This long street to the south of the main souk is still quite a touristy area, but the further west you walk along it, the more 'local' it becomes. It also becomes increasingly narrow and congested, but the sights and smells more than make up for it: traditional clothes cheek-by-jowl with leopard-print; beaten copper next to plastic. Spice stalls give out their warm, sweet aromas, with chilli peppers adding their distinctive scent.
It's a wonderful place, and you'll find yourself returning over and over again - in 5 days we went there on three seperate occasions! I bought a light cotton scarf with some open-thread work at one of the stalls, and haggled him down to 15LE. It can be difficult to ignore the blatant guilt-tripping they use, since you know you come from a much wealthier country!
The Khan itself is a covered souk, built in 1382, and sits in the corner between Midan al-Husayn and al-Muski street (itself a market area).
Here you'll find anything you could possibly wish to buy, from clothes, jewellery and perfume to spices, musical instruments and backgammon boards. Not to mention the tacky souvenirs! Be prepared to haggle shamelessly!
It's quite easy to lose your way in the narrow alleyways - finding a decent plan of the souk isn't easy, but getting lost is half the fun really!
There are plenty of cafes and restaurants around should you get hungry (see my restaurant tips for el Fishawi's etc).
This lively souq dates back to the 1300's.
Although it could be seen as a tourist trap, it is much more than that. If you take time to wander around you will find areas where many locals buy at this market.
If you do want to spend money, haggle!haggle!haggle!
What you can buy: brass items, leather, belly-dance outfits, prefume, spices etc.
You will find coffee houses and the market is very lively at night, with a great atmosphere.
A taxi from downtown should not be more tha 15 EPounds.
Khan Khalili Bazar is great to enjoy during day light and night time. At night time, all the locals come to shop, walk around and have some tea and coffee. Khan Khalili is the spot to buy all the souvernirs, but dont pay the first price they say. Walk around and find out first want you want to buy and then bargain! All from pyramids, belly dancing attire, brass, oils, everything! I even bought beads for jewerly making.
Wear comfortable shoes to to walk around. Sit down at the coffee shops area and enjoy the area. Its very unique. Dont get afraid if you hear some Egyptian talking loud. It can get a little bit crowded early in the afternoon when all the tourists buses arrives.
I did afternoon and night... so pick yours!
In essence, Khan el-khalili epitomizes all that is Cairo: rough, dissarray, unconventional, squalor but within the alleyways and cluster of merchant vendors is the spirit of the Egyptian. Enthusiastic, friendly, and inviting, though perhaps trying to squeeze those american dollars out of you... This bazaar is open all day and all night, and the hustle and bustle is straight from the medieval times. Youll find donkeys, carriage drawn cargos, hard working egyptians stocking up the shops, local elders smoking, old ladies selling produce and cleaning it with dirty water, camels, and every other random thing in LIFE! Khan-el-Khalili is full of life and never a dull moment.
Upon arriving in Cairo, I left the security, glamour and luxuries of my beloved Sheraton hotel and set out to see CAIRO on foot. It was hot, and immediately I was forced to adjust to the heavy traffic and noise.
Khan El-Khalili offers EVERYTHING! Upon delving deeper into the bazaar, I was quite shocked to find microwaves and appliances being sold next to shishas, necklaces, trinkets, clothing, furniture, LIVE POULTRY, SHEEP, and other animals, etc...
A must see in Khan el-Khalili is the Al-Husayn Mosque. For Shi'ite Muslims this is a venerated shrine, believed to house the head of the beloved grandson of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh), Imam Husayn (radallah alyahim). Therefore, the faith is strong in these parts. When I was there, a police officer was playing a handheld drum leading a pack of woman mourners in black veils. There was recitations and prayers playing on loud speakers. The atmosphere seemed to be building, and I waited some time for an event to occur but nothing happened. It was just passionate faith of the crowd listening. Inside the mosque it seemed to be a beacon of light, and I felt it offlimits for myself to enter. It was very emotional the air.
In this 'square' is outdoor seating from cafe and restaurants, and closer nearby is the famed El-Fishawi Cafe which is a must see. They are reputed for never refusing a guest, by finding spots in any square inch of this cafe, which itself is not very big. The seating spills out onto the alleyway, and to find itself is only possible by turning a corner into an alleyway by accident. The decor is all very authentic from centuries ago, and strikes a balance between humble meekness and oriental quality decor. Everyone must smoke the water pipe here. try the mango juice. Popular to locals as well as tourists, fishawi is a fantastic way to spend the night enjoying conversation.
I wandered aimlessly through Khan el-Khalil for hours. There are no signs, entrance, exits, and your map probably only indicates the Khan with a large icon not indicating detail so be prepared to feel your way around.
You should think about getting some great souvenirs here, and if your budget is reasonable, you can get some impressive souvenirs for cheap if you bargain good. (less than half of the offered). Hot items are lotus perfumes, shishas, precious rocks (although hard to determine the purity of the materials), and rosary type beads.
It was a medieval mechant hostel, which is located less than a hundred meters away from the Sharia Al-Azhar's entrance to the Khan El-Khalili market. It is open daily (8am - 7pm) and you would pay 10LE for your visit.
The Khan el-Khalili Bazaar is situated at one corner of a triangle of markets that go south to Bab Zuwayla and west to Azbakiyyah. The Khan is bordered on the south by al-Azhar Street and on the west by the Muski Market. It was established about the XV-th century on the site of a Fatimid castle, which has preserved its old world character, although the shops now cater for the tourist trade (carpets, jewelry, antiques, perfume, etc.).
One of the old original gates guards the entrance to the original courtyard which lies midway down Sikkit al-Badistan (street).
Egyptian buyers generally shop in the area north of al-Badistan and to the west, where prices may be lower. Better deals for gold and silver are to be found west of the Khan along the "street of the goldsellers", and further on one will find the Brass and Coppersmith Markets.
You may watch my video-clip from my personal channel on YouTube: 5 min 52 sec Egypt Cairo Khan al-Khalili Bazaar 2007
You may find the exact direction with my photos on my Google Earth Panoramio Khan el-Khalili Bazaar and Khan el-Khalili Bazaar and Mosque
Yes cheap n good shopping here! Tip is to bargain e prices like way down e quoted prices.. e colorful beaded headdress goes for like 10-15 pounds...e perfume glasses in set of fives abt 25pounds (not those made of glass but of better quality).. fridge magnets abt 2 for 20 pounds.. e set of 3 pyramids abt 10 - 15 pounds.. e scarf goes for 10 pounds..10 bracelets or 10 bookmarks for USD1...
Also u can alwaz get a rough guide of e prices here n when u r travelling to say sharm el sheik or aswan etc n e shop keepers quote u a higher price.. juz tell them that u bot those at a cheaper price eg 15 pounds in cairo n they'll automatically lower their prices coz well ... they know u know e market price!
but do bear in mind dat they r not rich to begin with so do not go down too hard on e prices! have fun shopping!
I thing one of the best gifts to be taken from Egypt is buying a silver cartouch. Its two sided and on one side your name writing in english and the other side your name in hieroglyph. i think it is the most different gift to be taken from Egypt. But do not forget to buy papyrus papers. =)
And about the prices, two sided max. 15 USD for one pcs.
As I was reading the tips about it before I want to Cairo, I had a picture of how it should look like. The picture was wrong. I expected huge market but I am still not conviced that it is the largest matket in Arab world, although I didn't have enough time to "check its size". I found the shopping impossible, the sellers were to pushy so I found myself runing away even before I started to look at the goods. The few prices I mannage to pick up vere ridiculosly high comparing to other places.
The original khan-caravansary was built in 1382.
4 Reviews and 247 Opinions You must go through a street barrack and through metal detectors just to get to the elevator and get...
5 Reviews and 308 Opinions If you are seeking a luxurious trip to Egypt, then the Four Seasons Hotel is the only place to stay....
Mena House Oberoi Cairo Cairo
23 Reviews and 102 Opinions This is the best hotel I have been. It was Sultans Palace and it was renovated and started to be...