Egypt definitely offers one of the most interesting and varied shopping experiences in the world. However, don’t look for sprawling malls and extensive complexes as most of Egypt’s best shopping lie in its traditional markets and bazaars.
Tourists will quite literally be able to find everything under the sun. Egypt’s rustic markets have everything from authentic carpets and backgammon sets to leather goods and water pipes. Whatever you need, be it practical or novelty, it’s sure to be met in one market or another. Just remember that antiquities can’t be brought out of the country.
In Cairo, the best place to go shopping is by far Khan-el-Khalili. Located in the Islamic district, Khan-el-Khalili is the city’s famous medieval market. This labyrinth of a bazaar is filled with everything from cheap souvenirs and antique jewelry to aromatic spices. When in Alexandria, the best shopping is in the Attareen neighborhood where there are several small clusters of antique and handicraft stalls which offer a good bargain.
When shopping at local stores and the markets it is expected and encouraged to barter, but vendors are known for driving a hard bargain. Remember to be firm but polite, and a friendly smile doesn’t hurt either.