Cairo is the Hollywood of the Arab world, and Zamalek is the Manhattan of Cairo. It’s one of the safest parts of the city, with high-end shops, and an abundance of bakeries and art galleries. Every corner offers something new and you could spend your whole day shopping still without making a big dent in your wallet. I’ve only been living in Zamalek for a short time but have done more than enough exploring to find the best ways to spend your time here.
1. Little Ovio – 6 Brazil Street – A small little European bakery sits mere meters from my front door. It’s the only place I will buy my bread or drink espresso. They have an assortment of small desserts with anything from candied apples and maple glaze, to caramel tarts and Viennese chocolate cakes.
2. Gourmet Market – 3 Brazil Street. This is where you want to buy your groceries. It’s a luxury market with cured meats, imported cheese, oils, breads and more. It’s about three times the price of a regular market but the quality of the food is well worth your money.
3. Sufi – 12 Sayed El Bakry Street – Half bookstore, half ahwa (a type of Egyptian cafe) this is the perfect cozy spot to have a study session.
4. Antique Khana – 8 Brazil Street – This restaurant, art gallery combo is a relaxing and intriguing scene to enjoy some soft jazz music while munching on some pasta or strolling through a collection of old books, statues, and clocks.
5. Nefertari Body Care – 15A Mohammed Maraashly – Nefertari is the best beauty shop in all of Cairo. All their products are handmade, organic, and the smells will amaze you. They sell Egyptian cotton towels, beeswax candles, body and face oils, soaps, shampoo, essential oils, you name it. This is where I go to pamper myself.
6. Left Bank – 53 End Abou El Feda – A lovely cafe situated right on the Nile River, Left Bank is the ideal spot to enjoy a cup of mint tea while gazing over the waters of the most famous river in the world.
7. Boutique Spa – 15 Sri Lanka Street – Now this is the place I go to truly spoil myself. After a long week of more than thirty hours of school and ten more of hard homework, I go to Boutique to get a facial, THAI massage, or body treatment. It’s relaxing and serene; the workers are very talented at what they do. This is a great place to kill a couple hours pampering yourself at a reasonable cost.
8. Pub 28 – 28 Shagarat el Dor Street – Pub 28 is famous among the locals and the expat community. It’s dark and smoky inside and is accompanied by nice music and great food. Try the sangria!
9. Cairo Tower – The Cairo Tower is the most well-known landmark in Cairo, after the pyramids. It’s 187 meters high and has a nice restaurant on top, but everyone goes for the view. It’s open from 8 until midnight and the entrance fee is modest at 150 pounds. The most spectacular view of the city will be seen from the top of the tower at sunset. Another fantastic time to go is during the night. You can see all the lights, cars, neon signs, and boats from all over the city. The view never gets old.
Have any more suggestions on where to go in Zamalek? Comment below!
Photo credit: Jari Kurittu
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