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Karlos Anis 01 Apr 2019

The Secrets Behind Cairo’s Most Ancient Markets

Cairo is home to some of the world’s most ancient markets and their buried secrets, all of which make for great stories to tell. Learn more about them here:

1. Souq Al Sagha

Located on Al Moez Ldin Allah Al Fatmi, this is one of the largest gold trade markets in the country and one of the oldest in the entire Arab region. There you can find anything you would imagine to be made from gold, silver or other metals. The market is packed with goldsmiths who meet up on the daily to agree on the set price of gold for the day.

2. Souk Hamam El Talat

This market is known to be a set destination for all newly weds on the hunt for furniture. Founded more than 700 years ago, the market was named after the public baths and “hammams” it had during the era of the Ottomans and the Mamluks. Later on, trade took over the area and turned it into one of the most popular markets in Egypt.

3. Souk Al Imam Al-Shafi’i

The name comes from its close proximity to the Mausoleum of Imam Al-Shafi’i, near Salah El Din Al Ayouby Citadel. This market stands out for measuring more than 3 km in length and passing through the cemeteries. Every Friday, the merchants spread out their goods around the cemetery, where it gets really crowded. The market is known for selling animals, used clothes and many other goodies, all for cheap prices.

4. Wikalat Al Balah

One of the oldest and most popular markets in Egypt, Wikalat Al Balah is known for its cheap prices and good quality, which attracts people from all social classes. Its name comes from its history as a marketplace for “balah” trade, which later declined and was replaced by other products. The famous souk even has a popular series made after it, called “Lan a3esh fi gelbab abi” and starred by Nour El Sherif.

5. Souk El Ataba

One of the most popular and crowded markets in Cairo, this area is always pumping with life. The souk is famous for its location in the heart of Cairo and easy accessibility through El Ataba metro station.

6. Souk El Moski

One of the oldest markets in Cairo and Egypt, you can find anything you need here. The streets are divided into different sections selling different merchandise, including clothes, shoes, accessories, home appliances, electrical appliances and kids’ toys.

7. Abdel Aziz Street Market

This market is specialized in selling only electrical appliances, from home appliances to computers and cellphones, as well spare pieces and accessories. You won’t find any other products here as it defies the market’s traditions which have been set by its oldest founding merchants. This is the only souk in Cairo that ONLY sells appliances.

8. Souk Khan Al Khalili

Not only is this a market, but it is also a tourist attraction that people from all over the world visit. Found in the heart of Fatimid Cairo, the market is famous for its handmade products and gorgeous antiques.

9. Azbekeya Book Market

The most famous book market in Egypt, you can find any book you want here. Bookworms and avid readers will fall in love with this market as it has rare books and manuscripts that are over 100 years old.

10. Souk Al Manasra

One of the biggest furniture markets in Cairo, people visit from all over Egypt looking to furnish their homes. Their furniture is affordable for all middle class homes and they will help move the furniture you bought.