Khan el Khalili Souvenirs Shopping heaven
Khan el-Khalili is for many the most entertaining
part of Cairo. It is an ancient shopping area, but
some of the shops have also their own little
factories or workshops.
The khan - which is the Arabic name for bazaar, or
market - dates back to 1382, when Emir Djaharks el-Khalili
built a big caravanserai (or khan) right here. A
caravanserai was a sort of hotel for traders, and
usually the focal point for economic activity for
any surrounding area. This caravanserai is still
there on the road to Khan el-Khalili and Badestan.
As for the khan, you can easily grasp most of its
charm and possibilities by wandering about. You do
not need a guide, not even a guide book. Should you
get lost, just keep going in one direction, and you
will quickly come out of the maze, and close to a
Shopping is a must in Khan el-Khalili, there are
items you should check out here, and items you
better avoid. Clothes are cheap, spices are of good
quality and affordable, the perfume shops sell
copies of virtually all international Western
perfumes. Souvenirs of just as good quality as in
the hotel lobby, but at a better price. There are
lots of products and jewelry that will match all the
tastes so look around and feel free to ask around.
Always bargain and don't go for the first price
asked for, if you think its expensive for you feel
free to go ask in another shop.
While all of Khan el-Khalili is an attraction, there
are some local sights. The most treasured for
visitors is Fishawi's cafe, which you can count on
being open when you get there: It has been
continuously open, day and night, for more than 200
years. Its interior is charming, claustrophobic but
with mirrors almost everywhere.
Overview of Khan el Khalili alley
For readers of Nobel prize laureate Naguib Mahfouz,
Khan el-Khalili is the place of Midaq Alley. Start
in al-Mu'izz street, find the Sanadiqiyah street,
and look out for it.