Updated: Sep 26, 2022
Who doesn’t love to sit outside with a drink when the weather is nice, especially when you’re high up enough above the city to catch a breeze?
Cairo may be congested and chaotic at ground level, but up on a rooftop it’s a completely different story.
So in no particular order, we give you some of our favorite rooftop bars in Cairo.
Covid update: any shisha mentioned is pre-covid. We're hopeful that it's just a matter of time until shisha is brought back, but as of this moment shisha still hasn't been reinstated in all of these places.
Also known as the ‘Sicilian Rooftop’, this restobar is found on the 9th floor of the Royal Maadi Hotel. Opened by the same owners of Frank &Co, Maadi’s favorite tapas bar, Estro offers up Italian food with a view (especially if you go before sunset). Reservations needed.
Local tip: on especially clear days, you can see three different pyramid necropolises: the pyramids of Giza, the Step Pyramid of Saqqara,and the Bent Pyramid at Dahshur.
Address: Royal Maadi Hotel, Road 18, Maadi
Opening hours: 8 am - 2 am
This chic rooftop restobar resides on top of the Riverside building on a quiet Nile-facing street on the upscale island of Zamalek. Its open terrace overlooks the Nile, with an impressive bar and beautiful interior design.
They have great food and creative cocktails, but we warn you -- this place is not cheap!
Reservations recommended for weekends.
Address: 16 Kamal Al Tawil, Zamalek
Sachi Park St.
Location: Sheikh Zayed
The original Sachi in Heliopolis has been a staple of Cairo fine dining and nightlife for over a decade now, so it was only a matter of time before they brought their famous Mediterranean fusion, sushi menu and cocktail list to the west of the Cairo. And that they did, with the added benefit of Sachi Park St. having an open-air rooftop alongside their indoor dining area.
Reservations needed, you can call them on 01278666185.
Carlton Hotel Roof Garden
Opening hours: 5 pm - 2 am
On top of the dated 3 star Carlton Hotel in Downtown Cairo is a surprisingly nice and breezy rooftop. The hotel has been open since 1935 and definitely hasn’t taken any steps into the 21st century (the interiors seem stuck somewhere in the 1980s), but the rooftop is simple and straightforward.
They serve local beer and wine and shisha (pre-covid), and at night you can see the High Court of Justice building lit up.
Address: 21 26th July St., Downtown
Opening hours: Noon - 1 am
Literally called Rooftop Zamalek, this bar sits on top of a shabby 1 star hotel in, you guessed it, Zamalek. This place is the absolute opposite of fancy, but has fantastic Nile views (although they recently put up some annoying netting on one side to apparently stop bottles from falling on the Russian consulate below, lol).
Try to go during the day or before sunset to nab one of the netting-free Nile view tables before it gets crowded.
Address: 21 Mahmoud Sidky, Zamalek
Roof Garden Karvin
If you’re on the eastern side of Cairo and looking for a rooftop, then Karvin is always a good choice. On top of the 3 star Karvin Hotel in Heliopolis, this rooftop’s real claim to fame is the hotel’s Indian restaurant, Massala, which is excellent (it’s even opened another branch in the Mivida compound in New Cairo!). They deliver up to the rooftop so you can chase your Indian meal with a beer and a shisha (pre-covid).
A downside though is that this rooftop is more enclosed than the others on the list, so you don’t get as much of a breeze (although this makes it an ideal rooftop in winter).
Address: 11 Mohammed Ebeid, Almazah, Heliopolis
Location: Garden City
Opening hours: 6 pm - 2 am
On the Kempinski’s 11th floor roof is their pool, surrounded by a few tables that offer awesome panoramic views of the Nile. While only hotel guests can use the pool, anyone can have a drink, shisha (pre-covid) or sandwiches and small plates off their rooftop menu.
Note: if you're not a guest at the hotel, the roof is only accessible after 6 pm.
For more of our favorite hotels in Cairo, head here.
Address: 12 Ahmed Ragheb, Qasr El Nil, Garden City
Odeon Palace Bar
Opening hours: 24/7
The only 24/7 rooftop bar on this list, Odeon has been a Downtown Cairo staple for decades now. Popular with Cairo’s artistic and cinematic crowd, as well as foreigners, it’s always an interesting mix of people. The view may not be able to compete with the Nile or Pyramids, but it has its own quirky charm.
They serve local alcohol and shisha (once again, pre-covid), as well as a few dubious food offerings (stick to something safe, like fries).
Address: 29 Street 21, Downtown
Opening hours: 5 pm - 1 am
Located on the roof of the 1920 Boutique Hotel (that's the actual name of the hotel) is the indoor/outdoor rooftop bar Minglings. That same hotel is known for housing some of the best bars in Heliopolis, with Minglings being its newest addition. They have your usual drinks plus cocktails, pitchers and 'comfort food with a twist'.
Address: 58 Beirut St., Heliopolis
Looking for more nightlife inspiration? Check out our favorite bars, pubs and clubs in Cairo.