165 Shar'a Muhammad Farid, Downtown
In the St. David building, this hhas a
pleasant search-through-the-stacks ambience.
The selection of books here is excellent,
For luxury boutiques, try the First Residence
shopping center in Giza.
World Trade Center
World Trade Center, Corniche al-Nil, Boulaq
The World Trade Center in Boulaq has more
than 100 shops.
22 Shar'a Gawad Hosni, Downtown
One of the best auction houses in town,
this is on an unmarked alley off Shar'a
Cairo shopping starts at the Khan al-Khalili,
the great medieval souk. Although it has
been on every tourist's itinerary for
centuries, and some of its more visible
wares can seem awfully tacky, the Khan
is where everyone -- newcomer and age-old
Cairene alike -- goes to find traditional
items: jewelry, lamps, spices, clothes,
textiles, handicrafts, water pipes, metalwork,
you name it. Whatever it is, you can find
it somewhere in this skein of alleys or
the streets around them. Every Khan veteran
has the shops he or she swears by -- usually
because of the fact (or illusion) she
or he is known there personally and is
thus less likely to be overcharged. Go,
browse, and bargain hard. Once you buy
something, don't ask how much it costs
at the next shop; you'll be happier that
generally are open 10-9 Monday through
Saturday; most close on Sunday and during
Friday prayer (the hour around noon; 1
PM during daylight saving time between
April and October).
Khan Misr Toulun
Shar'a Tulun Bay
This small, quirky store just in front
of the entrance to the Mosque of Ibn Tulun
sells handicrafts from all over Egypt.
The quality of the goods is excellent.
The shop is open daily 9-6 but is closed
weekends in August.
15 Shar'a Qasr al-Nil
This small, unostentatious bookstore is
one of the world's premier sources for
antique maps and out-of-print books on
a Middle Eastern theme. The store smells
appropriately musty, and you might easily
while away an afternoon looking through
the old postcards, photographs, and assembled
Centre des Arts
1 Mahad al-Swissri, Zamalek
This state-run gallery in an old villa
hosts the annual Youth Salon, which gives
a good survey (the work can be of mixed
quality) of what is happening in the local
8 Shar'a Champollion, Downtown
This is Cairo's best contemporary art
gallery. The space itself is not much
to look at, but the quality of work is
sometimes exceptional. Shows of Egypt's
foremost artists -- including Adel al-Siwi,
Muhammad Abla, Rehab al-Sadek, Hamdi Atteya,
and Awad al-Shimy -- change monthly, and
there is a small shop in the back.
17 Shar'a Sherif
A small blue sign on the building's second
floor identifies this good auction house.
Lots are shown for several days in advance
of a two-day auction, which usually operates
on a cash-only basis. Check the Egyptian
Gazette for the latest auction schedules.
The American University in Cairo
Hill House, AUC Campus, 113 Shar'a Qasr
You'll find the widest range of foreign
fiction here, as well as books from the
University Press -- local and regional
fiction and scholarly works -- that are
far more interesting than their covers.
La Casa del Habano
Semiramis Inter-Continental, Corniche
An unexpected gold mine for cigar lovers,
this shop is stocked with all the cigars
you can get back home and, if you're from
the States, quite a few that you can't.
Apt. 1, 4 Shar'a Isma'il Muhammad, Zamalek
As the name suggests, this is the exception
to every Cairo rule: a funky orientalist
showroom for the latest club fashions
for women from French labels like Plein
Sud. Size up the clothes while lounging
on antique and reproduction furniture
(also for sale) from India and Syria.
The owner, Alia, does custom-made haute
couture dresses on request.
20 Shar'a Mansour Muhammad, Zamalek
Spahi is one of Egypt's most successful
designers of evening wear. Designs are
spare by local standards but more ornate
than most others.
World Trade Center, Corniche al-Nil, Boulaq
Come here for lamps, sofas, woodwork screens,
textiles, and cushions, some of them hand-painted,
some with more European style than you
might be looking for.
13 Shar'a Mara'ashly, Zamalek
This is the best source for modern Egyptian
furniture -- which means Islamic or pharaonic
motifs applied to traditional pieces,
like mashrabiyya screens, or to western-style
pieces, like sofas.
73 Shar'a Husayn, Doqqi
Stop here for the work of Azza Fahmy,
an internationally known jewelry designer
who draws on traditional motifs for inspiration.
Furniture and lamps are also for sale.
Cairo Marriott, Shar'a Saray al-Gezira,
Relatively inexpensive, vaguely Bedouin-style
jewelry is sold here, along with some
interesting textiles from Siwa Oasis and
19 Shar'a Shagaret al-Dor, Zamalek
This bookshop is a great source for books
on ancient and contemporary Egypt and
for Egyptian novels. It also sells an
array of slides and albums.