Shopping in Egypt: The Art of Bargaining in Egypt Souqs & Markets
Egypt is like an ancient heaven for shopaholics, the country has some of the most mesmerizing souq, bazaars and markets for locals and tourists alike. The capital out of all the places in Egypt is the best location to shop, the place has a shopping district and a particular market place that has countless items and Egyptian specialties to offer. No matter whom you ask in town, people will tell you that Khan El Khalili Market, in the Hussein District in Cairo is the best place to shopping in Egypt.
See also What to Buy in Egypt
The market is said to be around 500 years old with ancient lanes and accessorial shops in the center of Cairo. This location has some of the best shops selling souvenirs, and things that are considered as a specialty to Egyptian tradition.
The small workshops in narrow roads are like dynamite in Cairo, it sells a large collection of items like spices, slippers, brassware, jewelry, grass, copper, garments, carpets, artifacts, pottery, and other items and you will have to learn the art of bargaining in Egypt if you want to buy exclusive things. Apart from this brilliant market place, you will also find other market places in Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan and others. Each city has a tourist market and you will love each one of them. Some of the markets are also tax-free, so you will be able to buy the items at a low price.
Shopping HoursYou will be able to shop in different hours at different markets because of the locations and change of season. The local shops in the city are mostly open during the day and closed every Friday at the time of prayer. Some markets are open in the late evening, including the tourist markets that are open throughout the night.
• Khan El Khalili - It is considered as one of the oldest markets in Egypt and the Middle East as a whole.
• El Azbakeya Wall - This place is a heaven for book lovers)
• Souq El Gom'aa - This market is mostly set on Friday and known as the Friday's Market)
• Wekalet El Balah
• Mohamid Ali Street
The Art of HagglingThe fact about bargaining is simple, you do not accept the price whatever the seller quotes you. You have to be smart to get past that and quote your own price much lesser than what they say. If you are in habit to not negotiate in market places, then learn a few tricks because you are going to need it while shopping in Egypt. It will not only save you bucks and not drill a hole in your pocket but it will also be fun and exciting.
You must also know that haggling is an art and bargaining must be taken seriously. The core places for shopping in Egypt has a lot of exclusive shops, coffee shops, supermarkets, restaurants, clubs and public transport where you won’ be able to bargain and you will have to take what it is. However, local bazaars, souqs, and markets will require hardcore Haggling.
Haggling is not just a way to save money the money or pay the right price but also a way of exchanging information, learning new things about the places and interact with new people. It says that if you want to know a country better, visit their local market place and you will get to see the uncut, raw version of the place. When it comes to paying for the prices, make sure you have cash ready to shop in local markets, better if you are paying in Egyptian currency. You must know that there are no fixed rules to bargaining in Egypt, but then we still picked a few things you can learn to help you in shopping in Egypt.
• Set a friendly tone with the shopkeeper but do not be oversweet.
• Avoid wearing any heavy jewelry to the markets as they might increase the rates of the items after studying the outlook of a buyer.
• Don’t quote your price until the shopkeeper quotes his.
• Continue to haggle until the price suits your pocket.
• Do not be over haggle or quote half the price as it might offend them, be reasonable.
Shopping in Egypt is a default activity for every tourist, they will explore the souq, the markets, and the malls, but bargaining in Egypt is hyped and people want to know all about this concept, which is why we decided to give you these details to help you buy better without drilling a hole in your pocket.
You can only pay what the item really worth and haggling in some of the local markets initially will give you the confidence to go further and bargain better.