Citadel of Saladin (Al-Qalaa)
Sprawling over a limestone spur on the eastern edge of the city, the Citadel of Saladin (or Al-Qalaa) was home to Egypt's rulers for some 700 years. Their legacy is a collection of three very different mosques, including the Mosque of Mohamed Ali, several palaces (housing some underwhelming museums such as the police and military museums) and a couple of terraces with city views.
The area was fortified around 1180 to protect it from the Crusaders. In the 1860s, ruler Khedive Ismail moved to newly built Abdin Palace, ending the citadel's role as the seat of government.
Catch bus 174 from Midan Ramses or 173 from Midan Falaki, or grab a taxi which is cheap in Cairo. Admission to the Citadel of Saladin includes entry to all the museums within the Citadel. Though this is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cairo (particularly for Egyptians), it is relatively unimpressive and decidedly overpriced.