• Local's Guide To Egypt

7 Beautiful Palaces in Cairo You Can Still Visit Today



When you think of palaces, European cities probably come to mind… and not Cairo per se. But it’s true, Cairo is home to quite a few beautiful palaces, ranging from medieval Islamic to Ottoman Baroque, French Rococo and even Hindu-inspired.


So if you’re looking for something different to explore in Cairo and love the architecture, art and history of palaces of the past, look no further than these seven palaces open to the public.



Abdeen Palace


Abdeen Palace. 7 Beautiful Palaces in Cairo You Can Still Visit Today

Location: Abdeen, Old Cairo


This palace turned museum was first built by Khedive Ismail in 1863, with the function of being governmental headquarters as well as the designated venue for official events and ceremonies. It was later a royal residence until the monarchy was abolished in 1952.

The museum today is divided into the upper floors, which used to be the living quarters of the royal family, and are now only open for visiting foreign dignitaries.

The lower floors hold the main sections of the museum: the Silver Museum, the Arms Museum, the Royal Family Museum, the Presidential Gifts Museum and the Historical Documents Museum.


Opening hours: 9 am - 3 pm (closed Fridays)

Ticket price: 100 EGP




Cairo Marriott (Palace Al Gezirah)

Cairo Marriott Al Gezirah Palace. 7 Beautiful Palaces in Cairo You Can Still Visit Today

Location: Zamalek

At the Cairo Marriott Hotel in Zamalek, you can still find the original Palace Al Gezirah, built by Khedive Ismail over 150 years ago in 1869 to be a guest palace for foreign royalty and other VIPs visiting during the Suez Canal’s inauguration celebrations.

The Cairo Marriott that stands today is still the same palace that housed Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III, and hosted the wedding of Khedive Ismail’s son which lasted for 40 days; many of the original artwork and furniture can be found in the hotel’s reception rooms and lounges.


Khedive Ismail decided to design the palace in the neoclassical style which was popular in Europe at the time. He signed on Austrian architect Julius Franz (later known as Franz Bey) and French architect De Curel Del Rosso, who had also designed the Abdeen Palace. The interiors were done by German architect Carl von Diebitsch.

The two large Nile-facing towers of the hotel were added in the 1970s when the hotel was taken over by Marriott International.


For more about the Cairo Marriott and Egypt’s other historical hotels, head here.



Baron Empain Palace (Baron Palace)


Baron Palace. 7 Beautiful Palaces in Cairo You Can Still Visit Today

Location: Heliopolis


This extremely distinct-looking palace is like nothing else Cairo (or the rest of Egypt for that matter) has to offer. Founded in 1907-1911, Baron Empain Palace (or as we locals call it, Baron Palace) was built to be the personal residence of the Belgian Baron Édouard Empain, who was credited for building the eastern Cairo neighborhood of Heliopolis. Baron Palace’s design was inspired by the Hindu temples of South India and Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and built by French architect Alexandre Marcel.


Today, Baron Palace is a newly renovated museum, where you can learn about the life of Baron Empain, early Heliopolis heritage and even the famous Heliopolis tram (an original tram car is on display in the garden, and you can learn about the Baron’s link to the trams inside the museum).


Opening hours: 9 am - 4 pm


Ticket price for Egyptians: 20 EGP

Ticket price for foreigners: 100 EGP



Manasterly Palace


Manasterly Palace. 7 Beautiful Palaces in Cairo You Can Still Visit Today

Location: Manial


This Ottoman baroque palace was built in 1851 by Hassan Fouad Pasha El-Manasterly, the governor of Egypt under the reign of Khedive Abbas Helmi. This one-story palace on the Nile island of Rawda Island (Manial) was built next to a Nilometer that dates back to 861 AD.


The palace now is still famous for its beautiful decor and ‘Ottoman Rococo’ influences. It has become a center of the arts and musical concerts are held there regularly.


You can take a virtual tour of Manasterly Palace and the Nilometer here, along with other amazing Egyptian virtual tours.


Opening hours: 9 am - 4 pm


Ticket price for Egyptians: 20 EGP

Ticket price for foreigners: 100 EGP




Manial Palace (Mohamed Ali Palace)


Manial Palace. 7 Beautiful Palaces in Cairo You Can Still Visit Today

Location: Manial