25th February 2024

17 Souvenirs to Buy from Egypt: Unlock the Best Secrets of Ancient Egypt

Looking to discover the hidden gems of Cairo and bring home some truly unique souvenirs to buy from Egypt? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Why should you listen to us? Well, let’s just say we’ve had our fair share of adventures in this extraordinary land. From our past experience of leading group trips here, we’ve witnessed firsthand the delight and awe that these souvenirs bring to travelers.

So, trust us when we say that this blog post is your ultimate guide to uncovering the most captivating souvenirs to buy from Egypt, that will transport you back to the enchanting world of ancient Egypt.

Get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, haggle with friendly local vendors, and unearth the souvenirs to buy from Egypt that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

Let’s dive in and embark on an unforgettable shopping spree!

17 Souvenirs to Buy from Egypt

Here are some of the best souvenirs to buy from Egypt which will keep you mesmerized:

1. Incense

Immerse yourself in the mystical scents of Egypt with the aromatic incense that fills the air in Cairo’s markets. The use of incense has deep roots in Egyptian history and culture, symbolizing purification, spirituality, and connection with the divine.

By indulging in the intoxicating fragrances of frankincense, myrrh, and sandalwood, you can experience the sensory journey that has been part of ancient rituals and traditions for centuries.

Whether you choose to burn incense in your home or simply enjoy its captivating aroma, it offers a way to evoke the essence of Egypt’s rich heritage and transport yourself to a realm of mysticism.

  • Where to Buy: Explore the bustling markets of Cairo, such as Khan El Khalili, to find a wide selection of incense vendors offering a variety of aromatic scents.

2. Bastet, Antique Stones, and Statue Replicas

Unleash your inner archaeologist and bring home a piece of ancient Egypt with replicas of Bastet, the feline goddess, and captivating antique stones.

Bastet, often depicted as a lioness or domestic cat, was a significant deity associated with protection, fertility, and the sun. Owning a replica of her statue allows you to connect with the spiritual beliefs of ancient Egyptians and embrace the beauty and symbolism of this powerful goddess.

Additionally, acquiring antique stones, such as amulets or scarabs, provides a tangible link to the past and a chance to appreciate the craftsmanship of ancient artisans.

These artifacts offer a fascinating glimpse into the culture, mythology, and artistry of ancient Egypt, allowing you to create a personal connection with this captivating civilization.

  • Where to Buy: Visit specialized souvenir shops and market stalls in tourist areas like Luxor and Aswan, where you can find a range of Bastet replicas and antique stones.

3. Khayameya

Discover the art of Khayameya, the traditional Egyptian appliqué textile, adorned with vibrant patterns and intricate stitching. Khayameya, also known as tent-making, is a centuries-old craft that originated in Cairo’s Street of the Tentmakers.

The artisans create stunning textiles by stitching together small pieces of fabric to form intricate geometric designs and patterns. From wall hangings to cushion covers, these beautifully crafted pieces add a touch of Egyptian elegance to any home decor.

By owning Khayameya textiles, you not only appreciate the artistry and skill of the craftsmen but also become part of a living tradition that has been passed down through generations.

Each piece tells a story, reflecting the cultural heritage and aesthetic sensibilities of Egypt, making it a unique and meaningful addition to your collection.

  • Where to Buy: Look for Khayameya products in traditional textile shops and local markets, such as the famous Khan El Khalili in Cairo, where skilled artisans sell their handcrafted pieces.

4. Fez “Tarboosh”

Embrace the iconic headgear of Egypt with a Fez, known locally as “Tarboosh.” This red felt hat with its distinctive tassel is not just a fashion statement but also a symbol of Egyptian culture and history.

Wearing a Fez allows you to connect with the traditions of the past and immerse yourself in the timeless elegance associated with this headpiece.

Whether as a decorative item or a wearable accessory, the Fez adds a touch of authenticity and uniqueness to your style, serving as a reminder of Egypt’s rich cultural heritage.

  • Where to Buy: You can find Fez hats in traditional marketplaces and souvenir shops across Egypt, especially in areas like Khan El Khalili in Cairo and Luxor’s bazaars.

5. Hookah “Shisha”

Experience the essence of socializing in Egypt by acquiring a traditional hookah, also known as “Shisha.”

These beautifully crafted water pipes allow you to savor the flavors of Egyptian tobacco blends while enjoying moments of relaxation with friends and loved ones.

The act of smoking a hookah is deeply ingrained in Egyptian culture and serves as a social ritual that fosters connection and camaraderie.

By owning a hookah, you not only appreciate the craftsmanship and artistry that goes into its design but also partake in a cultural tradition that has been passed down through generations.

  • Where to Buy: Hookahs and shisha tobacco can be found in specialty shops and markets throughout Egypt, particularly in major cities like Cairo and Alexandria.

6. Cotton Robes and Veil “Jilbab & Burqa”

Wrap yourself in the comfort of Egyptian cotton robes, known for their exceptional quality and softness.

Ladies can also explore the elegant Jilbab and Burqa, traditional veils that reflect the modest yet fashionable style of Egyptian women. These garments allow you to embrace the cultural heritage of Egypt while enjoying the comfort and versatility of cotton fabric.

By wearing cotton robes or veils, you not only express your personal style but also honor the traditions and customs associated with Egyptian fashion.

  • Where to Buy: Look for cotton robes, jilbabs, and burqas in local clothing stores and markets, including popular shopping districts like Khan El Khalili and Citystars Mall in Cairo.

7. Jewelry Wooden Boxes

Preserve your precious trinkets in exquisite wooden boxes adorned with intricate carvings and embellishments.

These jewelry boxes are not only functional but also serve as decorative pieces that showcase the craftsmanship of Egyptian artisans. With their intricate designs and attention to detail, these wooden boxes become a testament to the artistic heritage of Egypt.

By owning a jewelry box, you can not only protect your precious belongings but also appreciate the beauty and artistry that goes into creating these intricate wooden masterpieces.

  • Where to Buy: Explore the markets and souvenir shops in major tourist destinations like Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan, where you can find a variety of jewelry wooden boxes.

8. Handcrafted Metal Works

Witness the skill of Egyptian metalworkers through their intricate creations. From intricately designed lanterns to delicate filigree jewelry, these handcrafted metal works are a testament to the country’s rich artistic heritage.

By acquiring these pieces, you bring home a part of Egypt’s legacy of metal craftsmanship, reflecting the beauty and intricacy of traditional techniques.

Whether it’s a lantern that adds a touch of ambiance to your home or a piece of jewelry that enhances your personal style, these handcrafted metal works allow you to appreciate the skill and dedication of Egyptian artisans.

  • Where to Buy: Visit metalwork shops and artisan studios in cities known for their craftsmanship, such as Cairo, Luxor, and the Old Market in Sharm El Sheikh.

9. Eastern Desserts

Indulge your taste buds in the delectable world of Egyptian desserts. From the flaky layers of Baklava to the syrup-soaked Kunafa, these sweet treats offer a delicious glimpse into the flavors of the region.

By savoring these traditional desserts, you not only experience the richness and sweetness of Egyptian cuisine but also embrace the cultural significance of food in Egyptian society.

These desserts are often enjoyed during festive occasions and celebrations, adding joy and delight to the culinary traditions of Egypt.

  • Where to Buy: Indulge in the delightful world of Egyptian desserts at local pastry shops, sweet stalls, and dessert specialty shops throughout Egypt’s cities and towns.

10. Papyrus Manuscripts and Paintings “Replica”

Unravel the ancient art of papyrus as you explore replicas of manuscripts and paintings. Adorn your walls with vibrant hieroglyphics or scenes depicting ancient Egyptian life, capturing the essence of this captivating civilization.

Papyrus, made from the pith of the papyrus plant, was a significant writing material in ancient Egypt.

By owning replicas of papyrus manuscripts and paintings, you can appreciate the artistic and cultural legacy of Egypt, immersing yourself in the stories and symbols that were integral to ancient Egyptian civilization.

  • Where to Buy: Explore dedicated papyrus stores and souvenir shops in popular tourist areas like Cairo’s Khan El Khalili and Luxor’s Souk Al-Sagha to find a variety of papyrus replicas.

11. Pottery and Ceramics

Discover the beauty of Egyptian pottery and ceramics, characterized by intricate designs and vibrant colors. From delicate vases to ornamental plates, these pieces showcase the artistry and craftsmanship passed down through generations.

By owning Egyptian pottery and ceramics, you can display the rich artistic heritage of Egypt in your own home.

Each piece tells a story, reflecting the aesthetic sensibilities and cultural influences of the region, making it a unique and captivating addition to your collection.

  • Where to Buy: Look for pottery and ceramic shops in areas renowned for their ceramics, such as Fustat in Cairo, the village of Tunis in Fayoum, and the pottery village of Nag Hammadi.

12. Belly Dancing Costumes

Embrace the allure of Egyptian dance with a stunning belly dancing costume a great Soveneirs to buy from Egypt. Adorned with shimmering sequins and flowing fabrics, these costumes allow you to embody the grace and elegance of this captivating art form.

Belly dancing has been a cherished cultural expression in Egypt for centuries, and by owning a costume, you can appreciate the beauty and artistry of this unique dance style.

Whether you’re a dancer yourself or simply appreciate the cultural significance of belly dancing, these costumes serve as a connection to the rhythmic and expressive traditions of Egypt.

  • Where to Buy: Seek out specialized dancewear stores and boutiques that cater to belly dancers in cities like Cairo, Luxor, and Hurghada, or explore online retailers offering authentic costumes.

13. Ramadan Lantern “Fanoos”

Immerse yourself in the spirit of Ramadan with a traditional Egyptian lantern, known as “Fanoos.” These ornate lanterns, often hand-painted and adorned with colorful glass, illuminate the streets during the holy month, creating a mesmerizing atmosphere.

By owning a Fanoos, you can bring the enchanting ambiance of Ramadan into your home, evoking the sense of community, spirituality, and celebration associated with this important time of the year.

These lanterns not only serve as decorative pieces but also symbolize the joy and unity experienced during Ramadan.

  • Where to Buy: During the holy month of Ramadan, find a wide selection of traditional Ramadan lanterns at local markets, bazaars, and street vendors across Egypt.

14. Egyptian Musical Instruments

Unleash your inner musician by acquiring traditional Egyptian musical instruments. From the mesmerizing sounds of the Oud to the rhythmic beats of the Darbuka, these instruments offer a gateway to the soulful melodies of Egyptian music.

By owning and playing these instruments, you can connect with the rich musical heritage of Egypt, exploring the unique scales, rhythms, and tonalities that define the country’s music.

Whether you’re a professional musician or a passionate amateur, these instruments allow you to experience the beauty and expressiveness of Egyptian musical traditions.

  • Where to Buy: Visit music stores, instrument workshops, and local markets in major cities like Cairo and Alexandria to find a variety of traditional Egyptian musical instruments.

15. Hand Blown Glass Works and Ornaments

Marvel at the artistry of Egyptian glassblowers as you explore their exquisite creations. From delicate ornaments to intricately designed vases, these hand-blown glass works exemplify the skill and precision of Egyptian craftsmen.

By owning these pieces, you not only appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship but also become part of a living tradition that has been perfected over centuries.

Egyptian glassblowing techniques are renowned for their elegance and intricacy, and by showcasing these works in your home, you bring a touch of timeless beauty and sophistication to your surroundings.

  • Where to Buy: Look for specialized glass workshops and artisan studios in cities like Cairo, Luxor, and Alexandria, or visit dedicated glassware shops and markets.

16. Kohl

Experience the ancient beauty secret of Egyptian women with Kohl, the traditional eyeliner made from natural ingredients.

This cosmetic marvel not only enhances the eyes but also connects you to the beauty rituals of ancient civilizations. Kohl has been used by Egyptians for thousands of years as a way to enhance and protect the eyes, and it holds deep cultural significance.

By incorporating Kohl into your beauty routine, you can appreciate the beauty traditions of Egypt and add a touch of exotic allure to your makeup routine.

  • Where to Buy: Explore cosmetic shops, local markets, and traditional souks in Egypt’s cities and towns to find Kohl eyeliner a great Soveneirs to buy from Egypt, available in various forms such as pencils, powders, and liquids.

17. Kilim Carpets

Transform your living spaces with the vibrant colors and geometric patterns of Kilim carpets. These traditional hand-woven rugs not only add warmth to your home but also reflect the timeless artistry of Egyptian carpet weaving.

Kilim carpets are known for their intricate designs and durable craftsmanship. By owning a Kilim carpet, you can bring a touch of Egyptian culture and history into your home, immersing yourself in the centuries-old tradition of carpet weaving.

These carpets serve as both functional floor coverings and stunning works of art that tell the story of Egyptian craftsmanship and are great souvenirs to buy from Egypt.

  • Where to Buy: Seek out carpet shops, textile stores, and local markets in cities like Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan, or visit traditional carpet-weaving regions like Siwa Oasis and Al-Fayoum.

Conclusion – Souvenirs to Buy from Egypt

In conclusion, exploring Cairo’s vibrant markets and discovering the fascinating souvenirs to buy from Egypt is a journey filled with enchantment and cultural immersion.

From the aromatic incense to the captivating statue replicas, and traditional textiles to handcrafted metal works, each item carries the essence of Egypt’s rich artistic heritage.

Whether you’re drawn to the mystical scents, the intricate designs, or the delicious flavors, these are the best souvenirs to buy from Egypt.

So, venture into the bustling markets, embrace the local traditions, and uncover these hidden treasures that will forever connect you to the wonders of this extraordinary land.

FAQs – Souvenirs to buy from Egypt

What are the most unique souvenirs to buy from Egypt?

When it comes to souvenirs to buy from Egypt, there’s a treasure trove of options. From captivating statue replicas of Bastet, the feline goddess, to aromatic incense featuring scents like frankincense and myrrh, you’ll find souvenirs that encapsulate the essence of ancient Egypt. Don’t miss out on the traditional Egyptian art of Khayameya, known for its vibrant patterns, or the elegance of cotton robes and veils like Jilbab and Burqa. And of course, a hookah, or “Shisha,” is a must-have for those seeking an authentic Egyptian experience.

Where can I find these souvenirs to buy from Egypt?

Cairo is your go-to destination for an incredible shopping experience. Dive into the vibrant atmosphere of Cairo markets, such as the iconic Khan El Khalili, where you can haggle with friendly local vendors and explore a wide range of souvenirs. Don’t forget to visit Zamalek for trendy boutiques and art galleries. Additionally, other cities like Luxor, Aswan, and Alexandria offer their own unique markets and boutiques where you can discover additional hidden treasures.

Are the souvenirs authentically Egyptian?

These souvenirs are deeply rooted in Egyptian culture and traditions. From the handcrafted metalworks showcasing the country’s artistic heritage to the traditional Egyptian textile art of Khayameya, each item reflects the authenticity and craftsmanship of Egypt. Whether it’s the Egyptian musical instruments, pottery, and ceramics, or the stunning Kilim carpets, you can be confident that you’re taking home a piece of Egypt’s rich history and culture.

Can I bargain for the prices of these souvenirs?

Bargaining is a common practice in Egyptian markets, and it adds to the fun and excitement of the shopping experience. Feel free to engage in friendly haggling with the local vendors. However, remember to be respectful and keep in mind the value and craftsmanship of the souvenirs. Finding a fair price that both parties are satisfied with is the key to a successful bargain.

How do I care for and maintain the souvenirs I purchase from Egypt?

To ensure the longevity and preservation of your souvenirs from Egypt, here are some tips on how to care for and maintain them:
1. Dusting and cleaning
2. Displaying and storing
3. Handling with care
4. Avoiding exposure to moisture
5. Repairing and restoring

Are there any specific cultural customs or etiquette to keep in mind while shopping for souvenirs in Egypt?

When shopping for souvenirs in Egypt, it’s helpful to be aware of the cultural customs and etiquette to ensure a respectful and enjoyable experience. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
1. Bargaining
2. Dress modestly
3. Greetings and pleasantries
4. Engage in small talk
5. Respect local customs
6. Patience and flexibility

What is the significance of the symbols and motifs used in Egyptian souvenirs?

Symbols and motifs used in Egyptian souvenirs hold great significance and are rooted in the rich cultural and historical heritage of Egypt. These symbols often represent ancient beliefs, myths, and aspects of Egyptian civilization. Here are a few examples:
1. Ankh
2. Eye of Horus
3. Scarab
4. Lotus
5. Cartouche

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