Sharia Al Muizz Li Din Allah

Top choice in Cairo

CAIRO, EGYPT, CAIRO, EGYPT - 2009/12/18: Sharia al-Muizz li-Din Illah seen in Islamic Cairo, Egypt is one of the oldest streets in Cairo, approximately one kilometer long. A United Nations study found it to have the greatest concentration of medieval architectural treasures in the Islamic world..The city of Cairo is the capital of Egypt, it is located in northern part of the country, it has a population 9.7 million in 2018. (Photo by John Wreford/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

LightRocket via Getty Images

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 with storytellers, entertainers and food stalls. The part of Sharia Al Muizz just north of Khan Al Khalili’s gold district is known as Bein Al Qasreen, a reminder of the great palace complexes that flanked the street during the Fatimid era. Today the great Mamluk complexes provide one of Cairo’s most impressive assemblies of minarets, domes and striped-stone facades.

The Bein Al Qasreen section of the street has been redone, from new pavement to the tips of the minarets of the monuments along its length. During daytime vehicle-free hours (9am to 10pm), visitors may comfortably gawk at the sites without fear of being flattened by traffic. One stretch of the street is occupied by small places selling shishas (water pipes), braziers and pear-shaped cooking pots for fuul (fava bean paste). Soon the stock expands to crescent-moon minaret tops, coffee ewers and other copper products, hence its more popular name, Sharia An Nahaseen (Street of the Coppersmiths). Stroll along and admire the medieval architecture mixed with Cairo's hustle and bustle.

Several monuments, starting from the Madrassa and Mausoleum of Qalaun, and heading north, share a combination entrance ticket.