Cairo Shopping and Districts
Shopping in Cairo is rather like shopping in one enormous, sprawling marketplace - there are shops everywhere! Virtually any item from any part of Egypt can be found for sale somewhere in Cairo and you often don't have far to search to find some great souvenirs of your holiday. A large number of modern shopping malls have recently become an integral part of the city and are especially popular with visiting tourists.
When shopping around Cairo, popular gift ideas include wooden backgammon boards, jewellery boxes, lamps, stripy rugs, pottery, silk shawls and painted papyrus, which are usually fairly cheap, since most are simply painted on banana leaves. For traditional Egyptian jewellery in Cairo, a number of gold and silver shops lie around the Khan al-Khalili area, where most pieces are simply sold by weight, with perhaps a small charge for craftsmanship.
When to Shop and Opening Hours
Most shops in Cairo are open from Monday through Thursday and also at the weekends, although some of the city's shops do remain closed on Sundays.
During the hot summer months, the daytime shopping hours are reduced, when shops close during the heat of the day, reopening in late afternoon and remaining open until 22:00 or later. Shopping hours during Ramadan work in a similar way.
Where to Shop
For the ultimate shopping experience in Cairo, a trip to one of its many markets is in order. However, if you find some of them a little pushy, just simply say 'no' and walk away. There will be plenty of other stall holders happy to let you browse without pressurising you into a purchase. Some of Cairo's best markets include the Bulaq Market at the northern end of the Sharia 26th of July, in the Bulaq area, and both the Sharia al-Muski and Souq al-Gomaa markets, in Islamic Cairo. The bustling markets and shops around Khan al-Khalili are also not to be missed.
Many shopping malls have started appearing all around the suburbs of Cairo in recent years and have become particularly social places, when many young Egyptians meet up and hang out, particularly in the large food courts and around the atriums. The main shopping malls in Cairo are as follows:
Address: Corniche el-Nil, Bulaq, Cairo, Egypt, EG
The largest shopping mall in the whole of Cairo, with more than 500 different stores in total. Other highlights here include restaurants, bars and a huge amusement arcade with the latest video games.
First Residence Mall
Address: First Residence Complex, 35 Sharia al-Giza, Giza, Cairo, Egypt, EG
A particularly exclusive place to shop, with many designer stores and boutiques, together with a number of local retailers.
Ramses Hilton Mall
Address: Midan Adbel Moniem Riad, Cairo, Egypt,
A fairly family orientated space with plenty of clothing stores, homewares, jewellers, a cinema and even an outlet of McDonalds, where the burgers, fries and cola are often popular with western tourists.
Talaat Harb Shopping Complex
Address: Sharia Talaat Hard, Cairo, Egypt, EG
Located in the heart of the downtown district and especially popular with young 'Cairenes', the Talaat Harb Shopping Complex offers a range of fashion boutiques and a good food court with plenty of inexpensive eateries.
Other popular shopping malls located both in and around the city of Cairo include:
- Dandy Mall
- Genena Mall
- Horeya Mall
- Maadi Grand Mall
- Nile City Towers Mall
- Serag Mall
- Stars Shopping Centre
- Tiba Mall
- Wonderland Shopping Center