Bikya is a cafe, bookstore and arts venue that manages to balance a relaxed atmosphere with being cool and quirky.
The books are all second-hand and are a real mix between the dusty old and the hardbacked new. The contrast between the modern decoration and traditional building is where the 'quirky' comes in to it, and the varied seating means you can have a brief visit or browse more leisurely while you grab something from the cafe.
Bikya occaisionally hosts live music, but also exhibits the work of local artists on the walls, and you can buy CDs and locally crafted products.
There are two branches of Bikya, one downtown and the other in the southern suburb of Maadi.
23 Dr. Zaky Hassan St.، NASR CITY، Nasr City, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
+20 2 24046688
Google map: bit.ly/PxjVUc
Bikya (new Maadi branch)
40 El Hadeyek Street (off Road 9, near McDonalds)
Nearest Metro: Sayarat El Maadi
* Alip is our Been there local for Cairo. Her homepage is here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/articles/cairo-local-alice-allsop.jsp and you can follow her tips directly here: www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/travellers/alip
Cairo is a crazy, busy and bustling place and the bookmarket at Attaba station is a condensed version of the city in this sense. The bookmarket consists of four or five rows of shops that open up and spread their wares on tables, shelves and the floor, making the narrow passage between them even narrower. This is a great place to browse and enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city, as the store-owners are very friendly and don't mind browsing. It's a real mixture of books you'll find, with arabic texts old and new, as well as obscure books in English that make you wonder how they found themselves over here. Favourite buys include Tintin: Cigars of the Pharaoh in arabic and a dozen beautiful Egyptian 1940's film posters.
The bookmarket is in the middle of the Attaba roundabout in Downtown Cairo. It is beside the Puppet Theatre and the easiest way to find it is to get the Metro to Attaba and when you leave the station look for the exit that says "Puppet Theatre"
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