Zamalek (Gezira Island)
If there is one gemstone in Cairo, loved by tourists and locals alike it is the Gezira Island, also known as "Zamalek". It is simply a nice place to walk around and of course there are great dining spots. It is very much westernized compared to the rest of the city as one can even find upscale bars. For the ladies, there are hair salons, nail parlors and a great selection of clothing stores.
In fact, it may even be compared to old Paris with its shuttered window apartments, alleys and cafes under the luscious green trees. The deeper one walks in, the quieter the sound of traffic becomes. Who would have though? I part of Paris in the middle of the African Nile!
Some tourists describe it as unexpected excellence as their introduction to Cairo is busy, crowded and overwhelming. The cuisine to choose from ranges from all corners of the world, where one makes the choice between Chinese, Italian, French, Oriental and so much more. All restaurants are quiet elegant and one can be certain of a supreme dining experience. For those seeking novelty, there are docked cruise boats that offer authentic dining experiences. These boats offer both set menus and buffet options.
Cairo is known to be a business stop over and it is here in "Zamalek" where one will find most embassies and business headquarters. Parking is an issue as it is all over the city, so timing should be considered.
There are great art galleries, antiquity shops and selective bookstores. A handful of the bookstores meet international standards, not only for their selections they stock, but for their sheer size and functionality of the staff.
Last but not the least; "Zamalek" has a top selection of hotels, ranging from large five-star hotels to smaller boutique hotels, each with their unique services and amenities.