Shopping in Egypt for Travelers
Tips for Shoppers in Egypt
If you’re planning to go shopping in Egypt, here are some tips for travelers:
Bargaining is the norm: In Egypt, bargaining is a way of life. You’ll be expected to haggle over the price of almost everything you buy, from souvenirs to taxi fares. So be prepared to negotiate, and don’t be afraid to walk away if you can’t get the price you want.
Shop at bazaars and markets: The best shopping in Egypt can be found at bazaars and markets, where you’ll find a wide range of goods at affordable prices. Some of the most popular bazaars include the Khan El-Khalili market in Cairo, the Luxor market, and the Aswan market.
Look for local handicrafts: Egypt is known for its handicrafts, including hand-woven textiles, pottery, and jewelry. Look for these items at local markets and bazaars, and be sure to ask about the item’s origin and the materials used to make it.
Be wary of scams: Unfortunately, tourists are often targeted by scam artists in Egypt. Be cautious of people who approach you on the street offering to sell you goods, and avoid buying anything from unauthorized vendors. Stick to reputable shops and markets to ensure that you’re getting a fair deal.
Don’t forget to haggle over taxi fares: Taxis are a popular mode of transportation in Egypt, but be prepared to negotiate the fare before you get in the cab. Ask your hotel or a local for an idea of what a fair price would be, and don’t be afraid to walk away if the driver won’t agree to your terms.
Keep an eye on your belongings: As with any crowded market or bazaar, it’s important to keep an eye on your belongings while shopping in Egypt. Be especially vigilant in busy areas like Cairo’s Khan El-Khalili market, where pickpocketing can be a problem.
Check the regulations for exporting goods: If you plan to bring souvenirs or other goods home from Egypt, be sure to check the regulations for exporting these items. Some items, such as antiques, require a permit or may be prohibited altogether.
Top 10 Marketplaces for Shopping in Egypt
Here are the top 10 marketplaces for shopping in Egypt:
Khan El-Khalili Market – Located in the heart of Cairo’s Islamic district, Khan El-Khalili is one of the oldest and most famous bazaars in Egypt. Here you can find everything from textiles and jewelry to spices and souvenirs.
Aswan Market – Known for its Nubian handicrafts, Aswan market is a great place to shop for traditional clothing, pottery, and jewelry. You can also find spices, perfumes, and souvenirs here.
Luxor Market – Located near the Luxor Temple, this market is a great place to buy traditional Egyptian goods like alabaster and papyrus. You can also find spices, jewelry, and souvenirs here.
Souq Al Gomaa – Held every Friday, this outdoor market in Cairo is a great place to find affordable clothing, electronics, and household items.
Ataba Market – Located in downtown Cairo, Ataba Market is a bustling shopping district with everything from clothing and shoes to electronics and souvenirs.
Wekalet El-Balah – This market in Luxor is known for its high-quality Egyptian cotton textiles, including clothing, linens, and towels.
Mahmoud Mokhtar Market – Located in the Zamalek neighborhood of Cairo, this market is known for its handmade pottery, ceramics, and glassware.
El-Hussein Market – Located near the famous Al-Hussein Mosque in Cairo, this market is a great place to shop for souvenirs, spices, and traditional Egyptian clothing.
Fustat Market – Located near Old Cairo, Fustat Market is a popular destination for antique hunters, with a wide variety of furniture, textiles, and other collectibles.
Souk El Ataba – Another popular shopping destination in Cairo, Souk El Ataba is known for its leather goods, jewelry, and souvenirs.
Best things to Shop for in Egypt
Egypt is a treasure trove of unique and traditional goods, making it an ideal destination for shopping. Here are some of the best things to shop for in Egypt:
Handicrafts: Egypt is known for its beautiful handicrafts, including textiles, pottery, and jewelry. Look for hand-woven textiles made from cotton and silk, as well as intricately decorated pottery and metalwork. Jewelry made from gold and silver, as well as precious and semi-precious stones, is also popular.
Spices: Egyptian cuisine is known for its bold and flavorful spices, including cumin, coriander, and saffron. Look for these and other spices at local markets and bazaars.
Perfumes and oils: Egyptian perfumes and oils are famous for their exotic scents and high quality. Look for perfumes made from natural ingredients like jasmine, rose, and musk, as well as essential oils like frankincense and myrrh.
Papyrus: Papyrus was used as a writing material in ancient Egypt, and today it’s a popular souvenir item. Look for hand-painted papyrus artwork featuring scenes from Egyptian mythology or hieroglyphic text.
Alabaster: Alabaster is a soft stone that’s been used for carving since ancient times. Look for hand-carved alabaster vases, bowls, and other decorative items.
Traditional clothing: Egyptian clothing is known for its bright colors and flowing fabrics. Look for traditional galabiyas (long, loose-fitting robes) and headscarves made from cotton or silk.
Antiques: Egypt is home to many ancient artifacts and antiques, including statues, pottery, and jewelry. Be sure to check the regulations for exporting these items before making a purchase.
Cheapest things to buy in Egypt
Egypt is a great destination for budget travelers, and there are many affordable things to buy in the country. Here are some of the cheapest things to buy in Egypt:
Clothing: You can find affordable clothing at markets and bazaars throughout Egypt. Look for locally made cotton garments, including galabiyas and scarves.
Spices: Egyptian spices are both delicious and affordable, making them a great souvenir. Look for spices like cumin, coriander, and saffron at local markets and bazaars.
Souvenirs: Souvenirs like postcards, magnets, and keychains are usually inexpensive and easy to find in tourist areas.
Street food: Street food is a great way to sample Egyptian cuisine on a budget. Look for popular snacks like falafel, koshary, and taameya (Egyptian-style falafel).
Transportation: Taxis and public transportation in Egypt are relatively inexpensive, making it easy to explore the country on a budget.
Water: Bottled water is widely available and inexpensive in Egypt, making it easy to stay hydrated in the hot climate.
Coffee and tea: Coffee and tea are popular drinks in Egypt, and they’re usually inexpensive at local cafes and restaurants. Look for traditional Egyptian-style tea made with mint and sugar.