In recent years, Egypt has positioned itself as one of the cultural hubs in our part of the world. Known for ethnic fashion and old-school shopping sprees, this land is full of hidden gems if you know how and where to look.
Since my travel bone is tickling, I am looking at places to visit – my criteria are quite simple: Fun, inexpensive and happening. Egypt, and more specifically Cairo, meets the checklist and here I am, exploring possibilities.
Before venturing out, I need to know where to SHOP. Oh please, you are a guy and will never understand the pleasure of a good bargain, so don’t judge me. Anyway, coming back to shopping. Egypt, like many Middle Eastern countries, houses two distinct kinds of experiences. One is the traditional souk, where shops and carts are splayed around, selling everything from gold and spices to artisan pieces and home ware. On the flipside, they offer modern shopping experiences as well, with beautiful malls, air-conditioned interiors, brands from around the world and prices at par with the international outlets.
Despite the price advantage, I have never been drawn to Souks. I fancy comfort during vacation, and souks can get hot and tiresome. Having said that, you can’t visit Egypt and not go to Khan El Khalili in Cairo. This 500 years old maze of streets, lanes, stores, and shops occupies the center of Islamic Cairo and forming one of the most famous touristic markets in the world. It is the perfect place for gifts and souvenirs, and if you go deeper, you will find wonderful jewelry, glass, copper, and brassware items. Word of advice: YOU MUST BARGAIN!
Now, for some upmarket shopping experience, here are the most recommended destinations for you:
- 50A Concept Store: Fancy international labels? Then this is the place for you to be at!
- Pepper Closet: Chic multi-brand store that houses covetable fashion brands
- Amuse: Cairo’s hub for art and design enthusiasts
- El Herrera: Grassroots Egyptian culture meets fashion
- Mounaya Gallery: Love statement accessories? Visit Mounaya.
- Sami Amin: Your retailer for all things leather and brass
- Orange Square: Got a man with you? Take him to Orange Square for tailored suits.
So what do you think à Have I missed anything? Or you got a favorite that’s not in the list? Do share in the comment box below!