Imbaba is a poor neighbourhood on the west bank of Cairo. It's just north of Mohandiseen, bounded to the south by Sudan Street. It's a maze of narrow alleyways, many of which are not even paved, and is home to a good chunk of Cairo's Sa'idi population – people from Upper Egypt.

From a visitors point of view, the only real reason to visit Imbaba is to go to the Swiss Club, which is located just west of Midan Kit-Kat, on al-Gihad Street (off Sudan Street). The club is a green and pleasant haven from the surrounding chaos, and serves up beer, shisha and comforting Swiss food in its tranquil garden. They also hold regular events, and have a weekly dance night.

The only other things that might be of interest are the houseboats that line the Nile near Midan Kit-Kat. Once considered a tourist attraction, with many of the boats functioning as dance halls and casinos, these days the surviving boats are residential. They are totally run down, but still full of character.

A way north of Midan Kit-Kat is the atmospheric Imbaba bridge. This red and black steel bridge was built in the late 19th Century under Khedive Tawfik, and renewed in the 1920's under King Fouad. No-one seems to know for sure who actually designed the bridge! It was built mainly to link Cairo with the railway line going down to Upper Egypt, which begins on the west bank of the Nile. The bridge is still in use today.


Swiss Club

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