Cairo is a wonderland of shopping, with the endless souqs to explore, as well as the sophisticated high-end shops that exist in most of the 5-star hotel arcades. It is always expected that you will bargain over prices in the markets, and in most shops bargaining is also widely practiced. Most shopkeepers give discounts if you buy more than one item, and give a greater discount with each additional item that you buy.
Kahn al Khalili, a bazaar dating from the 14th century, is the largest and most famous souq in all of Cairo. A good place to go for local culture and people-watching as well as for souvenirs and trinkets. The Street of the Tentmakers is Cairo’s only remaining medieval covered market. This is a good place to shop for traditional printed fabrics. (Located in Islamic Cairo, at the north end of Al-Khayamiya street)
Cairo is an excellent place to buy traditional arts, crafts, and glassware, as well as Nubian pieces. Marketing Link - 27 Yehia Ibrahim, Apt. 8, Zamalek - is a fair trade store with handmade items from all over the Middle East. Head to the Midan Libnan area (Mohandiseen) for upscale clothing and furniture stores, and to Zamalek, an area popular with foreign nationals for a variety of elegant shops. Sharia Gam’at al-Duwal al-‘Arabiya (Mohandiseen) is an up-and-coming strip-mall area for those nostalgic for the familiarity of Western style, neon shopping arcades.
Gold and silver are also popular purchases in Cairo. The Gold Market area is in the souq of Kahn al Khalili, along Al Muizziz li-Din Allah and Sikket al-Badestan streets. Gold tends to be sold for similar prices as elsewhere in the world, but silver is a particularly good bargain in Cairo. Go to Mohammed Amin Silver - 70 Al-Muizz li-Din Allah- for unusual antique pieces from around the Middle East, and try George Aziz (14 Sikket al-Badestan, Khan al-Khalili souq) for contemporary silver styles.