• Local's Guide To Egypt

7 Best Bars, Pubs, Clubs and Other Nightlife Spots in Cairo

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

Bars, pubs, clubs, oh my!

While Cairo might not be the glittering jewel in the Middle East’s nightlife tiara (looking at you, Dubai and Beirut), the KSA we are not.

99% of Cairo’s nightlife used to be found on the island of Zamalek, and while it’s still the city’s night spot epicenter, bars and clubs are popping up like daisies all around the capital now.

We’re going to walk you through some of our favorite local nightlife spots in Cairo, no sketchy hotel bars for us, thanks!

For a list of our 10 best restaurants in Cairo, as vouched for by locals, head over here.

Cairo Jazz Club & CJC 610

Cairo Jazz Club, nightlife in cairo, best bars and clubs in Cairo Egypt
Photo credit: Yahia Fiteha

Locations: Agouza, 6th of October City

Type of venue: club

Dress code: smart casual

Reservations needed: yes

Cairo Jazz Club has been a Cairo nightlife staple for 15+ years. While the name might lead you to believe it’s all about jazz, that’s not exactly true. CJC has different music on a nightly basis, ranging from live music to hip-hop, DJs, jazz, Egyptian folkloric music and way more.

The great thing about CJC is that they have a monthly schedule, so you can figure out in advance if the music that night is up your alley or not.

The music usually starts around 10-10:30 pm, so if you’re hungry or want to have a conversation with someone when you can actually hear each other, go a little before then.

CJC 610 is Cairo Jazz Club’s 6th of October branch, with a beautiful outdoor terrace. The Agouza branch is a five minute car ride from Zamalek.


Locations: Zamalek, Heliopolis

Type of venue: pub/bar

Dress code: casual

Reservations needed: on weekends

L’Aubergine is another long-time heavy hitter in the Cairo bar scene. What’s awesome about them is they also serve great food, so it’s a good option if you want to kick back with a beer but also want some food in your system (we personally recommend the chicken teriyaki, but that’s just us).

Another thing we love about L’Aubergine is the casual-ness of it -- you don’t need to worry about suffering the night away in heels or dressing to impress.

The Tap

Locations: Maadi, New Cairo, 6th of October

Type of venue: pub

Dress code: casual

Reservations needed: it’s always better to be on the safe side

This light-hearted pub opened its first branch in Maadi, complete with foosball tables and a jovial vibe. They play live music on some nights so it’s always worth it to hit up their FB page and see what’s cooking.

Speaking of cooking, they also have an extensive menu of pub food -- they’re famous for their wings, so no need to indulge in a heavy dinner (or any dinner) before you head over there.

The Tap in Maadi proved to be so popular that they opened a branch in New Cairo and 6th of October, this time complete with an outdoor area.


Sass bar in Zamalek. Best bars, clubs and night spots in Cairo Egypt

Location: Zamalek

Type of venue: lounge/bar

Dress code: smart casual

Reservations needed: yes

If you’re feeling cute and don’t want to waste it on the four walls of your room, Sass is a good spot to go. It’s an open-air restaurant/lounge/bar in Zamalek on a docked boat overlooking the Nile, and a great place to see and be seen if that’s your jam.

At night the music picks up and it goes from being a resto-bar to a more loungey bar, with people sipping on their drinks and dancing next to their tables.

Pub 28

Location: Zamalek

Type of venue: pub (duh)

Dress code: casual

Reservations needed: not really but it gets very crowded so it’s not always easy to find a spot

Pub 28 is one of Zamalek’s oldest and most-loved pubs, and with good reason. It’s small, cozy, warm and offers the best sangria in the city.

Expect to see a lot of 50+ Egyptians sharing a laugh over their beers -- they’ve been regulars for decades.

They have a good menu of Egyptian and Lebanese mezze, but warning: it gets *very* smokey sometimes which isn’t always pleasant while eating.

Horreya Cafe

Horreya Cafe and Bar in Downtown Cairo. Best bars, pubs and nightlife in Cairo Egypt
Photo credit: Scott D. Haddow via Flickr

Location: Downtown

Type of venue: baladi bar

Dress code: casual

Reservations needed: no

What exactly is a baladi bar, you may ask? Well, the literal translation of ‘baladi’ is ‘my country’, but it’s used in the context of ‘local’ more often than not.

A baladi bar is a no-frills, old-but-still-standing bar that serves usually only local alcohol, and most are found in Downtown, which was the hub of nightlife during Egypt’s belle epoque. Most baladi bars in Downtown are in walking distance of each other so it’s a good option for bar hopping.

Horreya used to be the watering hole for English officers in the first half of the 20th century, and still holds some of its 1930s charm. They only serve beer, tea and a few other drinks, and if you want to bring in your own food you’re more than welcome.

Pier 88

Pier 88 in Zamalek. Best bars, pubs, clubs and nightlife in Cairo Egypt

Location: Zamalek

Type of venue: bar/lounge

Dress code: smart casual

Reservations needed: yes

Pier 88 is the only venue that graces both our ‘best bars’ and ‘best restaurants’ list (look at you, Pier 88!).

Pier 88 is a great dining destination during the day and most weekday nights, then on weekend nights and Tuesday nights it segues into a sexier lounge/bar feel, with people standing and socializing by the bar or their table, and the owner occasionally dancing on the bar himself.

Pier 88 overlooks the Nile in Zamalek and has a small outdoor area if you want to catch the river breeze.

You might also like: 9 Best Rooftop Bars in Cairo

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