Aisha Fahmy Palace

Top choice in Cairo

Shuttered for years, the Aisha Fahmy Palace was built in 1907 for Egyptian aristocrat Ali Fahmy, who was King Farouk's army chief. Reopened as an arts centre in mid-2017, the sublime rococo interior of silk-clad and frescoed walls, carved-wood fireplaces, painted lacquerwork and a wonderful triple-arched stained-glass window overlooking the grand staircase has all been fabulously restored to finery. The mansion's grand salons are now to be used as a gallery, with a program of temporary exhibitions.

When we were last in town the palace had only just been reopened, and there seemed to be some confusion over whether the house would be open to the public all the time or only when an art exhibition was showing. Exhibitions are advertised on the fence outside. The entry gate is just off Sharia 26th of July. You'll need to leave your passport with the gate-security policeman for entry.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Cairo attractions

1. Cairo Marriott Hotel

0.12 MILES

The core of this luxury hotel is a lavish palace built by Khedive Ismail to house Empress Éugenie when she visited for the opening of the Suez Canal in…

2. Gezira Arts Centre


The several galleries here host rotating contemporary exhibitions, but it was closed for restoration when we were last in town.

3. Museum of Islamic Ceramics


This museum has been closed for renovation for the past few years. When it reopens, it’s worth a peek for its collection of colourful plates, tiles and…

4. Gabalaya Park & Aquarium

0.38 MILES

The pleasant Gabalaya Park & Aquarium has landscaped gardens with aquariums set in rocks (though not many actual fish). It’s a great central spot to…

5. Cairo Tower

0.84 MILES

This 187m-high tower is the city’s most famous landmark after the Pyramids. Built in 1961, the structure, which resembles a stylised lotus plant with its…

6. Egyptian Museum

0.92 MILES

One of the world’s most important collections of ancient artefacts, the Egyptian Museum takes pride of place in Downtown Cairo, on the north side of Midan…

7. Andalus Garden

0.99 MILES

One of several formal gardens in the Gezira area that are popular strolling spots for couples in the evening. This one’s small, but adjacent to the Nile,…

8. Mashrabia Gallery

1.02 MILES

One of the first indepen­dent galleries, Mashrabia is bit cramped but represents the bigger names in painting, video and sculpture.