This is my second review of this place, as I have some things to add to my review from last year.
This year I went a few times on various days; once or twice alone and once with friends (including a foreign woman). If you're walking, you can enter the area either through the footbridge over the highway, from where the street will take you almost directly to the Qaitbey mosque, or by going under the highway overpass east from Al-Azhar street, from where it's a more complicated path but one that gives you views of the hundreds of small cemeteries along the way.
The neighbourhood is still very friendly but still very dirty. People are often curious to find you there (although they do see tourists around the main monuments), but this is usually the extent of the attention you get. You can take pictures but be a little careful not to take pictures of obvious piles of garbage, as there's a chance someone may find this disrespectful. Sadly, garbage is sometimes piled up next to some beautiful monuments.
My most important update: the Qaitbey mosque, the most famous building in the area, is closed to visitors due to ongoing restoration inside. You can still see it and its beautiful dome from the streets, but the doors only open for prayers for the locals.
The Barsbay mosque was open when I dropped by and you can enter the prayer hall (remember to tip the caretaker), though the mausoleum itself may not be open.
The funerary mosque of Sultan Farag ibn Barquq is still open, but you should look around for a caretaker who can take you one of the two beautiful high-domed mausoleums. In my experience he will usually only volunteer to take you into one of them; you'll need to ask or insist if you want to see both. Both are beautiful and fairly similar, but personally I find the women's mausoleum on the south side (on the right) more satisfying. A tip is warranted for unlocking doors, but the mosque area is open to all.
Further north are some other impressive monuments, but these are in more ruined condition, fenced off and located on some fairly desolate streets where you may find yourself quite alone.
Still a great place to visit, and hopefully future visitors will find the Qaitbay mosque newly restored and open to visit.
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