Aside from the usual attractions like Citadel, Tahrir Square, Khan Al Khalili, and many others, there are some pretty cool stops in Cairo that aren’t as popular. Check out these splendid hidden gems in Cairo that should be on your local tourism bucket list!
1. Japanese Garden Helwan
The Helwan Japanese Garden is the only Japanese botanical garden in the Middle East. It is located only ten minutes away from Maadi by metro. The garden was constructed in 1917 and boasts magnificent sights.
It is one of the largest unique gardens in Cairo, with an area of 40,468 square meters. This hidden gem in Cairo is distinguished by its stunning arbors, splendid Japanese architecture, fish ponds, and little statues of Buddha surrounding an artificial lake that dried out. In addition, it features several larger individual statues including the larger Buddha statues and a 10-foot Buddha head!
The garden is at its best in spring when the trees are in full bloom. Be sure to snap a couple of selfies with the Buddha statues at one of the most Instagrammable spots in Cairo!
2. Prince Mohamed Ali Palace (Al Manial Palace)
Prince Mohamed Ali Palace or Al Manial Palace is another hidden gem in Cairo you shouldn’t miss! Built by Prince Mohammad Ali, Manial Palace is an impressive and unusual museum that showcases a combination of Ottoman, Andalucian, Persian, and European architectural styles.
This sumptuous palace boasts lavish halls, quirky exhibits, and wonderful gardens filled with exotic plants and comfy benches for you to unwind. Time travel at this sunning spot that will take you back to the time of Sultans and Princes.
3. Ibn Tulun Mosque
One of the largest mosques in Cairo in terms of land area, Ibn Tulun Mosque is the oldest and best-preserved mosque in the country. This architectural masterpiece is located in El Sayeda Zeinab in Cairo.
The splendid red brick building is known for its majestic architecture and a splendid large courtyard. It is built around an open square area which allows natural light to travel through.
4. Gayer-Anderson Museum
Adjacent to the Mosque of Ahmad Ibn Tulun is the stunning Gayer-Anderson Museum. Beit El Kritliyya or The Gayer Anderson Museum is an art museum manifesting the majesty and grandeur of Islamic architecture.
The place is filled with paintings, opulent furniture, and antiques, as well as carpets. Aside from the astounding architecture of the building, the ornate rooms are filled with rich artifacts.
Recognized internationally, the Gayer Anderson museum was used as a location for the James Bond movie, The Spy Who Loved Me!