbourhood has great dining, shopping and nightlife options.

And finally, continue heading west away to Giza. Home to the Great Pyramids, this district is where you can see Cairo and Egypt’s most iconic sights and enjoy a variety of family-friendly activities.

Still not sure where to stay in Cairo? Keep reading because we’re about to break down each of these neighbourhoods below.

 

The Best Travel Backpack?!

Pssssst! Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! Our favourite carry on backpack is the Nomatic Travel Bag.

Read our full review!

 

Cairo’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Now, let’s take a look, in more detail, at the best neighbourhoods to stay in Cairo. Each is a little different from the last, so be sure to pick the neighbourhood that’s the right fit for you. If you’re worried about safety, our Egypt safety guide has got you covered!

 

1. Midan Tahrir – Where to stay in Cairo first time

Midan Tahrir is a small neighbourhood located in the centre of modern Cairo. Nestled between the Nile River and downtown Cairo, Midan Tahrir (Liberation Square) has been the site of many political and social protests over the years, including the 2011 Egyptian revolution that led to the resignation of the president.

It’s home to a myriad of incredible cultural and historic institutions and is our pick for where to stay in Cairo if you’re visiting for the first time.

A must any Cairo itinerary is a stop at the Egyptian Museum. Home to some of the most exquisite exhibits and displays in the city, the Egyptian Museum is where you can immerse yourself in history. You’ll see priceless artefacts and jewels, treasures of Tutankhamen, and a collection of Royal Mummies.

Midan Tahrir, Cairo
source: Dan (Flickr)

 

Things to See and Do in Midan Tahrir

– Browse the exhibits and displays at the magnificent Egyptian Museum Cairo.

– Dine on an incredible selection of Egyptians sweets and savoury treats at Fatari Pizza Tahrir.

– Explore Midan Tahrir, the site of so many political and historical uprisings.

– Marvel at the architecture of Masjid Omar Makram, a mosque which hosts many state and business funerals.

– See the Tomb of Mariette.

– Take a stroll along the Qasr Al-Nil bridge and admire its tall stone lion statues.

 

Best Hostel in Midan Tahrir: Tahrir Square Hostel

This delightful hostel is located in the centre of Cairo. It is within walking distance of great tourist attractions, restaurants and cafes. This hostel offers rooms with shared and private bathrooms, stunning city views, and a delicious continental breakfast. You’ll also enjoy comfortable beds and very clean sheets.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Midan Tahrir: Cultural and Unique Home

You wanna get you exposed to Egyptian culture and traditions right? of course you do and thats why you gotta stay in this home. Its perfect for couples looking to get to know the Egyptian culture and food with everything within walking distance, not to mention the host of the home is super helpful with any questions you might find yourself asking. Oh! And they offer breakfast in the morning for a small price for those mornings you just can’t fathom walking around to find something to eat.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in Midan Tahrir: The Nile Ritz-Carlton Cairo Cairo

Stunning and centrally located, it’s no wonder this is our pick for where to stay in Midan Tahir. This elegant five-star hotel has more than 400 well-equipped rooms. It offers a restaurant, a nightclub, and a spa and wellness centre with a swimming pool and sauna. This hotel is conveniently located for exploring Cairo.

View on Booking.com

 

Best Hotel in Midan Tahrir: Museum View Hotel Cairo

Museum View Hotel is set in central Cairo. It is close to popular restaurants and bars, as well as top tourist attractions. This boutique hotel has 10 comfortable and clean room, perfect for an enjoyable stay. It also offers a restaurant, free wifi and a concierge service.

View on Booking.com

 

2. Downtown – Where to stay in Cairo on a budget

Cairo’s downtown district is the commercial heart of the city. Designed by French architects, downtown Cairo is characterized by its wide boulevards and streets reminiscent of 19th century Paris. It boasts a wide selection of restaurants, shops and tourist attractions, and is an ideal jumping off point for exploring the city.

Downtown is also our pick for where to stay in Cairo if you’re balling on a budget. Dotted throughout this massive neighbourhood is a great selection of hostels, hotels and apartments that will cater to all types of budgets. If you’re backpacking Egypt, definitely stay here! From high brow to shared rooms, downtown Cairo is the best place to stay if you’re looking to save a little money without missing out on the action.

 

Downtown Cairo

 

Things to See and Do in Downtown

– Browse the various museums of the Abdeen Palace Museum where you’ll see incredible collections of silver, arms, and artefact from the Royal family.

– Dine on fast food, Egyptian-style at GAD.

– Grab a pint at Sherlock Holmes Pub, a charming British pub.

– Listen to live music and local DJs at Zigzag.

– Sip cheap beers at Houria.

– Take in the view at Odeon, a rooftop, open-air bar.

– View artefacts and relics from mosques, homes and palaces at the Museum of Islamic Art.

 

Best Hostel in Downtown: Dahab Hostel

This great hostel is located at the heart of Cairo. It is a short walk to major tourist attractions and is well-connected throughout the city. They offer a collection of whitewashed huts on a downtown rooftop, attempting to recreate a beach oasis at the centre of town This is our pick for where to stay in downtown.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Downtown: Artsy Home in the Heart of Cairo

The characteristics that this flat has will invite you to want to hang out here your whole visit even though we know that’s not something you’re going to do. With all the light and colors in the place has it will inspire you so want to grab some paint and a brush yourself. It doesnt look like so appealing from the outside but once you go inside the authenticity really makes up for it.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in Downtown: Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir Cairo

The Steigenberger Hotel is the epitome of elegance and class. This spectacular four-star hotel is set at the heart of the city. There is a great selection of dining, nightlife and shopping options nearby. It provides a spa and wellness centre, and each of its rooms is well-equipped with air conditioning and satellite TV.

View on Booking.com

 

Best Hotel in Downtown: Conrad Cairo

Thanks to its great location in central Cairo, this is one of our favourite hotels in the city. Not only is it close to popular tourist attractions, but it offers amazing views of the Nile River. This five-star hotel has more than 600 comfortable rooms with modern amenities. There’s also a gym, swimming pool and restaurant on-site.

View on Booking.com

 

3. Zamalek – Best area to stay in Cairo for nightlife

Located on the island of Gezira is Zamalek. A relatively affluent area, Zamalek is known for its pseudo-European aesthetic and architecture, and its large expatriate population.

Zamalek is also our pick for where to stay in Cairo for nightlife. Dotted throughout this elegant neighbourhood are some of the chicest bars, trendiest lounges and wildest nightclubs in the city. So whether you’re looking to party all night long or simply enjoy an amazing view over a glass of wine, Zamalek is the place for you!

Love to eat? Well, look no further. Zamalek is packed with restaurants and cafes serving up cuisines from all corners of the globe, making it one of our top places to stay in Egypt!

Zamalek
source: Faris knight (Wikicommons)

 

Things to See and Do in Zamalek

– Catch an outdoor concert at El Sawy Culturewheel.

– Drink fantastic cocktails and enjoy panoramic views of the city at Crimson Cairo.

– Eat delicious Italian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes at Mojo’s Lounge & Bar.

– Enjoy a great night of drinks and shisha at Sequoia, a fantastic open-air lounge bar.

– Grab a pint at Pub 28.

– Sample your way through Le Pacha 1901, a floating boat that’s home to 10 fantastic restaurants.

– Sing your favourite karaoke tunes as you enjoy a few drinks at Harry’s Pub.

– Snack on delicious tapas at the cosy Cairo Cellar.

– Spend a night enjoying a scenic river tour along the Nile with Nile Maxim.

 

Best Hostel in Zamalek: Wake Up Cairo Hostel

This modern hostel is located in downtown Cairo, a short walk from the vibrant Zamalek neighbourhood. It is close to great restaurants, bars and tourist attractions. This property boasts 12 comfortable rooms, free wifi and a swimming pool. There’s also a luggage storage and a library for guests.

View on Booking.com

 

Best Airbnb in Zamalek: Huge Home with Amazing Views

Enjoy staying where there is a rooftop overlooking the entire city! This flat has the coolest lounge on the roof overlooking the Nile you might even end up spending most of your time up there catching sunrise and sunset. You also get the convenience of easy-peasy access to all the bars in the heart of the Zamalek – ya know so you don’t have to stumble too far back to your bed.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in Zamalek: Horus House Hotel Zamalek

Horus House is our choice for where to stay in Zamalek. It is conveniently located for exploring the neighbourhood and there are plenty of dining, shopping and nightlife options nearby. This charming three-star hotel has well-equipped rooms and an on-site bar and lounge. Guests can also enjoy a delicious daily breakfast.

View on Booking.com

 

Best Hotel in Zamalek: New President Hotel Zamalek

This charming hotel provides easy access to trendy Zamalek’s best bars, clubs and restaurants. It’s also ideally situated for shopping and sightseeing. This hotel has 30 rooms that come complete with showers and cable/satellite TV. There’s also a laundry service, free wifi, and a scrumptious on-site restaurant.

View on Booking.com

 

Universal Travel AdapterOne of the best investments you can make is a worldwide travel adapter that will work anywhere! The one featured here is tough, reliable and a solid buy - Don’t leave home without one.

GET IT HERE

 

4. Zamalek – Coolest place to stay in Cairo

But, there’s more to Zamalek than nightlife. This centrally located and well-connected neighbourhood also gets our vote for the coolest neighbourhood in town thanks to its abundance of cultural and historic sights, great restaurants, world-class shopping and spectacular views. So, whether you’re a culture vulture or a fabulous fashionista, Zamalek has something for everyone!

One of Zamalek’s can’t miss attractions is the Cairo Tower. This distinctive landmark stands nearly 190m above the city and offers incredible views of Cairo and the Nile River. If you’re an avid photographer, we can’t recommend a better spot to get that iconic bird’s eye view shot of the city.

Zamalek, Cairo
source: Jorge Láscar (Flickr)

 

Things to See and Do in Zamalek

– Catch an unforgettable performance at the Cairo Opera House, Egypt’s most important cultural stage.

– Climb to the top of the Cairo Tower and take in the sweeping views of Cairo and the Nile.

– Eat fresh and delicious Egyptian street food at Zooba.

– Enjoy a modern take on traditional Egyptian cuisine at Cairo Kitchen.

– Marvel at the incredible collection of colourful plates and ceramics at the Museum of Islamic Ceramics.

– See a collection of contemporary Egyptian art at the Safar Khan Gallery.

– Shop for souvenirs, keepsakes and handicrafts at Fair Trade Egypt.

– View an awesome collection of Egyptian art and design at the Loft Gallery.

 

Best Budget Hotel in Zamalek: Nile Zamalek Hotel

This hotel is located in hip and happening Zamalek. The area is home to a great selection of shops, restaurants and nightlife options. This two-star hotel offers comfortable beds and a wide range of amenities, including a beauty centre, a sun deck, and laundry facilities.

View on Booking.com

 

Best Airbnb in Zamalek: Splashy Colorful Flat in Abu Al Feda

Complimenting the coolest area to stay in is this apartment that has its own creative personality with bright colors and an owl you might end up staring at for hours- or is it a hawk? Regardless this apartment is perfect for couples looking to have a chill time when you’re not walking around the neighborhood.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in Zamalek: Hilton Cairo Zamalek Residences

The Hilton Cairo Zamalek is our pick for where to stay in Zamalek. It boasts modern and spacious rooms with excellent features, including refrigerators, bathrobes and wifi. There is also a beauty centre, a swimming pool, and a delicious restaurant on-site. You’ll also enjoy plenty of eateries, shops and nightspots nearby.

View on Booking.com

 

Best Hotel in Zamalek: Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino

This spectacular five-star hotel is located at the heart of Cairo’s coolest neighbourhood. It is within walking distance of great options for dining, shopping and nights out. Rooms are outfitted with wifi and minibars. Guests can also enjoy the indoor pool, sauna and tennis courts.

View on Booking.com

 

5. Giza – Best neighbourhood in Cairo for families

West of the city centre is the sprawling district of Giza. A city in its own right, this district has slowly been absorbed by the capital as Cairo continues to expand its reaches.

Giza is a can’t miss destination for travellers visiting Cairo. It is home to the exquisite Pyramids of Giza, as well as the world-famous Sphinx. Be sure to take your time enjoying these incredible attractions and making as many memories as you can.

But, there’s more to Giza than these ancient relics. This district is also home to the Giza Zoo, a fantastic souk, and the Pharaonic Village, making it the perfect place to stay in Cairo for families.

Giza, Cairo

 

Things to See and Do in Giza

– Be amazed by the size and architecture of the Great Pyramids of Giza.

– Snap a pic of the iconic Sphinx, a colossal sandstone statue.

– Marvel at the dazzling Pyramids Sound and Light Show.

– Explore the desert and nearby attractions on horseback or by camel.

– Shop for souvenirs at Legends and Legacies, a relaxed indoor bazaar.

– Shop until you drop at City Stars, the largest shopping mall in Egypt.

– See your favourite animals at the Giza Zoo.

– Step back in time at the Pharaonic Village, a living museum of Egyptian history.

– Satisfy your sweet tooth at Twinky Patisserie.

 

Best Hostel in Giza: Pyramids Family Inn

In addition to its fantastic location (just one kilometre from the Great Sphinx!), Pyramids Family Inn has comfortable rooms with luxurious beds and air conditioning. Breakfast is included with each reservation and it is served on the roof where you can enjoy unparalleled views of Giza.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Giza: Home with a View of the Pyramids!

Within 5 minutes of the Giza gate, you will find this magical apartment fit for a family. Indulge in the iconic views of the pyramids as you relax on the balcony with the kiddos. This home sleeps up to 6, with a quite equipt kitchen to cook for that number of people offering everything you need to serve a home-cooked meal on your travels.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Hotel in Giza: Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel Cairo

Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel is a glamorous five-star hotel set a short distance from the magnificent Pyramids of Giza. It offers a range of great features, including a rooftop terrace, heated pool, a sauna, a spa and wellness centre. Rooms are modern and spacious, and well outfitted for an enjoyable stay.

View on Booking.com

 

Best Hotel in Giza: Safir Hotel Cairo

This modern five-star hotel is our pick for where to stay in Giza. It is conveniently located for sightseeing and is a short distance from the Great Pyramids. This hotel boasts a gym and a swimming pool, as well as babysitting services. Rooms are large, perfect for accommodating families.

View on Booking.com

 

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Cairo

Cairo is, without a doubt, one of the most unique cities in the world. A seamless combination of history and modern society, Cairo is packed with historic attractions and ancient relics that sit alongside luxury hotels, vibrant nightclubs and world-class restaurants.

In this guide, we’ve looked at the best neighbourhoods to stay in Cairo. If you’re still not sure which is right for you, here’s a quick recap of our favourites.

Zamalek is our pick for the coolest neighbourhood to stay in thanks to its great shopping, delicious restaurants and lively nightlife scene. It’s also home to our pick for the best hotel in Cairo, the Hilton Cairo Zamalek Residences.

Another great option is the Dahab Hostel. Located in downtown Cairo, this unique hostel is close to top tourist attractions, museums and art galleries.

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!

world nomads insurance banner

 

 

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.

Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going.


Need More Inspiration?