Half-Day Tour to the City of the Dead Necropolis from Cairo

The beginnings of Cairo's necropolis date back to the foundation and subsequent growth of the city of Fustat, founded in 642 CE by 'Amr ibn al-'As, the Arab Muslim commander who led the conquest of Egypt. The early Muslim city was divided into multiple khittat or plots of land that were allocated to different tribes, and each tribe in turn built their own cemetery and funerary district - often including a mosque - in the desert area to the east of the city.The area where the Mausoleum of Imam al-Shafi'i currently stands was once the cemetery of the Quraysh tribe, the tribe of the Prophet Muhammad and one of the most prestigious, and this area likely lay at the center of the cemeteries which subsequently spread north and south around it.

per adult from




1 to 2 hours


Hotel pickup available


Mobile ticket

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  • What's included :
    • All taxes, fees and handling charges
    • Bottled water
    • Snacks
    • Hotel pickup and drop-off
    • Local guide
    • Entry/Admission - City of the Dead (Northern Cemetery)
    What's excluded :
    • Drinks
    • Gratuities
  • This is a typical itinerary for this product

    Stop At: City of the Dead (Northern Cemetery), East of Sharia Salah Salem, Cairo 11511 Egypt

    The City of the Dead, or Cairo Necropolis, also referred to as the Qarafa (Arabic: القرافة‎, romanized: al-Qarafa),[1] is a series of vast Islamic-era necropolises and cemeteries on the edges of Historic Cairo, in Egypt. They extend to the north and to the south of the Cairo Citadel, below the Mokattam Hills and outside the historic city walls, covering an area roughly 4 miles long. They are included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of "Historic Cairo".[2]

    The necropolis is separated roughly into two regions: the Northern Cemetery to the north of the Citadel (also called the Eastern Cemetery or qarafat ash-sharq in Arabic because it is east of the old city walls), and the older Southern Cemetery to the south of the Citadel. There is also another smaller cemetery north of Bab al-Nasr.[1]

    The necropolis that makes up "the City of the Dead" has been developed over many centuries and contains both the graves of Cairo's common population as well as the elaborate mausoleums of many of its historical rulers and elites. It started with the early city of Fustat (founded in 642 CE) and arguably reached its apogee, in terms of prestige and monumentality, during the Mamluk era (13th-15th centuries).[1] Throughout their history, the necropolises were home to various types of living inhabitants as well. These included the workers whose professions were tied to the cemeteries (e.g. gravediggers, tomb custodians), the Sufis and religious scholars studying in the religious complexes built by sultans and other wealthy patrons, and the regular inhabitants of small urban settlements and villages in the area.[1] This population grew and shrank according to circumstances in different eras. However, starting in the late 19th century and increasing in the 20th century, the pressure of Cairo's intensive urbanization and its ensuing housing shortage led to a large increase in the number of people living in the necropolis zones. Some people resorted to squatting within the mausoleums and tomb enclosures and turning them into improvised housing; although these "tomb-dwellers" were a small fraction of the overall population in the area.[1][3] This phenomenon led to much media commentary and popular imagination about the condition of those living in the necropolises, linking them symbolically to Cairo's much-discussed overpopulation problems and sometimes leading to exaggerated estimates of the number of people squatting in the mausoleums

    Duration: 1 hour

  • Departure Point :
    Traveler pickup is offered
    As per requested time our tour guide will be waiting at the lobby area and he will be holding a sign showing our company name Emo Tours
    Departure Time :
    8:00 AM
    Return Detail :
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Children must be accompanied by an adult
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Near public transportation
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
    • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
    • Face masks required for guides in public areas
    • Face masks provided for travelers
    • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
    • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
    • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
    • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
    • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
    • Guides required to regularly wash hands
    • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
    • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.


English - Guide

Age Req.


Fitness Req.


Group Size


Organised by EMO TOURS EGYPT

Activity ID: V-10726P17

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