The Best Markets in Egypt

Experience the hustle and bustle of Egypt's many markets and pick up a souvenir or two along the way
Experience the hustle and bustle of Egypt's many markets and pick up a souvenir or two along the way | © Peter Horree / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Sarah Marzouk
5 September 2021

Egypt is among the most popular tourist destinations in Africa due to its rich historical heritage and amazing scenery – along with an array of markets well worth an explore. Whether you’re a shopping lover or not, it makes for a great day out. Here are the best markets to visit during your time in Egypt.

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Khan el-Khalili

Bazaar
Map View
Khan El Khalili Market Cairo Egypt
© Megapress / Alamy Stock Photo

In the Islamic area of Cairo, Khan El Khalili is one of the oldest markets in Egypt dating back to 1382. While strolling through the market, enjoy the Islamic historical buildings and discover more about Islamic Cairo’s history. In addition to being the most well-known silver market, this spot is the perfect place to shop for old antiques, handmade accessories and old perfume bottles – as well as coins, glassware, handcrafts, shishas and costumes that would make a perfect gift. Tempted to visit? You can do so with Culture Trip on our immersive small-group Egypt adventure, led by our local insider.

Al Azbakeya

Architectural Landmark
Map View

Located near the wall of Azbakeya gardens, this place is the most renowned book market that sells old, unique and used books in Cairo – and it dates back to the 19th century. With more than 130 stalls, a book seeker can find any genre they have in mind with lower prices than any other bookstore. The sellers here are very friendly and helpful, so if you can’t find the book you’re looking for, leave your phone number and they’ll call you back once they find it.

Souq Al Goma'a (Friday's Market)

Market
Map View
Garlics for sale at Souq El Gom'aa (Friday's Market)
© Pavlos Christoforou / Alamy Stock Photo

Souq Al Goma’a is one of the largest markets in Cairo. Located under El-Tonsi Bridge in the middle of the City of the Dead – where cemeteries are located – and near Salah Eldin Citadel, it’s a place where you can find almost anything. Or as the Egyptians like to say, “From needle to rock,” with the cheapest prices. You can shop for anything from furniture to mobile phones and ceramic tiles to clothes here. Be warned: the market is always overcrowded, so keep an extra eye on your pockets.

Wekalet Al Balah

Market
Map View
Nile Corniche
© Nico Tondini / Alamy Stock Photo

Established in the 19th century, Wekalet Al Balah is one of the most famous markets that sell medium quality and second-hand imported clothes. It’s located on the Nile Corniche between the Boulaq neighbourhood and the affluent Zamalek. Shoppers can also find very affordable fabrics, shoes, bags and furniture here. It’s certainly a bit of an adventure visiting this market, but do avoid wearing fancy clothes.

Mohammed Ali Street

Market
Map View

Named after the founder of modern Egypt, Mohammed Ali, this street was constructed in the 1860s as a part of Khedive Ismail’s vision for a Cairo built in European style. The street was a centre for oriental arts in Cairo – and home to professional belly dancers. For now, it’s considered one of the best places to manufacture, sell and repair musical instruments.

Old Market, Sharm El Sheikh

Market
Map View
Old Market, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt
© Roberto Nistri / Alamy Stock Photo

While spending your vacation in Sharm El-Sheikh, the Old Market in Sharm El Sheikh is the best place to shop for souvenirs, antiques and local handmade crafts – as well as handy swimming and snorkelling tools. There’s also a great selection of cafes and restaurants to enjoy some tasty fish for lunch or a plate of grilled meat for dinner.

These recommendations were updated on September 5, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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