Are you looking for the best markets in Egypt?
Beyond the iconic landmarks, this mesmerizing country also boasts a vibrant market scene that will awaken your senses and transport you into a world of colors, aromas, and cultural richness.
Markets in all Middle Eastern countries have some similarities. Whether you visit markets in Dubai, Tunisia, or Marocco, you will soak up the culture, together with the smells of spices, and products bursting with all colors, and negotiate the prices with the sellers.
Whether you would like to buy some souvenirs from your holiday or just to experience the atmosphere of traditional Middle Eastern markets, you should visit at least one market in Egypt.
In this blog post I will provide you with the best markets in Egypt in different cities you can choose from.
15 Best Markets In Egypt
Each city in Egypt has one or more markets where locals and tourists go to buy their daily necessities or souvenirs. The Best markets can be found in the capital city of Cairo. However, other cities have great markets too that you can visit and buy some nice souvenirs from your holiday.
Best Markets in Cairo
1. Khan El-Khalili
Khan El-Khalili is the oldest, biggest, and best market in Egypt. It dates back to the 14th century and is spread over an area of 5,000 meters square.
Khan El-Khalili is located in Old Cairo and except for the market, you can find Al-Hussein Mosque, Al-Hakim Bi Amr Allah Mosque, and Moez Street, as well as cafes and places with traditional Egyptian food there.
Let yourself get lost in the narrow alleys while soaking up the traditional Egyptian atmosphere and shopping for your souvenirs.
And what can you buy here? Everything, perfumes, spices, stained-glass lamps, clothes, artifacts, jewelry, aromatic incense, shisha, carpets, and much more.
I do recommend visiting the Mosque and looking around in the afternoon, and starting your shopping in the evening when you will get the best from the Egyptian culture.
When you are in Cairo, Khan El-Khalili is a must-visit market.
2. Souk Al Khayamiya
Just 10 minutes drive from Khan El-Khalili, tucked away in a charming corner of Cairo, lies a market Souk Al Khayamiya, known as a street of the Tentmakers.
This small market is dedicated to the Cairene art of crafting stunning tapestries using the vibrant technique of appliqué stitching. Originally used to adorn the interiors of Bedouin desert tents. Also, rugs and other textile products are available to buy here.
Echoing the beauty of Islamic calligraphy and the intricate tilework found in the city’s mosques, as well as drawing inspiration from ancient scenes adorning Pharaohs’ tombs, these tapestries are a testament to the country’s artistic heritage.
As you wander through the souk, you’ll have the opportunity to see skilled artisans at work and witness firsthand the techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation, preserving this remarkable tradition.
3. Souk Al-Fustat
Souk Al-Fustat can be found in the center of Coptic Cairo. This market is a little bit different than the traditional market as prices are fixed here and there is no need to haggle. Therefore it is more suitable for those who don’t like to negotiate the price and rather buy the product they like.
You can buy mostly handmade products from wood, leather, copper, silver, rugs, pottery, sculptures, jewelry, clothes, and paintings.
While visiting this market, you can pay a visit to Hanging Church, one of the oldest Christian churches in Egypt located nearby.
4. Suuq El Ataba
Suuq El Ataba can be found in Islamic Cairo. This is a very busy and popular market by locals. You can buy everything from clothes, shoes, jewelry, antiques, and handmade crafts.
This market is a bit chaotic and dirty, so you need to be ready for that. The prices are lower than in some other markets, therefore there is no need to haggle in many cases.
5. Wekalet El Balah
This market is famous for medium-quality clothes or second-hand imported clothes. You can also buy shoes, bags, fabrics, and furniture here.
This market was established in the 19th century and it is a very chaotic market with many stalls and a lot of haggling. Therefore this market is suitable for someone who would like some adventure.
6. El Azbakeya Wall
El Azbakeya Wall market dates back to the 19th century and it is located near Azbakeya Garden. El Azbakeya market is all about books. You can find here old, used, new, and very rare books dated back to the 1800s.
Whether you are an antique book collector, or just interested in buying any book for a lower price than in a bookshop, this is the right place. Sellers are very friendly and are able to search for a particular book you are looking for.
7. Souq El Goma’a
Souq El Goma’a, also called Friday’s Market is one of the largest markets in Cairo and it is very popular among locals. In this market, you can find everything, clothes, shoes, mobile phones, antiques, furniture, and many more for reasonable prices.
Be aware that this market gets very busy, so take extra care of your belongings. You can find this market in the middle of the city under El Tonsi Bridge, near the Citadel of Salah El-Din.
Best Markets In Luxor
8. El Souk
El Souk is probably the best market in Luxor. It is located near the Luxor Temple and you can find absolutely everything there. Clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry, spices, sculptures, shisha, and more.
Due to its great location next to the Luxor Temple, you can buy some souvenirs after you finish your tour of the temple. As with most of the markets in the Middle East, don’t forget to bargain.
9. Luxor Fruit and Vegetable Market
As the name suggests, you can buy all kinds of fruits and vegetables at this market. It is located just a 10-minute walk from El Souk Market and it is also close to the railway station.
10. Savoy Tourism Market
Savoy Tourism Market is another market where you can buy all kinds of products and souvenirs. It is located on Kornish Al Nile, between Luxor Temple and Luxor Museum. As it is located close to the historical sights as well as El Souk, you can visit both markets or choose one of them.
Best Markets In Aswan
11. Aswan Market
Aswan Market is a colorful Egyptian market where you can buy all kinds of souvenirs while visiting Aswan. For example spices, perfumes, sand art bottles, clothes, and more.
It is located near the Nile River valley and it is the best and cheapest place in Aswan. Except for shopping, you can enjoy Egyptian tea or coffee, shisha, and listen to some Nubian music.
Best Markets In Hurghada
12. El Dahar Bazaar
On your beach holiday in Hurghada, the best place to experience the Egyptian souk atmosphere is in the old town, also called Downtown.
There are many restaurants and cafes where you can try traditional Egyptian food, tea, coffee, or shisha. El Dahar Bazaar is located here and you will find many shops with all kinds of products from perfumes, clothes, sculptures, toys, cosmetics, and spices to bags and shisha.
Best Markets in Sharm El Sheikh
13. Old Market
Like other cities in Egypt, also Sharm El Sheikh has a big market called Old Market where you can buy souvenirs from your holiday. Not only the usual souvenirs but also snorkeling products can be bought here. For refreshments, you can buy fruits and fruit juices.
The sellers try to put high prices for tourists here, so prepare to haggle. To relax after the shopping and negotiating, you can enjoy a nice seafood meal in any of the restaurants nearby.
Best Markets In Alexandria
14. Souq Al Khreit
Souq Al Khreit is a small market in Alexandria with all kinds of textile products for example Egyptian cotton clothes.
15. Zan’et El Sitat
Zan’et El Sitat is the most popular and busiest market in Alexandria. It is known as a women’s tiny alleyway. You can buy everything for women here, clothes, cosmetics, accessories, belts, purses, and more.
Tips For Visiting Markets In Egypt
Before visiting any market, also called a souk or bazaar, in the Middle East, you must know it is totally different experience than shopping in markets in Europe. The Arabic salesmen are very skillful and sometimes too pushy.
Shopping on markets in the Middle East can be sometimes an adrenaline experience and not everyone likes it. Therefore I would like to provide you with some tips and advice when visiting markets in Egypt.
- First of all, dress conservatively, cover your knees and shoulders, and don’t wear expensive watches and jewelry.
- When you just want to look around and experience the market without buying anything, don’t make eye contact with the sellers. The same applies to touching the products. Once you do that, you are caught and they will start to offer you everything and negotiate the price with you.
- Once you want to buy something, be friendly and nice, but at the same time assured. Don’t be weak or shy as they will see it and you will buy something you didn’t want to buy for a high price. Knowing some Arabic words is very handy here.
- Once they tell you the price, haggle about half price and then you can negotiate together until you reach the price you are willing to pay. They always tell you a much higher price and they expect you to bargain.
- They can offer you a discount if you buy more products from them, or give you a present if you buy more.
- In case you are a solo woman or a group of women, be ready for many compliments, smiles, and sometimes even hugs. You don’t have to be scared, this is the way they are. You can accept the hug if you like, if not, just nicely refuse but stay friendly. Getting annoyed can make them angry, and can kick you out of their shop.
- Be friendly, make conversation, and have fun.
Markets In Egypt FAQs
Now you know which markets in Egypt to visit depending on the city and the tips while shopping in any Arabic markets. Here are some more questions you may have about markets in Egypt.
What are Egyptian Markets called?
Egyptian markets and markets in the Middle East are called souks, or bazaars. Souk means market in Arabic.
What souvenirs can you buy in Markets in Egypt?
There are so many things you can buy. It really depends on what you are interested in. For example, sculptures, magnets, fragrances, perfumes, clothes, belly dancing clothes, shisha, plates, bowls, jewelry, bags, purses, sand art bottles, slippers, rugs, kitchen cloth, and other textile products, and spices, I recommend hibiscus tea which you can get for a good price here and is good for many health issues.
Also, Egypt is well known for good cosmetics products like creams and oils. I bought a very good face cream with collagen. For children, you can buy toys, pens, and cards. Egyptian sweets, like baklava, are a must-buy.
What is the famous market in Egypt?
The number one famous market in Egypt is the Khan Al Khalili market in Cairo.
Conclusion- 15 Best Markets In Egypt: Must Visit
Egypt’s markets offer a captivating journey through time, culture, and craftsmanship, making them a must-visit for any traveler seeking an immersive and authentic experience.
Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a food lover, or a shopaholic seeking one-of-a-kind souvenirs, Egypt’s markets will leave you mesmerized. The vibrant tapestries, aromatic spices, and beautiful jewelry will transport you into a world where ancient traditions and modern commerce intertwine seamlessly.
So, embark on a shopping adventure and let the markets of Egypt ignite your senses, unravel the mysteries of the past, and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.