6 Cultural Gems Hidden in Cairo

We’ve all been there –it feels like our outings are all the same: lunch, coffee and shisha. Talking about the same topics. Every. Single. Time.

While it’s nice to go out and literally do nothing but relax in your comfort zones, it can get boring over time, and we often find ourselves longing for some mental stimulation or a refreshing change of pace.

The good news is, there are a few hidden gems in Cairo where an outing can be more than just the usual coffee and shisha, so get ready to make some exciting plans for the weekend!

Room Art Space & Cafe

(Courtesy of Room Art Space & Cafe's Facebook page)

Hidden in a quiet Garden City basement, Room is a multipurpose space known for hosting a variety of events including live music, theater performances, film screenings, poetry nights and more. So whether you’re into smooth jazz, thoughtful post-movie discussions or fun karaoke nights, you’re bound to find something to your liking at Room.

When there aren’t any events going on, you can spend a quiet morning picking a book to read from their bookshelf. The space offers memberships that enable you to get special discounts on menu items and event tickets, as well as a special high-speed wireless internet connection.

Egyptian Center for Culture & Arts - Makan

(Courtesy of Egyptian Center for Culture & Arts's Facebook page)

Located near the Saad Zahgloul metro station, Makan is the ultimate hub for musicians and music enthusiasts. The space hosts an interesting assortment of unique musical performances from all around Egypt and beyond, giving you the opportunity to experience a variety of cultures from Mediterranean and sub-Saharan Africa in a whole new way, by getting up close and personal with their traditions and folk music in a way that isn’t possible through other platforms. Some of their previous performances included music from Aswan, Nubia and Sudan.

The creators of Makan strive to send a powerful message through the musical performances they choose to host; they believe that traditional music is at risk of becoming just a touristic attraction or simply a footnote in history books. So they created the platform in order to keep this type of music alive and appreciated.

Madaar

(Courtesy of Madaar's Facebook page)

Located near road 9 in Maadi, Madaar offers its visitors a chance to join like-minded communities so they can learn and exchange ideas through innovative workshops and events. The space is known for hosting musical performances, stand up comedy and workshops for a variety of crafts, such as photography, drumming and poetry.

Madaar is characterized by its outdoor seating area, which acts as the ideal place for a quiet study session, reading or just soaking up Cairo’s sunlight. If you feel like doing some mind mapping, grab a whiteboard marker and go crazy on their tables!

Bab 18 Art Space

(Courtesy of Bab 18 Art Space's Facebook page)

Located in Heliopolis, Bab 18 Art Space gives you the opportunity to enjoy a serene space where you can attend a number of workshops related to art, photography and music. You can also work on some fun skills and crafts, such as graphic design, script writing and crochet. They also host live musical performances on a regular basis.

The staff can provide you with books or some simple art materials if you’re in the mood for flexing some creative muscles. And of course, if all you want is a quiet place to get some work done, you can do that too.

Eish & Malh

(Courtesy of Eish & Malh's Facebook page)

Located in a nostalgic spot in Downtown Cairo, Eish & Malh aims to provide you with unique experiences that complement their Italian cuisine. Bring your appetite and enjoy watching a movie with your dinner, listening to some soothing jazz or even watching a marionette show –it’s more than just a meal.

Its cozy, nostalgic atmosphere is sure to make you reminisce the good old days. The large windows make this a great place to enjoy some sunlight while overlooking the streets of Downtown Cairo.

Gramophone

(Courtesy of Gramophone's Facebook page)

Tucked away in Degla, Maadi, Gramophone is a community center known for hosting concerts, workshops and several other events that can help you break away from your daily routine. They’ve hosted movie nights, drum circles, marketing sessions, guitar lessons and yoga classes, so there’s definitely something for everyone!

Even when there aren’t any events going on, you can still bring a friend to play some cards or backgammon and have some fun!

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