Cairo Shopping

Cairo has always been a great place to shop for traditional items because of its spectacular medieval marketplace, the Khan al-Khalili, where browsing and bargaining are half the fun. There is no tried-and-true bargaining strategy; just shop around, decide how much something is worth to you, and start bargaining lower than that in order to end up at that point. In the Khan, the opening price is

never the final price.

In the last decade Cairo has embraced the shopping mall. These enclosed, air-conditioned spaces stacked with international brands have revolutionized shopping for residents. Most malls also have shops selling a range of the same kinds of souvenirs that you'd find in the Khan al-Khalili, though at higher, nonnegotiable prices.

Wealthy and upwardly mobile Cairenes not only have the wherewithal to fund their lifestyles, but they also have great taste, so you'll find a wide selection of art galleries, designer shops, and fashion boutiques to indulge your need for retail therapy.

Although most of what you see in tourist shops are reproductions of varying quality, there is a long local tradition in Egypt of connoisseurship in collectibles, which means that there is always the possibility of finding a real gem. Be prepared, however, for local tastes that favor ornate French-style furniture and antiques, not the Middle Eastern pieces you might be longing for. There are several nameless antiques shops in Downtown Cairo along Shar'a Hoda Sharaawi that are worth looking into. Lots are shown for several days in advance of a two-day auction, which usually operates on a cash-only basis. Check the Egyptian Gazette for the latest auction schedules.

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Cairo Shopping

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Abd El-Zaher Bookstore

  • Books/Stationery

This is the last working bookbinding company in Cairo. It's been open since 1936, and no political assassination, upheaval, or revolution...

Anglo-Egyptian Bookshop

  • Books/Stationery

Dating back to 1928, this shop has excellent selection of books, especially nonfiction offerings, and is one of the best sources in Cairo...

Arkadia Mall

  • Shopping Centers/Malls

This mall has more than 500 shops plus an arcade with games to keep the kids happy. It suffered serious damage during the 2011 Egyptian...

Azza Fahmy

  • Jewelry/Accessories

Egypt's leading jewelry designer has become an international brand in recent years with her traditional motif-inspired pieces. A purchase...


  • Auctions

One of the best auction houses in town is in an unmarked alley off Shar'a Qasr al-Nil. ...

City Centre Ma'adi

  • Shopping Centers/Malls

This mall is a resource for the many families in this residential district; there are few designer names but lots of mainstream brands...

City Stars

  • Shopping Centers/Malls

Cairo's megamall is huge, with more than 650 stores. There are also three hotels, a variety of restaurants and caf├ęs, and two food courts.

Fair Trade Egypt

  • Crafts

This shop sells an interesting selection of handmade items from the 2,300 artisans working in 40-odd cooperatives around Egypt. Look...

Khan al-Khalili

  • Outdoor/Flea/Green Markets

Cairo shopping starts at this great medieval souk, which is chaotic and crowded but a thoroughly authentic Cairo experience. Although...

L'Orientaliste Books

  • Books/Stationery

Bibliophile Hassan Kamy stocks his shop with the city's best selection of books, antique maps, prints, and lithographs, plus wonderful...


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