Shopping in Egypt

Wandering through an Egypt market, you'll see the culture of this fascinating country on display with every footstep. No vacation is complete without a bit of shopping in Egypt, whether to haggle over antiques or exotic jewelry. One of the best places to do a bit of shopping during an Egypt vacation is Cairo. The Cairo International Airport makes the capital city a popular entry point into the country, and besides the new duty free shopping in the airport, there are many opportunities in the city to bring home a memorable souvenir from your trip. Cairo shopping includes basketry, alabaster, mother of pearl, and papyrus. Many items are easy to pack and won’t require shipping home.

When you shop Egypt, there are two options. Some stores have set prices, while in markets it is often traditional to haggle. It is difficult to know which will provide a better value. In some markets, you may be able to persuade the seller to bring the cost of an item down to a price you are happy with. On the other hand, it is typically possible to obtain a similar item of better quality in a set price shop. You may pay a bit more at the set price, but be happier with the overall product. Either way, even if you choose to shop at some set price stores, don’t miss the chance to peruse a market in Egypt.

The most famous of the markets in Egypt is Khan el Khalili in the Islamic district of Cairo. Shopping in Egypt would not be complete without a trip to this bazaar, which also offers options for coffeehouses, street food, and restaurants. Temptations for every type of traveler will be found at this Egypt market, from colorful brass pieces to musical instruments. This market dates back to the fourteenth century, and though it is a major tourist attraction for foreigners and Egyptians alike, it still retains an authentic quality and low prices that keep people coming. In tradition with Cairo being seen as a center of trade, visitors will still encounter many foreign merchants at the market as well.

If you want to shop Egypt, sometimes it is best to purchase things locally. For instance, while alabaster may be available at the markets in Cairo, you may want to save this purchase for an excursion to Luxor. It is traditional across Egypt for haggling to occur, and visitors should think of the price tag on the item as a maximum amount, not the amount they are expected to pay. The most effective hagglers know the value of things, and this helps to be persuasive to a merchant. If you have an item in mind, keep your eye on the prices at various markets. This will help you to come up with an average price while shopping in Egypt.

Some tourists cringe at the idea of haggling over a small item, but merchants in fact expect for a negotiation to occur during a purchase. It is also a way to start a conversation with a local, and perhaps get a suggestion for a local place to eat or district to continue your tour on foot. An Egypt market is a great place to sample street food as well. Keep your eye out for what the local Egyptians are eating or follow the long lines at lunchtime. If you plan to shop Egypt, leave extra room in your luggage to bring home the variety of intricate goods you’ll find on your journey.

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