The city of Cairo, Egypt, is known for its many open spaces, gardens and parks where families go during days off and official holidays to enjoy their time in the open air. Some of these parks and gardens in Cairo have been there for hundreds of years or more. Others are a part of a new plan enacted by the government to increase open spaces and landscapes around the city.
If you’re looking to spend some time outdoors in Cairo, then here is a list of the best places to go:
Al-Ahram and Basilica Gardens in Cairo
Those who live in the Heliopolis district witnessed the renovation of the Al-Ahram and Basilica Gardens, in the historic Basilica Square.
Both gardens take over 9,000 square meters. The renovation came after years of neglect and offers a respite to residents and visitors to the area who frequent the gardens to enjoy the fresh air.
Around 2,500 meters of grass were sowed, 1,500 flowers were planted, and installed numerous benches throughout Al-Ahram gardens. The Basilica Gardens now has 1,000 Euphorbia flowers spread over 600 meters of grass along with pergolas to provide the visitors with shade as they relax and enjoy their time.
Al Azhar Park
Located between the Mohamed Ali Citadel and Al Sultan Hassan Mosque, Al Azhar Park provides a unique panoramic view of Cairo where you can also enjoy your lunch at one of its many restaurants.
Al Azhar Park is one of the largest in Cairo and its beautiful grounds are renowned around the world. It is located on an area of 80 acres that was used in the past as a dumping ground for garbage and waste for more than a thousand years. The park first opened to visitors in 2005, and it took over 7 years to complete for EGP 100 million paid by the Aga Khan Foundation.
To the west of the park are the old Fatimid city and its extension, Darb al-Ahmar, with its wealth of mosques and shrines, decorated with minarets. To the south lie the Sultan Hassan Mosque and its surroundings, in addition to the Saladin Castle.
The hill on which the park is located provides a high view of the city and gives a wonderful 360-degree panoramic view of historic Cairo.
As the park was constructed, many tremendous discoveries were made. These discoveries included the Ayyubid city wall, which dates back to the twelfth century during the reign of Saladin, in addition to many precious stones with hieroglyphic inscriptions.
The idea to build the park came in 1984, while Aga Khan IV was visiting Cairo for a conference. One day, he spotted From Darrasa Hill from his hotel balcony which had a lot of debris and rubble that had accumulated over the course of 500 years. He decided to step in and offer to rebuild the area.
The architects were responsible for the project insisted on incorporating traditional Islamic landscaping styles into their design as well as an abundance of green spaces, thus allowing the city’s past to come back to life.
This can be seen in the mixture of architectural styles from different periods and regions, which is reflected in the orchards and the Fatimid-style arches and more.
The Nile, the symbol of Egypt and Cairo, also finds a place in the new project as the river was used to feed the water pools in the garden.
Al Azhar Gardens represents a mix between history and modern and traditional elements. Formal gardens with central terraces, emphasising the use of fountains, polychrome stonework, sunken gardens, crisscrossing waterways, and bold Islamic architecture are incorporated into the design of a contemporary site. Cafes are located at the entrance, playgrounds are available, and all of these overlooks picturesque views along the park’s curved paths.
An increasingly popular park among the younger generations, the newly developed ZED Park has been attracting hundreds of visitors every month ever since it opened to the public.
Located in the heart of Sheikh Zayed on Al Horreya Street on an area of 65 acres, the park has 6 electronic gates, the most famous of which is Gate 4. Winter Wonderland, which is part of the project, offers a lot of events in cooperation with one of the leading entertainment agencies in the Middle East.
In addition, there are many distinguished services within Zed Park, such as an ice skating rink, a carousel, roller wheel, carnival games, as well as football, tennis, and basketball courts, swimming pools and artificial lakes, famous restaurants and cafes, indoor and outdoor gyms, a theme park (Winter Wonderland), a mall and luxury shopping areas, clubs and small shops, a concert arena, green spaces and places for walking and cycling.
The “Winter Wonder World” amusement area occupies about 70,000 meters, while there is a special area for picnics and seating, on an area of about 25 acres, and there are many international entertainment areas, such as the first real horror house in Egypt – The Horror House, and places for performances and concerts.
There are plenty of activities waiting for you at Zed Park, from simple everyday activities to exciting and thrilling ones, including visiting the Winter Wonderland to add some excitement to your days off by spending your time at one of the best theme parks in Egypt.
You can also attend concerts as underground music fans can enjoy the wide range of concerts that take place at Zed Park from bands like Massar Egbari, Cairokee, Autostrad, Downtown, Sharmoofers, Marwan Pablo, Dina El Wedidi and more.
If you are looking for some fun, you must try the ice rink at Zed Park, then visit the Horror House which is full of scary surprises and will undoubtedly make a great impression in your memory.
Zed Park is also an ideal place to shop, especially if you are looking for quality local brands. Just unleash your inner fashion diva and enjoy one of the largest markets in Egypt. Then, you can end the day with a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants around the park that offer a wide range of food options.
Zed Park prices vary in terms of games according to their type and the ticket price does not include all games, and the price of the tickets themselves also varies according to the age of the individual as follows: 250 EGP per adult, 200 EGP for children from 6 to 12 years old, 125 EGP skating fee, 100 EGP for the House of Horrors.
ZED Park is open from Sunday to Wednesday, from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and on Thursday, from 4:00 pm to 12:00 midnight, and on Friday and Saturday, from 2:00 pm to 12:00 midnight.
Aquarium Grotto Garden
Famously featured in numerous Egyptian films and previously known as the meeting place for couples, the Aquarium Grotto Garden is a must-visit location in Zamalek, Cairo.
The Aquarium or the Gabalia Garden is located on Gabalaya Street and was established by Khedive Ismail in the year 1867. It is considered one of the best gardens established during the Khedive era in Cairo.
The beauty of the garden is not only in its outstanding design but also in the use of materials for building designs. The garden consists of an entrance designed as a fish gill, and behind it is the foyer area.
On the sides, there are two fins covering four garden corridors. As for the inside, it consists of corridors or cavities resembling coral reefs located in the sea. If you look at the ceiling of one of the corridors, you will find that it has cavities which are designed to create sounds of waves when the air passes through them.
Outside, there are rare trees specially brought from Australia, Thailand, and Madagascar.
The park has caves and corridors for visitors to walk through. It also includes 49 aquariums for thousands of rare fish, such as indigo and marine fish and ornamental fish. It also has a panorama to display stuffed fish, and there are other sections that include types of turtles and marine reptiles and more, and at the entrance of the garden, there is a large aquarium with predatory fish, such as sharks, pigfish and others…
This garden is a perfect place for the entire family where children can play and have fun while also learning about the different types of fish and sea animals in the various aquariums.
The garden opens from Wednesday to Monday, 09:00 am to 17:00 pm and the ticket is EGP 20.
Al Horreya Garden
With statues of important figures from Egypt’s history, including Talaat Harb, Ahmed Shawqi, and Hafez Ibrahim with their dates of birth, death and important works, you can stroll through this amazing garden during the summer months to enjoy its beautiful nature.
The best time to spend there is at night, strolling under the starlit sky amid light poles scattered everywhere to illuminate the space. The garden is very romantic and great for couples, and it offers stunning views for photography, so make sure you have your camera with you, as well as the possibility of seeing the Cairo Tower at night, depending on where you stand.
Al Horreya Garden, located near the Opera Square on Tahrir Street, is one of the most beautiful parks in the city, as it features charming views of the Nile, and the famous buildings of Cairo, where visitors sit on wooden benches and enjoy the picturesque view.
The garden is open daily from 9:00 am to 7:00 am, and tickets are EGP 5.
Al Andalus Garden
Built in 1935 by Muhammad Bey Zulfikar, during the end of the reign of King Fouad I, to be part of Khedive Ismail’s royal mansion, Al Andalus Garden is built on two acres and consists of two sections; the northern part is called the Pharaonic Garden, and it was decided to include the garden in the list of Islamic and Coptic monuments.
The southern part features a canopy built on double columns bearing Andalusian arches carrying the ceiling, which is full of Andalusian Arab geometric and plant decorations. In the middle of the canopy is a statue of Ahmed Bey Shawqi, Prince of Poets, sculpted by Mahmoud Mukhtar. Right behind the statue are five lion-shaped statues from which water emanates into a low rectangular pool in the middle of the garden containing two marble fountains.
The pool is surrounded by eight terraces planted with grass, and in the four corners are marble-paved corridors adorned with mosaics imported from Italy and Turkey that lead to the top level of the garden, which consists of two corridors paved with marble and multi-coloured tiles. The two lanes are lined with rows of trees. On the four sides is a marble deck for sitting adjacent to the iron garden wall. Further south, the garden contains an eight-shaped marble fountain, and on both sides of the fountain, there are two wooden pergolas. The fountain is adjacent to royal palms.
In the sixties and seventies, concerts were held in the garden for renowned singers, such as Abdel Halim Hafez, Farid al-Atrash and Muhammad Fawzy, and the famous Lebanese singer Fairouz was one of the last to perform in the garden. Today, several TV shows film there when it is not crowded with visitors and families on weekends and official holidays.
Entry tickets are EGP 5 for Egyptians and EGP 10 for foreigners, with extra tickets for cameras at EGP 50 (mobile photography is allowed for free) and photo sessions for brides are held there as well for EGP 400. The garden is open daily from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm, and in the summer and during holidays, it opens till 12:00 midnight.
Umm Kalthoum Park
Overlooking the Nile in El Manial, Umm Kalthoum Garden is one of the most beautiful gardens in Egypt. The garden overlooks the Nile River and has an area of 18000m. It contains many rare plants and trees. The garden is characterized by calm and beautiful views. It is a suitable place for lovers of drawing, photography and yoga. There are also opportunities for fishing there as well.
The park offers visitors a range of services, including providing places for cultural and social seminars, opening its doors for those who enjoy hunting and providing them with designated places, organizing birthdays and special occasions, availability of places for filming for those who want to shoot special occasions or for YouTube videos, and providing agricultural information to those who love agriculture.
The garden is open daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, for EGP 5 per ticket.
Al Fustat Garden
Located between Al Azhar Park and Amr Ibn al-As Mosque, this park spans over 250 acres, making it one of the largest parks in the country.
It is one of the famous gardens in the city of Cairo, which is frequented by tourists due to its distinguished location in the Old Cairo district, the capital of Egypt, near the Amr Ibn al-As Mosque, one of the most famous mosques in the city. It is a spacious park that provides a green haven for all lovers of nature and tranquillity. The garden also offers many games for children.
The Fustat Garden was named by Amr ibn al-Aas, after the conquest of the fortress of Babylon. He built the city from the ground up after the conquest of Egypt in the year 641, on the coast of the Nile at its northeastern tip, about two miles outside of Cairo (at the time). At that time, the Nile was divided into two parts, and Fustat was located between the Nile and the eastern mountain, where there were no buildings except the Babylon Fortress, which overlooks the Nile from its western gate (the Iron Gate). The first building to be constructed in Fustat afterwards was Amr ibn al-Aas Mosque.
Fustat was the main center of the water transport and the port of trade coming from China, India and Europe, and when the boats arriving there loaded with different types of grain were anchored, the porters used to carry the shipments to their storage places, which were located in several places around Cairo.
Ahmed bin Tulun built an arsenal on the island of Rawda near Fustat, and upon the assumption of power by Muhammad al-Ikhshidi, he turned the arsenal into a garden and established a new arsenal in the year 937, hence the name Fustat Park.
It’s one of the leading historical sites in Cairo.
The current park was established in 1970 and was opened to the public in 1989.
The garden is open every day from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, with tickets at EGP 5.
Family Park is in the suburbs of El Rehab and is a 70-acre park combining educational opportunities and activities for children, along with family entertainment in a theme park setting.
The Park is designed to stimulate creativity and learning through fun and interactive exhibits and workshops for children and adults. The park is home to four centres, offering arts and technology, science, nature, and artistic workshops. The park’s attractions also include a miniature railway, the Magic River, a safari area, theme park rides and several casual and themed dining experiences.
Movie nights are held here as well, in addition to car drifting races, a ‘magic river cruise’, and even a train ride.
The park is open from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. Tickets are EGP 70 including the zoo and safari, the panorama of weapons, three fixed game areas, and the sound and light show.
Maryland Park is the largest in the Heliopolis district in Cairo, located on an area of 50 acres and extends along with three metro stations that pass by it.
The park was established in 1949 during the reign of King Farouk, under the name of the Horse Racing Club, and at that time, Baron Empain was the owner of the Heliopolis lands. When the 23 July Revolution broke out and the decision was made to nationalize the Horse Racing Club, it was then moved to the area of the Shams Club, and then it was called the Equestrian Club. In 1958, the location became Maryland Park.
The Maryland Park was full of tall trees and lush shades, and also contained a lake in which small boats sailed, and in 1963, a casino and ice skating sections were added to the garden, and a special nursery was used in afforestation of the garden and sold plants to the public, after which three cafeterias were established to serve the public and then the park was transformed into a global entertainment and tourist destination, where some international restaurants have been established, in addition to dolphin shows.
The park opens from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm and tickets are EGP 20.
El Funoun Park
Built in 1970s, El Funoun Park is located in Manial directly on the Nile from the south end of the park, on Abdel Aziz Al Saud Street. Inside the park, there are many seats and tables where you can have breakfast with a panoramic view of the Nile, and there are boats to accompany you on a tour of the Nile as well.
When you want to enjoy nature, you should go to El Funoun Park, for a bit of calm and relaxation, green areas, and flowers of various colours.
The park is open from 8:00 am to 12:00 midnight. Tickets are EGP 10.
Egypt’s first bike park is a 210-acre area in Future City on the Ismailia road, with cafes, lounges, a full track for BMX racing, and even bike rental shops.
Cycling enthusiasts will definitely enjoy this new park that offers a safe and large place to enjoy riding your bike along its long paved lanes between greenery to have the best possible cycling experience.
If you don’t have a bike, you can rent one at Bikes Park as they offer rental services for EGP 40 per hour. It’s a nice location to have fun with your friends or spend the day with your family and enjoy the oriental breakfast they serve. One of the great things to do at Bikes Park is watch the dancing fountain at night as the colourful lights with music make for a stunning show.
The park also features cafes, seating spots, a BMX bikes track, bike parking, a food court, an artificial lake, sporting courts and a Roman theatre.
The Park is open from 9:00 am to 10:00 midnight on weekdays and until 12:00 midnight on weekends. Tickets are EGP 15 on weekdays and EGP 20 on weekends, with a private bike entry fee at EGP 10.
Al Tefl Garden
This beautiful 20-acre park in Nasr City is a green haven for children, offering an endless variety of games, rides, and jungle gyms.
This park is dedicated to children with many games and natural green spaces that unleash children’s energies.
The garden is open from 10:00 am to 10:30 pm. Tickets are EGP 5.
El Dawleya Gardens in Cairo
The park lies on Abbas El-Akkad Street in Nasr City, Cairo. Every country has a part of the park that features its most famous trees, animals and prominent features.
There are special sections dedicated to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Japan, and as well as many other Arab or foreign countries.
When you visit the park, you can walk the wide corridors in the garden, explore the garden, and enjoy the peace and quiet, and you can also ride the garden train that takes you around the garden in 15 minutes.
You can spend a whole day in this garden, have a picnic, and buy some snacks or drinks from the stalls in the garden.
You can get acquainted with each section of the garden and the method of construction in it, and explore the types of plants and animals, and at each section, you will find a flag for that country, such as China or Argentina and others, and this garden is calm despite the fact that it is located in the very crowded Nasr City in Cairo.
Visit the mall inside the park to take lunch, at one of its fast food restaurants, and head to the mini zoo where you will find beautiful peacocks, African ostriches and very beautiful birds, and you can explore a small museum inside the zoo, in which there are stuffed animals and skeletons of animals like Cheetahs from South America and giant Asian snakes and lizards that can swallow animals three times their size, with very useful information written on the exhibits.
Another fun experience at the park is the horror train, which is in a dark tent, where scary masks appear to you with very loud laughter surrounding you on all sides. The sounds of these effects are heard from meters outside the train. We strongly advise you to try the train ride because it is really entertaining and fun.
The park is open from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm and tickets are EGP 10.
Japanese Gardens in Cairo
The Japanese Garden is considered one of the most famous historical locations in Helwan, Cairo, where Zulfikar Pasha, who became the chief aid to King Fouad in the period from 1920 to 1930, decided to establish a large garden according to the Japanese system, on an area of 12 acres.
“Tokyo Garden”, this is what the Japanese visiting Egypt prefer to call it, as according to their point of view, it represents the same Japanese styles that the capital Tokyo is famous for, and this is what the visitor will feel when entering the garden, as they experience the authentic Japanese atmosphere.
The architect Zulfiqar Pasha established the garden in 1919 in the Asian style to symbolize the civilizations of the East, and its design was completed in 1922. In 1990, the Cairo Governorate included the garden in the specialized gardens project. Then, in January 2005, it began implementing its large project to develop the garden and save it from the neglect that afflicted it over the years, until it returned it to its previous glory in June 2006 at a cost of EGP 5.5 million.
It is considered one of the most famous gardens for couples in Cairo, because of its calm and picturesque atmosphere among the rare trees and plants. It is linked to a famous legend spread in the Helwan region, due to the presence of forty Buddha statues, who are known as the forty thieves, a famous legend among the people of the region.
It’s an incredible place to include in your Egyptian adventure.
The park contains some statues symbolizing different eras, such as the lotus flower statue carrying the statue of Zulfikar Pasha, the designer of the garden, and around it are statues of elephants that guard the location.
There is also a statue of the ‘face of life’, which is a woman with her eyes closed and a shy smile that reflects the idea of the East’s sanctification of women, as well as 48 statues of Sheba’s students gathering to learn about the Buddhist religion in front of the large lake, which contains the statue of the Triple Wisdom that urges people not to interfere in the affairs of others: “I do not hear, I do not see, I do not speak”, depicted by three monkeys, one of them plugs his ear in reference to “I do not hear”, and the other closes his eyes in reference to “I do not see”, and the last puts his hand on his mouth in reference to “I do not speak”, in addition to the Lotus Lake and music booth.
The garden doors are all closed except for the main door, which is open to visitors, and after it, there is a road that divides the garden into two parts. On the right there is a statue of the ‘Face of Life’, and after ascending the stairs you will find a large canopy with places to sit next to a statue of Zulfikar Pasha, carried by a lotus flower, and around it are the “Three Elephants” statue surrounded by a small iron fence.
In the middle of the Japanese Garden is the sacred “pagoda”, a religious building in which Buddhist rituals are practiced, and one of the most important models that express the architectural civilization of the East Asian region.
At the end of the garden, there is the teacher “Sheba and his 48 disciples” sitting around him in front of the waterless lake, which some visitors call (Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves) surrounded by an iron fence and below them there is a statue of the Triple Wisdom of Monkeys, and there is also several ome amusement park games for kids to have enjoy.
The garden also has a music booth, used by some bands, in addition to a statue of “Buddha” smiling at the garden’s visitors. In front of the statue is a lake that is the only one with water in which children can play, with the small boat, while the rest of the park’s lakes are closed. The garden also contains a number of rare and imported trees and greenery.
It is the perfect oasis of calm near Downtown Cairo.
The Japanese Garden opens every day from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, except on Saturdays as it closes at 11:00 pm. Tickets are EGP 5.
Orman Botanical Gardens in Cairo
Orman Botanical Garden was established during the reign of Khedive Ismail in 1875, with the aim of supplying the Khedivial palaces with fruits, citrus and vegetables, which were imported from the island of Sicily.
It was originally part of the Khedive Ismail Palace, which was known at the time as the Giza Saray, and brought its gardens, trees and flowering plants from all over the world. The park was designed by French landscaper Jean-Pierre Barillet-Deschamps, on an area of 95 acres, and includes three parts: Orman, Haramlek, which is now located in the western part of the zoo, and Salamlek in the southern area.
One of the largest botanical gardens in the world, Orman is a Turkish word meaning forest or bush, and the garden includes the largest botanical group of 100 species, including 300 genera, followed by 600 species. The garden has a section for a seed exchange with all gardens and research centres in the world.
An annual spring floral exhibition has been held at the garden since 1920. The month-long Spring Festival usually starts in March and is an important Egyptian cultural event.
At the exhibition, many companies showcase their various plant offerings, including ornamental plants, flowers, cacti, as well as seeds for growing many plants, and fertilizers, gardening tools, and pots. You’ll also find many local goods for sale, like woven baskets, essential oils, Aswanian honey, souvenirs, and jewellery at very affordable prices, starting from EGP 5.
The garden opens from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm and tickets are EGP 5.
Gezira Gardens in Cairo
The Gezira Garden is located in the central Cairo area in the middle of the Nile and is connected to the mainland through three bridges that pass across the river. Gezira Garden was known in the past as “The Botanical Garden” because it contains a wonderful and unique group of plants, but its name was later changed to “Gezira”.
It is also referred to as Zamalek Island due to its location in the famous neighbourhood of the same name, which is one of the richest neighbourhoods in Cairo. In addition to the charming natural beauty of Gezira Garden, it is also famous for its privileged location near a number of the most famous landmarks and tourist destinations in Cairo, including the Cairo Tower, the Egyptian Opera House and Al Gezira Sports Club.
Gezira Garden opens from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm and tickets are EGP 10.
Azbakeya Gardens in Cairo
It is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the country. In 1864, the pond in the middle of the square was filled in, and in 1872 the Azbakeya Garden was established in its place, covering an area of 18 acres.
After completing the planting of the garden, decorating it and illuminating it, the Khedive appointed French Monsieur Bareille as overseer of Azbakeya Garden and all other parks.
Khedive Ismail built two theatres at the southern end of Azbakeya: the French Comedy Theater, which was established on 2 November 1867, and opened on 4 January 1868, under the administration of Khawaja Mansi, and the Khedivial Opera House.
Many official and popular celebrations for foreigners and Egyptians were held in the garden. In June 1887, Queen Victoria’s Day was celebrated by the English community in Egypt, while the French Community held the 14th July Celebrations there as well. As for the Egyptian celebrations in the garden, the most prominent of which was the celebration of the Royal Sultanate Day and the celebration of charitable associations, in addition to holding concerts for singers, the most famous of which are Sheikh Youssef Al-Manilawi, Abdo Al-Hamouli, Muhammad Othman, and the garden witnessed most of the concerts of Umm Kulthum, that was transmitted by the Egyptian radio.
The area of Azbakeya witnessed many changes over the course of its history. In the mid-nineteenth century, a private hospital was established in Azbakeya Square, in addition to a number of hotels, including Shepherd, Continental, Windsor and Eden Palace.
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