Egyptian Cities




When most people think about towns and cities in Egypt they only tend to think of the major cities or the ones associated with tourist attractions, but there are actually more than 200 towns and cities which have populations of over 15,000.


Because 90% of Egypt is desert, these towns and cities have grown up either hugging the River Nile, along the shores of the Mediterranean or Red Seas, beside the Suez Canal, or among one of the desert oases. Due to Egypt’s enormous growth of population this has caused many areas to actually be built on sandy areas, rather than the more sustainable soil. Giza is a prime example of this as it slowly moves towards the plateau where the famous pyramids were built.


For administrative purposes Egypt is divided into 27 governorates, which are the top tier of the country's five-tier jurisdiction hierarchy. Each governorate is administered by a governor, who is appointed by the President of Egypt, serving at the president's discretion. These governorates have a population density of more than one-thousand per Km², though the 3 largest (Cairo, Alexandria and Giza) have a population density of less than two per Km². They are either fully "urban" or else a mixture of "urban" and "rural". The official distinction between "urban" and "rural" is reflected in the lower tiers: urban governorates have no regions, or “markaz”, as these are just an assortment of villages. Governorates may, however, comprise of just one city, as in the case of Cairo or Alexandria. These one-city governorates are divided into districts (basically urban neighborhoods); Cairo having 23 districts whilst Alexandria has only 6.




Governorate Area (Km²) Capital City Governorate Area (Km²) Capital City
Alexandria 2679 Alexandria Luxor 55 Luxor
Aswan   Aswan Matruh 212112 Marsa Matruh
Asyut   Asyut Minya 2262 Minya
Beheira 9118 Damanhur Monufia 2544 Shibin el-Kom
Beni Suef 1322 Beni Suef New Valley 376505 Kharga
Cairo 1277 Cairo North Sinai 27574 Arish
Dakahlia 3471 Mansura Port Said 72 Port Said
Damietta 589 Damietta Qalyubia 1001 Banha
Faiyum 1827 Faiyum Qena 1796 Qena
Gharbia 1942 Tanta Red Sea 203685 Hurghada
Giza 12925 Giza Sharqia 4180 Zagazig
Giza 12925 Giza Sohag 1547 Sohag
Ismailia 1442 Ismailia South Sinai 33140 el-Tor
Kafr el-Sheikh 3437 Kafr el-Sheikh Suez 17840 Suez