Khan El Khalili is considered one of the most authentic markets in Cairo. It is a major Souk (market) located in the heart of the Islamic Cairo. Khan El-Khalili and El Muizz are not only huge shops to buy whatever your heart desires, they are also archaeological sites with lots of historical places that you can visit. As if the place is not already awesome enough, there’s variety of cafes and restaurants that serves Egyptian foods and drinks.The beautiful nature of the place there is like a maze that branches everywhere. Therefore, here is your local guide to solve the mystery of Cairo’s heart labyrinth to make the most out of your visit.
Khan El-Khalili and ElMuizz street have lots of historical places and attractions to visit. The walls of the whole place is magnificent itself, however, there are some places you must go to during your visit.
Sabil Mohamed Ali
In Arabic, Sabil means a free source of water for everyone to use. Sabils are a prominent feature of Ottoman urbanism and were very common back in the day. Muhammad Ali, ruler of Egypt (1805-48) built a sabil after the death of his son, Ismail, in Sudan. The architecture and the design of the place is very luxurious. It’s a hidden gem in Egypt, even most Egyptians don’t know exists!
The Egyptian Textile Museum
Egypt is the only country in the Middle East that enjoys a museum that contains its precious pieces of textile. The Textile Museum in Muizz Street in Cairo, which exists as the same building as Sabil Muhammed Ali, displays unique collections of textile from the Pharaonic, the Roman, the Coptic and the Islamic eras. The textiles there vary from mummies’ covers, bed sheets and clothes. The tickets for the museum are really affordable.
Bab Zuweila and Bab al-Futuh
Back in time, Old Cairo used to have five main gates for entering or exiting. In earlier times they were used to protect Cairo against enemy troops. However, now they are hailed for providing one of the best views of Old Cairo. You should never miss these beauties during your El Muizz street tour.
Al-Ghouri Complex Arts Center
Al-Ghouri spent a fortune on building his complex in Cairo. Al-Sultan Ghouri was known for his love for aesthetics, music, art and plants. Therefore, his complex is known for hosting cultural events such as Nubian music concerts, Tannoura dance performances, and religious recitals. Why miss the chance to witness the greatness of Old Cairo’s architecture mixed with the beauty of arts?
There’s no place in Cairo to buy authentic goods like Khan El-Khalili. The place offers handmade products that will take your eyes sparkle, and they would make amazing souvenirs for your friends and families back home
We all love to get antiques from every country we travel to. Antiques are like a time machine that takes us back to wherever we’ve been to. For that, Khan El-Khalil contains a variable collection of antiques: statues, rugs, mirrors, fridge magnet souvenirs , belly dancing suits, portraits, Papyrus and literally anything that you may think of. Why not take a reminder or two from the land of magic home?
Spices and Herbs
Spices and herbs are what gives food and drinks a unique taste. Since Egypt is the land of mystery and uniqueness, Egyptian markets are decorated and full of various types of herbs and spices that will give your dishes a sophisticated Mediterranean taste.
Who wouldn’t like to own a high quality handmade leather jacket or shoes for cheap? Khan El Khalili is the prime location of leather tanning workshops in Egypt. You can find all you want: shoes, wallets, jackets, bags and more. You’d be surprised by the good quality and the inexpensive prices yourself. You can always practice your bargaining abilities and get better prices!
Restaurants and Cafes:
To dine and take a break or a smoke while enjoying all these activities is a must! El Muizz and Khan El khalili embrace lots of restaurants and cafes with the aesthetically pleasing mood of Old Cairo. However, there are few that you should never miss.
Located in the heart of Khan Elkhalili, Elfishawy Cafe’ is considered a main landmark in Cairo. The decoration is really simple and artistic, however, the place is energetic. You gonna enjoy your time there. Never miss the chance to try “Shay Barad” (tea in a pot with added mint.) It is a must after food for Egyptians.
Naguib Mahfouz Restaurant and Cafe’
Named after Naguib Mahfouz, the Egyptian Nobel winner writer, this restaurant is extremely classy and elegant.it hosts a band that plays old Arabic music which compliments the nostalgic atmosphere of the place. Try their “Feteer Meshaltet” with honey. Everyone loves that!