Green space in Cairo is at a premium, and the city isn't the best in the world for picnics, parks and gardens. Granddaddy of them all is without doubt al-Azhar Park in Islamic Cairo - built on a disused rubbish tip, this park offers great views out over Cairo, and is a wonderful place to chill out for a while with a picnic. It's also perfect for soaking up the evening call to prayer as the sun goes down.
Another nice though undoubtedly quirky park is the Fish Garden in Zamalek (also known as the Gabalaya Garden and Aquarium). Although it's seen better days, and the fish are now kept in proper aquariums rather than the funky man-made caves, this is still a good spot to take a break from the chaos of central Cairo, and perhaps enjoy a picnic. Giza Zoo is another popular central city spot to catch a bit of green, with the added bonus that you can check out the animals too.
Sometimes, the best way to enjoy Cairo is to leave the city! Wadi Degla in Maadi is the place to get away from it all, and although neither park nor garden, it's a good spot for a picnic. Same goes for heading into the desert by the pyramids on a camel ride - most stables should be able to arrange for you to stop somewhere for a bite to eat, or even to sleep out under the stars. And if your ideal al-fresco dining consists of lazily floating along the longest river in the world, take a picnic onto a felucca. The captains are cool with you bringing a bottle or two along as well.
Salah Salem Street
Beautiful and inspiring park on former rubbish tip... read more
Umm Kulthum Street
Quirky park offering breath of fresh air... read more
Serene great outdoors just outside Cairo... read more
Maadi ferry, next to Grand Café
Chill out and sail on the longest river in the world... read more
Gamal Abdul Nasser St
Sail back in time on a ship of the desert... read more
Lions and hippos in the centre of Cairo... read more
1 Saray Street
Opulent palace with bizarre, disturbing hunting museum... read more
Salah Salem Street
Next to Cairo Land
Off Port Said Street