The roof of the Nile Ritz-Carlton on the Corniche, when it opens, will have top views over Tahrir Square, but the front rooms at the Ismailia House hotel can equal them. The best budget hotel for views over the city in general is the Isis. The Citadel overlooks Islamic Cairo, where certain minarets give you a vista as far as the Pyramids on a clear day if they’re open (the Qalaoun complex, the Blue Mosque and the al-Muayyad minarets atop Bab Zwayla), but the finest view is from the high point in Al-Azhar Park. To look down on the mayhem that is Midan Ramses, the terrace café of the Everest Hotel is the place. The Cairo Tower on Gezira is also great for views, while the revolving restaurant at the Grand Nile Tower hotel on Roda Island offers what must rate as Cairo’s best panoramic view, encompassing the Pyramids, the Citadel, the Nile and most of downtown.

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