Shopping in Cairo

  • Shopping in Cairo

    Caravanserai

    Think ‘Sahara chic’ is an oxymoron? Think again. Caravanserai (meaning a roadside inn where traders and travellers could get some R&R after a tough journey) offers beautiful furniture that fuses Egyptian oriental design with effective minimalism. The gift shop offers small decorative items, such as bowls and wall decor, as well as hanging lamps and lanterns.

  • Shopping in Cairo

    Mamelouk

    If you hate haggling at the souq, Mamelouk is a top place to pick up souvenirs at fair prices. Handmade pottery, fabrics and painted tiles punctuate a busy room stacked with everything from furniture to Sphinx figurines. The shop doesn't accept cards, but an ATM is around the corner at the Vodafone shop.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Cairo

    American University in Cairo Bookshop

    The best English-language bookshop in Egypt, with a huge selection of material on the politics, sociology and history of Cairo, Egypt and the wider Middle East, as well as other more general non-fiction titles. There are plenty of guidebooks and maps, and a decent fiction section. This is also a great place to find titles by Arab writers in translation.

  • Shopping in Cairo

    O&M Art

    Dusty, dark and usually filled with more slumbering cats than customers, this quiet gallery, located on the 1st floor of an apartment building off Brazil St, normally doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic because of the lack of a store-front entrance. But it's worth a visit to admire paintings and pottery from local artists. The main attraction is the intricate wood-carved locally made Islamic designs that serve as window or door dressings.

  • Shopping in Cairo

    Villa Baboushka

    Even if you’re not in the market for a sequin bra, a stop at this chic boutique is worthwhile. Tucked on a quiet, leafy block of the otherwise busy Ismail Mohamed St, Villa Baboushka houses two stories of eccentric designs from around the world. Shop til you drop for chunky beaded bracelets, furry shoes, Cleopatra-esque flowy summer dresses and look-at-me eyewear.

  • Shopping in Cairo

    Fair Trade Egypt

    Crafts sold here are produced in income-generating projects throughout the country. Items for sale include Bedouin rugs, hand-woven cotton, pottery from Al Fayoum and beaded jewellery from Aswan. The cotton bedspreads and shawls are particularly lovely, and prices are very reasonable.

  • Shopping in Cairo

    Diwan

    Fabulous; English, French and German titles, from novels to travel guides to coffee-table books. It also has a kids’ section, plenty of non-fiction titles about Egypt and Arabic writers in translation, and a small cafe.

  • Shopping in Cairo

    Azza Fahmy

    World-renowned contemporary jeweller inspired by Islamic and Pharaonic designs. Azza Fahmy also organises design workshops to make fabulous jewellery.

  • Shopping in Cairo

    Souq Al Fustat

    It's a shame more travellers don't venture to this modern market-complex after their Coptic Cairo visit as there are some interesting boutiques here – nearly all focused on modern Egyptian handicrafts. There are funky interpretations of Bedouin embroidery at Bidouin Handmade, embroideries and recycled crafts at the Association for the Protection of the Environment shop and a branch of Abd El Zaher.

  • Shopping in Cairo

    Wady Craft Shop

    This charity store run by the Anglican church sells work done by refugee organisations and disadvantaged families. There are plenty of kitchen linens and wooden inlay products but the traditional wooden children's toy trains, planes, trucks and block-pyramids are the real standouts. Despite the address (the main gate to the church complex), the shop's entrance is located on Sharia Zakaria Rizk.

  • Shopping in Cairo

    Nomad

    Specialists in jewellery and traditional Bedouin crafts and costumes. Items include appliqué tablecloths and cushion covers, dresses made in the oases, woven baskets, silk slippers and chunky silver jewellery. To find it, go past the Egyptian Water Works office to the 1st floor and ring the bell. There is a smaller branch in the Cairo Marriott.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Cairo

    Oum El Dounia

    At a great central location, Oum El Dounia sells an exceptionally tasteful and good-value selection of locally made crafts. These include glassware, ceramics, jewellery, cotton clothes made in Akhmim, and other interesting trinkets. Illustrated postcards by cartoonist Golo make a nice change. One room is dedicated to books on Egypt in French.

  • Shopping in Cairo

    Khan Misr Touloun

    This shop opposite the Mosque of Ibn Tulun is stacked with a desirable jumble of reasonably priced crafts, wooden chests, jewellery, pottery, puppets and scarves.

  • Shopping in Cairo

    Abd El Zaher

    Cairo’s last working bookbinder also makes beautiful leather- and oil-paper-bound blank books, photo albums and diaries. Gold monogramming is included in the prices, which are heartbreakingly low considering the work that goes into them. Getting your own books bound starts around LE100 and takes a few days.

  • Shopping in Cairo

    Abd Al Rahman Harraz

    Established in 1885, this is one of the most esteemed spice traders in Cairo, with a brisk business in medicinal herbs as well (upstairs, herbalists diagnose and prescribe). There’s no English sign: look for dioramas of Egyptian village life in the corner shop windows. It’s about 450m west of Bab Zuweila.

  • Shopping in Cairo

    Sami Amin

    Cool brass-and-enamel jewellery as well as various homewares including chunky metal photo and mirror frames. Just down the street, at number 13, are leather bags, belts and other accessories, many imprinted with tribal patterns, and all very well priced.

  • Shopping in Cairo

    Drinkies

    Spiffy modern booze sellers; no need to sneak behind a curtain, and even offers delivery. A small Stella is LE12, a large Sakara is LE17. There's another Downtown branch on Sharia Mahmoud Bassouni.

  • Shopping in Cairo

    Ahmed El Dabba & Sons

    The most respected antiques dealer in Khan Al Khalili is a warren of Louis XV furniture and glass cases filled with gleaming jewellery and snuff boxes. This is where the treasures stashed in 19th-century Downtown apartments all end up.

  • Shopping in Cairo

    Nagada

    High-quality handwoven, colour-saturated silks, cottons and linens are the mainstay of this delightful shop. Buy by the yard, or in boxy, drapey women’s and men’s apparel. There’s also very pretty pottery from Al Fayoum.

  • Shopping in Cairo

    Al Qahira

    Al Qahira sells well-made Egyptian crafts, often with a little quirky element. Brilliant jewellery by Suzanne El Masry, embroidered jewellery, fabrics printed with vintage photos of movie stars and some fun homewares.