We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A real maze dive deep and be rewarded”
Review of Khan Al-Khalili

Khan Al-Khalili
Ranked #36 of 264 things to do in Cairo
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Located in the heart of Islamic Cairo, this busy and colorful open-air bazaar is filled with unique and exotic items from spices and perfumes to jewelry and souvenirs.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

This place is just one biq part of the town aimed at selling goods in literally hundreds of small shops in dozens of streets. It is hectic, chaotic, loud, there are egyptian traders trying more or less aggressively to get you into their shops and most of the places have exactly the same items (and btw, the lowest possible price is also agreed upon between them).

So if you are the nonadventurous type only venture in with a guide and not too far and most likely you will not enjoy it very much.

But if you are the adventurous type just walk in and turn into the small alleys, keep an eye open for the architectural finesses (yes, there are many), enjoy the more egyptian shops that are there (not on the main street of course) and breathe some real experience of Egypt. The mixed reviews here make it pretty clear that you can choose one of the two approaches and your exerience will follow your suite.

Just some general tips:

If you haggle and agree to a price you are bound to pay. If there is one thing to really get into heated discussions is to have an agreed price and then leave.
The best way to reduce the price is to keep silence and be prepared to walk away. Never name your last price. Anything which is above 30% of the original offering is bad haggling.
There is no real safety risk in this area (unless you are a female and your boyfriend is willing to take the occasional offer of a couple of hundred camels ;-) )but beware of pickpockets.

If you need a restroom, have a tea in one of the cafes.

And if you loose your way: Walk in one direction and walk uphill. This will lead you either to one end of this quarter or the main walkway.

Thank Florian254
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (3,071)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages
All reviews
"shop owners"
in 49 reviews
"naguib mahfouz"
in 33 reviews
"el fishawy"
in 40 reviews
"narrow streets"
in 38 reviews
"old market"
in 25 reviews
"shops selling"
in 21 reviews
"buy something"
in 47 reviews
"mint tea"
in 24 reviews
"buy souvenirs"
in 27 reviews
"for sale"
in 19 reviews
"visit cairo"
in 22 reviews
"islamic cairo"
in 29 reviews
in 321 reviews
in 300 reviews
in 98 reviews
in 147 reviews
in 82 reviews

1,736 - 1,740 of 3,073 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2013

We visited at the end of a day tour of 'the sights' in Cairo. Not everyone in the party wanted to go into the market but the guide arranged for someone to accompany us. We weren't sure who it was until we were introduced, apparently he was a policemen? We went for a short walk through and were glad we had this guy to guide us. We would have been lost in minutes! we weren't too bothered by the hagglers but any persistent ones, our guide asked if we wanted , we said no and he discreetly flashed his badge ( I think the revolver in its holster next to it gave the message), no problem. Loved the place, wish we had more time to look round and would only advise to go there with a guide, armed or not

Thank PortsmouthNorman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2013 via mobile

Having been to tijuana, mexico, and experienced the haggling and 'harrassment' there (shopkeepers pestering you into their shops etc)I was nervous about visiting here, but as I was visiting cairo to meet my egyptian boyfriends family, I felt safer with an Arabic speaking guide. I would recommend going with a guide if you don't speak Arabic, mostly because you'll find it easier to haggle down prices. My boyfriend and I (both white and british looking by the way) visited first with a tour guide, who set us a time limit to go in and out - would not recommend, as you need to take your time around the souq - find something you want, ask a price, decide what price you are willing to pay, offer that price, if they refuse, offer again, if again refused, shrug and walk away - you will 100% find it at another stall, and the sellers know this. They want your money for their goods, and should eventually cave in. It can be a lengthy process getting the goods you want for the price you want, and with so many shops and restaurants, it can be an all day trip.
We visited a second time us two, and some older family members, for the evening - we took our time and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. My boyfriend speaking Arabic allowed him to speak to the sellers, whilst I told him in English what I was willing to pay.
As a guide, I would suggest paying 60% less than priced. E.g. if it is 100le, stick to 40le and do not pay more.
As for the 'harassment', the sellers just want you to come in and buy from them, fair enough, but don't feel pressured - it's your money, spend what you want, where you want.
Thank the sellers for their interest and say no if you are not interested yourself.
I quite enjoyed some of the harrassment, most of the sellers knew a small bit of English, and would shout "lucky man, pretty lady!" - at my boyfriend and I; quite the compliment ;)
All in all, a good experience, and worth it for the bargains on souvenirs - you'll definitely remember buying them as well :)

1  Thank TaRawrHub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2013

We visited the Khan around 1300 on a weekday, I visited with my parents, sister and brother-in-law. We visited with our tour guide - Rasha (from Egypt Sunset Tours-HIGHLY RECOMMENDED). A security guard in a suit accompanied us throughout our shopping experience, however, we never felt there was any danger. There are so many stores that many do have similar items but with the sheer quantity of stores you should be able to find what you are looking for (I bought books, scarves, a soccer jersey, Egyptian statues and more)...

Having our tour guide with us was great since she could assist us in bartering with the store owners. The statues I purchased started off with the store owner wanting $250USD each and ended up selling them to me for $25USD each (we used her tactic of walking away....and the store owner ended up running down the street to catch me to say we had a deal)...

Overall it was a great experience. Quotes such as "Everything is free", "I want to smell your money", "I have everything you want" and more were said in jest and made for a fun environment

Thank tjur14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed July 2, 2013

We visited the souk just after dinner, which in retrospect wasn’t such a great idea since we had a frantic time looking for public toilets, which seemed to be in short supply there. We didn’t come across cafes and such till later. Unlike the brand bazaar in Istanbul, this souk seems to be largely uncovered, so I imagine it might be hot visiting in the daytime. At night, the streets were brightly lit from the light of the shops.

Many of the vendors were quick to approach tourists and reluctant to let us go easily, so being firm is important. Generally, the vendors were friendly though. The area seems to be sectioned by the type of goods sold, since we wandered into an area populated by electrical appliances towards the end. We didn’t end up buying anything but it is probably worthwhile to spend an hour here just to experience the atmosphere.

Thank Tantiko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Khan Al-Khalili also viewed

Cairo, Cairo Governorate
Cairo, Cairo Governorate

Been to Khan Al-Khalili? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing