Essential Cairo

Tour Creator

Anthon is a writer and photographer from Utah, currently based in Aarhus, Denmark. Having traveled to more than 80 countries, he's written for more than a dozen travel guidebooks for…Read More Bio »



Remote Tour Included



Winding up the windpipe of medieval Cairo, the Qasaba, our tour will include some of Cairo’s greatest mosques and monuments. We’ll pass through the heart of its lively bazar, the famous Khan el-Khalili, then explore the bulk of its most glorious street, Al-Muʿizz, passing Between the Two Palaces. While tracing its sweep of history, we’ll be introduced to some of its most colorful characters through the ages, from its Fatimid foundations right down to its recent restoration works.

Avoid the Crowds

Allows you to explore without having to be shoulder-to-shoulder in a large tour group

Expert-created Tour

Written by a travel writer with a Master of Arts in Arab & Islamic Studies

GPS Directions

Easy-to-follow GPS directions to get you from one point to the next on your tour

Highlights include:

Al-Hussain Mosque, Barquq Complex and Al-Hakim Mosque

Remote Tour Included

As with all our tours, a remote tour is included that can be enjoyed from home


Essential Cairo

  1. Al-Azhar Mosque - Fatimid Cairo’s oldest mosque is today one of the most prestigious centers of Islamic learning.
  2. Al-Hussain Mosque - Sacred to Sunnis and Shiʿa alike, this mosque hides a shrine built over the head of the martyr.
  3. Khan el-Khalili - At the heart of Cairo’s most famous bazaar, we’ll discuss its Mamluk origins while keeping an eye out for souvenirs.
  4. Al-Muiʿzz Street & the Qalawun Complex - Here, we’ll introduce Cairo’s most glorious road, beginning with an Ayyubid and then a Mamluk monument.
  5. Al-Nasir Complex - This madrasa-mausoleum complex belongs to Qalawun’s son, and is entered through a particularly captivating portal.
  6. Barquq Complex - While admiring the third of the Mamluk madrasa-mausoleums, we’ll discuss the late Mamluk age.
  7. Sabil-Kuttab of ʿAbd ar-Rahman Katkhuda - Here, we’ll admire the fountain and school of one of Cairo’s most prolific builders in the Ottoman era.
  8. Al-Aqmar Mosque - This relatively tiny Fatimid mosque had an outsized impact on Cairene style, particularly its elaborately carved portal, recently restored.
  9. Al-Hakim Mosque - This much larger mosque was only restored to life, originally built by one of Cairo’s most fascinating – and controversial – rulers.
  10. Bab al-Futuh - We’ll end our walk at the northernmost point of Cairo, just beyond one of its 11th-century monumental gates.

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