Cairo is known as the city that never sleeps and you will be able to find whatever night life you are looking for – be it Western style bars and clubs or more local night-spots such as shisha cafes. In particular, the downtown area with its charming atmosphere has become a place to hang-out for young people and the downtown cafes offer a fascinating step into the colourful and vibrant community created by people from all around the world.
Shopping is also a popular way to spend the evening particularly in summer months. Nowadays it is possible to find many of the high-street shops from Europe and America and designer boutiques in addition to local markets such as Khan El Khalili.
In Cairo it is possible to eat anything from sukiyaki to Kentucky Fried Chicken. However, do not fall into the trap of eating only in tourist restaurants or thinking that Egyptian food does not rise beyond kofta (minced lamb) and kebabs. You can satisfy most tastes if you know where to look.
Options range from Arab cafés offering a few simple dishes to extravagant “food weeks” at luxury hotels. Foreigners are also generally pleasantly surprised by the cost of eating out in Cairo even at luxury outlets, although imported alcohol can be very expensive. The cheapest option is kushari, a mixture of noodles, lentils and rice, topped with fried onions and a spicy tomato sauce, and other low-priced dishes include fuul (fava bean stew) and taamiya ( Egyptian falafel – fried balls of bean paste). Kofta and kebab are often sold by the quarter kilo, accompanied by pita bread and tahina (sesame paste) sauce. Other specialties include mahshi (stuffed vegetables), and shawarma (lamb kebab).