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Located in the historic center of Islamic Cairo, Khan el-Khalili is a vibrant and bustling souk (market) filled with a diverse array of goods and wares. As one of Cairo’s top tourist attractions, it is a must-visit destination where travelers can experience the flavor of traditional Egyptian shopping culture, while enjoying local food, coffee, and crafts.

History Founded in the 14th century during the era of Mamluk Sultan Barquq, Khan el-Khalili served as a hub for traveling traders coming from Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Its historical legacy and significance are reflected in its unique architecture and the ancient items sold at the market, telling stories of different epochs, cultures, and peoples.

How to Get There Khan el-Khalili is located in the heart of Cairo and is easily reachable by taxi, bus, or metro. The nearest metro stop is Ataba, but keep in mind you need to walk through some bustling local markets to reach the Khan. Taxis are plentiful but ensure your driver uses the meter, or negotiate a price before starting your journey.

List of Attractions

  1. Shopping: From spices, perfumes, jewelry, to souvenirs and antiques, there’s a lot to browse and buy.
  2. Traditional Crafts: See local craftsmen at work, making and selling their crafts.
  3. Al-Hussein Mosque: A significant religious site right next to the market.
  4. Food & Coffee: Enjoy traditional Egyptian food at local eateries or sip Arabic coffee at the historic El Fishawy café.
  5. Cultural Shows: Experience local music and dance, like the traditional Tanoura spin dance.

Ticket Information There is no entry fee to enter Khan el-Khalili Market. However, the prices for goods and services within the market are subject to bargaining – a common and expected practice.

List of Tips for Visiting

  1. Explore Khan el-Khalili in the early evening when the market comes alive with lights, sounds, and aromas.
  2. Be ready to bargain. Starting at half the price offered usually gives a good groundwork.
  3. Try out the local food and coffee at the historic cafés.
  4. Be respectful of the cultural norms considering clothing – dressing modestly is recommended.
  5. Keep your belongings safe and secure as crowded markets are often a target for pickpockets.
  6. Avoid the stress of getting lost by hiring a local guide or joining a market tour. Nevertheless, getting a little lost in the labyrinth of Khan el-Khalili is all part of the fun!

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