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Al Azhar Park

What was once a neglected expanse within one of Cairo’s oldest neighborhoods became one of Egypt’s most miraculous transformations. Funded by the Agha Khan Trust for Culture’s vision to make the world a better place, the Azhar Park became the first of its kind in the densely populated city.

This gorgeous, 74-acre rehabilitation project involved the propagation of over two million plants and trees. This is now a place the locals can extricate themselves from the rumble of car-crammed streets to stroll through a profusion of emerald grass and gushing fountains. Shaded walk-ways, stunning views, and a children’s play area makes this an ideal getaway for families and love-birds alike. Cairenes can enjoy a Lakeside picnic while feeding the ducks or can choose to pamper themselves in a number of the strategically situated restaurants. The Citadel View restaurant capitalizes on the park’s topography, granting diners an incredible view across the medieval city, including a view of the Citadel of course. For a less substantial investment, Alain Le Nôtre serves salads, wraps and ice cream, and the beautifully designed, half-floating Lakeside Cafe on the other side of the park serves a more modest Egyptian mezzeh.

Azhar Park is good for more than a new profile picture with dozens of surrounding attractions, some of which are a few minutes’ walk away. The list includes taking a walking tour of Old Cairo, visiting the famous mega-bazaar Khan el Khalili, catching a traditional tanoura dancing show in Wikala Al-Ghouri, exploring the grand Mohamed Ali Mosque, also known as the Citadel, and even visiting the Egyptian Museum and the Giza Pyramids.

Be it the scenery or location, Azhar Park is a must-see that’s sure to make your bucket list a little bit shorter.