Cairo - Post Report Question and Answers

Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?

Yes: pottery, rugs, wooden tables in-laid with mother of pearl - Mar 2023

Yes there are cool stores in the souk (Khan al-Khalili) - for example some cool carvings made from camel bones, or unique glassware. We've also had furniture made that is very high quality. - Aug 2022

It depends. Egyptian cotton is pretty much all exported so definitely don't expect to find amazing deals on textiles. Wood is very expensive. Antiques are fun to shop for. There are really beautiful brass lamps. Lots of funky pottery. Really fun and affordable artwork / paintings. Good incense / oils. - Mar 2022

There is a lot shopping to do for all types of things. Getting things made is super cheap. I had a coffee table, lamps, and mirror made. I purchased a painting and had it framed here very cheap. I wish I had a chance to buy carpets. I bought a couple cheap ones but wish I had gotten some of the nicer, bigger ones. - Dec 2021

Yes, go to the Khan! Explore and explore and get lost in there. Kelem carpets, inexpensive silver jewelry, brass lamps, alabaster, leather, glass. You can get so many things custom made. Suits are cheap. - Feb 2021

The large souqs / bazaars offer opportunities for all sorts of trinkets and furnishings. You're unlikely to pay the "local" price though. - Nov 2020

Take your pick. Papyrus, lamps, alabaster, rugs, hit up the Khan and take your pick. - Jan 2020

Yes. We had custom sofas made for pennies on the dollar, and have purchased a lot of really beautiful textiles and art. Definitely plan to shop here. - Jun 2018

The souks are fun to shop in--oils, perfumes, cobra skin belts, silverwork, etc. - Jan 2018

Yes, many people go to the Khan el Khalili, which is the large open air market in Islamic Cairo to buy any manner of traditional crafts. Alabaster is also very cheap in Egypt and they make many items out of the stone, which are usually very nice. Be ready to haggle when buying items in markets. Tourist/foreigner pricing applies and you will be gouged, just expect it. Some people will take a local with them to try to avoid the gouging, it doesn't always work. - Sep 2017

It's definitely not a shopping post but there's plenty of shopping available. Of all types. Locally made stuff can be fabulous. The old bazaar, Khan el Khalili, is amazing. - May 2017

chess sets, lamps, local musical instruments, custom wood furniture, tablecloths, wall hangings. In the Khan al Khalili back alleys you can find bizarre things like antique diving helmets and typewriters. - Jan 2016

Copper from the Khan, Fayoum pottery, beautiful light fixtures, mashribaya woodwork, lovely jewelry and handicrafts - Jan 2016

Egyptian crafts such as lanterns, ornate room dividers, large serving trays to turn into coffee tables, ottomans, etc. etc. - Oct 2014

Alabaster, handmade dolls, clothing, jewelry, linens, brass/copper, papyrus, ceramics and TRAVEL. - Aug 2014

Alabaster lamps, copper, nice jewelry. - Aug 2014

alabaster, funky lamps, brass/copper items and table tops silver jewellery (not super cheap, I think Istanbul is cheaper). - May 2014

Alabaster. - Apr 2014

Local alabaster, silver lamps, furniture. - Jul 2013

You can find some good artwork at Khan al-Khalili. - Jul 2013

Not much worth buying. What is worth buying can't be taken out of the country. Even the stuff they make: if it looks like it faintly resembles an antique, they won't let it out. - Jun 2013

Travel, furniture, cotton sheets and pillows, pottery. - Jun 2013

Metal works, handicrafts, art work in general, and some nice furniture. - May 2013

Local crafts, most of which are mass-produced garbage. - May 2013

Lots of local art, jewelry, etc. Khan Khalili is the place to shop. - May 2013

Alabaster, Khayamiya (Egyptian applique), jewelry, fanous (lanterns), and travel. - Feb 2013

Furniture, carpets, papyrus paintings, pottery, and glass. - Feb 2013

Be careful, as most items are brought in from China. You can get some decent rugs and perfume oil if you know where to go. - Mar 2013

Gas masks for the tear gas! - Mar 2013

Junky egypto-trinkets made in China. But don't try to mail it out, or they'll think you're smuggling ancient artifacts. - Feb 2013

Nothing -- Egyptians have not produced anything since the Pyramids. All of the Egypcrap is produced in China now. - Jan 2013

Alabaster, silver and brass lanterns and platters/hangings, jewelry (silver and gold - made to your liking), papyrus paintings. - Nov 2012

Middle Eastern carpets, artwork, souvenirs. - Sep 2011

pottery, silver jewelry - Aug 2011

All kinds of Egyptian crafts: alabaster, blown glass, engraved copper table tops, mashrabiya wooden screens, wool carpets, cloth items from quilted items to tent fabric and table cloths. - Jul 2011

Papyrus paintings, silk tapestries, 100% Egyptian cotton bed sheets, dive trips. - Sep 2010

There is nothing here I like, but some people do like the blown glass and the alabaster. - Jun 2010

Aside from the typical tourist trinkets, Egypt is known for blue glass, applique fabric wall hangings, pillowcases, etc. (khayamiyya), metal/brass work, intricately carved wooden furniture (mashrabiyya), gold and silver jewelry, perfumes and perfume bottles and alabaster. - Dec 2009


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