February 20, 2022 – Touring Abdeen Palace & Islamic Cairo
Enjoy special permission exclusively to visit the extravagant Abdeen Palace. Constructed in 1863 on order of Khedive Ismail as part of the plan for a modern Cairo, the palace acted as the royal residence until the monarchy was abolished in 1952 to be the official headquarters of the Egyptian Presidency.
Explore the numerous reception rooms which were used to receive delegates, Kings and senior visitors. The Palace has 500 rooms and royal suites, including the Belgian Suite, as well as five different halls for ceremonies. Admire the oriental design and frescoed ceiling in the Hall of Throne. Whilst walking your way around the Palace, you’ll also see a large collection of items that used to belong to the Royal Family, such as plates, glassware, gold and silver
Take a fascinating tour of Islamic Cairo, including the beautiful and graceful Mohamed Ali Mosque and the ancient Citadel, a spectacular medieval fortress perched on a hill above the city. Originally built by Salah El-Din in 1176 to fortify the city against the Crusaders, the Citadel was modified and enlarged over the centuries by subsequent rulers and today is a complex of three mosques and four museums.
With its grand, soaring architecture and rich decoration, the Mosque of Sultan Hassan, completed in 1363, is one of the finest in Egypt and also houses the mausoleum where Sultan Hassan’s sons are buried.
Next to the Mosque of Sultan Hassan, discover the much newer Refaie Mosque, completed in 1912 with well-preserved, colorful decoration. Buried in tombs here are a Muslim saint, a companion of the Prophet Mohamed, Egypt’s last royal family and the last Shah of Iran.
Continue on to discover Old Cairo
Named after the Nobel-prize-winning Egyptian author, Naguib Mahfouz restaurant lies in the very heart of the Khan El-Khalili Bazaar making it a convenient, air-conditioned place to take a break from shopping. The coffee shop at the entrance offers drinks, snacks and shisha (water pipes), while the restaurant section offers a selection of chicken, meats and mouth-watering Middle Eastern mezzas (small appetizers). Please note that alcohol is not served here.
Next, visit the fascinating Khan El-Khalili Bazaar, reputed to be the largest bazaar in the Middle East. Originally founded as a watering stop for caravanserai in the 14th century, the bazaar has now grown to vast proportions. Wander through the labyrinth of narrow streets to find workshops and stalls selling all manner of things from woodwork and glassware to leather goods and perfumes.