Shopping in Egypt

  • 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 Alexandria

    Souq District

    At the western end of Midan Tahrir, the battered, grand architecture switches scale to something more intimate as you enter the city’s main souq district. It’s one long, heaving bustle of produce, fish and meat stalls, bakeries, cafes and sundry shops selling every imaginable household item. This is a great area to check out at night.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Luxor

    Caravanserai

    This delightful treasure trove of Egyptian crafts, near Medinat Habu on the west bank, is run by friendly Khairy and his family. Inside you'll find beautiful pottery from the Western Oases, Siwan embroideries, a colourful selection of handwoven scarves, amazing appliqué bags and many other crafts that can be found almost nowhere else in Egypt. All at highly reasonable prices.

  • Shopping in Luxor

    Habiba

    Run by an Australian woman who promotes the best of Egyptian crafts, Habiba sells an ever-expanding selection of top quality Bedouin embroidery, jewellery, leatherwork, wonderful Siwan scarves, cotton embroidered scarves from Sohag, the best Egyptian cotton towels (usually only for export), mirrors, Aswan baskets and much more – all at fixed prices. New lines include locally made shea-butter products.

  • 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 Al Kharga

    Midan Sho'ala Market

    Stock up on all your fresh produce at this truly local market that runs through the alleyways off Midan Sho'ala. You'll find everything here from plastic-fantastic houseware to clucking chickens piled high in boxes. Traditional cobblers and metalworkers, and local dates by the barrelful, sit between stalls selling bawdy, cheap clothing and chintzy-tat.

  • Shopping in Sharm El Sheikh

    Soho Square

    This shopping and nightlife hub is home to an ice-skating rink, a bowling alley, a Culturama centre (playing a multimedia film of Egyptian history) and several top-end restaurants, shisha cafes and bars, all centred around a dancing fountain which is lit up during the evening. Note that most of the dining options here have a no flip-flops dress code.

  • Shopping in Alexandria

    Anfushi Fish Market

    In a city that devours more fish than a hungry seal, you’d expect to find a pretty impressive fish market – and Alexandria delivers. Located at the northern tip of Anfushi this market bustles daily with flapping seafood that’s literally just been thrown off the boat. Get here early, when it's busiest. Things die down by mid-morning.

  • 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.

  • Shopping in Alexandria

    Souq Ibrahimiyya

    This is one of our favourite markets for peeking into Egyptian life. Down several tiny, covered side streets near the Sporting Club, it’s packed with fresh produce, piles of still-wet seafood and stalls selling poultry and meats, both before and after they’ve seen the butcher’s block. It’s best in the morning, when the vendors are most vocal and enthusiastic.

  • 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.