A large stretch of green lawns and colorful gardens, a definite award for urban improvement, is the Al-Azhar Park in Cairo. Pleasant fountains, paved pathways and decorated flower banks make for a great morning or afternoon walk through the park. The entry fee is minimal.
It is no wonder that this particular park was voted one of the ten things to see before one dies. There are a handful of restaurants within the grounds that suit various pockets. For a fancy night out, with the most spectacular views of the Mohamed Ali Mosque, there is a classy restaurant that serves both set menus and buffet foods.
On weekends the park is somewhat crowded as it is a definite weekly break away for the locals who play ball and sit down for picnics on the luscious green lawns.
It is quite incredible that a former garbage dump site was turned into this magnificent green area with its lake, fountains and perfectly maintained flora. The area is big enough to forget that outside the walls are scores of cars and their drivers making their way to work and home in the hustle and bustle of Cairo traffic.
One of the plus points of spending time in the park is that it is one of the view places in Egypt where one will not be hassled by vendors. Children thoroughly enjoy the play area as much as adults take in the quiet atmosphere of the gardens. The bathroom facilities are kept clean too.
This retreat is a definite must see, especially after a long morning in Old Cairo. In summer, the trees offer a tranquil shade, with ample cold drink and ice cream stalls to cool down. Before visiting Egypt, keep an eye out on the festivals and events that often take place in the Al-Azhar Park. It would be a great addition to an already amazing sight.