Downtown Cairo

History of Downtown and who built it? 


Egyptians refer to Downtown as Wust al-Balad, which can be poetically understood to mean “the heart of the country”. This crowded, bustling district of Cairo certainly lives up to the name. It is not only the physical center of Cairo, but also a hub for transportation, business, and culture, centered on Midan Talaat Harb and Midan Tahrir.


Downtown was built in the 1880s as part of Khedive Ismail’s massive building project to modernize Cairo and other Egyptian cities. The Khedive’s goal was to make like a European city and he set out to do this by hiring European architects to design a whole new section of the city with wide boulevards and architecture that calls to mind Paris during the same era. If you can handle the traffic that chokes Downtown much of the time today, it is an interesting place to take a walk—full of faded relics of the grandeur of Cairo a century ago.


Downtown Cairo


There are several famous sights to visit in Downtown, as well as many lesser-known locations that are still worth a visit given their historical significance to the cosmopolitan culture that thrived here in the middle of the 20th century.




Museum of Islamic Art—located on the border between Downtown and Old Cairo, this museum is less well-known, especially since is was recently closed for renovations for over 10 years, but it contains a well-curated collection of artwork and architectural features from the era after Islam arrived in Egypt (641 AD).


Egyptian Museum—a must-see on any tourist’s visit to Cairo, this museum is full of countless artifacts from Ancient Egypt and even many from the more recent Greco-Roman period of Egypt’s history. It is located in Tahrir Square.

Downtown Cairo


Interesting Stops, Food and Drink:


Midan Falaky—this square and the surrounding area, east of Midan Tahrir and south of Midan Talaat Harb, are full of lively coffee shops and classic architecture. This is a great area to sit in a café and watch Cairo life go by. Enjoy some shisha and game of backgammon (taoula in Arabic). Enjoy a cold beer or coffee in the Café Horreya located in Midan Falaky. This is a lively place to visit at night.


Borsa—this pedestrian area located a couple of blocks northeast of Midan Talaat Harb between Kasr Al Nil Street is full of outdoor cafes that are popular among young Cairenes. Another great place to sit outside and enjoy Cairo’s street-life, day or night.

Townhouse Gallery and Theater—a thriving art gallery and performance space that holds regular movie screenings, art exhibits, and art performances. Located off of Mahmoud Bassiouni Street running northwest from Midan Talaat Harb. The website can be found here.


Café Riche—a restaurant that played host to the literary and intellectual elite of Cairo in the middle of the 20th century. Today it is a café that serves beer and decent food on Talaat Harb Street before you reach the Midan, but the classic ambiance is preserved inside. See a review here.


Café Horreya—a rare café that serves beer, it is one of the centers of nightlife Downtown, hosting an array of Egyptian and foreign clients. It is not particularly clean and it tends to get very loud and smoky, but it is a standard of Downtown Cairo nightlife nonetheless. Located in Midan Falaky.


Felfela—this restaurant in Talaat Harb Street serves delicious Egyptian food inside, but it also has a fast-food section where you can grab a quick sandwich, also pretty delicious. See a review here.


    Why Choose Us
    • Personalized Travel Services

      Whatever your travel dreams, together we can custom-design the perfect itinerary with highly personalized services just for you

    • We Speak Your Language

      A multilingual website offers content in 6 different languages English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and German

    • Flexibility to Change

      We know how important it is for travellers to have the flexibility to change their itinerary due to some reasons or force majeure

    • Your Safety and Security

      A professional will accompany the guests to all of the places; they will never be left alone to fend for themselves

    • High Quality Service

      We do believe honestly that quality should come first and quantity would come later and our main objective focused on (Quality is our Top Priority)

    • Customer Service 24/7

      We offer Customer Support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by phone and email for questions about our tours and services

    • Support Sustainable Tourism

      We are attempting to make a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate future employment for local people

    • Secure Online Payment

      Our website is protected by the world′s most secure online payment system VeriSign Secure

    • Secure Website by MacAfee

      Memphis Tours website is a McAfee Secure site that helps keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud and spyware