A Guide to Coptic Cairo, the Old City

Coptic Cairo
Coptic Cairo | © Tristan Clarke / flickr
Sarah Marzouk

Coptic Cairo is believed to be the area where the Holy Family visited and stayed, and the fortress of Christianity until Islamic rule. It is one of the most historic and beautiful spots in the heart of old Cairo. With some buildings going back to the 6th centre BC, and so much history and beauty, it’s definitely worth a visit. Here’s our guide to this charming part of the highly spiritual Old City.

Meet the three Abrahamic religions at the Religions Complex

Coptic Cairo isn’t only about Christian historic monuments, it’s where you’ll meet all three of Abrahamic religions in the same place. In addition to many important churches and Coptic burial grounds in the area, there are other religious constructions that complete the Religions Complex. The Mosque of Amr Ibn El-Aas, one of the oldest most important Islamic monuments in Egypt, was built in 641-642 AD. There is also Ben Ezra Synagogue, a place where it is believed that baby Moses was found, in addition to the place where Cairo Geniza, a collection of important Jewish manuscripts were found.

Coptic Burials
Well of Moses – Ben Ezra Synagogue
Mosque of Am Ibn Al-As

Light a candle at the Hanging Church

The Hanging Church is a place of great spiritual importance, where not only Christians visit and enjoy the spiritual atmosphere, but also people of other faiths. Also known as Saint Virgin Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church, Hanging Church, the most well-known church in Cairo and one of the oldest constructions in Coptic Cairo. The Church goes back to the third century AD. In 1407, the Church was announced as the official residence of the Pope. As for the name, it was called “hanging” as it was constructed on the top of Babylon Fortress‘s gatehouse.

Hanging Church

Discover the largest collection of Coptic artistry

Established in 1908, Coptic Museum in Coptic Cairo, is a home to the world’s biggest gathering of Coptic artistry. The museum is also home to 15,000 pieces from Ancient, Islamic, Byzantine, Ottoman and Greek cultures which represent the history of Egypt from the beginning, to the city that it is today.

How to get there and what to buy?

The easiest way to reach Coptic Cairo is by metro, and this will only cost you 1 EGP for the ticket. Take the metro and head to Mar Girgis station, which is the stop for Coptic Cairo. You won’t need to go far away to shop for nice crafted pieces, pottery and other items, as there are several shops close to the metro station.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article