Cairo is the city that never sleeps. This is how many locals and tourists describe the Egyptian capital. This is because many of the shops, restaurants, and facilities of the city never close and a few of them operate 24 hours. Cairo is not like many cities in Europe and the States where the life ends at 8 or 9 in the evening. Actually, a tourist can do anything he wishes in Cairo at any time from dining, shopping, or walking around the streets.
Many of the shops, cafes, and restaurants in downtown Cairo open at late hours at night offering the tourists a great chance to walk around the city and enjoy themselves. Many places of interest are located downtown in Cairo and we will highlight some of them today as many of the tourists who travel to Egypt starts by visiting Cairo.
The Museum of Abdeen Palace
Abdeen Palace or Qaser Abdeen was the residence of the king of Egypt for a very long time. Now, many sections of the palace are opened for public as a museum exhibiting many interesting collections. The collections on display include a lot of weapons, gifts that were presented to the rulers of Egypt, the belongings of the royal family, and many silver plates and items. Cairo is featured for having a large number of museums that tourists who travel to Egypt would like to explore.
From the period of Saladin and for more than 7 centuries afterwards, the kings of Egypt used to rule over the country from the citadel, which was transformed to become one of the highlights of Cairo that is visited by hundreds of group tours to Egypt.This long habit was broken at the end of the 20th century by Khedive Ismail, the founder of the Suez Canal, who ordered his men to build a palace for him near downtown in Cairo.
Rousseau, a famous architect at the time, has designed the Abdeen Palace to contain 500 rooms and halls. The construction work of the palace has started in 1863 and it was finished in 1873. Over the years passing by, many restorations and renovations were carried out in the Abdeen Palace especially the addition of a throne room designed in the Byzantine style in 1903. In the Egyptian revolution of 1952 and the dismissal of King Farouk, the last king of Egypt, the palace was no longer the residence of the ruler of Egypt.
In the late 1980s, during the region of the former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, the palace was resorted but the work took longer than expected especially after the palace being affected by the earthquake of 1992. Afterwards, the Museum of the Abdeen Palace was finally opened for public in 1998 and now it is one of the remarkable museums in Egypt that welcome a number of tourists who spend their vacation in Egypt.
The museum is entered from a gate located in the Northern section. The first thing the visitor views when he enters is the magnificent gardens of the palace. Many rooms and halls of the palace are now opened for public visits. However, the visitors are not allowed to enter most luxuriously decorated halls of the palace. The palace has a large collection of swords and daggers that were originally presented as gifts to the kings and presidents of Egypt.
There is also another hall that hosts a large collection of medals and awards that were given to the rulers of Egypt. Custom tours to Egypt would include many remarkable museums and even any place that the tourists would like to explore. One of the most remarkable halls of the palace contains the silver collection of the family of Mohamed Ali, the founder of modern Egypt. The fountain of the palace is notable surrounded by a number of statues of Mohamed Ali, Khedive Ismail, and King Fouad I.
Beit El Sennari
When Napoleon invaded Egypt at the end of the 18th century, he brought with him from France a large number of scientists, scholars, and artists to have a center for the French culture in Egypt. Over some years, these scholars were able to form the first modern study of Egypt; the Description of Egypt, one of the most important historical and scientific books about Egypt.
The Sennari House, which was originally built in 1794 to be the residence of Ibrahim Katkhuda El Sennari, was taken by the Napoleon scholars as their residence and the place where they worked as well.The Sennari House is featured with its marvelous Mashrabeya screens, its wide open courtyard, and a large number of preserved rooms and halls. In many occasions, a number of arts displays, including textile, paintings, pottery, and glass are exhibited at the Sennari House. Some of the tourists who spend enjoyable holidays in Egypt would explore some of the less visited sites in Cairo.
The Mausoleum of Saad Zaghloul
Saad Zaghloul, one of the most popular Egyptian nationalists, who was born 1853 and passed away in 1927, spent most of his life trying to get the British occupation out of Egypt. Famous for his revolution of the year 1919, he became the spokesmen of the Egyptians in many international occasions and he became a prime minster of the country for a period of time. Zaghloul was largely admired and respected by the Egyptians and even by the foreign countries that he opposed.
Maybe this was why his impressive mausoleum was erected shortly after his death in front of his house, which was called Beit El Omma, or the House of the People, that was transformed into a museum as well. Being shaped and designed similar to a Pharaonic Temple, especially this of Sobek in Kom Ombo, the mausoleum of Saad Zaghloul is quite impressive. It would be a nice chance to visit the museum of Beit El Umma located in front of the mausoleum. The museum has many of the original furniture that Zaghloul and his family used and it is a very elegant house.
The Cornish El Nile Street
This is one of the most important streets in the Egyptian Capital. The Kornish Street starts in the Northern section of the city near the neighborhood of Shubra and ends in the Southern section, in Helwan. The Kornish Street is also where most of the Egyptian families go for a picnic and spend an enjoyable time and the street has some green spaces. Most of the vacation packages in Egypt would start by visiting Cairo, the Egyptian capital, in the beginning of their trip.
The people can also hire a Felucca boat, the traditional Egyptian sailing boat, to take a ride in the Nile which is remarkable. Some affordable tours to Egypt have started to include spending a whole day in a Felucca in Luxor as the ride is enjoyable and distinctive. The Kornish also has many of the most luxurious hotels in Cairo like the Marriot, the Semaramis Intercontinental, and the Conrad Hotel. This is where many of the travelers who go on tours to Egypt stay. Many bridges that link between the Western and the Eastern banks of the Nile in Cairo are located in the Kornish Street like the 6 of October Bridge and The 15th of May Bridge.