Cairo boasts some of the most jaw-dropping sights in the world, but it’s also home to a colorful and unique shopping scene. With a major focus on antiques, glass products, and artisan goods, the capital is home to a plethora of souks and bazaars, world-class shopping malls, and street markets. Whether you’re on the hunt for an exciting vintage piece or a traditional Egyptian hookah, the country’s capital is a shopper’s paradise. To help satisfy your wildest desires, we’ve put together the ultimate Cairo shopping guidefor your next visit.
If you’re on the hunt for good quality, unique products in Cairo, consider a trip to Zamalek. Offering a great selection of charming boutiques and antique stores, it’s one of the best places to pick up artisan handicrafts or locally made garments. Regarded as Egypt’s cosmopolitan center, shoppers flock from far and wide to peruse the charming, shaded streets. From art galleries to fair-trade and eclectic homeware stores, Zamalek is an oasis for shoppers who are after something different.
Loved by tourists and locals alike, this lively 14th-century market is a great first glimpse into Cairo’s shopping scene. Known as the ‘king of souks’, the labyrinth of alleyways is renowned worldwide for its huge selection of authentic Egyptian goods, featuring entire streets dedicated to specific trades and goods. From the Gold Market to the Street of Tailors and the Spice Market, browsing through Egypt’s most beloved market is the perfect way to spend any day.
Tentmakers Bazaar (Souk Al Khiyyamia)
As Cairo’s only remaining traditional covered market, Souk Al Khayamiya is the best place to find affordable, authentic Egyptian-produced textile crafts. Named after the artisan makers who produce the fabrics used to make ceremonial tents, the market is a portal to the medieval world. From boldly colored carpets to tapestries, pillowcases, and wall hangings, merchants have been selling along the same street here for centuries.
Located in the illustrious Heliopolis, Citystars Mall is home to some of Cairo’s best upscale shopping. With over 750 stores, the retail complex is well-known for its diverse offerings in shopping, dining, and entertainment. From H&M to Versace and everything in between, the range of goods available here is incomparable to any other retail complex, making it the best one-stop-shop for your Cairo shopping trip.
El Azbakeya Wall
One of Cairo’s more unique shopping havens is Egypt’s most famous second-hand book store, El Azbakeya Wall. It’s an oasis for all types of book-lovers, from children to comic book enthusiasts and antique collectors. There are over 130 stalls selling books dating back to the 1800s, so if you’re on the hunt for a rare piece of literature, this book haven is your best bet. Located in the heart of Downtown, the market is only reachable by foot. The narrow street is tightly packed with merchants, showcasing Egypt’s dedicated and ancient relationship with literature.
Wekalet El Balah
Since the 19th century, Wekalet El Balah has been providing Cairo’s locals with second-hand imported clothing, shoes, bags and furniture. While the products aren’t always renowned for their quality, the market is famous for providing an adventurous shopping experience, filled to the brim with chaos and haggling. If you’re on the hunt for an authentic cultural experience, this is a great place to soak up the buzz of a modern Egyptian market, and the affordable prices make it all the more tempting.