Khan el Khalili, Cairo
Shopping in Khan El Khalili was set to be the climax of our day trip to Cairo. This was the part where we got t relax and unwind after a hard day of sightseeing. I love markets and was not disappointed by the shops and stalls lining the streets here. However, I found everything to be very expensive and my bartering skills are so rubbish that it was hardly worth bothering trying to win a bargain when the prices started so high. This was probably one of the best places in the world to try my hand at window shopping though and I did enjoy gazing longingly at silk scarfs and copper teapots even if I didn't find a bargain.
The Bazaar is one of the most ancient trading routes of all time. You can feel the atmosphere and the memories of 1000s of years just walking through. The streets are tiny and densely populated with merchandise. My tip is to make a list of what you would like to buy before going and even ask a local or tourguide to escort you through. Otherwise you will be enchanted by everything and anything and spend all your funds before you get to where you want to go. Dont forget to barter as there is plenty of competition!
What to buy: Decorative plates, statues, shisha pipes, jewellery, egyptian perfumed oils (extraordinary)! Carpets, rugs, belly dancing paraphernalia!
What to pay: I found dependent on the item, that anywhere from half to two thirds of the asking price was fair.
Several shops in this market. Prices are quite inflated, so do haggle.
The shop owners can be a bit agressive and persistent, but a friendly no-thank-you repeated a few times helps.
What to buy: You can buy perfume, brass, belly-dance costumes, spices, souveneirs etc
What to pay: Haggle - no fixed prices
Before I ever went to Egypt I had been given a cushion cover of applique work. The lotus blossom was incorporated into the design. I thought it was lovely and decided to get some more when we were leaving Cairo, and some to give as gifts.
It doesn't seem to matter much where you by the cushion covers as the price is about 22 Egy Pounds. I did once bargain at a time when the economy was going through a particularly bad time and got for 15 EP, but only that once. As the cushions are hand made and when translated into dollars, the price is very reasonable, I think they make an attractive and light gift to take home.
What to buy: any hand made items.
What to pay: bargain for whatever you want.
The dimension, age, multitude of shops and goods, exotism, smell(!) and all languages you will hear buying things there.
What to buy: Local hand made "things"... anyway they are copies.
In that place all of them are looking different at least.
What to pay: You MUST pay at the end of the negociation half from the start price. Anyway it wil be more than it deserves :)
usually ask for bargaining about half or 2 third of the price offered as a start.If the seller dont want to give the price that asked for,just leave the shop as the seller will call you back if they can give you the price that you ask.If not,maybe you can get it from other shop : )
What to buy: T-shirt,papyrus paper,perfume,crystal and syisha.
Khan Al Khalili is a world famous souk (shopping area) that almost every tourist passes through. A labyrinth of dark alleys, one gets the sense of being a in centuries past. One can find all of the usual tourist items but if one is planning to live in Cairo - they might be interested in another souk called Attaba.
Attaba is located a bit futher down from Khan Al Khalili. If one keeps walking down the main drag through the Khan, they will eventually run into Attaba. Attaba is considered an 'egyptian' market where locals go looking for good deals. The area has a slightly dodgy reputation - some upper class egyptians might not be caught dead there. I enjoyed it though, and never had any problems. You can find tons of household items, and if you can bargain and not act like a tourist - you can find some great deals.
What to buy: This market has so many things - I have bought cheap luggage, books, abayas and shirts there.
For women interested in getting nice jilbalbs/abayas there is this big building filled with hundreds of stalls. I can't tell you exactly how to get there but if you go to Attaba ---it is kind of under the highway bridge. Just ask someone for the abaya store and they will most likely point the way.
There are tons of hijabs there. Everything is very cheap but don't forget to bargain hard.
I have known that Khan Khalili is only a shopping place but one of my travel ý saw also very authentic restaurant inside the passage.
What to buy: Gifts, Papirus, hand mades, jevelerys, woman dress..etc. I saw a lot of Items and mostly ý make the gift shoppings from Khan, cause you can find various kind of gifts there.
What to pay: 100 Usd is fair enough to buy lots of different kind presents. silver suvenier, papirus, dress..etc.
Souvenirs from rabbit fur carpets to basalt statues of King Tut to Aladdin lamps-- it's all here for a cheap price PROVIDED you know how to/like to bargain. Humour the shopkeepers, who all have lovely and colourful characters (though they come off as a bit aggressive at times), humour their questions and the bantering and you WILL walk away with lovely souvenirs at unbelievable prices. To give an example, something that starts off at LE 120 can easily be slashed to LE40.
What to buy: Look out for the mother of pearl chess sets in fanstastic box sets!
If you're buying papyrus, check to see if there's a certificate of genuinity.
What to pay: As a general rule, slash the price to 1/3 of what they intially offer you. When they refuse after some negotiation, walk away. They will come running/hollering after you to settle the deal.
FIRST OF ALL, EXCUSE OF MI ENGLISH...
I BOGHT AN EXCELENTE PAPYRUS IN THIS SHOP IN DECEMBER OF 1990.
I STILL HAVE, AND EVERY DAY I SAW Y REMEMBER THE NICE EXPERIENCE OF VISIT EGYPT!!!!
IN 1990 I WAS 24 YEARS OLD...
16 YEARS AGO, MAKES IT SO ESPECIAL...
MONTEVIDEO - URUGUAY - SOUTH AMERICA
What to buy: PAPYRUS
What to buy:
Khan el-Khalili is the right place for buying a lot of things, from water pipes to textiles, from traditional Egyptian clothes to small souvenirs, from spices to papyruses.
Here you'll find the widest collection of all kind of items, but what I was looking especially were the traditional Egyptian sweets.
And I was not disappointed. There were only 3 days left until the Ramadan time and I found a wide range of dried fruits (the apricots are the best), but also other types of sweets based on peanuts, sesame and walnuts.
one of the oldest market in cairo and this is the place you can find all kind of souvenir.
to buy, you need to bargain for the prices.
it's very interesting to see, as you go deeper the market, the prices is getting cheaper, but as getting cheaper, the seller probably can't speak english.
What to buy: all kind of souvenirs from key chain until carpet.
Funky Bros Cotton shop, without doubt some of the best money I spent and I regret not buying more even though I bought 2 huge bath towels (which are so luxurious), 2 t shirts, 3 full sleeved tops, socks and a hand made embroidered waistcoat. The prices are fixed (but still great value) and the shopowner is lovely
What to buy: Dont buy oils in cairo! Save your money for aswan. Got some great bargains in khan el khalil but only after my tour guide told me to keep my mouth shut and let them do the dealing. From a full sleeved embroidered top for 5 euro to a stained glass lamp. Hold onto your money. You will find it cheaper down the road ,for e.g the man knew I loved the stained glass lamp, but would'nt sell it for less than 90 euro (which he claimed was cost price) I eventually got another exact one 5 mins away for 40 euro. The shopowners are pushy and aggresive so buyer beware !
What to pay: Bargain and deal only in egyptian pounds
There are so many of these places that sell shisha's ..and the shishas are simply beautiful. You can select the color of the glass below...an the metal pipe that goes into the bowl. Actually this metal pipe is the most important part of the shisha. Make sure that it is made of real good metal (it better be some type of silver rather than brass...or some sort of chrome material)...and if you feel that it is heavy and sturdy that's when you know that you've got a good shisha! Also, you can buy one of those colorful pipes that you smoke out of..They can also be colorful and are usually made out of leather and/or wood, and sometimes they have threads coming out of it for decoration.
What to pay: I bought a very nice shisha for around 45 dirhams..that's less than 10 dollars..but i had to bargain for it, and it was the last thing i was buying and so i was practically broke :o) So, if its a good shisha..it can go up to a 100 dirhams i guess...but make sure its worth it!
A shop speciliazed for papyrus, they have all sorts. The shopkeepers are friendly, English speaking and nice, not as pushy as in other stores. If you feel like it, you can just walk inside, ask for a price and leave without them approaching you or coming after you with a lower price. They take the time to show you all sorts of papyrus until you find The one you fall in love with! :)
(The picture is from a website, I bought different ones)
What to buy: PAPYRUS! You can find all sizes and shapes.
You can buy the gift type of papyrus, which is somewhat routine, souvenir type, but also you can find extra, unique pieces, painted by artists (no photo of those is allowed due to copyright, but they look really nice).
What to pay: No bargain is possible (!) in this shop, you pay the price which is on the papyrus, but if you buy a few, you would get an extra gift (like an extra small papyrus)