Just a few hundred meters away from Historic Tahrir Square is the European Quarter of the City of Cairo, located in Downtown. The Quarter hosts a number of International Embassies and Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches as this is the other Christian Quarter of Cairo besides the Coptic Quarter. the Various European Architectures were made during the 18th century as many western europeans lived in this area and the main thoroughfare of the district is at Talaat Harb Street, where many of the european inspired architectural buidlings and some statues of egypt's famous personalities are located.
The main attraction of Downtown Cairo is obviously the Egyptian Museum, but take some time to explore other parts of the area as well. You can promenade along the Nile just across the (busy) road from the Museum, walk up to Midan Tala'at Harb, and from there walk north towards Midan Ramses and the train station. There are some interesting side streets full of food markets and little cafes.
Downtown Cairo, mostly developed during the mid-1800s during the reign of French-educated Ismail - a Fatimid ruler who reigned for 16 years (1863-79) - deserves at least a half-day's worth of exploring. The area is regarded as the commercial capital of modern Cairo, but the buildings here, mostly pooly-maintained turn-of-the-century (of Belle Epoque vintage) architecture, are anything but modern.
A typical route would be to start from Midan Tahrir down Qasr el-Nil up to Midan Talaat Harb, from where the boulevard branches into Talaat Harb towards Midan Mustafa Kamel, and into Talaat Harb towards Midan Orabi. It is advisable to have a good street map - I find the one sold at AUC's (American Univ in Cairo) bookshop quite helpful.
There are really no individual standout attractions here - it's the resulting old-meets-new world ambiance coming from a heavy concentration of once-glitzy shops housed in turn-of-the-century buildings, the hustle and bustle of thousands of Cairenes going about their daily lives, and the respite offered by the many ahwas (coffeehouses) littered around. Among the more interesting buildings are the Baehler building and Groppi cafe (in picture) on Midan Talaat Harb, and the Risotto Club (in picture) on Midan Mustafa Kamel.
For movie buffs, there are also cinemas offering the usual Hollywood fare as well as local productions. With its prolific entertainment industry, Cairo is considered the movie capital of the Arab world. The only catch is, these don't have English sub-titles.
Fake Papyrus? Fake Alabaster? McDonalds?
Cairo has everything that a city needs and doesnt need!
Downtown is the heart of the city, this is where it all happens and were everything service wise is. Internet cafes are abundant in this part of the city, locals shop alongside tourists in the stores that line the streets.
All this and its only a short walk from some of the cities main attractions, but in my opinion Downtown Cairo is an attraction in itself.