Al Azhar Park is a green oasis in the middle of Cairo – and a great resting place from sightseeing and the bustle of the city.
This sprawling 30-hectare public park is right next to Islamic Cairo and Khan el Khalili. It boasts green rolling hills, fountains, restaurants and sweeping views over the old city.
There’s also an observation point with binoculars and views over Islamic Cairo and its historic minarets.
A restored Ayyubid wall – built by Saladin some 800 years ago – stretches across one side of the park.
It’s all build atop of what was once a mount of city rubble and ruins. The $30 million-dollar project was a gift to Cairo from Aga Khan IV, a descendant of the city’s Fatimid caliphs.
And it’s now a local favorite for family gatherings and picnics. Lots of features are modern and inspired by historic Islamic gardens.
For a leisurely lunch with a view, head to the Lakeside Restaurant for waterside dining.
Citadel View Restaurant (aka Studio Misr) has classic Egyptian decor and plenty of local favorites on the menu (with lots of vegetarian-friendly options too). It has great views of the Citadel that are especially magical at night when the mosques are illuminated.
Insider tip: Avoid weekends and national holidays, when the park gets packed with noisy crowds and family picnics. The Eid holiday (right after Ramadan) is especially crowded and not recommended.
Need to know:
Tickets: 25 EGP per adult and 30 EGP per adult on weekends (Fridays and Saturdays).