Khan El Khalili Overview

Get a chance to experience the market vibes of Khan el-Khalili, a bustling bazaar in Old Cairo. This souk built in the 14th century radiates ancient charm. You can walk through the alleys, and shop for souvenirs like Arabian lamps and artistic metalware. In between your shopping episodes, you can also treat yourself to delicious Egyptian street food like falafel, shawarma, and kofta.

El-Khalili Market is one of the oldest markets in Egypt and one of the largest ones in the Middle East. It is located in Old Cairo and dates back to the 14th century. The history on how this market was established is pretty interesting. During the reign of Sultan Barqur, Jaharkas El Khalili who worked for Sultan Barquq built a building called a caravanserai for traders to stay and sell their stuff. Over time, more of these caravanserais were added by other sultans and the place eventually grew into what's now known as Khan El Khalili.

Today, the market bustles with activities on all days of the week from sunrise to sunset in all seasons. You can walk through the narrow streets of the market and find shops of all sizes and genres on either side. AT this massive market, you can shop for everything - gold jewellery, semi-precious stones, shisha pipes, and aromatic spices. It is the best place to shop for souvenirs like golden Arabian lamps, scarabs, pyramids, and toy camels to freeze your Cairo trip.

Location: Off Al-Azhar Street, Islamic Cairo District

Timings: 9 am to 5 pm


• Wander through the winding streets of one of the biggest souks (market) of the Middle East and catch a glimpse of the bustling market
• Shop for souvenirs like Arabian lamps, artistic metalware, intricate pottery, vibrant textiles, miniatures of pyramids, and camel toys.
• Visit the classic El Fishawy cafe that was established in 1776 and treat yourself to traditional Egyptian coffee.
• Go on a food tour through the market and try out various Egyptian street foods like koshary, crispy falafel, flavorful shawarma, spicy kofta, and sweet baklava.
• Visit the Al-l-Hussein Mosque built in the 12th century and the lush El-Azhar Park located a walk away from the Khan el Khalili market.

How To Reach

Khan el Khalili is located within Old Cairo in the southeastern part of Cairo in Egypt. It is easily reachable via public transport, private cars, and ride-sharing systems.

By Car: Khan el Khalili is located 4.7 km from the city centre and it will take 10-15 minutes via the Cairo-Al Wosta/Nile Corniche route.

By Bus: The nearest bus stop to Khan el Khalili is Darb 178. It is easily accessible via various bus routes across Cairo. You can reach the lake by taking a quick 10-minute walk from the bus stop

By Metro: Mar Girgis station is the nearest subway station to Khan el Khalili. It is located 600 from Khan el Khalili and you reach by a short 8-minute walk.

By tuk tuk: Tuk Tuks are the most budget-friendly way to reach Old Cairo. You can easily hire autos from all parts of Cairo and reach Khan el Khalili in less than 45 minutes.

Nile Taxi: These boats cruise along the River Nile and offer convenient stops from Zamalek to Maadi Pier. From there, you can take a cab or tuk-tuk to enjoy a unique experience.

Best Time To Visit

Khan el Khalili is a year-round destination that you can visit at any time of history and immerse yourself in the rich history of Egypt.

Best Season: The cooler months from November to March are the best for visiting Khan el Khalili. The temperatures are milder for you to explore the outdoor sites conveniently.

Best Day: Khan el Khalili is open on all days. Visiting it on weekdays lets you enjoy visiting the sites and markets without the weekend crowds.

Best Time: For shopping, early mornings are ideal and late afternoons are ideal as the weather is pleasant and the crowds are relatively less. To soak in the market vibes, visit in the evening when the bazaar gets lively with cultural performances.

Other Essential Information

Tips for visiting Khan El Khalili

1. Negotiate respectfully in the market stalls to get a fair price for souvenirs.

2. Beware of pickpocketing and keep your belongings safe.

3. Wear comfortable shoes to walk through the market's uneven pathways.

4. You can go early in the morning for a peaceful shopping experience.

5. Download an offline map and follow that to ensure your safety.

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Point of Interest for Khan El Khalili
Savor authentic Egyptian coffee at El Fishawy Café

Savor authentic Egyptian coffee at El Fishawy Café

El Fishawy Café is one of the oldest cafes in Egypt. It was established in 1773 and this legendary cafe still carries its charm. It boasts of old-world interiors with dimmed yellow colour painted on its walls and ornates with traditional decor. You can enjoy authentic Egyptian coffee served in ornate cups. The coffee is usually paired with a selection of shisha flavours. As you sip and puff, you can watch the vibrant energy of Khan el Khalili.

Shop for souvenirs

Shop for souvenirs

Khan el Khalili is a paradise for souvenir hunters. You can walk through the streets of this massive market and buy handmade crafts, textiles, and jewellery. Some of the most bought items here are metalware, intricately designed pottery, classic Arabian lamps, vibrant textiles, and miniatures of pyramids and camel toys. Other popular items that you can find here are carpets, soapstone carvings, paintings on papyrus, and perfumes.

Admire the Historic Architecture of the market

Admire the Historic Architecture of the market

Khan el Khalili is a living museum of Islamic architecture. The historic buildings here look magnificent with colourful tiles, wooden screens, and towering minarets. You can marvel at the intricate detailing of these buildings that have stood against the test of time. These heritage buildings and lively market scenes make amazing backdrops to capture candid pictures.

Relish Local Cuisine

Relish Local Cuisine

Apart from shopping at market stalls and admiring the intricate architecture of Khan el Khalili, you can enjoy amazing Egyptian food here. Street side vendors sell delicious grilled kebabs, succulent kofta, and fragrant spices. Ful medames, a traditional Egyptian dish made from fava beans is usually served with pita bread and is a must-try dish. The sweet temptations that you can relish here are basbousa and qatayef which can satisfy your sweet tooth.

Explore the neighbourhood

Explore the neighbourhood

 While visiting Khan el Khalili, you can also visit the attractions in its proximity. Al-Hussein Mosque is a 12th-century mosque that has stunning architecture with intricate patterns and vibrant colours. At a short walk away from Khan el Khalili, El-Azhar Park offers a serene oasis amidst Cairo's bustling streets. The park is spread over 30 acres and has beautifully landscaped greenery, scenic viewpoints, and tranquil water features. You can visit this park and relax in its peaceful ambiance.

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