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Cairo is a Magnet for Travelers on a Budget

Many of the capital’s attractions are free or cheap to visit. Weave your way under ornate arches and along labyrinthine lanes through the medieval market of Khan Al Khalili. Successive waves of empires and rulers have left their stamp on Al Azhar, adding, building and rebuilding various elements of the mosque. Visitors first encounter a large gleaming white marble courtyard surrounded by minarets from the 14th to 16th centuries and arches with inscriptions. Set within the walls of an ancient Roman fortress, the neighborhood of Coptic Cairo has a wonderful clutch of churches and monasteries that show a different side of the country’s religious culture. The neighborhood of Zamalek, on the northern tip of an island in the Nile, has a particularly dense concentration of art galleries, including the Zamalek Art Gallery, Picasso Art Gallery and Al Masar Gallery.