[WORLDKINGS] Top 100 famous markets in the world – P16 - Khan el-Khalili Market (Egypt): Egypt’s Oldest Bazaar


(WorldKings.org) No trip to Egypt would feel complete without spending an afternoon in the lively heart of Cairo - the bustling market district of Khan el Khalili, beloved for centuries by Egyptians and foreigners alike.



Khan el-Khalili  is a famous bazaar and souq (or souk) in the historic center of Cairo, Egypt. Established as a center of trade in the Mamluk era and named for one of its several historic caravanserais, the bazaar district has since become one of Cairo's main attractions for tourists and Egyptians alike.



One of the most fascinating things about Khan el Khalili is the juxtaposition of the old with the new. Soaring arches and limestone walls serve as the backdrop for vendors selling delights both modern and antique. Marvelous, towering mosaics of thousands of tiles of blue and white accompany intricately carved wooden doors.



Goods both new and old line the streets. The outer edges of the market are the most tourist-dense areas. It’s no surprise that all the typical tourist items can be found there: keychains, pyramid and sphinx figurines, jewelry with names written in hieroglyphics, and more.



Plastic mannequins hang in sidewalk shops, wearing modern interpretations of Egyptian belly dance costumes. Brightly colored fabrics, shimmering with beads and sequins, jingle gently as shoppers pass by. These items are to be expected, but the real joy of shopping in Khan el Khalili lies in the unique, handmade goods from local craftsmen found deeper in the market.




The coppersmiths’ shops offer diverse collections of work. This is the place to find the lovely copper lanterns that are so characteristic of traditional Egyptian buildings. Some are antiques, some are newly crafted, but all are beautiful and interesting.




The dominating visual themes are geometric designs with stars or leaves pierced into their shining surfaces, or brightly colored stained glass. Also not to be missed are cheerful copper pots and pans, the perfect gift for cooking enthusiasts. Lovingly crafted vases, dishes and tableware are also available in the market, beautiful designs stamped into the metal.



Khan el Khalili also houses the largest gold and silver market in Egypt. An entire street of jewelers’ shops provides hours of exploration for the fashion loving shopper. High end shops attract locals and tourists alike—this is the place to buy gold in Egypt. Necklaces, bracelets, earrings and other trinkets in gold and silver can be found covering the walls of the shops in the goldsmiths’ souk. Some are antiques, while others are new or custom.


According to en.wikipedia and osiristours.com


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