Featured image via Al Arabiya
They say that Cairo is one of the cheapest metropolitan cities in the world. And while that may be true due to currency differences, a lot of Cairenes don’t feel that in its full effect. But we’re here to tell you that there’s a whole world of reasonably-priced goods that are most probably unchartered in your world.
The brilliance of Cairo lies in how, despite it being one of the most random hustling and bustling capitals in the world, you can still manage to find some sense within that chaos. A prominent example of this is the street markets scattered all over our beloved capital, with each area focusing on a certain industry, and excelling in good quality with excellent prices.
El-Ataba, El-Ghoureya, & Khan El-Khalili
One of the most famous and accessible street markets in Cairo, these areas are perfect for tourists to find Egyptian-style memorabilia. You can also shop around for some affordable clothes and bags, or even some alluring lighting units. Souq Hamam El-Talat is very near to El-Ataba, and has clothes, shoes, perfumes, and other beauty products. Khan El-Khalili is also perfect for jewelry shopping with a ton of affordable options, you can even customise your own pieces, or buy precious stones, shaped or raw.
Abdelaziz Street Market
Rumour has it that if your phone was “lost”, it’s probably being sold over there. This street is in Downtown Cairo, quite close to El-Ataba area, and is the biggest street market in Egypt for electronics. They have home appliances, mobile phones, and even accessories, all on the cheap. But you have to be cautious there, not everyone is worthy of your trust.
El-Manasra area is very close to Ramses Square, and has a ton of furniture shops with very reasonable prices. Granted, quality and taste may not be at a premium here, but you can definitely find some cheap and sturdy basic pieces of furniture that you can enhance with your own style afterwards.
Theoretically 40 kms outside of Cairo, this area is perfect for all your car needs. It is virtually impossible for this place to fail to have the spare parts you’re looking for.
Probably the cheapest area for buying textiles for clothes, furniture, or curtains. They sell new and used clothes, very cheaply, through the various shops in its small alleys. You can find it behind the Maspero area.
Souq El-Gomaa (Souq El-Imam El-Shafie)
Literally translating to the Friday Market, this huge area extends for around 3 kilometers and is the perfect place if you’re looking for a pet. Dogs, cats, birds, or even more rare animals are all there at this vast street market. You can also find some used clothes, shoes, and other items. The street market is right next to the Mausoleum of Imam El-Shafie, and vendors come together every Friday to sell their products.
Besides the Cairo International Book Fair, this is the biggest place for all book lovers to get their hands on their favourite books. You can find used books as well as new ones for very cheap prices. Even the rarest of books are on offer here.
Haggling can be your best friend in these markets. Most vendors will start with a high price because they’re used to customers haggling them down.
Stay aware, stay safe. These are very crowded areas, so theft is a big possibility here.
Some vendors are not as trustworthy as others, so ask around for trusted shops before hitting the streets, and make sure you have the right product before you leave.
You will walk, A LOT. Make sure you go out with comfortable clothes and shoes to help you in your quest.
Happy shopping, Cairenes.