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Pocket Guide: Cairo Citadel Hotels

Explore the Citadel from a Cairo Hotel

The magnificent Medieval fortress known as Salah El Din Al Ayouby Citadel, or just the Citadel for short, in the heart of the landmark-heavy district of Islamic Cairo, a Medieval quarter of the city, is a popular spot on any itinerary when visiting Cairo. Accommodation near the Citadel is minimal, so you’d be better to travel north of Islamic Cairo for a wider range of hotels away from the constant bustle of this busy area.

Cairo is a great city for shoestring-budget travellers, and you can find cheap hotels on most of the streets in the maze of downtown. Smart rooms at low rates place you right in the heart of the city. If you’re looking for a more lavish stay in Cairo, all-inclusive, elegant hotels line the banks of the Nile.

Citadel: the Home of Egypt’s Rulers

The sprawling fortress of the Citadel was, for hundreds of years, the home of Egypt’s leaders. Built in 1176, it has been expanded and revitalised down the centuries, so if you visit today, you’ll see original features of the Citadel as well as additions from the Ottoman era and the 19th century.

From a distance, marvel at the fortress that dominates the skyline of Cairo from its position on a limestone outcrop. Then when you enter the Citadel, wander around its expansive fortifications. There is a number of buildings to explore within the site, including the Gawharah Palace, from 1811, and the Suleyman Pasha Mosque, built in 1528.

Muhammad Ali Mosque

One of the most distinctive features of the Citadel is the Muhammad Ali Mosque, a 19th-century structure decorated with multiple domes and minarets. Step inside to admire the building, which is carved from alabaster. Head out into the courtyard for unbeatable views of the Pyramids of Giza in the distance.

The Citadel has so many features that it can take multiple visits to appreciate this huge attraction. Find a hotel that suits your needs in Cairo’s centre then take trips to visit the museums, mosques and palaces of this historic fortress. Don’t forget to take your camera for photos of the iconic landmark.