If you truly want an Egyptian shopping experience, you must visit the heart of Cairo at the Khan El Khalili Bazaar.
The History of Khan El Khalili
This souk, begun between 1382 and 1389, houses hundreds of shops filled with souvenirs, trinkets and traditional crafts. Sure, you’ll find shopkeepers who lure you into their shops with talks of amazing products with exceptional prices, but you’ll also find so many hidden treasures. Try your hand at bartering for a great deal or sit in a coffee shop and watch all the action surrounding you. Either way, visiting the Khan El Khalili Bazaar will be an unforgettable experience.
Khan El Khalili was originally designed to be a market for both locals and incoming merchants. People from all around the world would gather in this place to trade both handcrafted items and imports. Tents would be set up where merchants and shoppers alike would join in on a brisk and prosperous trading time. Eventually tents gave way to more permanent structures, and those permanent structures continued to grow and have formed part of today’s bazaar.
As you pass by the shops, you’ll witness the artisans working on their craft, musicians playing a tune, and locals enjoying shisha and coffee at small, intimate coffee shops. Metal workers who create minarets and other fine artistic works sit outside their shops and hammer out the beautiful designs. Colorful spices with incredible aromas fill the streets as well. Do you want a taste? No problem.
It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Khan El Khalili. Merchants are always happy to have you visit, and I hope you’ll leave with wonderful memories of a unique experience…and maybe even a souvenir or two. Egypt For Americans includes Khan El Khalili in many of our Cairo tours not only for a unique shopping experience, but also to mingle with the real Egyptian locals.