Splendours of Egypt – A visit to the Khan al Khalili Bazaar
We very nearly didn’t get to visit this bazaar due to lack of time, but were very glad that we decided to make the effort to get here. This is one amazing bazaar made up of several markets, where you would find everything from gold, silver, copper, waterpipes, handicrafts, perfumes and spices. If you needed to purchase gifts or souvenirs for friends or loved ones, you’d most certainly find something here.
Under cover of canvas, rows and rows of alleyways are crammed with stalls and shops selling all kinds of local goods. It’s no wonder that it holds the claim to be one of the biggest in the Middle East. Don’t buy the first thing you come across as you will see the same goods sold in many other shops. After seeing them all over the place, the novelty may wear off, thus saving you from acquiring another kitsch thing.
As the bazaar is a major tourist attraction, bus-loads of tourists are transported here throughout the day. Before you buy anything, ask for the price at several stalls so that you get a general idea of what the price range is. Be prepared to haggle and bargain as the stall holders certainly expect this and have therefore set their opening prices accordingly.
If you tire of the incessant calls to look at their shops, there are many mosques, palaces and houses in the vicinity that you can escape to. Some of these mosques are really notable, for example, the Mosque of Sayyidna al-Hussein is the holiest site in Cairo and is said to contain the head of Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Mohammed and the Mosque of al-Azhar is one of the oldest in the city.