This city of 20 million on the banks of the Nile River is an incredible mix of old and new, from Tahrir Square and the vast Egyptian Museum in Old Cairo to the modern Cairo Tower on Gezira Island. The Pyramid complex and Great Sphinx are nearby in Giza. Yes, Cairo is overpopulated, congested, and polluted. But, there is a growing running culture in Cairo — different than it was even a few years ago. Still, this is not your typical city for running. There aren’t much in the way of large parks or paths. And you can’t just run along the average traffic-choked street. But there are some good spots — use this as a guide to find the best and safest spots for running in Cairo.
The best place to run in Cairo is on Gezira Island and the leafy streets of the Zamalek district. There’s also decent running in the Maadi, Dokki, and 6th of October/Arkan areas. And one can run near the Pyramids — the perimeter roads and paths are runnable and afford good views of the iconic sights. For a fantastic destination run, head to the Wadi Degla, where there’s wonderful trail running at the ‘Grand Canyon of Egypt’.
Cairo is famous for its traffic. There is a metro system covering a limited geographic area. And there are buses. NOTES: It is best to run early to beat the traffic and heat–the air quality can be very poor. There’s a lot less traffic, and better air, on Fridays. Also, we’ve been told by locals that women should not run in short pants.