Midaq Alley


This tiny alley is Islamic Cairo's literary star thanks to being immortalised in Naguib Mahfouz's famous novel named after the street. Although the stepped lane may not be populated with the same colourful characters as the book, the way of life here is little changed from the author's 1940s depictions. Because of the street's fame, the street sign is kept in the coffeehouse at the foot of the steps and produced only on payment of baksheesh.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Cairo attractions

1. Sharia Al Muizz Li Din Allah

0.04 MILES

Sharia Al Muizz, as it’s usually called, named after the Fatimid caliph who conquered Cairo in AD 969, was Cairo's grand thoroughfare, once chock-a-block…

2. Sharia Al Muski

0.05 MILES

Bustling and buzzing, the market street known as Sharia Al Muski begins in the khan where it's formally called Sharia Gawhar Al Qaid and is lined by tacky…

3. Khan Al Khalili

0.06 MILES

The skinny lanes of Khan Al Khalili are basically a medieval-style mall. This agglomeration of shops – many arranged around small courtyards – stocks…

4. Mausoleum of Al Ghouri

0.09 MILES

The penultimate Mamluk sultan Al Ghouri built his funerary complex in 1504, on both sides of Sharia Al Muizz. At the age of 78, Al Ghouri was beheaded in…

5. Mosque-Madrassa of Al Ghouri

0.09 MILES

On the western side of Sharia Al Muizz, opposite the mausoleum, is the second part of Al Ghouri's funerary complex, the intimate and richly decorated…

6. Wikala of Al Ghouri

0.11 MILES

Built in AD 1504 by the Mamluk sultan Al Ghouri, this wikala was originally designed as an inn for traders following the caravan routes from the east and…

7. Carpet & Clothes Market

0.11 MILES

The street between Al Ghouri’s mosque and the mausoleum, and the area around, was historically the city’s silk market. While it isn’t a particularly great…