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  • Aswan Souk: Even though it's rapidly becoming more touristy, this rambling, sprawled-out souk retains all the vibrancy you would expect of a millennia-old crossroads on the trading routes between Africa and the Mediterranean world.

  • Egypt Craft Center (8-27 Yehia Ibrahim St., Zamalek, Cairo; tel. 02/27365123): Here you have low-hassle access to a range of folk crafts from around Egypt. This is a particularly good place to pick up pottery from the Fayum or handmade scarves from Upper Egypt. Proceeds go to support community development nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

  • Khan al Khalili (Cairo): This centuries-old souk in the heart of old Cairo is a must for anyone who has the shopping bug or just wants to experience the real hustle and bustle of an Arab city. Take cash, and be prepared to haggle. This is the best place in town to buy novelty T-shirts, souvenirs with your name printed in hieroglyphics, and those little bottles of colored sand that have pictures of camels in them.

  • Khan Msr Toulon (Tulun Bey Street, Cairo; tel. 02/33652227): This French-run store, located just across the street from the mosque of the same name (but spelled differently), has a not-at-all-surprising sense of style. Shelves are stuffed with interesting handicrafts, furniture, and glassware from Cairo and beyond.

  • Nomad (14 Saraya Al Gezira, Cairo; tel. 02/27361917): Check out the main branch of this store for a great selection of handicrafts from all over Egypt, including hand-woven Bedouin blankets, silver jewelry, and embroidered pillow slips. Prices are fixed, and staff are friendly and helpful.

  • Siwa Souk: For an end-of-the-world shopping experience, the central square in Siwa is hard to beat. It wasn't long ago that all the goods brought here were bartered for in this marketplace, and many of the locally made handicrafts on sale here are impossible to find anywhere else.

  • Souk el Fustat (Cairo): This is a little shopping mall just outside the northern entrance to Coptic Cairo that's aimed squarely at the discerning foreign buyer. Check out the beautiful handmade copies of Mamluke and Fatimid lamps sold here by Hassan and Mohamed.

  • Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.