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Heliopolis City Breaks

Historic grandeur meets modern luxury

Unlike the ancient pyramids and bustling medieval markets that define much of Cairo, Heliopolis is a unique blend of early 20th-century elegance and modern urban living. Founded in 1905 by the Belgian entrepreneur Baron Empain, the district has a distinct architectural style that merges European Art Nouveau with traditional Arabic details. Here, you’ll find lush green avenues lined with grand villas and some of Cairo’s most exclusive five-star hotels.

The district is known for its upscale shopping areas, diverse culinary scene, and lively cafes, offering a more relaxed and refined atmosphere compared to the hustle and bustle of downtown Cairo. Notable landmarks include the quirky Baron Empain Palace – a mansion with architecture inspired by Hindu temples – and the Basilique Church, a striking Roman Catholic church inspired by Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia.

Heliopolis was the first district to host Cairo Design Week so, if art is your thing, you’ll love the neighbourhood’s galleries and cultural centres, where Egypt’s contemporary artists come to display their work.

Explore our map of Heliopolis

Your Heliopolis questions, answered

Cairo International Airport sits within Heliopolis, making transfers to your hotel quick and easy, so you can start your sightseeing stat. 
During October and April the weather is cooler, making it an ideal time for exploring outdoor attractions and enjoying the district’s numerous cafés and parks. That said, if you’re visiting one of the luxury hotels in the area, you might find the higher temperatures in summer suit you better if you’re just looking to lounge by the pool.
The local currency is the Egyptian Pound. That said, many traders will happily accept British Pounds, Euros and US Dollars. You can pay by card in hotels and major retailers, but you’ll need to bring cash if you’re planning to visit the souks or local restaurants.