Khan El-Khalili is an open market, or as we call in Egypt “Souq,” it started as being storage for merchants in the 14th century, then it became the center of foreign trades in the late 15th century during the Mamluk era.
The history of this Bazaar makes it unique from any other market in Cairo and Egypt; it is located in the heart of Old Islamic Cairo; it gives you a different atmosphere while shopping. You’ll find El-Muizz Street on its west side, and the shrine of al-Hussien to the east. This historic Egyptian marketplace is only half an hour away from Cairo International Airport.
When you are in Cairo and want to buy traditional things related to the Egyptian culture and won’t find it anywhere else, then Khan El-Khalili is the perfect place for that. You can buy all kinds of souvenirs you want from this Bazaar. You will find there amazing Metalware as it is a craft that is old as time in Egypt, you’ll also find engraved copper, lanterns, lamps, silver jewelry. And unique things like mother-of-pearl inlaid wood, Khayamiya “Tents,” which is a hand-stitched cotton appliqué, traditional glassware, and the famous Shisha or Hookah pipes.
Khan El-Khalili is a huge Souq; it will take about an hour to see all of it, but don’t worry; it opens from 9 am till 5 pm, and some don’t close their shops as long as they have visitors. You’ll have an outstanding walk in this historical street; you can also visit the famous Fishawi’s café where you can have a traditional tea and try a Hookah maybe. You’ll lose the sense of time wandering between the shops with colorful goods.