Nightlife in the largest city of Africa

Egypt has a unique location as the gate from Africa to the Middle East and visa versa. Cairo being the largest city in both regions, the city has a unique cultural blend. Many immigrants are looking for work in the capital, coming from for instance: Uganda, Sudan or Ethiopia. Next to this Egypt is also a safer (read: better) place then their home countries. For other Arab countries Egypt is a more liberal country and a country with higher standards in education. Meaning men can easily find students from for instance Algeria or Saudi-Arabia. Because of a high number of visiting tourists during the year, this can count as another population minority.

This mix gives prospect to a diversified nightlife and that is also what men can find. Dining, clubbing, live music or sitting down in a cafe with sheesha and your friends, you can find it all in Cairo

Laying on the Nile River are more expensive night places, offering dinners and foreign cuisines. Most of these are aimed at high-class Egyptians and foreigners. Some include “El Morocco” and “Fusion” offering Moroccan and Japanese food respectively. Deeper into Zamalek Area can be found other clubs offering more nightly entertainment, such as L’Aubergine and After Eight. Together with the Cairo Jazz Club and hotel disco’s (Harry’s Pub in the Marriot Hotel, Jackie’s Joint in the Hilton. These are the places with dj’s or live music, food and (alcoholic) drinks. Cairo Opera House also in Zamalek is offering larger events in music, dance, opera and even film festivals.

However, Haram street is also a lively street at night mainly accessible for locals, with traditional music and Egyptian customs of spending the night. Dancing in club Africana (in Haram street, greater Giza) makes you feel like you are in the heart of Africa. Music is an eclectic mix of R&B, Reggeaton, Koduro and Hiphop.
I visited some of these places and some things are very clear when going out.

First: you will go out in a Muslim country and drinking alcohol is not common, although in most nightplaces this is available.

Second: prices are relatively high and an entrance fee or minimum charge is common. Ranging from 40 LE to 200 LE to get in. This usually includes 1 or 2 welcome drinks. A beer will cost 20 up to 50 LE, cocktails a little higher, starting around $8, – dollars average.  The local spirits if available can save you a lot of money. Please watch out for “cheaters” as one club could not bring us food and open our drinks fast enough to present the bill 5 minutes later noting more then $200,-. This ended in a very long and unpleasant night and we eventually paid 250 LE for 5 drinks. Do not hesitate to refuse “impossible” offers, client should be king, and make use of your position.

Third: no (wo)men only. Come in couples, as it is not common to come as a group of men and hunt on female singles. Some clubs require guests to come in couples, otherwise they are politely refused, this of course ads up to the higher class experience.

Fourth: If girls or men are openly dancing or hanging with you, guess that it can be a hint for more. Real Egyptians are not very common in these kinds of situations. But everything has its price and being white can already trigger people to get money out of you.

Five: don’t expect anyone to show up before 12’o clock. The party starts around 1-2 am and after 3 am it is most crowded and vibrant.

 

Do not forget there are many foreigners also travelling to Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada. These places are less ‘Egyptian’ and offer more entertainment aimed at Western cultures. Other places then these (like Alexandria or other cities) hardly have night places and there ‘partying’ is not common. When I have extended my reviews about nice restaurants or cafes, I will be sure to put them up. If other tips or recommendations be sure to let us know in the comments, I can pay them a visit in this weekend (or the next of course)

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About Mike

Raised in the modern society of North-West Europe, I am just a rookie in the daily life of Egypt. Traveling straight out of Thailand this creates a unique opinion. I try to write with creative, cultural and analytical viewpoints. Although I am not that structured, I try to keep you updated every week!