The city that never sleeps: the lively nightclubs of Wust El Balad

The city that never sleeps: the lively nightclubs of Wust El Balad

Image Credit: Tinou Bao | Flickr

Flickering lights, bustling streets, hollow passages and wandering souls; it’s a night in the always glorious, Wust El Balad. A usually crowded place, surrounded by beautifying buildings, Downtown Cairo sheds light and love for a city that has been influenced by the novelty of modernization.

Wooden walls that tell stories as old as time, otis elevators that have transported generations and long-linked atmospheres, these are some of the liveliest nightclubs in Wust El Balad.

Rich Coffee

Image Credit: Egyptian Streets | Newsweek

The cornerstone of downtown Cairo, Café Riche, notably the most famous bar, proudly bears its history since its opening in 1908. Seductive and enigmatic, the cafe was established in the early 20th century by a French national. Iconic revolutionaries, intellectuals and leading Egyptian personalities have made Café Riche a privileged meeting point. Over the years, Cafe Riche has lost its spark to the stylish wave of modernized cafes offering good value for money. however, the cafe’s heritage is brimming with its nostalgic vibe.

Carol tapas bar

Image Credit: Downtown Cairo Facebook Page

Step into Carol Restaurant and Bar, a staple feature of downtown Cairo’s iconic nightlife spots. Carol has been an integral part of the Cairo map since the 1960s, with a vibe that will have you transcending into a fantasy of what a Friday night might have felt like in the past. Carol is an escape from the sreile life of gated communities, where it is home to intellectuals, downtown residents, and anyone looking to be immersed in the flowing, breezy tunes of music.


Image Credit: Local Guide Egypt

The Estoril Bar & Restaurant is a glorious reflection of the ever vibrant renaissance of downtown Cairo. Estoril was founded and built by a Greek couple in the passage dug between two buildings in downtown Cairo. Like many other vintage resto-bars, Estoril was a popular sanctuary for Egypt’s greatest thinkers, political activists, writers and artists. Estoril’s menu isn’t as incredibly delicious as it used to be, but the bar remains a relic of the bygone past.

Greek club

Image Credit: Egyptian Streets

Founded in 1906, the Greek Club licensed membership to Greeks exclusively, giving them a gathering place for mouth-watering food, drinks and soulful live music. The Greek Club first opened its doors to the public in the 1950s, where its mesmerizing views, vaulted ceilings and taste of Greece would be enjoyed by all. The club is still a popular spot in downtown Cairo, where people gather to drink and laugh.

Carlton Hotel Roof Garden

Image credit: Edxy

Only a few words can describe Carlton’s Rooftop Bar, a magnetic gem that has stood the test of time since its opening in 1935. A tranquil escape from the hostile bustle of Cairo’s streets, Carlton’s Rooftop is simple and straightforward. The terrace is lined with wicker chairs and tables, string light bulbs, and tree-lined edges that make Carlton the best getaway from the starkly chaotic streets.

Bar of the Odeon Palace

Image Credit: Restaurant Guru

A downtown treasure, the roof of the Odeon is steeped in nostalgic touches. The venue is for night owls, with the workplace 24 hours. Every corner of Odéon is reminiscent of the 1970s, giving the place its unique character and charm. Although the food and service here isn’t the best, one can enjoy a drink or two with a great view of the city as a backdrop on a busy evening.
Honorable Mention

Cafe El Horreya

Image Credit: Egyptian Streets | Unknown

Home to Egyptian artists, intellectuals and potters, expats and former devotees since the 1930s, El Horreya is a simple high-ceilinged space buzzing with powerful conversations over tea, coffee and alcohol. Located in modest Bab al-Louq Square, a short walk from Tahrir Square, El Horreya embodies the vibrant spirit of its guests and carries its legacy radiating despite its recent renovation.

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Joshua B. Speller