Famous Parks and Gardens in Cairo

River Nile in Cairo

Updated On: June 04, 2024 by   Dina EssawyDina Essawy

The city of Cairo, Egypt, is known for its many open spaces, gardens, and parks, where families can 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 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 living in the Heliopolis district witnessed the Al-Ahram and Basilica Gardens renovation 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 who frequent the parks to enjoy the fresh air.

Around 2,500 meters of grass were sown, 1,500 flowers were planted, and numerous benches were installed throughout Al-Ahram gardens. The Basilica Gardens now have 1,000 Euphorbia flowers spread over 600 meters of grass and pergolas to provide shade for visitors as they relax and enjoy their time.

Al Azhar Park

Famous Parks and Gardens in Cairo

Al Azhar Park, located between the Mohamed Ali Citadel and Al Sultan Hassan Mosque, provides a unique panoramic view of Cairo. You can also enjoy lunch at one of its many restaurants.

Al Azhar Park is one of the largest in Cairo, and its beautiful grounds are renowned worldwide. It is located on an 80-acre site that was used as a garbage and waste dumping ground for more than a thousand years. The park opened to visitors in 2005, and it took over seven 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 park’s hill provides a high view of the city and a wonderful 360-degree panoramic view of historic Cairo. 

As the park was constructed, many tremendous discoveries were made. These included the Ayyubid city wall, which dates back to the twelfth century during Saladin’s reign, and many precious stones with hieroglyphic inscriptions. 

The idea to build the park came in 1984 while Aga Khan IV visited Cairo for a conference. One day, he spotted Darrasa Hill from his hotel balcony, which had accumulated debris and rubble for over 500 years. He decided to step in and offer to rebuild the area. 

The architects responsible for the project insisted on incorporating traditional Islamic landscaping styles into their design and creating an abundance of green spaces, thus bringing the city’s past back to life. 

This can be seen in the mixture of architectural styles from different periods and regions, reflected in the orchards, Fatimid-style arches, and more. 

The Nile, the symbol of Egypt and Cairo, also features in the new project, as the river was used to feed the water pools in the garden. 

Al Azhar Gardens represents a mix of 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 these overlook picturesque views along the park’s curved paths. 

ZED Park

An increasingly popular park among the younger generations, the newly developed ZED Park has attracted hundreds of monthly visitors since it opened to the public.

Located in the heart of Sheikh Zayed on Al Horreya Street, which is ​​65 acres, the park has 6 electronic gates, the most famous of which is Gate 4. Winter Wonderland, part of the project, offers a lot of events in cooperation with one of the leading entertainment agencies in the Middle East

In addition, Zed Park offers many distinguished services, such as an ice skating rink, a carousel, a roller wheel, carnival games, 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 a particular location for picnics and seating covers ​​about 25 acres. There are also many international entertainment areas, such as the first real horror house in Egypt—The Horror House—and places for performances and concerts.

Plenty of activities are waiting for you at Zed Park, from simple everyday ones to exciting and thrilling ones. Visit the Winter Wonderland to add some excitement to your days off by spending time at one of the best theme parks in Egypt. 

You can also attend concerts. Underground music fans can enjoy a wide range of concerts 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 on your memory.

Zed Park is also an ideal place to shop, especially if you want 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 according to the type of game, and the ticket price does not include all games. The tickets’ cost also varies according to the individual’s age: 250 EGP per adult, 200 EGP for children from 6 to 12 years old, 125 EGP skating fees, and 100 EGP for the House of Horrors.

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 1867. It is considered one of the best gardens established during the Khedive era in Cairo. 

The garden’s beauty lies not only in its outstanding design but also in the use of materials in its building designs. The entrance is designed like a fish gill, and the foyer area is behind it

On the sides, two fins cover four garden corridors. The inside consists of corridors or cavities resembling coral reefs in the sea. If you look at the ceiling of one of the corridors, you will find that it has cavities designed to create the sounds of waves when the air passes through them. 

Rare trees are 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, marine fish, and ornamental fish. It also has a panorama to display stuffed fish, and there are other sections that include types of turtles, marine reptiles, and more. 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. Children can play and have fun while also learning about the different types of fish and sea animals in the various aquariums.

Al Horreya Garden

With statues of important figures from Egypt’s history, including Talaat Harb, Ahmed Shawqi, and Hafez Ibrahim, along with their dates of birth, death, and important works, this amazing garden is a beautiful place to stroll through during the summer months.

The best time to visit 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. Depending on where you stand, you may also see the Cairo Tower at night.

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.

Al Andalus Garden

Built in 1935 by Muhammad Bey Zulfikar during the end of King Fouad I’s reign to be part of Khedive Ismail’s royal mansion, Al Andalus Garden is 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, 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. 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. A marble deck adjacent to the iron garden wall is on the four sides. 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. The famous Lebanese singer Fairouz was one of the last to perform there. 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 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 midnight.

Umm Kalthoum Park

Overlooking the Nile in El Manial, Umm Kalthoum Garden is one of the most beautiful gardens in Egypt. The garden has an area of 18000m and overlooks the Nile River. It contains many rare plants and trees and 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.

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.

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 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 after the conquest of the fortress of Babylon by Amr ibn al-Aas. 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 centre of water transport and the port of trade for China, India, and Europe. 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 locations around Cairo.

Ahmed bin Tulun built an arsenal on the island of Rawda near Fustat. Upon Muhammad al-Ikhshidi’s assumption of power, he turned the arsenal into a garden and established a new one in 937, hence the name Fustat Park.

It’s one of the leading historical sites in Cairo.

The park was established in 1970 and opened to the public in 1989.

Family Park

Family Park is a 70-acre park in the suburbs of El Rehab that combines educational opportunities and activities for children 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. It 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 include car drifting races, a ‘magic river cruise’, and even a train ride.

Maryland Park

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. At that time, Baron Empain owned the Heliopolis lands. When the 23 July Revolution broke out and the decision was made to nationalize the Horse Racing Club, it was moved to the Shams Club area and then called the Equestrian Club. In 1958, the location became Maryland Park.

Maryland Park was full of tall trees and lush shade. It also contained a lake where small boats sailed; in 1963, a casino and ice skating sections were added to the garden. A special nursery was used to afforestation the garden and sell plants to the public, after which three cafeterias were established to serve the public. Then, the park was transformed into a global entertainment and tourist destination, where some international restaurants and dolphin shows were established.

The park opens from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm, and tickets are EGP 20.

El Funoun Park

Built in the 1970s, El Funoun Park is located in Manila, 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 boats can accompany you on a tour of the Nile as well.

When you want to enjoy nature, you should go to El Funoun Park. It offers a bit of calm and relaxation, green areas, and flowers of various colours.

River Nile in Cairo gardens in cairo
Many of the top attractions nearby centre around the Nile. Image credit:
Sherif Moharram

Bikes Park

Egypt’s first bike park is a 210-acre area in Future City on the Ismailia road. It features cafes, lounges, a BMX racing track, and even bike rental shops.

Cycling enthusiasts will definitely enjoy this new park, which offers a safe and large place to ride their bikes along its long paved lanes, which are surrounded by greenery, for the best possible cycling experience.

If you don’t have a bike, you can rent one at Bikes Park 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 and music make for a stunning show.

The park also features cafes, seating spots, a BMX bike track, bike parking, a food court, an artificial lake, sporting courts and a Roman theatre.

Al Tefl Garden

This beautiful 20-acre park in Nasr City is a green haven for children, offering various games, rides, and jungle gyms.

This park is dedicated to children. It has many games and natural green spaces that unleash children’s energies.

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 with its most famous trees, animals and prominent features.

Special sections are dedicated to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Japan, and 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. You can also ride the garden train, which takes you around the garden in 15 minutes.

You can spend a whole day in this garden, have a picnic, and buy snacks or drinks from the stalls.

You can get acquainted with each section of the garden and its construction method and explore the types of plants and animals. In each section, you will find a flag for that country, such as China or Argentina. This garden is calm despite being located in the very crowded Nasr City in Cairo.

Visit the mall inside the park to have lunch at one of its fast food restaurants. Head to the mini zoo, where you will find beautiful peacocks, African ostriches and magnificent 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 beneficial information written on the exhibits.

Another fun experience at the park is the horror train in a dark tent, where scary masks appear and thunderous laughter surrounds you. The sounds of these effects can be heard from meters outside the train. We strongly advise you to try the train ride because it is entertaining.

Japanese Gardens in Cairo

Cairo Japanese Gardens
The Japanese Gardens in Cairo are a popular outside space. Image credit: Abhramm.org

The Japanese Garden is considered one of the most famous historical locations in Helwan, Cairo. Zulfikar Pasha, who became the chief aid to King Fouad from 1920 to 1930, decided to establish a large garden on an area of 12 acres according to the Japanese system.

“Tokyo Garden” is what the Japanese visiting Egypt prefer to call it. According to their point of view, it represents the same Japanese style that the capital, Tokyo, is famous for. 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. In June 2006, it returned to its previous glory for 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 renowned legend spread in the Helwan region due to the presence of forty Buddha statues, known as the forty thieves, a famous legend among the people of the area.

It’s an incredible place to include in your Egyptian adventure.

The park contains statues symbolizing different eras, such as the lotus flower statue carrying the statue of Zulfikar Pasha, the garden’s designer. Around it are statues of elephants guarding 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 about “I do not hear”, and the other closes his eyes about “I do not see”, and the last puts his hand on his mouth about “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 where Buddhist rituals are practised. It is one of the most important models of 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. There are also several more amusement park games for kids to enjoy.

The garden also has a music booth, used by some bands, and 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 a small boat, while the rest of the park’s lakes are closed. The garden also contains several rare and imported trees and greenery.

It is the perfect oasis of calm near Downtown Cairo.

Orman Botanical Gardens in Cairo

Orman Botanical Garden was established in 1875 during the reign of Khedive Ismail to supply the Khedivial palaces with fruits, citrus, and vegetables imported from Sicily.

It was initially part of the Khedive Ismail Palace, known then as the Giza Saray. It brought its gardens, trees, and flowering plants from all over the world. The park, which covers an area of 95 acres, was designed by French landscaper Jean-Pierre Barillet-Deschamps 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 most extensive botanical gardens in the world, Orman is a Turkish word meaning forest or bush. The garden includes the largest botanical group, 100 species, including 300 genera, followed by 600 species. It has a section for a seed exchange with all the gardens and research centres in the world. 

The garden has held an annual spring floral exhibition since 1920. The month-long Spring Festival, which usually starts in March, is an essential Egyptian cultural event. 

At the exhibition, many companies showcase their various plant offerings, including ornamental plants, flowers, cacti, seeds for growing many plants, 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 central Cairo, in the middle of the Nile, and is connected to the mainland through three bridges that cross the river. In the past, it was known as “The Botanical Garden” because it contains a beautiful 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, one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in Cairo. In addition to the charming natural beauty of Gezira Garden, it is also renowned for its privileged location near several of the most famous landmarks and tourist destinations in Cairo, including the Cairo Tower, the Egyptian Opera House and Al Gezira Sports Club.

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, covering an area of 18 acres, was established in its place.

After completing the garden’s planting, decorating, and illumination, 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, 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 has witnessed many changes throughout its history. In the mid-nineteenth century, a private hospital was established in Azbakeya Square, in addition to several hotels, including Shepherd, Continental, Windsor, and Eden Palace.

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