What to buy in Egypt as souvenir

Egyptian Souvenirs

The Ultimate Guide to Buying Authentic Egyptian Souvenirs

What are the best Egyptian Souvenirs? Where do I buy it? Many travelers who visit Egypt ask themselves what souvenirs from Egypt they can buy after their trip. If you are one of those reading this article now, don’t worry; we will tell you everything you would like to know about souvenirs in Egypt, buying tips, and dealing.

There are many Egyptian souvenirs and handicrafts that visitors flock to buy, such as spices, perfumes, handmade copper, silver, gold, glass, ceramics, precious stones, carpets, rugs, cotton, and leather, in addition to papyrus, most of which are sold as gifts in Egypt.

What souvenirs to buy in Egypt?

What are famous Souvenirs in Egypt?

Certainly! However, you seem to haven’t listed the top 29 famous things in Egypt to buy. If you could share that information, I’d be happy to help you delve into the captivating world of Egyptian souvenirs.

Mini Pyramids
Mini pyramids are synonymous with a trip to Egypt and are among the most renowned souvenirs. The Great Pyramid of Giza, a marvel of the ancient world, still stands, and you can acquire a miniature version for your table in Egyptian markets. Entire sets, including the pyramids and the Sphinx, another ancient treasure, are available for purchase.

With a rich history, deep-rooted traditions, and widespread popularity, papyrus stands out as Egypt’s most famous souvenir. Once the medium for recording critical societal events, papyrus was exported to other countries. Hieroglyphs depicted the life of ancient Egyptians and significant events for posterity. Today, the preservation of these ancient papyri allows us to understand the construction of the pyramids.

In Egypt, printing machines and shops offer papyrus adorned with typical Egyptian images. It is advisable to avoid street vendors, as many sell fake items. To verify authenticity, you can run a wet finger over the papyrus’s surface—if the water doesn’t penetrate, it is genuine.

Considered one of the must-buy souvenirs in Egypt, perfumes dominate the bazaars. Many Egyptian cities, such as Cairo and Alexandria, are permeated with aromas.

During tours, stopping at perfume houses along the streets is common. Purchasing from established stores ensures authenticity, guaranteeing that the perfume hasn’t been diluted with excessive water.

Pharaonic Objects
Featuring images of Egyptian pharaohs, items ranging from small plastic replicas to Tutankhamun’s death mask can be found. However, the intricately hand-carved artifacts depicting well-known pharaohs are particularly noteworthy. These quintessential items serve as memorable keepsakes.

Egyptian Ankh Cross
According to ancient Egyptian beliefs, the Ankh cross, a symbol of a wish for a long life, is a popular gift among travelers for their loved ones. Widely available in malls, bazaars, and jewelry stores, it can be obtained in various materials of your preference.

Egyptian Cat Statues
Cat figures, revered by ancient Egyptians, are prevalent in bazaars, shops, and stores throughout Egypt. Due to their perceived divine status, these figures, ranging from figurines to vases and plates, demand respect and are considered typical representations of the country.

Arabesque Boxes
Adorned with intricate Islamic patterns known as “Arabesque,” these boxes come in diverse shapes and sizes, making them aesthetically appealing. These drawers are ideal for housing gifts and souvenirs due to their geometric designs, often associated with Egypt’s Islamic period.

A popular souvenir from Egypt, the cartouche is a pendant, usually made of gold or silver, featuring a name engraved in hieroglyphics, typically consisting of 4 to 6 letters.

Lucky Beetles (Scarab Beetle)
In Egyptian culture, scarabs have symbolized luck, and Egyptians have historically carried them as amulets. This common insect has become an iconic symbol of the country, with beetles in various colors and materials available. The blue scarabs, in particular, are among the most popular.

Hookah or Shisha
Also known as Argila, the hookah is a metal or glass pipe used for smoking tobacco with various flavors filtered through water. A deeply ingrained habit in Arab countries, this product is not only found in many restaurants and tea shops. Still, it is also widely available in almost every store nationwide.

Available in diverse sizes and designs, some even hand-painted with Egyptian motifs, these craft items can be purchased at affordable prices. The Khan el-Khalili market in Cairo is recommended as one of the best places to find a wide variety of them.

With a longstanding tradition, Egyptian handicrafts, particularly pottery dating back to ancient Egypt, are highly regarded. Common goods made from this material include statues of ancient pharaohs, such as the busts of Tutankhamun or Nefertiti. Additionally, figures of giants and ceramic tiles etched with scenes from ancient Egypt are prevalent.

Clay, a favored material among artisans, is often used to create miniature replicas of pyramids. Handicraft stalls can be found at the entrances of homes throughout the country, especially in small villages along the banks of the Nile.

The typical garment of Egyptians, the Galabeya, is a traditional Arab tunic that covers the body from neck to feet. Traditionally, men’s tunics are primarily white with red trim on the neck, while women can choose from a wide range of colors and embroidery. Priced according to the material (wool or cotton) and design, it is a top-selling product in the country. You can find them in numerous textile shops along the Nile River villages and traditional stores in Cairo. This robe is more commonly worn by men than women.

With a rich history, gold art in Egypt dates back to ancient times when jewelry served religious purposes rather than merely being ornamental. While initial pieces used raw materials, incorporating precious stones like turquoise and agate into gold became common.

Jewelry wasn’t only for personal adornment but also for tombs, crowns, and accessories. Today, Egyptian jewelry souvenirs are highly sought after by travelers. Visiting jewelry stores in neighboring cities like Maadi or Zamalek in Cairo is advisable for gold purchases. Khan el-Khalili also hosts numerous goldsmith stalls.

Glass Sand Bottles
Beyond its pharaonic heritage, Egypt is an ideal beach destination, making pretty jars filled with colored Egyptian sand a popular souvenir. These artistic pieces depict typical Egyptian landscapes, such as caravans of camels, and are primarily sold in coastal towns.

Leatherwork is also prevalent, with Cairo’s shops offering items like puffs, wallets, bags, slippers, shoes, and more.

Burn some Oud powder to infuse your home with the warm Middle Eastern scent. Egyptians cherish the aroma of oud, which comes in two main types: agarwood and regular incense. Agarwood, extracted from the heart of an Aquilaria tree, is often more expensive. At the same time, normal bouquets are made from a blend of ordinary woods soaked in oils or perfumes and are more affordable.

Copper and Brass
Egyptian markets feature various items crafted from brass and copper, including tea sets and bread trays. While these items are reasonably priced, quality can vary among brands.

Egyptian Cotton
Among the most significant purchases in Egypt, cotton products, particularly towels, T-shirts, and sheets, are highly valued globally. Egypt has been cultivating Cotton since the 19th century, and it has become one of the country’s major exports.

Rugs and Carpets
While not as renowned as Morocco, Iran, or Turkey in rug-making, Egypt offers thick wool or camel hair rugs at affordable prices that look aesthetically pleasing. Specialty stores may carry colorful rugs depicting scenes from the countryside or ancient Egypt, serving as great mementos and decorative pieces for your home.

Egypt is renowned for its natural spices, which are robust flavors compared to packaged spices in the West. Notably high in quality are spices like cumin, cinnamon, and a dukkah blend.

Belly Dancing Outfit
Originating from Egypt, belly dancing is among the world’s most popular dances, often performed by women, to traditional music involving pelvic movements. The dancers wear vibrant, colorful outfits that tourists, particularly women, find appealing.

Camel Skin Products
In Egypt, you can find various products made from camel skin, including socks, paintings, slippers, blankets, and carpets. Markets across Egypt offer items crafted from natural camel wool.

Kohl, a black powder in wood, plastic, or iron bottles, serves as black eyeliner or eyebrow pencil. It has additional benefits, such as closing blood vessels in the eyes and making them appear whiter.

Originally made from ground “lead sulfide” from Galena rock, ancient Egyptians believed this beauty ritual protected eyes from bright light, evil eye curses, and allergies. Kohl is still widely used, with Egyptians preferring the original powder despite cheaper alternatives. Two types of Kohl powder exist: “Bared” or “regular Kohl” for beauty purposes and “Hami,” primarily used as medicine and an eye cleanser.

Traditional Hats
Tourists often purchase hats from street vendors in Egypt, offering various sizes, shapes, and colors. Nubian caps, found in Aswan, Cairo, Giza, and numerous bazaars, are popular among Egyptians. Cowboy hats, sold in Giza and Cairo, are favored by tourists for sun protection and style in front of Egypt’s landmarks.

Dates, a tasty and convenient snack, are available in large markets and grocery stores throughout Egypt. For the best quality, Siwa Oasis in the Western Desert is recommended, known for its beautiful landscapes, salt pools, hot springs, and vibrant Amazigh culture. Siwa dates have a unique sweetness due to the area’s marine soil and mineral water. Since the time of the pharaohs, Siwa dates have been a prominent feature on Egyptian tables.

Ramadan Lanterns (Fanous)
Egypt’s famous Ramadan lanterns, resembling fans, originated during the Fatimid period (10th to 12th centuries). Lit during the holy month to illuminate streets as people walk to mosques for late-night prayers, these lanterns contribute to the holiday atmosphere. Crafted from copper and colored glass, they feature intricate patterns and a base for a candle. Cheaper versions made in China from plastic and battery-powered are also available.

Scarves are ubiquitous in Egypt, with souvenir stands offering a diverse selection. Striped cotton scarves are ideal for spring weather because they are light and airy. In Upper Egypt, people traditionally wore thick scarves large enough to serve as throws.

Around Luxor, the desert stone alabaster, known for its pink, orange, and purple hues, is used to craft small sculptures and vases. Figures and replicas of ancient items, such as scarabs, are made from alabaster. Luxor shops and the Theban necropolis village of Gurna are recommended places to purchase alabaster items.

Derived from Middle Eastern textiles initially used for tents, Khayameya products are now primarily crafted for decoration in Cairo. Found in Sharia al Khayamiya or Souq El-Khaymiya (Street of the Tentmakers), these handmade rugs feature traditional patterns passed down through generations. These rugs can decorate floors or hang on walls as artistic pieces from Egypt.

Where to buy souvenirs in Egypt – best markets and shops

Souvenirs from Egypt
  1. Khan al-Khalili Bazaar in Cairo
  2. Souq al-Haggag in Luxor
  3. Nubian markets of Aswan
  4. Sidi Gaber market in Alexandria
  5. Sinai Bedouin market

Tips for bargaining and Negotiating prices

Best Egyptian souvenirs

Egypt is a great place to buy souvenirs. There are items from every price range, and you can find everything from traditional clothing to jewelry and artwork. Here are some tips for bargaining:

Be prepared to walk away if the price is too high. It may be time to move on if you have been negotiating for a while and feel the vendor isn’t budging on their asking price. The vendor will usually call out after you walk away, and you can return later if they change their mind about lowering their asking price.
Be polite and friendly but firm when trying to get a discount or special deal on an item that doesn’t seem very expensive at first glance but has been marked up considerably due to its popularity among tourists; this includes things like scarves made by local women cooperatives or jewelry created by local artists who sell their wares directly from stands set up along busy streets throughout Cairo’s historic downtown district known locally as “Old Cairo.”

What is famous in Egypt for shopping

Unique souvenirs to buy in different parts of Egypt – Sinai, Luxor, and Cairo
  • Camel figurines and toys: You can find these in most souvenir shops in Egypt.
  • Handmade jewelry: souvenir you can buy handmade silver jewelry with an ancient Egyptian design. It’s a great way to commemorate your trip!
  • Silver jewelry: You’ll also find some beautiful pieces of silver jewelry at shops around Cairo and Alexandria (as well as o parts of Egypt).
  • Sandalwood incense: If you want something more exotic than the usual perfumes or candles, why not try sandalwood incense? It smells amazing!

Advice for Egyptian souvenirs.

souvenirs from Egypt ideas
  • Buy souvenirs that are authentic and not fake.
  • Buy souvenirs that are made in Egypt.
  • Buy souvenirs that local artisans make.
  • Buy souvenirs from the local artisans’ materials, such as wood or pottery, instead of plastic or metal.

If you’re looking for something specific like jewelry or clothing, find out if an artist designed the item from Egypt before purchasing it; otherwise, you might end up with something generic (and cheap) imported from China instead!


The best place to find souvenirs is at the markets, particularly Khan al-Khalili Bazaar and Souq al-Gomaa. You’ll find everything from clothing, jewelry, antiques, artwork, spices, and sweets. You can also purchase souvenirs at some of the country’s many museums (such as the Egyptian Museum) or shops around Cairo’s city center- just be sure to buy something only after researching its value first!

If you’re looking for something specific that isn’t available at one of these locations, try searching online before visiting; more options might be available than what was shown online initially; it may save time and money later on!

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