In these pages you will hopefully find interesting tips on how to take advantage of Cairo's many cultural opportunities, with particular attention to live events. Cairo Live Events Guide does not pretend to be exhaustive but will try to cover main events open to the public.

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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Al-Ghouri Caravansaray

The mamluk-era Al-Ghouri caravansaray is one of Cairo's best preserved examples of a medieval hotel (Wikala in Arabic). Built in the early 16th century it has now been converted, after restoration, into a cultural center hosting concerts and dance performances. It is a magnificent building with wonderful mashrabiya windows and can be visited also during the day paying an entry fee. For sure the atmosphere at night is much more evocative and romantic so I suggest you go and see a concert or, even better, attend a Tanoura Dance, or a Whirling Dervishes performance there.
The Ghouri Caravansaray lies in a small alley in front of the main entrance of Khan El- Khalili, on the opposite side of Sharia al-Azhar. If you come with your own car you have to park in the designated parking lot of Khan el Khalili at the top of Sharia al-Azhar (or in one of the spots run by parking whallas next to it). Walk back direction Khan el-Khalili but on the opposite side of the road (left, or Al-Azhar side to be clear). Turn left in the alley that brings you to the entrance of Al-Azhar mosque. Walk along the alley with its numerous small shops and at the T-junction at the end of it turn right. You will walk past a traditional vegetable market on your left side and after that you’ll find caravansaray, whose huge wooden portal entrance is after 50 meters.
If you come by taxi it is best to be dropped in front of the Ghuriya in Sharia al-Azhar, just where the footbridge is. Facing the Ghuriya, turn left (east) and walk around one hundred meters keeping straight in the small alley when the main road arches left. You will see immediately the building of the Caravansaray with its unmistakable mashrabiya windows on your right side.
I know it sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. If you have some time at hand, get hold of a good map (the SPARE maps are the best for walking tours) and enjoy the atmosphere of the area. It is really wonderful in the evening.
Address: Sheikh Mohamed Abdu St., Islamic Cairo, Tel. 25111497


  1. is the palace at the same place as caravansaray ??, ive seen tannora in the caravansaray and thought the samaa sufi inshad are performing at the same place, went last sunday, found it absolutely empty!! please mention the difference, love ur blog!,, Thanks alot :-)

  2. No,it is not the same place. From the caravansaray you shall continue west, direction Bab Zuweila (the building itself is actually the east corner of Bab Zuweila), for about 300 mts. You can find more detailed information under the Ghouri Complex entry in the Venues section of the blog. Good luck for next time. Do visit the place, it is amazing.

  3. Is there anywhere else to catch a sufi performance if I cant make Al ghoury?


  4. Other than the Tannoura (that is technically an Egyptian Folk Dance derived from the whirling dance performed by the Mevlevis as religious practice) there are no regular performances in Cairo that I am aware of. But if you read this in time, go this evening to the Sama'Khana for the performance of the Sufi dancer Ziya Azazi.

  5. I am sorry, but I got a bit confused here. The photo you have posted at the top of your blog... Is it Al-Ghouri or Sama'Khana?