Khan Ali Kalili is Cairo biggest open air market.
It is somehow not changed since the 14th century and there are people that work here for generations. It is located in the heart of Islamic Cairo and in the heart of the traffic jam of the city.
I was disappointed by this market, looked more like a huge cheap and fake labels clothes market than anything else. What I enjoy more in middle eastern suks are the spices smell all around, here you could just breath the pollution caused by the traffic and the sulfur of fireworks as we were close new year eve.
Interesting neighborhood with different and unique atmosphere, its also a souvenirs paradise
Hundreds of shops next to each others sailing the very same thing...so it gives you a good chance to find the best deal! the secret word of that place is BARGAIN like a local otherwise you'll be eating alive!lol
Due to the few numbers of tourists these days and because the shop owners are desperate to sell you can take an advantage of the situation and get cheap as dirt prices.
In my opinion the coffee shops in the area are overrated and overpriced or maybe it's just our coffee shop!!!
From down town you can take a white taxi it takes 5 min and 5 pounds! in the return don't take any taxi driver's offer just walk a little to the main street and stop a white taxi with meter.
So what is a visit to the city of Cairo without walking along the fascinating souk of Khan El-Khalili. This is surely on the top 5 list to see in Cairo. There are about 3 tourists there who asked me how to go to the Khan during this trip.
This souq is built in 1382. When the Sultan Barquq started his madrassa in Bayn el-Qasrayn, markets were rebuilt, and Khan el-Khalili was established. It was also known Turkish bazaar during the Ottoman Empire, ironically there is also an Egyptian Bazaar in Istanbul near the Eminonu ferry port and the Sultan Valide mosque.
Either you just walk around the souq or buy stuff like souvenir items, shirts, alabaster statuettes, shisha pipes, spices, papyrus, boofa, lamps, kilims, carpets, jewellries and all sorts of stuff, just remember to haggle with prices though. Start at 30% of the seller's price and work your way upto 50%, don't give up easy, promise, you'll get it. The souq is colourful and it's a feast for all your senses.
You can always include the visit to Khan el-Khalili when you take a walking tour of the old Islamic Cairo as it's within the area.
If you are acquainted with souks and bargainning this may be just one more commercial area. But if you want to feel the pulse of arab deals and feel the real Cairo you must not skip this famous street, and its tents and shops of any kind.
I must confess that we were not impressed, maybe because... it was one more... we were short in time... shopping was done...
Still as good as it was before with all the amazing decorations in the walls, you can enjoy buying, bargining with the very funny egyptians, enjoy the traditional tea and coffee houses like feshawy.
hey, Bargin........i love my people and they are kind believe me, yet i know they expect bargining.
buy everthing you can imagine but much cheaper than else where, the deeper you go inside the cheaper you get.
Wikala El Ghuri, an ancient Carvanserail where the caravans used to stay during their trips. On the ground floor a large courtyard for the animals with safe rooms around to store the goods. On the upper floors the rooms for the travelers.
Recently renovated, it is worth a visit (entrance fee LE 15)
On Monday, Wednesday and Saturday evenings a 7.30pm (but be there at 6.40pm when the doors open in order to get an entance ticket (free), there are a great number of people who want to see this show).
This used to be a real Sufi Derwish ceremony with some show effects, but now it is mainly a performance. Still it is a very good one and beats what you can see in the hotels.
If your ears aren't already damaged by a lot of disco fever, bring ear-plugs, the sound is tremendous.
Narrow streets, medieval arches, stalactite architecture, and fascinating merchandise characterise Khan el Khalili, Cairo's traditional bazaar, and provide everything one would expect from an exotic Middle Eastern bazaar. However, Khan el Khalili is significantly more touristic than other middle eastern souks (e.g. Aleppo), yet at the same time, the shopkeepers are friendly and less aggressive than some souks (e.g. Marrakech). Khan is in fact a misnomer, as the word means "caravanserai", rather than "bazaar". But Cairo's main market owes its name to the 14th century caravanserai which existed on the site and led to the development of the bazaar around it. Historically, Cairo was an important merchant town on the Silk Road and Khan el Khalili was where all the trade occurred. Today, this bazaar is an important stop on any visitor's itinerary, where the merchandise is quite interesting and better priced than other parts of Cairo. Silver, rugs, pottery, fabrics and much more can be found in these narrow alleys and shops. Take your time while walking around the market, and stop along the way to see some of nearby Islamic monuments too.
This 19th century Sabil (charitable fountain), Kuttab (religious reading school) of Ahmed Pasha is a beautiful example of Ottoman Baroque architecture. It was built in 1864 and is among numerous such charitable structures around Cairo, a tradition that dated back to Mamluke times. The school was located on the upper floor with the colourful wooden balcony, while the fountain was on the ground floor with the intricately carved marble. This small edifice is located across the narrow street from Mosque of Sayyidna el-Hussain, next to Khan el-Khalili. When I visited in April 2007, some restoration work was in progress.
The souk (market) in the Old City of Cairo is the Khan el-Khalili. It was considered as a major tourist attraction in the city.
We went there at night time and it was very crowded. I wonder how it look like during the day. Yes, you can purchase all kinds of souvenirs here. Most stores have small spaces that the seller has no place to stay inside. They just let customers to come in and choose their buy. When ready to pay, the seller go inside and collect the money. Very interesting way of running a business.
I bought a lot of papyrus, Egyptian t-shirts, lamps, decorative magnets, and many others. I believe the price is right. The local sellers are mostly friendly. I did not encounter aggressive ones.
You should include this in your itinerary. It is a good experience.
The Khan Al Khalili souq is a great place to wander around and shop in when in Islamic Cairo. There are certain sections for clothes and textiles, tourist souvenirs, perfumes, goldsmiths, jewellers, coppersmiths and antiques. Open every day, but quieter on Sundays, it is nice to wander the streets and see the ancient architecture as well as the mosques and madrassas. There are cafes and restaurants too such as the famous "El Fishawy", where you can stop for a drink and a bite to eat.
Beware that you do get hassled by the sellers quite a lot here, but this very common everywhere you go in tourist areas!
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