Some neighborhoods are as big as cities so it’s not easy to answer this question.
I heard that the neighborhood of Maadi alone has something like 2 millions people!
Anyway I must say my favorite one is Downtown (Wust el Balad). I instantly fell in love with the area the first time I saw it from the window of a bus, on a “Cairo by night” tour.
This is where the Egyptian Museum and Tahrir Square are located, just to name the most famous things.
The next time I went back to this area I was on my own and I must say I was intimidated by its chaos and people staring at me. But now I wouldn’t live anywhere else!
Something very interesting to visit in Cairo is the so-called “Coptic Cairo”, an area where you can visit churches, Christian graveyards, and the famous Hanging Church.
It’s such an unexpected atmosphere, it almost feels like being in another city.
Where to Eat in Cairo
In Cairo, there is definitely a lot of choice when it comes to food!
For very cheap meals, try the Felfela takeaway for falafel and foul – you can eat a “taameya” (falafel sandwich) for about 1.50 EGP: 0,25 USD.
If you like koshary (a typical mix of rice, pasta, lentils, meat, and spices) don’t miss Abou Tarek, just behind Tahrir Square. It’s super cheap and you can’t get anything more typical than that!
For a fancy dinner with a beautiful view, don’t miss the Restaurant at Al Azhar Park.
I also have to mention my favorite Italian restaurant in Cairo: it’s called “La Bodega” and even if it’s pricey in local terms (about $30 per meal) the food is delicious and with a very good service.
Last but not least, Cairenes love fast foods!
So don’t feel guilty if you want to hit Pizza Hut, McDonald’s or the more local Hardee’s – it’s normal habit in Cairo, and if you feel lazy there’s a website called Otlob.com where you can order nearly any kind of food – from Chinese to McDonald’s, to Yemenite – 24/7.
You can’t visit Cairo without eating
The typical Egyptian breakfast: “foul”. It’s made with a bean paste and vegetables, served in a typical flat bread bun.
Taameya: the falafel sandwich named above, usually sold in the same places where they sell foul.
Koshary is maybe the most typical thing. Very cheap and it fills you up for hours! It’s a mix of rice, noodles, pasta, lentils and chickpeas.
Shawerma: also called “kebab” by someone, but this is the Egyptian version! It’s made with either lamb or chicken meat, peppers and a lot of spices. So tasty!
Something very typical that I didn’t dare trying is the stuffed pigeon.
Sahlab is a tepid milk cream that is served with fruits, chocolate, coconut or whatever you ask for. It’s freshly made to order.
Also, don’t miss the “mahshy” – vegetables stuffed with meat, rice and more vegetables.