Garden City is a small, green and affluent neighbourhood of Cairo that stretches south for a few km from Midan Tahrir in Downtown, bounded to the east by Qasr al-Aini street, and to the west by the Nile.
Designed by the British in the early 20th Century as a residential and diplomatic area, it's a maze of narrow, curving, tree-lined avenues, presided over by crumbling Art Deco buildings and villas of all shapes and sizes.
Garden City is home to numerous embassies, including the British and American embassies. (Apparently, the US Embassy is the largest in the world.) It's a pleasant enough area to stroll around, although teeming with armed guards, and there aren't really any tourist sights.
There are a number of decent hotels along the Cornice, such as the Semiramis Intercontinental, the Shepheard Hotel, and the Four Seasons Nile Plaza. If you are looking for a budget option amongst the luxury, the Garden City House Hotel is an old favourite.
As well as hotels, embassies and houses, Garden City contains a number of restaurants. Two of the best include the Taboula Lebanese restaurant, tucked away near the American Embassy, and The Bird Cage, in the Semiramis Intercontinental.
On the bustling main road Qasr al-Aini, which marks the eastern edge of Garden City, you will also find Abou Shakra grills, as well as dozens of juice bars, falafel and koshary restaurants. Cairo's largest public hospital, also called Qasr al-Aini, is located here too.
The other side of Qasr al-Aini is the southern extent of Islamic Cairo, including fascinating areas such as Abdeen (home to Abdeen Palace Museum), Mounira, and Sayeda Zeinab (home to Sayeda Zeinab Mosque).
Just over from the southern end of Garden City is the northern tip of Manyal Island (more correctly called Rhoda Island). This largely residential island is notable mainly for the presence of one of Cairo's most prestigious hotels, the Grand Hyatt Cairo, as well as for one of its quirkiest tourist attractions, Manyal Palace.
On the Cornice opposite the Grand Hyatt is where most of the feluccas hang out, and it's a great spot to pick up a felucca for a relaxing hour's sail along the Nile. © NileGuide