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Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Khan el-Khalili market in Cairo, Egypt

The Khan el-Khalili market(bazaar) is a major tourist attraction in Cairo. Located in the heart of Islamic Cairo, the market is always busy and lively and very colourful. It is the best place to pick up souvenirs, jewellery, traditional clothing or perfumes.






Crowd and chaos are its trademarks and you will be hassled everywhere you go. The shopkeepers will try to lure you into their shops and be aware that they do not give up easily. They will try to draw you into a conversation and tempt you to make a purchase. The best way to handle it is to be polite and keep moving on if you so wish. On the other hand if you are good at bargaining, then you will love this place. Bargaining is like a game - you vs the shopkeeper. Enjoy it and make a deal which will leave both of you happy.







In spite of the hustle and bustle, the market is beautiful. I preferred it to the many luxury shopping malls that have sprung up in recent times. The narrow streets, the colourful merchandise and the scent of perfumes and incense was a lovely combination. It is easy to get lost in the alleyways, so keep an eye out. Nonetheless its fun. Its like you have been transported back in time. Enjoy the sights, the aromas and the noise as well. Overall, you can easily while away a good few hours just browsing through the market.





There are lots of small cafes scattered all around Khan el-Khalili. These cater mainly for the tourists and some of them serve good food and drinks. The ambience is authentic and you can have your food/drink along with the Sheesha while taking in the spirit and the chaos of the market. Check the prices before you place your order because some of the cafes quote almost 3-4 times the normal price if you fail to check the prices before hand.






Khan el-Khalili,
Bab Al Louq, Abdin,
Cairo - Egypt

Note: While in Cairo, you could also visit the Mosque of Muhammad Ali or the Alabaster Mosque. It is one of the notable landmarks in Cairo.

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