6 unconventional spots you should explore in Cairo

Tired of going to the same cafes and restaurants? This list is for you.


By Aya Salah

Having a great time with friends or going out to places in Cairo shouldn’t be limited to cafes, malls and restaurants. There are a variety of alternative places you can have a good time at in Cairo on your own or with a loved one. So, we have compiled a list of six unconventional spots in Cairo that you’ll find interesting to spend time in.

The Museum of Illusions

A picture of the Anti-Gravity Installation at the Museum of Illusions in Cairo. Image : Museum of Illusions Cairo official website.

Located in the Walk of Cairo at Sheikh Zayed, this museum will take you on a journey to different worlds, where you’ll see many things from different perspectives in the magical atmosphere of the installations and exhibitions of the museum. It offers visual, sensory and educational experiences with brand new, extraordinary illusions such as the Infinity Tunnel that will get you dragged to the unknown bottomless pit, or the Beuchet Chair Illusion that allows you to explore different perception of size ratios by simply sitting on the chair. This museum is suitable to visit for all ages and is surely the perfect place to enjoy with friends or family.

Dialogue in the Dark Egypt

Just from the name, you can guess what this place is all about. While there’s nothing much to see in this place, there’s so much to discover and experience. Guided by visually impaired guides or canes in complete darkness, you’ll get to discover what it’s like to live in the world without your sense of sight for 50 minutes by experiencing daily tasks such as crossing the street, walking through a market, or visiting a restaurant, all in specially designed darkened rooms. This place is located at Nasr City, on the Sabil El Moamnien Street.

Dialogue In the Dark Egypt entrance. Image: Dialogue in the Dark Egypt website.

Zawya Cinema

Zawya Cinema’s entrance. Image: Zaywa Cinema’s website.

Yes, it’s a cinema, but not the typical type of cinema. In addition to the fact that it’s located in the nostalgic Al-Azbakeya district in Cairo, what makes Zawya a unique place is that it screens a variety of films from all around the world, from feature films, to shorts, to documentaries, to experimental works and retrospectives. Additionally, Zawya organizes several annual film festivals, such as the Panorama of the European Film, Cairo Cinema Days and Zawya Shorts.

Trapped Egypt

This place is definitely a fun place to go with your friends. It’s a form of video game simulation where participants get locked in a room with a specific scenario according to the theme, and requires you to use your mental and physical powers to solve puzzles using the elements in the room to escape within the given 60 minute time limit.

The best thing about this game is that there is no minimum age requirement for it and everyone’s welcome to have fun. The main branch of Trapped Egypt is located in New Cairo, and there are other branches in Sheikh Zayed, Cairo Festival City and the North Coast.

Trapped Egypt. Image: Trapped Egypt’s Facebook page.

Room Art Space and Cafe

With two branches in Garden City and New Cairo, Room Art Space hosts live music, film screenings, stand-up comedy, open mic events and more. It’s a place where art enthusiasts and people with mutual interests can meet. This place is also a cafe, which makes it a nice location to have a pleasant meal while having a great time attending one of the cool events this space hosts.

Room Art Space. Image : Room Art Space.

Darb 1718

An image of the Darb1718 building. Image: Darb1718 official website.

Darb 1718 is a contemporary art and culture center located in old Cairo, and it has two art exhibition spaces, stages for theater, performances and concerts. It also has an outdoor cinema for independent film screenings, gardens and rooftops. It is a hub that connects Egyptian artists and art lovers from various disciplines with the local and international arts and culture scene. In the past, Darb 1718 has hosted several art exhibitions like the Egypt Photo Marathon Exhibition. It also hosts concerts and events like stand up comedy open mic nights, live concerts for aspiring singers, bands from different genres of music such as pop, jazz, rock as well as traditional music.

In addition to that, the center provides workshops and programs for young, aspiring artists in several art fields and it offers them a space to showcase their artwork next to those established artists.

Aya Salah is a mass communication student at Cairo University who’s interested in the digital journalism field and aspires to be a professional in it. Her other interests include social activism, content creation and watching films. She’s currently interning at Sekka Magazine.

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