From Ancient times Egypts’ wealth was built by merchants, keen to sell goods to travelers on the Nile trade route, and shopping remains a big part of everyday life.
Each local community, whether in a city or rural region, has at least one market. People tend to buy fruit and vegetables daily.
If you are paying a visit to Egypt, then prepare yourselves to be spoilt for choice when shopping in Egypt for souvenirs and more. Egypt is a home for several traditional crafts which include jewellery, glassware, textiles, leatherwork, copperware, and brass which give a good value for money. Cairo is the central spot for all the shopping in Egypt. The bazaars in Cairo offer unlimited choices of jewellery, leatherwork, brass, perfumes, copperware, glassware, and textiles. Apart from this, they also sell some world-class belly dancing costumes which you cannot find in the entire world. Egypt is famous for the essences it produces, which are widely used by the French perfumers. Instead of alcohol, the spirits produced in Egypt make use of oil, which tricks the customers into buying them. All-in-all, shopping in Egypt can be made exciting depending on the stores you chose to buy from.
Moreover, they also sell some excellent quality spices like cinnamon, sesame, and safflower. Make sure you get for yourselves one Egyptian kilim if you are more interested in the carpets and rugs. Egyptian markets sell some beautiful glassware which is made from the hand-blown Muski glass. They make some gorgeous handmade perfume bottles with this glass, which is one of the most popular souvenirs sold in Egypt.
The Best Places for Shopping in Egypt
1. Soho Square:
This vibrant mall in White Knight Bay is a hub for all the shopping enthusiasts. Apart from shopping in Egypt, this place is also a nightlife hub with many options to dine from during the evenings. This beautiful mall is home to a bowling alley, ice-skating rink, a Culturama centre which plays a multimedia movie about the Egyptian history, shisha cafes, bars, and various top-class restaurants. In the centre of the mall, there is a dancing fountain which gets lit up during the evenings.
This is the best place to visit with your little ones, as there is so much to keep them occupied. However, keep in mind that most of the restaurants in this place have a strict no flip-flops dress code.
- Location: White Knight Bay, Sharks Bay, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
- Operating Hours: This mall is open from 4 pm to 1 am every day.
- Known for: This mall is best known for its shopping and nightlife with many bars and shisha cafes including fashion retail stores.
- Bargaining: You cannot bargain at the branded stores.
Located near Medinat Habu and run by Khairy and his family, this place is a delightful treasure of all the Egyptian arts and crafts. Inside this treasure, there is an extensive collection of Siwan embroideries, vibrant handwoven scarves, gorgeous applique bags, beautiful pottery items from the Western Oases, and many other traditional crafts which might not be found elsewhere in Egypt. Set up by Khairy, this place has articles made entirely by the women of Egypt. Khairy set up this place to encourage the women of Egypt to make more money and also satisfy his love for people’s creativity. All the products sold here are made of high-quality materials and can be bought for extremely reasonable prices. Even if you want to shop or not, make it a point to visit this wonderful place to get a glimpse of the authentic Egyptian arts and crafts.
- Location: Kom Lolah, Luxor, Egypt.
- Operating Hours:: This store is open from 8 am to 10 pm every day.
- Known for: This beautiful store in Luxor is famous for its Egyptian arts and crafts.
- Bargaining: You can bargain.
3. Souq District:
Aexandria, Souq District in Egypt is a vibrant display of the bustling life in Egypt. This long street of markets is every man’s dream with all kinds of fresh produce including fish and meat. Apart from this, there are several bakeries, stalls, sundry shops, and cafes that are lined up. These shops sell everything you will ever need to survive in Egypt. As you progress in the street, there is a point called Sharia Faransa where a plethora of markets which sell clothes, cloth, and dressmaking accessories are present.
This tight weave runs towards the west into Zinqat As Sittat. Also known as the alley of the women, Zinqat As Sittat is the ultimate destination for all the women. There isn’t a thing you want and wouldn’t find in this alley. Ranging from buttons and beads to bangles and braids, there is everything in these markets at reasonable prices. You can also find numerous silver and gold dealers and herbal and spice vendors in this street. Don’t miss visiting this place in the night. It is believed to be beautiful.
- Location: Alexandria, Egypt
- Operating Hours:: This market has different opening hours depending on the day.
- Known for: All kinds of products are sold at the Souq district for reasonable prices.
- Bargaining: You can bargain.
4. American University in Cairo; Bookshop:
With a wide range of selection from all kinds of material ranging from politics to the history of Cairo; this is one of the best English-language bookshops in Egypt. There are numerous options to choose from various fictional and non-fictional titles which will give you a deep insight into the Egyptian history and culture. Apart from these, there are also other books which will satisfy the bookworm in you. Besides, there also many maps and guidebooks that will help you find your way to Egypt if you are travelling alone. This place is wonderful for any kind of tourists with a decent collection of both fictional and non-fictional books. You can also find writings of the Arab writers which are later translated into English. However, make sure you carry your passport or any ID proof that will prove your nationality to enter this bookshop.
- Location: Shaira Sheikh Rihan, Cairo, Egypt
- Operating Hours:: This bookstore is open from 10 am to 6 pm from Saturday to Thursday. It is closed on Fridays.
- Known for: All kinds of books, especially Arab translated books and guide maps.
- Bargaining: You cannot bargain in this place
Specialist in traditional Bedouin costumes, crafts, and jewellery; Nomad is an ultimate destination for all the beautiful things you can find in Egypt. This place sells all kinds of gorgeous tablecloths, cushion covers, woven baskets, dresses spun in the oases, and chunky silver oxidised jewellery. This place is everything that a woman as ever dreamt about. It contains all the authentic items that you want to buy for all your clothing. The original Egyptian art and crafts culture can be found in this place. Though you need to spend the time to reach here, the distance will be worth it. It is also a fantastic place to purchase souvenirs for your girlfriends in Egypt. This place is one of the exciting places for shopping in Egypt. They also have a smaller branch in the Cairo Marriott.
- Location: First floor, 14 Sharia Saray Al Gezira, opposite Squash Court of Gezira Club, Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt.
- Operating Hours:: This store is open from 9 am to 8 pm every day.
- Known for: This place is best known for all kinds of traditional Bedouin Egyptian arts and artefacts.
- Bargaining: You can bargain here to a certain extent
6. Attareen Antique Market:
If you are hunting for some antique and junk pieces for your home or as jewellery, then the Attareen Antique Market in Alexandria is the perfect spot for you. While you dive through a vivid confusion of the shady backstreets and the alleys of this attractive market; you will be mesmerised by the products it has to offer. Right from the European upper-class items to the Egyptian traditional works; there is every antique piece you can find here in these alleys. This place is no less to beauty during the nights when the market gets lit up with the lights flashing over these shiny antique materials. If you are a lover of antique pieces, then prepare yourselves to get lost in the alleys of the Attareen Antique Market among the antiques and the junk jewellery that it has to offer.
- Location: Sharia Attareen, Alexandria, Egypt.
- Operating Hours:: This market operates from 10 am to late night depending on the day.
- Known for: This gorgeous market is best known for its antiques and junk jewellery.
- Bargaining: You can bargain here in some of the stores.
7. Sami Amin:
Located in the streets of number 13, this beautiful store sells all kinds of belts, leather bags, and other accessories which are imprinted with gorgeous tribal patterns. All the products sold at Sami Amin are personally crafted by talented craftsmen and are priced very reasonably. Other than these, they also sell a good range of homewares and jewellery items made of brass and enamel to give that boho look to your house or yourself. They sell some cool junk jewellery and metal photo frames including some trendy mirror frames that will add that extra pomp and splendour to your house. This calm place down the streets is inarguably one of the best places to buy fashion accessories and houseware in Egypt. This beautiful store in Cairo is all kinds of wonderful with an extra hint of the Egyptian tradition.
- Location: 15A Sharia Mansour Mohammed, Off 26 of July Street, Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt
- Operating Hours:: This store is open from 10:30 am to 10 pm from Monday to Saturday. It is closed on Sundays.
- Known for: This place is primarily known for brass and enamel jewellery and various other homewares.
- Bargaining: You can bargain in this place to an extent.
Run and managed by an Australian woman who is an ardent fan of the Egyptian crafts, the store of Habiba is a home for some top-quality Egyptian arts and crafts. Here in Habiba, there is a sale of world-class Bedouin embroidery, leatherwork, jewellery, gorgeous Siwan scarves, Sohag’s embroidered scarves made of cotton, and some authentic Egyptian cotton towels, Aswan baskets, mirrors, and a lot more. All these products are offered at reasonable prices for their quality. They have also started selling shea butter products, which are believed to be the best of Egypt with top-class textures. This tiny shop is the best choice for shopping in Egypt for some authentic products. This shop also has facilities to ship abroad if you want to gift your dear one.
- Location: Sharia Andarwes Pasha, off Sharia As Souq, opposite exit gate of Luxor Temple, Luxor, Egypt.
- Operating Hours:: This store is open from 10 am to 10 pm every day.
- Known for: This store is best known for some authentic Egyptian crafts.
- Bargaining: All the prices in Habiba are fixed.
Some Frequently Asked Questions about Shopping in Egypt:
What is the best thing to purchase in Egypt?
Egypt markets offer a wide range of products to buy from. However, the best thing you can purchase from here will be spices, souvenirs, glassware, and junk jewellery.
How to bargain in Egypt?
When you decide to go shopping in Egypt, then make up your mind to bargain. Bargaining in Egypt is not different from any of the other places. However, make sure that you never quote prices that you don’t want to pay. You can initially start off bargaining for half the price and gradually settle for the lowest the shopkeeper will offer you. Most of the shopkeepers are not dominant and will sell the product to you at the price you quote. Even though there are many malls in Egypt, markets are the best place to purchase souvenirs at lower prices.
What are the best cities to shop in Egypt?
The best cities for shopping in Egypt are Cairo, Luxor, and Alexandria.
Haggling is normal and expect in Egypt. so try your bargaining power and dont feel shy bargain a great deal. !