Entertainment in Cairo

  • Entertainment in Cairo

    Makan

    The Egyptian Centre for Culture & Art runs this intimate space dedicated to folk music. Don’t miss the traditional women’s zar, a sort of musical trance and healing ritual on Wednesday nights (doors open at 8.30pm). Tuesday evening has various performances of folk music, often an Egyptian-Sudanese jam session (doors open at 7.30pm).

  • Entertainment in Cairo

    El Dammah Theatre

    Regular Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows by musical ensembles such as Rango, a trancey Sudanese folk group, and the El Tanboura Band, playing simsimiyya, a musical style from the Suez Canal region, as well as other folk bands from Egypt (check the website for listings).

  • Entertainment in Cairo

    Cairo Opera House

    Performances by the Cairo Opera and the Cairo Symphony Orchestra are held in the 1200-seat Main Hall, where jacket and tie are required for men (travellers have been known to borrow them from staff). The Small Hall and Open Air Theatre are casual.

  • Entertainment in Cairo

    Darb 1718

    This super-cool creative space aims to be a ‘trampoline’ for contemporary art, which gives an idea of the fun to be found here – there's a regular program of concerts by Egyptian bands and movie screenings at night as well as a schedule of creative workshops. During the day there’s sometimes an art show on. For listings check out the website.

  • Entertainment in Cairo

    El Sawy Culture Wheel

    Egyptian rock and jazz bands play at this lively and very active complex of a dozen performance spaces and galleries tucked under a bridge overpass. There are also regular performances by the El Sakia Puppet Theatre (great for kids) and various seminar events. The main entrance is on the south side of 26th of July; there’s a nice outdoor cafe too.

  • Entertainment in Cairo

    Cairo Puppet Theatre

    Keeping Cairene kids entertained since 1959, this is the Arab world's biggest puppet theatre. Shows are in Arabic but are colourful and animated enough to entertain all ages. It's a bit tricky to locate; take the fenced-in footpath that runs around the south of Ezbekiyya Gardens, turn left at the mosque and duck down the first alleyway on your left.

  • Entertainment in Cairo

    Al Tannoura Egyptian Heritage Dance Troupe

    Egypt’s only Sufi dance troupe – more raucous and colourful than the better-known white-clad Turkish dervishes – puts on a mesmerising performance three times weekly at the Wikala of Al Ghouri just off Sharia Al Azhar. It’s a great opportunity to see one of the medieval spaces in use; arrive about an hour ahead to secure a seat.

  • Entertainment in Cairo

    Cairo Jazz Club

    The Cairo Jazz Club has kept up with the beat, and it has one of the city’s liveliest stages, with modern Egyptian folk, electronica, fusion and more, seven nights a week, usually starting around 10pm. You must book a table ahead (online is easiest), and no one under 25 is admitted.

  • Entertainment in Cairo

    Netherlands-Flemish Institute

    This excellent cultural centre hosts Sunday evening films (7.30pm), ranging from Dutch art-house features to the latest works by young Egyptian directors (all with English subtitles), plus weekly lectures on Thursdays (6pm), often in English, and regular exhibitions.

  • Entertainment in Cairo

    El Genaina

    Al Azhar Park’s 300-seat open-air theatre hosts touring artists from overseas, big-name stars from the Middle East and local Egyptian bands and musicians. Shows are often free (though you must pay the park entrance fee). Check the Facebook page for listings.

  • Entertainment in Cairo

    Goethe Institut

    Seminars and lectures in German on Egyptology and other topics, plus visiting music groups, art exhibitions and film screenings.The library has more than 15,000 (mainly German) titles.

  • Entertainment in Cairo

    Istituto Italiano Di Cultura

    One of Cairo's most active cultural centres, the Italian institute hosts a busy program of art house films plus lectures (sometimes in English) and art exhibitions, and has a library.

  • Entertainment in Cairo

    Zawya

    Wonderful arthouse cinema showing both local and international films, but mainly from North Africa and Middle East, with English subtitles.

  • Entertainment in Giza

    Sound & Light Show

    Narrated by the Sphinx, this is a rather dated spectacular. It’s not worth a special trip, but fine if you’re in the area – it is neat to see the Pyramids so dramatically lit. The first show (in English; free translation headsets available) always runs; the second (in either Italian, French, German or Spanish) runs with a minimum of five spectators.

  • Entertainment in Cairo

    GrEEK Campus

    Egypt's 'tech valley'. Once part of the old AUC campus, this set of buildings has been transformed into a hub for local tech and media start-ups. As well as providing work-space though, the campus has several concert halls that as well as staging other events, are major venues for several Cairo festivals including D-Caf and the Cairo Jazz Festival.

  • Entertainment in Cairo

    Nile Maxim

    The best of the Nile cruisers, run by the Marriott, is a relatively economical way to see a big-name belly-dancing star such as Randa or Farah, along with a choice of à la carte menu options (drinks not included). Go for the later sailing, as that show tends to have less crooning singer warm-up and more actual belly dancing. Opposite Cairo Marriott Hotel.

  • Entertainment in Cairo

    Shahrazad

    Worth visiting for the gorgeous interior alone, this old-school hall got a makeover in recent years, and its Orientalist fantasia, complete with red-velvet drapes, feels substantially less seedy than other Downtown dives. This doesn’t necessarily inspire a classier air in the patrons, however. Occasionally the venue hosts a DJ night for an artier crowd.

  • Entertainment in Cairo

    Bab El Nil

    The Fairmont Nile City's restaurant is one of the classier venues to take in a belly dancing show with long-time Cairo favourite Soreya regularly performing here. Unlike many other joints, there's no menu-plus-show price, and instead a minimum charge for your drinks and dinner (the more expensive minimum charge is for the seats closer to the stage).

  • Entertainment in Cairo

    Haroun El Rashid Nightclub

    This five-star club is all red curtains and white marquee lights. Top seats, at tables nearest the stage go for LE1900 (drinks not included), with the price tag getting cheaper the further back you sit. The eye-watering cost is because this is where the famous Dina undulates, but – handy hint – Dina only ever dances on Thursday nights.

  • Entertainment in Cairo

    Cinema Metro

    Once Cairo's finest, this old 1930s cinema has been spruced up enough in recent years to even show 3D movies. Foreign films are usually shown in their original language.