Downtown Cairo was once a flood plain, and it wasn’t developed until the mid-19th century when the British drained
the area. The downtown area roughly follows Midan Tahrir through the center of town, and it includes the area called
Garden City. Most of the accommodation in Downtown Cairo is near the east bank of the Nile around Talaat Harb
Downtown Cairo’s legacy is certainly unique. It’s a relatively young district, especially when travelers consider
the staggering age of the pyramids next
door in Giza. Before the British building campaign of the 1800s, everyone lived a few kilometers to the east in
Islamic Cairo. As a result, this part of the modern city has a distinct old-European atmosphere that lends itself to
nicknames like ‘Paris on the Nile’.
Staying in Downtown Cairo gives tourists the chance to browse outdoor markets and explore the Egyptian Museum of
antiquities before scheduling a day trip to the pyramids. Another site worth visiting is Abdeen Palace, built at the
height of British influence when the Egyptian cotton industry was a major moneymaker.
Most of the hotels in Downtown Cairo are affordable guesthouses that attract budget travelers and backpackers. The
exception is Garden City – once the British administrative seat – where several embassies have offices. This area
has a few top-end hotels with comfortable rooms and impeccable service.