The northern districts of Greater Cairo form a vast and highly populated region, but which is generally of little interest to the tourist.
The ancient city of Heliopolis was here, but it's mostly covered over by urban sprawl of the Matariya neighborhood. (Modern Heliopolis was built a few km away in Greater Cairo's eastern districts.)
The northern branches of Metro lines 1 and 2 go here.
- 1 Obelisk of Senusret I, Midan al-Misallah (10 minute walk from El-Matareyya metro stop (line 1)). The obelisk is the last original relic from the Temple of Atum in the ancient city of Heliopolis. Cleopatra's Needle in London and the obelisk in New York's Central Park came from the same temple. The obelisk dates back to approximately 1900 BC, providing a reminder of Heliopolis' past, as it sits in Midan al-Misallah in the midst of the modern city.
- 2 Mohamed Ali Summer Palace, Shubra Al Kheimah. Home of Mohamed Ali Pasha, the founder of modern Egypt. Built in 1821 with a mixture of Islamic and European styles on grounds replete with gardens and fountains, though some fell into disuse. Museum also on site. Premises are often under restoration, however.