Shopping At Egypt
No trip to Egypt is complete without a good shopping session in one of the country’s bazaars, markets, or shopping malls. This is a one-of-a-kind chance to buy an excellent Egyptian product at a fair price, a valuable treasure to take home.
So When you go to Egypt, you should go shopping at the great markets, souks, and bazaars. You can buy different gifts and souvenirs to remind you of your trip. There are many markets in every part of Egypt, like the Khan El Khalili in Cairo and other famous bazaars in places like Aswan, Luxor, Hurghada, Sharm El-Sheikh, and more. You can get everything you need, like clothes, accessories, jewelry, fruits, vegetables, and more, at low prices in these markets.
Egypt has a wide range of traditional goods that you can buy when you go there. Like bags and shoes made of leather in the country’s style, which are popular with tourists, also gold and silver scarabs, ankhs, cartouches, and the eye of Horus, natural stones, oils, and spices from the Orient, carved wood, and other unique things from the country.
Don’t miss to read Read More about What to see in Cairo: The best things to see in Cairo
The Famous Bazaars and Markets in Egypt
1- Khan Al Khalili
Khan Al-Khalili is, without a doubt, one of Egypt’s best markets. It is in the old part of Cairo and is a popular place for locals and tourists. It started in Egypt during the Mamluk era, which was in the 14th century. Handicrafts, souvenirs, old things, jewelry, carpets, food, and coffees. In Khan Al-Khalili, there are almost 1,000 shops where you can buy almost anything. Also, you’ll see that it’s not a tourist market because most people there are from the area.
2- Souq El-Fustat
The Souq is close to a Roman-era church, the Mosque of Amr Ibn Alas, and the Ben Ezra Synagogue. The Fustat Souk is the first market for collecting handicrafts and art, aiming to preserve identity and stimulate tourism. A place is a group of galleries for artists offering various kinds of crafts, including crochet art, batik printing, leather, wood, glass, soap, natural oils, oil paintings, ceramics, and many hand-made arts.
3- Al Jayamiya Street
It is a historic covered market built in the 17th century. The street is one of the icons of Islamic Cairo; it is located near the famous Moez street, South of Bab Zuweila. It is where the famous Egyptian carpets are made, where you will see a craft that has not changed for hundreds of years. It specializes in textiles, most of which are for local consumption, with only a few products for tourists.
Don’t miss to read Amazing Stopover Tour to Islamic Cairo
4- Al Khyiamia Bazaar (street of shop makers)
located in el Al-Ghouriya, we find Al Khyiamia street or the street of the shop makers. This is one of Cairo’s leading markets for decorative textiles, the so-called khayamiya, used to make tents. The origins of this Souk date back to the 17th century when it began as a shoemaker’s market.
One of the most notable features is that it is a covered street market. At Al Khyiamia, we can find quality rugs, rugs, and other textile products at a reasonable price. This market is located in the center of Cairo, close to the Khan Al-Khalili market.
5- Souq el Ataba
Another Cairo street market is Souq el Ataba. This Souk is one of the most popular and visited in the city. Its atmosphere of bustle and chaos is one of its main attractions. In it, you can find anything, too, from clothes and crafts to antiques and jewelry.
The Souq el Ataba market prices are generally pretty reasonable, so haggling is unnecessary, as in other bazaars. Souq el Ataba is also located in Islamic Cairo, near Opera Square. The nearest metro stations are Attaba and Bab El Shaariya.
6- El Sagha souq (Gold Market)
One of the places where locals buy gold, and you will find the best offers. Remember that the gold in Egypt is usually of great purity and, therefore, quite dark.
7- The Aswan Souk
It is in the center of the city. This beautiful market is one of the essential destinations in Aswan, the jewel of southern Egypt. This Souk preserves all the characteristics that combine the aspects of Africa and the Mediterranean world in its streets. There you can buy good quality spices and Henna at very reasonable prices.
In addition to the usual condiments, clothing, and souvenirs found in all Egyptian markets, there are Nubian products such as colorful clothes, stalls with embroidered cloaks, hats, African masks, henna cosmetics, wooden products, and baskets. Nubian artisans take great care of their roots. [ Check our Aswan Day Tours ]
8- The Souk of Luxor
Almost all the streets around the Luxor Temple on the eastern bank are full of souvenir shops, in which the merchants try to attract tourists; that’s why you can go shopping in Luxor during your Nile cruise. Fixed-price stores are rare but provide a good reference point for negotiating elsewhere.
Good local artisans are clay cooking pots, hand-carved bowls of lemon and orange or tamarisk wood, and fine silk, cotton, and linen made in Upper Egypt. Alabaster and papyrus are cheaper to buy on the western shore.
9- The Old Market of Sharm El Sheikh
It is in an old style and is very typical of an oriental bazaar. There are small shops, large shopping centers, and many outdoor cafes where you can taste traditional food and Japanese cuisine. As in any such bazaar, you can buy fresh fruits, spices, sweets, tea, and butter there.
There are also many souvenirs for all tastes and budgets. Here you will find obligatory pieces of papyrus, ceramic cat figurines, shiny beads, musical instruments, warm camel-hair blankets, rugs, towels, tablecloths, beautifully embossed glasses, and natural stone gadgets. And clothes.
10- The Al Dahar area in Hurghada
It is the old center of Hurghada, where it has kept its originality. It has many small shops, street vendors, and visitors. Oriental spices, scented oils, jewelry, tobacco products, papyri, handicrafts and antiques, and of course, textiles are on offer: dresses, gowns, shawls of all kinds, and, course, decorated with oriental prints and embroideries.
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Top 7 Shopping Malls in Egypt
Most people love to spend hours in a mall, even if they are not shopping. Many people go to malls to have fun and relieve stress. What else could anyone want? A tourist should try out some of the many things to do in Egypt.
1- The Mall of Egypt
The Mall of Egypt is one of the most impressive malls. It is on El Wahat Road in the city on the 6th of October and has many shops. Some well-known stores at the Egyptian mall are Zara, H&M, Marks & Spencer, LC Waikiki, and a few more. Tourists can shop for anything, from high-end brands to stores.
2- Cairo City Festival Mall
Cairo City Festival Mall, a super-regional shopping mall, is located at the heart of the Cairo festival. It is home to over 300 shops and services, 95 restaurants, and cafes. People can enjoy a wholesome meal at one of the restaurants and enjoy the dancing fountain show and live performances at the Amphitheater. The shopping mall in Egypt is the first indoor-outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment destination that attracts tourists worldwide.
The festival mall is unlike any other mall, home to several office spaces, hotels, and showrooms. Some of the services offered by the mall include a mother’s room, hands-free shopping, child identification bracelets, Baby strollers, wheelchairs, prayer rooms, valet service, WIFI, lost and found, power bank, and shopping cart.
3- Mall of Arabia
Along the 26th of July Corridor is the Mall of Arabia, Egypt’s largest mall. It has brands like Zara, Virgin, Timberland, GAP, Centrepoint, Mango, and more that are known worldwide.
People should go to Spinney’s, a multiplex movie theatre, and several cafes and restaurants. Some restaurants, cafes, and courts serve food that makes your mouth water. Qahwa, Chili’s, and Paul’s do some of the best food in the city.
4-City Centre Almaza
People like going to the City Centre of Almaza because it is one of their favorite places to shop and have fun. Almaza is an Arabic word that comes from a long history of ideas about planning, design, and philosophy. The mall creates a unique shopping experience for its visitors by providing various brands like the retail mix, dining, and leisure facilities.
One of the best places to go shopping in Cairo is there. The mall has changed how people shop with stores like Bershka, Pull and Bear, Zara, MINISO, Tradeline, and more. City Centre Almaza is one of the many places to explore at least once on vacation or as a local of the country.
People in Heliopolis, Sheraton, and New Cairo can quickly get to the City Centre of Almaza because it is close to the city stars. The mall has many stores, such as Bershka, Pull & Bear, Zara, MINISO, Tradeline, and many more. At the Mall of Egypt, people will find shops like these. The best things are cleanliness and safety. The dining experience at some restaurants like Desoky and Soda, Mince, Mori Sushi, and Crave is unique.
The quality of Citystars, which has a lot of stores and restaurants, really impressed the locals. Citystars has been Egypt’s favorite mall for years because it has many stores and is a fun place to hang out. Brands like Victoria’s Secret, Hugo Boss, Swarovski, Cartier, H&M, Marks & Spencer, and Mango have stores in the mall.
One of the best parts of the mall is how safe it is. So, people have nothing to worry about in an emergency. So, what do you think so much about it? If you want to shop, you should go to Citystars. People can have the best time shopping and hang out with their friends.
A special and wonderful atmosphere is held in the mall during Christmas. Book our Egypt Christmas Trip and enjoy these moments.
6- Point90 Mall
The Point90 mall can be found in New Cairo’s 5th Settlement, directly across from AUC. Due to its size and cozy atmosphere, the shopping center is ideal for brief excursions. Students searching for a quick coffee break, a place for a professor to eat lunch, or a quick shopping spree at H&M will find it an appropriate location.
The weekend is the busiest time of the week at the mall, with families out shopping, dining, and going to the movies. The sprawling cinema complex is a favorite among film fans. Skating, playing in the Billy Beez play area, and jumping around on the trampolines at Airline are all popular activities for children.
The shopping center is home to one of the Fresh Food Market’s most expansive locations. It even boasts a massive ceiling that lets an abundance of natural light into the shopping center’s interior.
7- The Dandy Mega Mall
The Dandy Mega Mall was and still is the most popular place to go shopping in the area. It is one of the most well-known shopping centers in all of Egypt, and its tenants include famous brands and retailers such as Marks & Spencer, Tommy Hilfiger, Aldo, Nike, Levi’s, Timberland, MINISO, and Mother care. People can always grab a bite at some restaurants and cafes like Starbucks, Chili’s, McDonald’s, Mori Sushi, Pizza Hut, KFC, Hardee’s, Papa John’s, and Cinnabon after they finish their shopping. Examples of these establishments include:
The shopping center caters to all ages by providing amenities such as an indoor amusement park and play facilities for children. Therefore, if you are contemplating taking a day off, one of the numerous things you can do in Egypt is to go shopping at the Dandy Mega Mall, and the time you spend there will be well spent.
What to buy from Egypt?
1- Jewelry Wooden Boxes
A wooden box decorated with mother-of-pearl inlays is a unique souvenir in Egypt. These elegant boxes range in shape and size from pocket size to coffee table size. They are made with mother-of-pearl or cheaper materials such as seashells and plastic.
Mother-of-pearl boxes are made in a painstaking process. The craftsman first cuts the beech wood and nails it. The box is then decorated with white resin and hundreds of pieces of mother-of-pearl. Subsequently, it is smoothed with sandpaper and covered with velvet. You can find these boxes in Cairo’s famous Khan el-Khalili market and various tourist shops in Egypt.
2- Incense (Bokhor )
Just burn some Oud powder to bring the smell of the Middle East into your home. Your home and your heart will be filled with the same warm Middle Eastern air that fills Cairo’s narrow streets and markets.
There are two different kinds of incense. First, there is the well-known Oud, also called “Agar-wood.” It comes from the heart of an Aquilaria tree that has been “infected” by a specific type of mold. Egyptians love the smell of agarwood, even though it isn’t cheap. A cheaper alternative would be a mixed-in powder with Ein Al Afreet and Mastic.
Bokhor is the other kind of incense in Egypt. You can buy it anywhere, from perfume shops to grocery stores, and it costs a lot less than Oud because it is made from a mix of ordinary woods that have been soaked in oils or fragrances.
3- Bastet, ancient stones, and statue replicas
Ancient Egyptians honored and worshipped many gods and goddesses, building massive temples and statues. Bastet, the goddess who looks like a cat and protects Lower Egypt, is one of the most interesting and vital. Bastet, who has the head of a cat and the body of a woman, is thought to protect homes from evil and pests. The goddess is usually shown in one of two standard shapes or poses, but she can be made of a wide range of materials, from cheap plastic to expensive granite with rare colors.
One of these figurines might be the best choice if you want a unique gift to take to Egypt.
The Scarab beetle is another well-known symbol of Egypt. As the beetle seemed to come out of nowhere, out of the mud, the little blue ones reminded us of creation and rebirth. The Scarab is also the symbol of the Egyptian god “Great Ra,” who made himself out of nothing and was the leader of all Egyptian gods. A small blue beetle is a great small gift that means a lot about renewal, creation, rebirth, and the afterlife. Scarabs are usually made of alabaster or granite and come in many sizes to fit bracelets and necklaces or stand on a shelf and watch over their owner.
[ Read a full article about the meaning of Egyptian symbols ]
4- Papyrus Manuscripts and Paintings “Replica.”
Another item of ancient Egyptian origin, and a widely purchased souvenir in Egypt, is the papyrus scroll. Papyrus was the paper used during the Ancient Egyptian era and was made from the pith of the papyrus plant. Of course, the rolls sold today are replicas, but they are still pretty cool and look like the real thing.
Papyrus scrolls come in different sizes and designs, like battle scenes from ancient Egypt or the hieroglyphic alphabet. Without a doubt, a unique gift you can buy in Egypt.
5- Cotton Robes and “Jilbab & Burqa”
The burqa with Yashmak is an authentic Egyptian tradition that has been around for a long time. It started to disappear in the last few decades because Egyptians were exposed to more of the world, more women were getting jobs, and it was hard to wear.
Before, Egyptian women had to cover their hair with this cotton veil with colored rollers and a short Burqa that covered the lower part of their face and had holes in it so they could breathe and show off their beauty. Yashmak, a piece of gold jewelry worn right above the nose and mouth as a sign of wealth, was added to this. It is no longer worn in the city, but it is still worn in some remote parts of Egypt, especially by Bedouins who live in the desert.
It is rare to be able to buy a burqa in the city. Still, you can find it in many different styles, colors, and decorations in some shops in Cairo’s oldest markets, such as “El-Khan.” Men wore other clothes depending on where they lived, from fishermen’s pants in the North to the white Nubian Jilbab in the South.
Normal Jilbabs and Abayas, or Galabeyas as they are called in Egypt, were and still are the most common clothes. Most Egyptian farmers and Beduin men associate comfort and coziness with this long, loose cotton shirt with no collar and long, wide sleeves. The women’s version would be tight and mostly have a collar. Bright colors and coins would be used to decorate it.
6- Belly Dancing Costume
Have you ever wondered how belly dancers look so good? In this Middle Eastern art, the costume is significant. The most magical parts are the bright colors, glinting beads, and shining gold coins. You only need a few moves to get going.
When the Arabs came to Egypt and settled in the South, they brought belly dancing. The dance was called Baladi, and most women wore full-body clothes because Arabs thought it was rude to show female body parts. The clothes were tight, black or colored, and decorated with coins. A waste scarf was used as a belt.
Shaabi dance is another type. The dancers are called Ghazeeya, and their costumes are brighter and have more decorations, but they still wear a one-piece dress. Almost all of the steps are the same as in the Baladi, except when the dancer uses a small brass instrument called a “Sagat” (finger cymbals) and a “Kholkhal” leg bracelet with brass coins.
Sharqi dancing became more popular in the 20th century because its moves were more exciting and showed more skin. The boldness of this new dance is also shown in the fancy dress, which is made of different pieces painted in bright colors and decorated with turbans or headscarves, hand scarves, and waist belts with beads and coins. The costume should include the “one piece or two pieces” dress, scarves, beads, belts, brass Sagat, and bracelets.
Ancient Egyptians made a beautiful eyeshadow powder by grinding the Galena rock, a “lead sulfide.” People thought the beauty ritual would protect the eyes from bright light, evil eyes, and spring allergies.
Kohl is used a lot these days. Even though there are cheaper and easier-to-find alternatives, Egyptians still like to use the original powder. There are two kinds of Kohl powder: “Bared,” which means “cold” and is also called “regular Kohl,” is used as a beauty product, and “Hami,” which means “hot,” is used primarily as a medicine and to clean the eyes.
People believe that the Golden vine rock added to the Galena powder heals the eyes and makes them tear up when they watch “Hami.” Most of the time, the well-known Pakistani Kohl is used. It is made of sandalwood and other natural materials like charcoal. The Pakistani Kohl is not a powder but a creamy substance that can be used with a pen.
8- Egyptian Cotton
Probably one of the essential purchases people make in Egypt are products made from cotton. This is because the quality of this product is famous worldwide and especially the clothes, towels, and sheets are excellent. Cotton is a crop brought to Egypt in the 19th century, and since then, it has become one of the country’s most important export products. Quality cotton is exported, while the local one is usually of lower quality. There are stores in specialized malls where you can find high-quality cotton.
9- Carpets and rugs
Egypt does not excel in rug manufacturing like Morocco, Iran, or Turkey. However, thick wool or camel hair rugs can be sold cheaply and are very pretty. In specialized stores, you will find colorful rugs depicting rural scenes or ancient Egypt that can be an excellent souvenirs to decorate your living room.
One of the specialties of Egypt is its spices; these are natural and have more robust flavors than the packaged ones usually found in the West. The quality of these culinary products is exceptional, especially the cumin, cinnamon, and the mixture of spices known as dukkah are the ones you should take home with you.
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