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City of the Dead (Al-Arafa) Tours

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3 Reviews
City of the Dead (Al-Arafa)
Consisting of two 4-mile-long (6-kilometer-long) cemeteries dating to Mamluk times (1200s to 1500s), Cairo’s City of the Dead is still in use today. Traditionally, all families kept a mausoleum; these days, some families use them to live in as well as for burials. There are also shops, cafés, and even a post office within the cemeteries.

The Basics
Certain families have been inhabiting the tombs for generations; some arrived more recently, after the 1967 war displaced them from the Suez Canal zone. It’s estimated that the north cemetery has up to half a million living residents. Many of the tombs are quite grand, dating back centuries and built in the Mamluk style. You’ll also see some of Cairo's most beautiful Mamluk monuments, such as the mausoleums of Sultan Qaitbay and Sultan Barquq.

Several guided tours combine visits to the City of the Dead with stops at the Mosque of Ibn Tulun and Cave Church.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The City of the Dead is located in a poor, conservative area. Be respectful, and ask permission before taking photos.
  • Residents may ask you for baksheesh (a small sum of money) in exchange for your taking photos—this is best handled with the help of a guide.
  • For safety reasons, avoid visiting after dark.
  • Occasionally, travelers are denied access to the city because of security reasons. Be sure to confirm entry with your tour operator.

How to Get There
Just east of Cairo, the City of the Dead is situated at the foot of Mokattam Cliff. Because it’s easy to become lost in the mazelike area, consider going with a guide to help you navigate. Otherwise, head east from Midan al-Hussein along Sharia al-Azhar. As you crest the hill, bear right, walk below the overpass, and continue along the road between the tombs, passing the Tomb of Emir Tashtimur on your left.

When to Get There
Early morning is the best time to go to the City of the Dead. Avoid the area at night. Winter is the most popular season to visit Cairo because of the sunny weather, so expect the biggest crowds then. You’ll get the best deals during the city’s shoulder seasons: March and April, and October and November.

Living in the City of the Dead
Many of the people who live in this city within a city also work there—as cemetery caretakers, gravediggers, and vendors selling flowers to those visiting the tombs of their deceased loved ones. Some have started businesses to support the demands of the residents, such as barbershops and grocery stands.
Address: Cairo, Egypt
Admission: Free
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8 Tours and Activities to Experience City of the Dead (Al-Arafa)

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Private Half-Day Tour to City of the Dead and Mosque of Ibn Tulun in Cairo

Private Half-Day Tour to City of the Dead and Mosque of Ibn Tulun in Cairo

star-4
A unique blend of cemetery and residential neighborhood, Cairo’s City of the Dead is a fascinating place to explore. Visit its shops, tombs, houses, and mausoleums on a 4-hour, private tour for your group of up to 15 people. This guided experience includes round-trip hotel transport, and a trip to the Mosque of Ibn Tulun, one of the oldest mosques in the city.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$14.29
From
US$14.29
Taking safety measures

Cave Church and City Of The Dead Tour

Cave Church and City Of The Dead Tour

star-5
Enjoy the history of the holy family in Egypt and visit the largest church in Africa heading to the city of the dead to see a cemetery of more than 1200 years old
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  • 5 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$51.43
Price varies by group size
From
US$51.43
Price varies by group size

Unseen Cairo – Garbage City & City of the Dead

Unseen Cairo – Garbage City & City of the Dead

You will have some of the best tour guides and Egyptologists in Egypt. Our tour guides have a Master’s in Egyptology. Our guides are trained in mainstream Egyptology, and are also well-versed in unconventional Egyptology and are capable of debating about unorthodox theories and contradicting them with traditional ones. We run sightseeing tours 24/7, with sunshine, rain, heat or cold. Our tour guides and Egyptologists speak fluent English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch. We take sightseeing tours in all the afore-mentioned languages. Our staff are customer-service oriented, patient, flexible and quite understanding of our clients’ needs, interests and expectations. The staff will listen very carefully to you and customize the tour according to what you need and expect. The staff will take a very good care of you, giving you what expect and a bit more. We value our staff because they are simply our wealth.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$85.72
Price varies by group size
From
US$85.72
Price varies by group size

Cave Church, Garbage City & The City of the Dead In Cairo

Cave Church, Garbage City & The City of the Dead In Cairo

visit the Famous Cave Church of St. Simon in Cairo , passing by the Garbage City in Cairo and The City of the Dead. Private guided tour enables you to see some Local sites in cairo
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$68.00
Price varies by group size
From
US$68.00
Price varies by group size

Half-Day Tour to the City of the Dead Necropolis from Cairo

Half-Day Tour to the City of the Dead Necropolis from Cairo

star-4
Experience a unique part of Cairo with a guided tour of the City of the Dead, an ancient cemetery that’s alive with life. Explore its crowded aisles of beautiful Islamic architecture with a local guide, and learn why so many Cairenes (around 500,000) are living alongside gravestones and mausoleums. This tour includes round-trip transport, as well as bottled water and snacks for your convenience.
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  • 1 to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$93.00
From
US$93.00
Taking safety measures

 Cave Church, Garbage City & The City of the Dead In Cairo

Cave Church, Garbage City & The City of the Dead In Cairo

visit the Famous Cave Church of St. Simon in Cairo , passing by the Garbage City in Cairo and The City of the Dead. Private guided tour enables you to see some Local sites in cairo
More
  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$93.72
Price varies by group size
From
US$93.72
Price varies by group size

 Cave Church, Garbage City & The City of the Dead In Cairo

Cave Church, Garbage City & The City of the Dead In Cairo

visit the Famous Cave Church of St. Simon in Cairo , passing by the Garbage City in Cairo and The City of the Dead. Private guided tour enables you to see some Local sites in cairo
More
  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
US$93.50
Price varies by group size
From
US$93.50
Price varies by group size

Islamic Cairo Private History Tour

Islamic Cairo Private History Tour

star-5
Discover the mosques and madrasas of one of the world’s oldest Islamic cities on a customizable, private tour of the city with a local guide. Explore historic Cairo, a UNESCO site that was founded in the 10th century, and see how the city’s tradition, art and architecture braid together in the narrow streets. Learn about life in the city while taking in the rich scents, sights and sounds of the Egyptian capital.
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  • 2 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
US$70.00
From
US$70.00
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience City of the Dead (Al-Arafa)?

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(888) 651-9785
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