Montazah Palace Gardens


The 19th-century Montazah palace is off-limits, but the surrounding lush gardens are prime strolling territory. There’s an attractive sandy cove here with a semiprivate beach well suited for kids (although it’s not particularly clean), and an eccentric Victorian-style bridge running out to a small island of pylons. In all, it’s a pleasant escape from the city centre. There are several restaurants and picnic places, and a second royal residence, the Salamlek, has been converted into a luxury hotel.

Khedive Abbas Hilmy (1892–1914) built Montazah as his summer palace, a refuge for when Cairo became too hot. It’s designed in a pseudo-Moorish style, which has been given a Florentine twist with the addition of a tower modelled on one at Florence's Palazzo Vecchio.

The simplest way to get here is to stand on the Corniche or on Sharia Tariq Al Horreyya and flag down a microbus. When it slows, shout 'Montazah'; if it's going that way (most of them are), it'll stop and you can jump on. A taxi will set you back about LE40.