Souk al Fustat in Cairo
Can't decide what to take home as a souvenir for mom from Cairo?
Why not try heading to Souk el-Fustat - a little shopping complex specialising in hand-made products made by Egyptian artists, craftsmen and designers.
Built on the ruins of an old market that burned down in the 14th century, this souk is located in the medieval market square of the Coptic Quarter. The shaded courtyards of the souk make browsing pleasant among the workshops specialising in metalwork, ceramics, candle making, glassblowing and leather-work.
Here vendors hawk anything from ceramics, carpets, traditional khameya needlework, embroidered gallabyais, handmade lanterns, furniture to Fayum pottery, soap and rugs. The souk also sells Nefertari, a manufacturer of beautifully scented natural body products.
Many of the products on sale are also produced by students from the Association of Upper Egypt for Education and Development. Sales pressure is low compared to the rest of Cairo's frantic markets so do not expect to find the same kind of cut-throat haggling in this souk that you will be subject to find in Khan al Khalili.
There should be some room to "bargain" on the price, however, especially if you are purchasing a number of products from the same vendor.
For those who prefer to take a break on a day of shopping and sightseeing in Old Cairo, the souk also offers a little cafeteria.