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First-timer’s Guide to Where to Stay in Cairo, Egypt

First-timer’s Guide to Where to Stay in Cairo, Egypt

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Discover where to stay in Cairo in this comprehensive accommodation guide featuring the best River Nile neighborhoods & hotels for every budget.

Cairo is Egypt’s capital city and one of the world’s most vibrant hubs of culture & history. From its breathtaking architecture, must-see ancient landmarks, and bustling markets, it’s safe to say that Cairo should be on the top of the list for anyone’s Egypt itinerary.

But, with a metropolitan area that is the largest in the Arab world, planning where to stay in Cairo can be overwhelming. That’s why, after my trip, I’ve compiled this comprehensive accommodation guide summing up the best neighborhoods, and the top hotel deals for every budget.

My favorite hotel is the Crowne Pyramids View Inn for its unbelievable views over the Grand Pyramid with a low price tag.

Infographic map showing where to stay in cairo outlining the different areas, egypt
Map showing the different areas to stay in Cairo

4 Best Areas to Stay In Cairo (Neighborhood Guide)

Below are my four recommended areas to base your stay in Cairo.

  • Downtown Cairo - A great neighborhood for a taste of local life. Here, you'll find many accommodation options from budget-friendly hostels to upscale hotels. It's also very close to the main attractions like the Egyptian Museum, Tahrir Square, and the Nile River.
  • Giza - A famous district housing the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx. Tourists will find many luxury hotels and resorts in Giza with excellent pyramid views.
  • Garden City - A luxury neighborhood on the East Bank of the Nile and within walking distance of Downtown Cairo. Garden City has many great Middle Eastern restaurants and a modern art scene.
  • Zamalek - situated on the island of Gezira, Zamalek is an affluent neighborhood with plenty of upbeat restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops. Many luxury hotels in this area offer views of the Nile.
Sphinx and pyramids of egypt

My Top Picks For Where to Stay in Cairo, Egypt

If you're in a rush, here are my top 3 accommodation options in Cairo for each budget.

Read on for a more comprehensive breakdown with recommendations from each neighborhood.

Outdoor swimming pool at the four seasons hotel cairo at nile plaza

1. Four Seasons Hotel Cairo Luxury

One of the best 5-star luxury resorts with views over the River Nile. Its on-site spa and 2 luxurious outdoor swimming pools offer guests celebrity treatment.

Views from crowne pyramids view inn

2. Crowne Pyramids View Inn Pyramid View

One of the best value-for-money choices for spectacular views. This family-run hotel offers guests air-conditioned rooms with balcony views overlooking the Pyramids.

Holy sheet hostel private room

3. Holy Sheet Hostel Budget

An affordable stay within walking distance of The Egyptian Museum. This budget choice is great for backpackers looking to save money. For those wanting to fill their stomachs before a big day of exploring Cairo A la carte breakfast is served each morning.

Downtown Cairo: Stay Close to the Main Attractions

If you want to visit all of the main attractions in the city, then the best place to stay is Downtown Cairo. Some of the most popular landmarks in Egypt are found in this area including the Egyptian Museum, Tahrir Square, and Khan El-Khalili, Cairo's oldest bazaar market.

The nile ritz-carlton bedroom with large balcony and city viewsThe Nile Ritz-Carlton$$$
Steigenberger hotel el tahrir cairo bedroom with city viewsSteigenberger Hotel$$$
Holy sheet hostel private roomHoly sheet Hostel$$

1. The Nile Ritz-Carlton

If you love staying in fancy accommodations, The Nile Ritz-Carlton is one of the best luxury hotels in Cairo worth spending your money and time on.

Situated in downtown Cairo, this iconic hotel is located along the Nile River, Tahrir Square, and the Egyptian Museum.

This 5-star hotel features spacious and beautifully decorated rooms. All rooms offer free Wi-Fi, a coffee machine, a luxurious bathtub, and a private bathroom.

Featuring an outdoor swimming pool, a spa & fitness facility, and a casino, it will keep guests busy and give them something to do during the hours that aren't spent exploring the surrounding city.

With over nine different bars and restaurants to choose from, guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to culinary experiences. It houses both Vivo an Italian restaurant with views of the Nile and Cairo Tower and Bab El-Sharq which offers signature Arabian dishes.

2. Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir Cairo

With over 15,000 positive Google reviews it is clear why Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir Cairo made it to the list.

It's located in El Tahrir Square overlooking the Egyptian Museum and is just a short walk from Khan El Khalili Bazaar. The location is perfect for those looking to arrive at the Egyptian Museum at the opening time of 9:00 am and be in line early before the tours and crowds arrive. I waited over an hour to enter on my visit as I arrived later.

This stunning 4-star hotel boasts 295 guest rooms and a range of facilities such as a gym, swimming pool, and spa.

A long day trip to climb Mt Sinai can be booked from here if you're not planning on staying in Sharm El Sheikh.

3. Holy Sheet Hostel

If you're on a budget but still want to stay in the downtown area, the Holy Sheet Hostel is the best place for you.

Boasting free wifi, a shared lounge, dorms equipped with 10 bunk beds, and private rooms with comfortable beds. Guests can enjoy a continental or à la carte breakfast each morning serving eggs and bread.

The hotel has 24/7 security and front desk management which are available to help with tips to nearby recommended restaurants and organising taxis etc.

Some of the major attractions near the hostel include Tahrir Square 600 m, Khan Al Khalili 2.6 km, The Egyptian Museum 800 m, Cairo Tower 2.1 km, and Al-Azhar Mosque 2.5 km.

Location: I recommend the Beef Shawarma from Kazaz which is 120 m from Holy Sheet hostel.

Giza - Best Hotels With Pyramid Views

If you're looking for the best area to stay in Cairo with pyramid views, then Giza is the best place. Boasting luxurious hotels and budget-friendly options, there is accommodation available to suit every budget.

Marriott mena house bedroom with pyramid views in cairoMarriott Mena House$$$
Views from crowne pyramids view innCrowne Pyramids View Inn$$
Vedroom with private bathroom at the comfort sphinx innComfort Sphinx Inn$$

4. Marriott Mena House

Experience world-class service with views of the Great Pyramid of Giza at Marriott Mena House.

Situated in the best location to stay in Cairo for seeing the Giza Pyramids, this 5-star hotel is situated on 40 acres of immaculate gardens which makes you feel like you've arrived at an oasis.

Rooms have partial or full views over the Pyramids or gardens. I suggest asking for an upgrade if possible on arrival as watching the sunrise over the pyramids from your bed is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

There are plenty of dining choices for guests at Marriott Mena House, including Italian specialties at Alfredo Restaurant and the daily buffet breakfast at 139 Pavilion.

The property features a pool, fitness center, and spa for those looking to relax.

The Giza Pyramids are less than 500 m away. I must note that the nighttime sound and light show cannot be seen from the hotel.

5. Crowne Pyramids View Inn

This newly added hotel overtook the previous contender that I had on this hotel list for the best pyramid views and hospitality.

This family-run hotel ticks so many boxes when it comes to staying in comfort for an affordable price. The outdoor balcony is positioned perfectly for breathtaking views over the pyramids for both sunrise and sunset.

Home-cooked Egyptian food is served from the hotel and previous guests have made comment of just how delicious and fresh the breakfast is. Rooms cater to both double and triple beds and provide a private bathroom.

This is a no-brainer if you're looking to save money and view the pyramids in comfort.

6. Comfort Sphinx Inn

If you're looking for another traditional Egyptian experience then the Comfort Sphinx Inn is a great 3-star accommodation option.

The hotel features a bar and spectacular views of the Pyramids. Guests have access to free bikes which makes it convenient to reach the pyramids and nearby attractions like the Great Sphinx which is 500 m away and the Giza Pyramids which are 4.3 km away.

Each beautifully designed room features air conditioning, a private bathroom, and a safety deposit box, and certain rooms have balconies with spectacular pyramid views which are great for watching sunrise and sunset.

Garden City - Upbeat Neighborhood with Luxury Hotels

Located on the banks of the Nile River, Garden City is the best area to stay in Cairo for luxury hotels as it used to be home to Egypt's elite. Since it's situated in Central Cairo, there are many major attractions close by.

Four seasons hotel cairo at nile plaza bedroomFour Seasons Hotel Cairo$$$
Kempinski nile hotel bedroomKempinski Nile Hotel$$

7. Four Seasons Hotel Cairo

If you want to experience world-class service in the heart of the city, then the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza is the best place to stay in Cairo.

As one of the top luxury hotels in all of Cairo with over 16,000 positive reviews, it's easy to see why so many people enjoy staying at this accommodation. There is so much to love about this 5-star hotel, from its panoramic views of the Nile River to its luxurious decor and elegant rooms.

Each of the rooms at this hotel features air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, and a marble bathroom. Some rooms have a luxury seating area while others have a private terrace overlooking the Nile River.

Guests can spend their days in the pool, the hot tub, or enjoying a rejuvenating massage at the on-site spa.

A fresh and delicious buffet breakfast is available early each morning which is perfect for those looking to explore the city before the crowds wake up.

8. Kempinski Nile Hotel

If you love elegance, then you will experience plenty of it at Kempinski Nile Hotel, one of the best luxury hotels in the affluent Garden City district of Cairo.

Similar to the top attractions in Aswan, this Cairo hotel is situated on the banks of the Nile River. This hotel boasts luxurious rooms with exceptional views. Guests have the choice of a butler service, concierge, and pillow menu.

Some of the modern amenities at this property include a wellness center with hot tubs, steam rooms, and saunas as well as a rooftop pool which is a great place to watch sunset.

There are a range of dining options including the Osmanly restaurant serving Turkish cuisine, and The Blue restaurant serving Italian dishes.

Some popular points of interest near the hotel include the Egyptian Museum, Cairo Citadel, and the Pyramids of Giza. Cairo International Airport is 25 km away.

Zamalek- Best Place to Stay in Cairo for Nightlife

If you're looking for the best location to stay in Cairo for nightlife, then Zamalek is it! Zamalek is located on Gezirah Island, home to ex-pats and the wealthy, hence the many restaurants and bars. There is a range of accommodations to choose from in Zamalek, from luxury 5-star hotels to budget-friendly accommodations.

Sofitel cairo nile el gezirah bedroom with large balcony with views over cairoSofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah$$$
Bedroom suite at the hilton cairo zamalek residencesHilton Cairo Zamalek Residences$$
Bedroom with lounge area at the new president hotel zamalekNew President Hotel Zamalek$
Brassbell studios bedroom with large windowsBrassbell studios$

9. Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah

If you're looking for luxury and elegance then Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah is the best hotel in Cairo Egypt for you to stay.

Its location is truly spectacular with views from the private promenade exceeding all expectations. The on-site restaurants serve delicious meals and a drink can be enjoyed from 2 of the on-site bars.

A fitness center, swimming pool, and hammam are available with the optional massage packages.

Each of the spacious rooms in this hotel comes equipped with air conditioning and a minibar. Many rooms provide spectacular views of the River Nile and the city of Cairo.

Located in the city center, this hotel is within walking distance of the Opera House, Cairo Tower, Egyptian Museum, and Khan El Khalili.

10. Hilton Cairo Zamalek Residences

Located on Gizerah Island, Hilton Cairo Zamalek Residences is in an ideal location overlooking the Nile River and Cairo.

The bright and spacious rooms at this hotel have a private balcony, free Wi-Fi, and satellite TV.

An outdoor heated swimming pool and children's pool both overlook the Nile River. There is a gym facility and wellness center on the property boasting a sauna and steam room.

Whether you plan to spend your days lying by the pool or taking a day trip to Alexandria, there are plenty of things to do during your visit.

11. New President Hotel Zamalek

Another great option to stay in Zamalek is the New President Hotel Zamalek for its low-cost rooms.

This boutique hotel offers modern air-conditioned rooms with private bathrooms, free wifi, and satellite TV. There is also a fully equipped gym on-site which is perfect for burning off those extra calories accumulated from Chef Metwy's omelets at breakfast.

6 minutes walk from the property you will find Abou al Zouz Restaurant which offers breathtaking views over the Nile for sunset and some of the most delicious food in Zamalek.

Cairo International Airport is 19km from the accommodation.

12. Brassbell studios

Recently added to this list of hotels is the Brassbel Studios. Earning its spot with its studio apartment style rooms and excellent traveler reviews.

The location is perfect for those looking to stay in Zamalek without spending hundreds on accommodation. The rooms are spacious with a TV, equipped kitchen, and private bathroom with lots of natural light.

If you're looking for a nearby place to eat I highly suggest Vinny's Pizza which in my opinion sells some of the best pizza in all of Cairo!

Located 35 minutes drive from the unmissable Giza Necropolis.

My Hotel Selection Process

  • Accommodation Criteria: I select hotels & resorts in Cairo based on current prices, location & proximity to main attractions like the Great Pyramid and Museums, as well as current reviews, ratings, and recommendations.
  • My Experience: I've personally stayed in many of the recommended hotels. I've also read through hundreds of listings, comparing them all based on my criteria to select hotels offering the best value for money.
  • Top Reviews: All the hotels I've selected maintain exceptional ratings on booking sites such as, Expedia, &
  • Local Insights: My hotel & resort selections are based on online listings and word of mouth with recommendations from other travelers & local tour operators. I was recommended hotels by my tour guide Joe whilst on my 11-day Egypt trip.

Read more about how I review & select hotels & accommodations.

Years Traveling
Hotels Stayed
Olly gaspar

I'm Olly, a full-time traveler for the past 5 years. Each accommodation option in this guide is handpicked by me. Read my travel review ethics statement.

FAQ About Staying in Cairo

What is the best area to stay in Cairo for first-time visitors?

I would suggest downtown Cairo to first-time visitors. It’s close to major attractions like the Egyptian Museum, Tahrir Square, and the Nile River, offering a mix of cultural experiences.

What are some must-see attractions in Cairo?

Beyond the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx, don’t miss the Egyptian Museum, Khan El Khalili Bazaar, Cairo Tower, and a Nile River cruise. Each offers a unique insight into Egypt’s rich history and culture.

Is English widely spoken in Cairo?

English is widely spoken in tourist areas, hotels, and by tour guides. However, learning a few basic Arabic phrases can enhance your experience and help in local markets and taxis.

What is the best time of year to visit Cairo?

The best time to visit Cairo is during the cooler months from October to April. The weather is cooler during this time, making it ideal for exploring the city and historical sites.

What kind of clothes should I pack for Cairo?

Opt for modest clothing that covers shoulders and knees, such as long pants, maxi skirts, and tops that do not reveal too much cleavage or shoulders. Lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton and linen are ideal due to the heat.

More Egypt Travel & Accommodation Guides

I hope that you've enjoyed this comprehensive guide to where to stay in Cairo, Egypt.

Check out some of my other guides below for more travel inspiration based on my personal experiences in this amazing country.

Exploring karnak temple in luxor, egypt

Plan Your Egypt Accommodation

Still in the planning stages of your trip? Perhaps you're booking on the fly. The below accommodation guides will help you plan where to stay in Egypt.

Pinterest pin for best hotels in cairo
Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.