Khan al-Khalili, Cairo
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ADDRESS
near Hussein Square
Cairo, Egypt
ACTIVITIES
Market / Fair
 
 
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Al Azhar Mosque, Cairo

 

Photo by Alfredo De Simone

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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.
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A tourist trap? Only if you let it be

Submitted on 30 January 2008 by snowedunder from Monza, Italy
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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?
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