If Garden City is the territory of American University in Cairo (AUC) professors, then their students inhabit the rather shabby district of Mounira on the east side of the busy Qasr El Aini street, due south of AUC.
Like its upmarket neighbour, Mounir is about as central as you can get. Public transport includes two local metro stations: the Sadat metro at Tahrir Square and Sayeda Zeinab off Saad Zaghloul street. Prices have traditionally been low, but this is changing due to the area’s popularity with foreign language students. There’s a small, cheap vegetable market on Saad Zaghloul and a couple of grocery stores on Qasr El Aini, but otherwise food and other shopping is limited.
For restaurants and local bars, Downtown is a few minutes’ walk away. For other evening activities, traditional Egyptian music at Makan or films at the French Cultural Centre are right on your doorstep. The area isn’t recommended for kids: there are no local park or sports clubs, and like everywhere else in central Cairo, international schools involve a hefty commute. Average rent for a two-bedroom furnished apartment: 1,500 LE.
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Atfet Al Mounira, Al Inshaa WA Al Munirah, El-Sayeda Zainab, Egypt