Khan El Khalili Bazaar
This street bazaar is one of those “not to be missed” locations for visitors to Cairo. When it was originally built by Emir Djaharks El Khalili, in 1382, it was intended to be a caravanserai, but soon it was converted into a bazaar by the addition of many extra markets that expanded into the side streets and alleyways. For those interested in history, the site that the caravanserai was built on was actually the site of the Za’afran Tomb; the burial place of the Fatmid Caliphs who had founded the City of Cairo.
Nowadays the Khan El Khalili (or Turkish Bazaar as it was known as during the Ottoman Empire) is a huge magnet for tourists and locals alike. Here is where to buy those souvenirs that you have been asked to get, and here is the ideal place to spend the last of your Egyptian Pounds before heading home! Coffee shops abound, waiting to serve you when you have tired of haggling to get the best price for books; gold; silver; brass; spice; papyrus; cosmetics; leisure, dress and costume clothing; glassware; stoneware; almost anything you can think of! Cafes, selling food and shisha, are also everywhere to be seen.
It is also a meeting place for many of Cairo’s local artists and there is even a restaurant named after the Nobel Prize winning author Naguib Mahfouz, who used to frequent it when he was writing his books.