When the exodus began after 1952, many people didn't have the money or the time to take household goods with them and, as a result, Alexandria became the Egyptian hub for used European furniture. Most of the items left behind were unremarkable, but many were of high quality and quite a few were antiques. The trade in these items has long centered on Attarine Street (more properly, Al Masgid al Attarine Street), a disappointingly unromantic street that runs into the back of Ahmed Orabi Square. For antique furniture buffs, as well as those just looking to pick up an old postcard or some knickknacks, an hour or two spent strolling past the windows won't be wasted. Stores range from clean, well-organized emporiums of nicely polished Napoleonic chairs and 19th-century silver services to junk stores with moth-eaten crocodiles and piles of moldy school books from the 1920s. Take your pick -- far better in my opinion to take home a battered piece of the real thing than a shiny factory-produced souvenir. If you're actually going to buy, though, remember that Alexandria (not to mention the city of nearby Damietta) is the Egyptian hub for furniture production, and much of what you see (and is offered as antique) was probably produced a couple of months ago in a shop around the corner.
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.