Downtown Cairo may be one of the richest cities in architectural heritage, filled with incredible alleys and streets ... and even more incredible landmarks.
Many places represent different glorious eras Egypt has lived through, and all these historical establishments were, and some still are, a masterpiece in design. A handful of these places still hold onto their glory, maintaining their main structure and taking us on a trip down memory lane.
These places have been in Cairo for over 50 years and are still going.
Café Groppi, by Swiss Giacomo Groppi (1863-1947), was open to the public in 1890 and considered the most renowned tea room in Cairo back then. Nobles, aristocrats, and politicians from all over the world conducted meetings under its roof.
The iconic café, located on Talaat Harb Street and just a brief stroll away from Tahrir square, is currently under construction to restore it back to its glory days.
2. Café Riche
A French-styled café built in 1908, Café Riche was the spot for politicians, poets, and intellectuals like Naguib Mahfouz and Taha Hussein. It is believed a French man named Henry Recine was its owner in 1914 and was the one who gave it its name, though it was founded in 1908 but with little known facts about this period.
Abdel-Malak Mikhail Salib bought the historical place in 1962. After his death, his two sons - Magdy and Michael - took over. It briefly closed its doors in 2015 when co-owner Magdy Abdel-Malak died, but is now run by Michael's wife and two sons. Its serene ambiance and old charm make it a tourist attraction to this day.
3. Cinema Radio
Built in the 1930s by French architect Max Edrei in the art deco architectural style, Cinema Radio nestles on Talaat Harb Street. It was amongst a series of large movie theaters built all over Egypt, where the most prominent films were screened and you'd see A-listers, celebrities, and movie stars.
It witnessed a few changes after it had been vacant for years, with a completely new façade and some renovations.
Bassem Youssef used its large theaters to film his program El Bernameg and brought it back to life after years of desertion. Though it's no longer showing movies, the successful puppet show Abla Fahita was filming there with a live audience.
4. Windsor Hotel
A hidden and forgotten architectural gem in the streets of downtown, the rundown hotel is located in Alfy Bey Street and is surrounded by crowded tea shops and Baladi bars.
Built in 1893 as part of the royal family bathhouse complex, it was later converted into the British officers' club during world war one.
It was renovated in 2010 but still keeps its original charm and ambiance as seen in the walls adorned by old pictures and antiques.