Khan El Khalili Market

khan El Khalili bazaar is the oldest market of the middle east, this huge Cairo bazaar located in the center of Islamic Cairo ,the bazaar attracts foreign tourists and Egyptians alike, housing a lot of mini bazaars and traditional coffee shops ,the bazaar inspires many through the ages such as the intellectual  Egyptian author Nageeb Mahfouz who wrote some of his famous novels in the street of khan al khalili.

khan El Khalili bazaar history

the Fatimid kingdom and the mamluks period 

Khan El Khalili dates back to more than 600 years ago and named after its founder the Mamluky prince and well known merchant (Jerksy al khalili) during the Mamluky period in 1400, at the Fatimid kingdom it was a huge necropolis for the Fatimid princes and sultans ,but then came their first enemies and competitors the Mamluks who took over Egypt and replaced the royal necropolis with the bazaar. merchants traveled from all over the world with their goods and centered in El Khalili market in order to offer and sale their merchandise. The Arab historian (al maqrezy ) described the bazaar as a huge square shaped yard with stores, mini bazaars and houses.


Al fishawy coffee shop

 Al fishawy coffee shop founded in 1769, one of the oldest coffee shops in the middle east , after having your walk through the halls of the Cairo bazaar that covered with black shiny basalt stone you can have a seat in al fishawy to try Arabian coffee and shisha while watching the sun light sneak through the wooden ceilings and reflects the shine of the jewelry and golden antiques

The crafts and festivals of khan El Khalili bazaar


The architectural beauty of the bazaar

 you have to take a look on the balconies of the old houses decorated by copper designs ,the old water basins for the thirsty passengers and passing by merchants, the crafted handmade antiques shops and the wooden ceilings that challenged time and erosions.


El Khan Crafts 

The Khan includes traditional crafts ,hundreds of workers and craftsmen who specialize in hand made master pieces such as carpets, crystals, papyrus, gold and silver jewelry, it is also famous for fine pharaonic artifacts, handcrafts, various stones, natural herbs and incense oud imported from Saudi Arabia, abrasions made of stained glass and hookah (Arabic shisha).The Khan has a place dedicated to leather and copper products and historical accessories such as swords, copper helmets and belts, in addition of the pharaonic papyrus with hieroglyphic signs and paints that tell the story of Isis and Osiris.


Khan El Khaili festival 

The carnival of Khan El Khalili visitors is a kind of celebration where you can try the Bedouin customs and take some photos, women of all nationalities make sure to buy Ein Horus necklace, The necklace is made of various materials was believed hat the eye of Horus protect its owner from envy and harm, and the customer has only to determine his demand according to his financial means.

if you want to visit the bazaar we arrange a lot of Cairo day tours and Egypt tours include it.

About the author

Shoroq Samir
Shoroq Samir

history author based in Egypt. Graduated from the faculty of languages and translation. Studied Shakespearean literature, English poetry and post modernism Art. Essay specialist and Egyptologist content writer\ creator.