The Citadel, Cairo

The Citadel, Cairo (must see)

The Cairo Citadel on Mokattam Hill is a large Islamic fortification commanding spectacular views of the city. Many landmark Mosques and museums are located here today.

The Cairo Citadel served as a place where Sultans from the Mamluk Dynasties came for the cool air and to enjoy the spectacular views. It was the Ayyubid Ruler Salah-ad-Din who realized the strategic advantage of fortifying the citadel to protect the city from the crusaders. The wall around the citadel was constructed between 1176 and 1183. It served both as a fortress and a Royal City at the time. The Mamluk Sultan, Al Nasir Muhammad regained power in the 1330s and destroyed most of the Ayyubid structures. Later the Ottoman rulers, tore down most of the Mamluk buildings in the 1800s.

Today, only the walls of the Ayyubid fortress and the Bir Yusuf or St. Josephs Well remain from the original structure. The green domed Mosque of Al Nasir Muhammad and a portion of his striped palace remain from the Mamluk era. All other structures are built by the Ottoman Rulers, in particular Muhammad Ali Pasha the founder of the last dynasty that ruled Egypt. The four museums that are now located within the Citadel are the Police Museum, the National Military Museum, the Carriage Museum and the Al-Gawhara Palace museum.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Cairo. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

The Citadel on Map

Sight Name: The Citadel
Sight Location: Cairo, Egypt (See walking tours in Cairo)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Cairo, Egypt

Create Your Own Walk in Cairo

Create Your Own Walk in Cairo

Creating your own self-guided walk in Cairo is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Cairo Downtown Walking Tour

Cairo Downtown Walking Tour

The area occupied by present-day Cairo has been the center of Egypt since the days of the pharaohs. The strategic location at the base of the Nile River delta first hosted the town of Memphis, the epicenter of trade, culture, and religion. By the fourth century, Memphis was in decline, and the Romans established the Babylon fortress. The Babylon is the oldest structure in the city today. When the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Islamic Structures Walk

Islamic Structures Walk

The beautiful historical mosques of Cairo will impress any visitor. There is a significant variety of them here, dating from the earliest periods of Islam up to modern times. This self guided walking tour will take you through to the most remarkable Islamic structures in Cairo.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Old Cairo Walking Tour

Old Cairo Walking Tour

Old Cairo is called so because it is the ancient part of Cairo, and predates what is now called Cairo. Some Egyptologists think that there was a settlement here as far back as the 6th century BC. The Romans constructed a tower here named Babylon. Later, it became a Christian stronghold, with as many as 20 churches erected within a surface of one square mile. Take this walking tour to find out more...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


17 Uniquely Egyptian Things to Buy in Cairo

17 Uniquely Egyptian Things to Buy in Cairo

A jewel, a rose... what else is there distinctly Cairo to bring home as a gift? Feeling lost for ideas? - Look in here to generate some and expand your souvenir-shopping...