Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee!

Walking Tour Along Nile River (Self Guided), Cairo

For over five thousand years the Nile has been the lifeblood of Egypt and there's simply no better way to appreciate the wealth of Egyptian history, culture and architecture than on a Nile River cruise. Don’t miss the next list of the most popular attractions along the Nile.
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Walking Tour Along Nile River Map

Guide Name: Walking Tour Along Nile River
Guide Location: Egypt » Cairo (See other walking tours in Cairo)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
Author: felicity
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • The Giza Zoo
  • Ahmed Shawki Museum
  • Abbas Bridge
  • Old Coptic Cemetery of Cairo
  • The Hanging Church
  • Ben Ezra Synagogue
1
The Giza Zoo

1) The Giza Zoo

The Giza Zoo is a zoological park located on the site of a former harem. It is one of the few green spaces in Cairo and is home to several imported and native animals.

The Giza Zoo was built by Khedive Ismail and consisted of 180 birds and 78 animals from his private menagerie. It was located on the site of the harem gardens and covered an area of over 52 acres. He imported plants from India, South America and Africa and a banyan tree from India still grows within the zoo. In the 1870s, the state took over the park from Khedive Ismail and it opened as a public zoo in 1890. The former harem building became a natural history museum.

The gardens have paths paved with black stone flags and pebbles laid artistically like mosaics. A suspension bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel helps visitors view animals from above and is the first elevated viewing bridge in the world. There are primate and bear grounds and a separate space for chimpanzees. It has a reptile house and taxidermist workshop. The Giza zoo is a research facility and many species including the Californian sea lion have been successfully bred here.
2
Ahmed Shawki Museum

2) Ahmed Shawki Museum

The Ahmed Shawki Museum is dedicated to the life and works of Ahmed Shawki one of Egypt’s best loved poets and dramatists. His home, the Karmet Ibn Hani houses the museum.

Ahmed Shawki built the house after his return from exile in the 1920s. He named it after his favorite poet, Ibn Hani Al Abbasi popularly known as Abu Nawwas. It was a large whitewashed palace surrounded by beautifully manicured and tree lined gardens. The museum was opened for public viewing in 1977.

The Ahmed Shawki Museum is set in garden with many unique bronze sculptures. There is a large bronze figure of the poet by sculptor, Gamal El Seguini that was installed to commemorate his 50th death anniversary. The displays are on two floors. On the ground floor is a suite dedicated to the works of the singer and composer, Mohamed Abd El Wahab. The ground floor also has the Shawki library with 332 books and drafts and manuscripts of the many works of the poet. The upper floor has the well preserved private rooms of the Shawki family and their collection of photographs, paintings and antiques. It is also a meeting place for poets and writers and two poetry recital sessions are held every month and also serves as a center that promotes arts and letters in the city.
3
Abbas Bridge

3) Abbas Bridge

The Abbas Bridge is one of the impressive bridges of Cairo. The Bridge has a pedestrian walkside and is actually a 586 meters long span type bridge inaugurated in 1908 by Khedive Abbas, in order to link Giza to Rhoda Island. The Abbas Bridge is followed by another one but smaller bridge called al-Malek al-Saleh.
4
Old Coptic Cemetery of Cairo

4) Old Coptic Cemetery of Cairo (must see)

This beautiful and clean cemetery is one of the prettiest cemeteries in Egypt. The gravestones are gorgeous, decorated with statues of angels, saints, doves, crosses and the like. If you wish to be in the cemetery when a funeral is occurring, you can see the old Egyptian tradition of wailing at burials. These wailing women can be seen in pictures on the murals and bas-reliefs of ancient Egyptian tombs.
5
The Hanging Church

5) The Hanging Church (must see)

The Hanging Church gets its name from being located above an old Roman Gatehouse in Cairo. Its nave hangs over a passage. The real name of the Church is Sitt Mariam or St. Mary’s Church.

The Hanging Church is the best-known Coptic Church in Cairo. The Coptic church is one of the early Eastern Orthodox Churches which once had its seat in Alexandria. Today, the Hanging Church is the official residence of the Coptic Pope. It was built in the 7th century and it is believed that there were churches on the site from the 3rd or 4th centuries. It has been rebuilt several times in particular in the 10th century by the Patriarch Abraham.

The Hanging Church has a beautiful courtyard flanked by religious mosaics. The marble pulpit has thirteen pillars representing Jesus and the 12 apostles. It is famous for its icons and the oldest one is from the 8th century. The eastern end has three sanctuaries dedicated to the Virgin Mary, St. George and St. John the Baptist. The sanctuary screen dates back to the 12th or 13th centuries and is made of ebony inlaid with ivory. It has a row of seven large icons. The left screen has 17 icons and the right screen has 7 small icons on the top. The church is a thriving place of worship and important celebrations like the enthronement of patriarchs take place here.

Tip:
Go through the door in the wall on the right to enter a half-round part of the church built directly over one of the Roman gate's defensive towers, and from which a window allows you to look down sideways at the gate itself (which is fairly impressive). You can also catch another outside glimpse of the gate and the church on top of it if you walk past the street entrance to the south-west corner of the compound.
6
Ben Ezra Synagogue

6) Ben Ezra Synagogue

The Ben Ezra Synagogue is the oldest Jewish place of worship in Cairo. The land was bought by Rabbi Ben Ezra of Jerusalem to build the synagogue and it was named after him.

Two legends exist about the location of the Ben Ezra Synagogue. Some believe that it was the place where baby Moses was found safe in the midst of bulrushes. The other legend says that it was here that the prophet Jeremiah regrouped the Jewish people after they were expelled from Jerusalem. In 1896, a collection of 100,000 documents relating to the history of the Jewish people in Egypt was found in the Geniza or store room. Most of the documents have been relocated in various museums in Europe and Britain.

The architecture of the Ben Ezra Synagogue has a basilica style. There are two floors, a lower floor for male worshippers and an upper floor for women. Steel bars divide the main hall into three parts. The central hall has the Bima or desk for Torah reading. Twelve columns support the roof and 6 marble steps lead to the wooden altar. The interiors are decorated in Turkish style floral and geometric patterns. Today, the synagogue has very few worshippers but has become a thriving tourist attraction in Cairo.

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 Museums Walking Tour Part I

Cairo Museums Walking Tour Part I

Cairo's museums are home to some of the finest Islamic art in the world. Long the seat of great dynasties, whose progeny patronized works of art, Cairo's status as one of the wealthiest and most inhabited cities of the medieval world is reflected in the exquisite arts that make up its museum collections, collections which were expanded in the twentieth century through the purchase of...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.9 Km or 4.3 Miles
Cairo's Most Interesting Landmarks Tour

Cairo's Most Interesting Landmarks Tour

Cairo, Egypt, the Triumphant City, is one of the world's most sprawling urban areas and has many tourist attractions. Cairo has been for a long time a political and cultural center. Even before Cairo was founded, in the tenth century, the land integrating the present-day city was the site of national capitals whose vestiges remain noticeable in parts of Old Cairo. Check out the most popular...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.7 Km or 4.8 Miles
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

It would be a pity to leave Cairo without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Cairo, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.6 Km or 0.4 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: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Islamic Structures Walk in Cairo

Islamic Structures Walk in Cairo

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 walking tour will guide you through to the most remarkable Islamic structures in Cairo.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 Km or 2.7 Miles
Cairo Museums Walking Tour Part II

Cairo Museums Walking Tour Part II

Cairo the city of a thousand minarets, known as Al Qahira, is one of the world's biggest urban conglomerates. Cairo is home not only to over 14 million people, but also to the Great Pyramids of Giza, ancient temples, and graves, mosques, churches and markets. In Cairo one can find an impressive number of museums each of them unique in its way, having a rich history and interesting items to...  view more

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.3 Km or 5.8 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...