Planning a trip to Cairo, Egypt? Sitting on the Nile River, just a stone’s throw from the Great Pyramids, this is one of the most iconic cities in Africa. These are the best places to stay, area by area.
I’ve just returned from a trip to Egypt and, I have to say, Cairo is absolutely massive. With more than 20 million people calling it home and thousands of tourists visiting each month, it’s no wonder that finding a place to stay in this mammoth city can seem like a daunting task.
Have no fear, though – I’ve compiled a handy guide to the very best areas and hotels you should consider when booking your trip to Cairo. And don’t worry, I’ve included options for a range of budgets – so whether you want to save or splurge, there’s a gorgeous Cairo hotel out there for you.
Tip: If you plan on travelling in the near future, check out our list of travel hacks to ensure you’re able to have the best holiday possible.
Best Places to Stay in Cairo: At a Glance
|Best Hotels in Cairo – Top Picks||Hotel|
|Best Overall Hotel||Kempinski Nile Hotel Garden City|
|Best Hotel For Pyramid Views||The Pharaoh’s Hotel|
|Best Hotel for Sightseeing||The Nile Ritz-Carlton|
|Best Hotel for Luxury Accommodation||Le Riad Hotel de Charme|
Where to Stay in Cairo
Cairo’s not short of hotels, but these are the very best places to stay…
Giza Governorate: The Best Place to Stay in Cairo for Pyramid Views
The Giza Governorate is in the centre of the country, situated on the west bank of the Nile River. As the name suggests, The Giza Governorate is home to the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx, so it’s one of the most popular tourist hot spots – and the abundance of hotels reflects this.
Though I have to say that not all Giza hotels are created equal – I’ve seen some pretty shoddy hotels in this area that you’ll certainly want to avoid.
Giza Governorate: Highlights
- The Pyramids and the Sphinx – Huge feats of Ancient Egyptian architecture, these are the two main draws of Giza.
- The Citadel of Saladin – this is another historical landmark that you need to visit while you’re in the area.
Best Hotels in Giza Governorate
- The Pharaoh’s Hotel – Just 100 metres from the banks of the Nile River and offers spectacular views of the city. While the rooms might seem quite tired upon arrival, the friendly staff and excellent location of the hotel certainly makes up for it.
- Pyramids Overlook Inn – If your one goal for visiting Egypt is to see the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids, then Pyramids Overlook Inn is the perfect place for you.
Downtown, Cairo: The Best Place to Stay in Cairo For a Taste of Local Life
If you plan on visiting Egypt in the near future, you simply need to visit downtown Cairo. Must-see places like the Egyptian Museum and the majestic Nile River are all within walking distance from Downtown Cairo.
Downtown, Cairo: Highlights
- The Egyptian Museum – When it comes to iconic museums, few come close to the Egyptian Museum. Home to stunning Egyptian artefacts like sarcophagi and tombs, this museum will certainly be a highlight of your trip.
- Nile River – The famous Nile River can be seen from Downtown Cairo.
Best Hotels in Downtown, Cairo
- The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo – Nestled in the heart of Downtown Cairo, this hotel is found between the Nile River and Tahrir Square. It’s the ideal location if you want to explore Egypt’s most iconic landmarks.
- Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir, Cairo – Located within walking distance of the Egyptian Museum, this hotel is perfect for anyone looking to enjoy the beauty of Cairo in luxury.
Garden City District: The Best Place to Stay in Cairo for Luxury Hotels
From venturing to the top of the stunning Belmont Skyscraper, which overlooks the Nile River, to visiting the iconic La Mère De Dieu College, the luxury-laden Garden City District has something for everyone.
Garden City District Highlights
- Tawfiqiyya Souq Market – This traditional Egyptian fruit and vegetable market is one of the biggest attractions in the Garden District. It has friendly shopkeepers and long operating hours.
- Khan el Khalili – This mediaeval bazaar has many hidden gems just waiting for you to find.
Best Hotels in the Garden District
- Kempinski Nile Hotel Garden City – The Kempinski Nile Hotel Garden City offers guests a five-star experience on the banks of the Nile River. The hotel also has a stunning rooftop pool and spa where you can relax and enjoy the views of Cairo.
- Garden Season Hotel – Located just 6km from the iconic Egyptian Antiquities Museum, the Garden Season Hotel in Cairo is the perfect hotel to stay at.
El Gamaleya District: The Best Place to Stay in Cairo for History
The El Gamaleya District is one of the most historic areas in Cairo. It is home to the famous Al-Azhar Mosque and boasts traces of Islamic history dating back to the Mamluk era.
El Gamaleya District: Highlights
- Khan El Khalili bazaar – One of the oldest bazaars in the country. You’ll find authentic ornaments and hand-made gifts that you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
- Al-Hakim Mosque – This Mosque is a must-see if you plan on visiting the area.
Best Hotels in El Gamaleya District
- Le Riad Hotel de Charme – The design of the hotel reflects the history and style of Old Cairo, and it’s safe to say they have achieved that look perfectly.
- Gamaleya Boutique Hotel – The Gamaleya Boutique Hotel is just 2.7 km from Tahrir Square and less than 1 km from Al-Azhar Mosque.
Zamalek District: The Best Place to Stay in Cairo for Art-Lovers
One of my favourite neighbourhoods, the Zamalek district is home to a variety of quaint little bookstores, restaurants, galleries, and luxury boutique hotels.
- Cairo Opera House – Originally opened in 1988, the Cairo Opera House has hosted some of Egypt’s most talented musical groups and performers over the years.
- Museum of Modern Egyptian Art – The best place to check out the incredible talents of modern Egyptian artists.
- Zooba – One of the most popular restaurants in Zamalek, Zooba provides its customers with authentic Egyptian food at amazing prices.
Best Hotels in Zamalek
- Hotel Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah – The Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah hotel in Zamalek offers its guests classic French hospitality. The hotel is close to Cairo’s upscale business district and just a five-minute walk to the Metro.
- New President Hotel – If you’re looking to stay in the centre of Cairo’s finest dining and shopping, the New President Hotel is the place for you.
Best Hotels in Cairo
The Pharaoh’s Hotel – Giza Governorate (Low-end)
I’ll level with you, this hotel is rather tired looking, but the location is so wonderful that I still highly recommend it for anyone travelling on a budget. Rooms are clean yet budget-looking, though if you’re looking for a base to explore Cairo, then this is a great option.
The Nile Rooftop Restaurant also boasts an excellent menu featuring Egyptian and International dishes. Dinner with a view sounds pretty good to me.
Le Riad Hotel de Charme – El Gamaleya District (High-end)
If you’re looking to stay at a place that reflects the history and style of Old Cairo, Le Riad Hotel de Charme is the ideal hotel for you. Vibrant jewel tones decorate this hotel, and the luxury doesn’t end there.
Bespoke artwork, spacious rooms, and possibly the most courteous staff I’ve ever encountered… this is among my very top picks for hotels in Cairo.
Pyramids Overlook Inn – Giza Governorate (Low-End)
This is another hotel with slightly dated rooms, but with a price this good, who cares? If you’re looking for a simple spot to bed down, then the rooms here are clean and spacious, and the staff are extremely friendly – rivalling the service given at some of the more high-end spots.
The Pyramids Overlook Inn is located quite literally steps away from the Pyramids and Great Sphinx, making it the ideal location to view these famous landmarks.
Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir – Downtown (High-end)
The Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir is located within walking distance of the Egyptian Museum and features a spa, 24-hour room service, fitness area, and bar.
With gorgeous cityscape views and huge, fluffy beds in each room, there’s nowhere more indulgent to stay in Downtown Cairo.
Kempinski Nile Hotel Garden City – Garden District (Mid-range)
If you’re looking to stay on the banks of the Nile River, then Kempinski Nile Hotel is the ideal hotel for you. This hotel promises celebrity-treatment, and it certainly delivers with its butler service and complimentary mini bar for guests.
The swanky rooms are modern and spacious, with indulgent pops of colour and velvet headboards bringing yet another touch of luxe, while the rooftop pool offers stunning views of the twinkling Nile below.
Where to Stay in Cairo: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Best Area to Stay in Cairo?
I reckon that the best place to stay in Cairo, Egypt, is the Downtown area. It’s close to most of the major landmarks in Cairo, and there are plenty of brilliant restaurants and fun activities to do.
How Do You Get Around in Cairo?
The most common mode of transportation in Cairo is via taxi, though the roads are very busy. Alternatively, you can use the metro – it’s clean and simple to get the hang of.
Practical Tips to Consider Before Booking Your Cairo Accommodation
- Hotels in Egypt are plentiful, but the best ones will book up well in advance. Plan your trip ahead of time so that you can book into one of these fabulous hotels.
Most Egyptians speak English relatively well, but learning a little bit of Arabic is polite – you can say ‘salām ‘alaykum’ for hello and ‘shukrān’ for thank you.