Khan al-Khalili, Cairo
Fast Facts

BEST

  for

KIDS

ADDRESS
near Hussein Square
Cairo, Egypt
ACTIVITIES
Market / Fair
 
 
More about Cairo
 
 

Al Azhar Mosque, Cairo

 

Photo by Alfredo De Simone

Traveler
   Rating
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Khan al-Khalili with its narrow streets and numerous stalls is a great place in Cairo to shop. Touts, tat and tour buses notwithstanding! Built by Emir Djaharks el-Khalili in 1382, the Khan, as Cairo's main market or grand bazaar is commonly referred, was once an important center of trade. Six hundred years on, both Cairene and foreign merchants hawk their wares here. Search for Bedouin treasures and funky souvenirs. Introduce the kids to the art of bargaining. And whether you stroll the Khan in the afternoon or evening take note of the quarter's many minarets and discover the meaning behind the name Islamic Cairo.
How to Haggle
Bargaining for a basket in Siwa Oasis

Bargaining for a basket in Siwa Oasis

Alfredo De Simone

 
Haggling, bargaining for the price of a good, is an age old tradition that is still practiced in many places. It's common at markets and bazaars from Buenos Aires to Beijing. Haggling, while not quite a game, is much like playing cards. It has fixed set of rules. It's a battle of wits. It takes a bit of practice and a tad of boldness. It's lot's of fun once you learn. Here are a few tips to help you haggle.
  • Think about a souvenir's worth before asking, 'How much is this item, please?'
  • The shopkeeper's response is what's called a starting price. It's not uncommon for sellers to ask 50% more than they're willing to accept.
  • Your first offer should be lower than the price you are willing to pay but not so low as to offend the merchant. For example, if the seller's starting price is 100 offer 50 but never 5.
  • Once you state a price you can only raise it. If your first price is 75, your second price can't be 60.
  • Never tell a shopkeeper keep how much you are willing to pay. He might be willing to sell it for less.
  • Smile each time you make an offer and always state your price politely. Rude customers rarely get what they want.
  • Don't show too much interest. Shopkeepers are less inclined to bargain when they know you have to have it.
  • Walk away if the seller doesn't accept your final offer. He will call you back if your price is fair.
  • If the shopkeeper is smiling when you've finished haggling, you didn't bargain hard enough. Haggle harder for the next souvenir.
 
Traveler Reviews

BEST

  for

KIDS

A tourist trap? Only if you let it be

Submitted on 30 January 2008 by snowedunder from Monza, Italy
Traveler
   Rating
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
While the thought of strolling medieval Cairo with the tour bus crowd is likely to make more than one independent traveler cringe, writing off Khan al-Khalili for a few touts and a handful of shops selling cheesy souvenirs is to ignore 600 years of history and forego one of the activities kids enjoy most: shopping. Wander a block or two from Midan Al-Hussein and the throngs of foreigners give way to Cairenes. What better place to introduce the kids to the art of bargaining and shop for coveted souvenirs than an age-old oriental bazaar?
1 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful?  Yes   No
Write a Review
Traveler
   Rating
Best
 for
Kids
Preview & Post
Travel Trivia
The age of the Saguaro Cactus is determined by:
Books for Kids about Egypt
Free Travel Journal
Get a free kids travel journal to document your family vacation.
Download PDF