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Cairo shopping

Souks and souvenir shops around Cairo overflow with pharaonic kitsch, including miniature stone pyramids, King Tut headdresses, and Queen Nefertiti tea sets. Local artisans produce perfumes, fake antique scarabs, sheaves of painted papyrus, vases carved from alabaster, and gold or silver cartouches with your name inscribed in hieroglyphics. Be aware that much of the other stuff—including many of the shisha pipe kits on sale in the Khan El-Khalili—is imported from China. Dealing in authentic pharaonic antiquities is illegal, so beware of anyone trying to pass off "genuine" goods. At the places we list below, look for old Bedouin silver, antique copper, and work by contemporary designers such as the jewelers Azza Fahmy, Suzanne El-Masri, and Laila Neamatalla, as well as ceramics and Egyptian cotton clothes.

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Al-Khatoun, Cairo

Around the corner from the Al-Azhar Mosque, across the busy Al-Azhar Street from Midan El-Hussein, Al-Khatoun is an artists' cooperative occupying a restored...more

Editors' Pick
Diwan, Cairo

Expats and locals head for this Zamalek bookstore for the latest English best sellers, translations of Middle Eastern novels, plus works on politics, art, and...more

Editors' Pick
Khan El-Khalili, Cairo

The grand souk of Cairo since the 14th century, this market fills the streets that slope gently down from Midan El-Hussein, a square whose mosque is believed to...more

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Khan Misr Touloun, Cairo

This cavernous shop facing the front gate of the Ibn Tulun Mosque is the place to go for the best of Egypt's village and oasis crafts, including many objects...more

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Nagada, Cairo

Newly relocated to a 1930s villa in the Dokki district, Nagada helps solve Cairo's eternal fashion conundrum: how to stay cool in the heat. Lebanese-Swiss team...more

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Townhouse Gallery, Cairo

Cairo's most cutting-edge contemporary art space is spread between two buildings: an old Jewish mansion and a restored car mechanics' workshop, both opposite an...more

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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