Khan El Khalili Bazaar in Cairo


  • Where is Khan el Khalili?
  • When was it Built?
  • What is Khan El Khalili?
  • Khan El Khalili Bazaar Tips?

Whenever you travel to any country in the world we are always looking for that corner shop store or authentic market place. Such Marketplaces and bazaars not only serve as a place of livelihood but a Venue worthy of Exploration and filled with so meticulous and rare yet extremely beautiful and Inspiring crafts, Exotic Spices and so Much more. Khan el Khalili bazaar is a Beautifully authentic part of Cairo and one of the oldest Markets in Egypt & an unmissable Part of most Egypt Tour Packages or Nile Cruise. Little is known about this unique market, its origins, what it is and the crucial role it serves not just as a meeting place for the locals but one of the best tourist venues in Egypt.



Khan El Khalili Bazaar in Cairo


Where is Khan El Khalil & when was it Built?

As well Known Khan el Khalili Bazaar a lot of people ask where it Is. Khan el Khalili is Located in the ever mystifying Egypt, home to the ancient Egyptian Civilization and the mighty pharaohs. what is Truly amazing about the Khan El Khalili bazaar is the story behind it as throughout history it has assumed different roles and was meant for several purposes. 



Khan el Khalili history goes hand in hand with the history of Cairo Itself and has been reconstructed, rebuilt & modified Several times throughout the ages. The construction of the Khan el Khalili Bazaar dates back to the 10th Century in the Fatimid Times. The initial construction of the Area where the ancient Bazaar lies can be attributed to Gawhar Al- Siqilli, the General who conquered Egypt in benefit of the Fatimids. In 969 CE Gawhar had begun the construction of a great palace complex to hose the household of the Caliphs and other state Institutions. Only two palaces were completed, however, the larger eastern pattern & the other Western one. The current location of Khan el Khalili today was originally the southern end of the eastern Fatimid palace and the Fatimid Caliphs burial site



However, the aforementioned Area was initially closed out to the commoners as it was considered a place city. Opened to the Public in the 14th century after the fall of the Fatimid Caliphate in 1171 on the hands of Salah Ad-DIn. Moving Egypt’s rulers and State Administration outside the walled city opened up to its transformation into busy economic centre often occupied by common individuals & travelling foreigners, a far cry from its place city status in the Fatimid Era. The central axis of Cairo was the north to the south street known as the Qasba ( currently Al-Muizz street) which ran between the Gates of Bab Al-Futuh and Bab Zuweila which under the Ayyubids & the Mamluks after them Used it as a Privileged and main site for religious complexes and constructs. 


Over the coming years, the Space along the aforementioned area started to diminish in favour of the Streets became cultivated with several shops leaving little available space for Expansion. This amongst the desire of the official authorities to better organize the area & create a more orderly Market & commercial areas led them to replace the mobile and street shops with fixed stone structures with shop space. By the time of Sultan Barquq the first Mamluk Sultan, despite Cairo being pillaged by the Black death It continued to be a buzzing commercial & cultural centre. In the first reign of the Sultan, the Fatimid Complex was demolished to be replaced by a large Khan (market)  at the very heart of the City with several mamluk elites building commercial venues later Known as  Khan El Khalili.


In the sixteenth century, the Khan El Khalili area was subject to several campaigns of demolition & reconstruction and changing names throughout. Changing in form & in Shape in times to Simulate what was known in Ottoman cities as a central bazaar called Bedestan whee the most precious & best goods were sold. The final form taken by Khan el Khalili bazaar was a complex of Several major Khans or wekalas of similar produce grouped together with Souq streets used to navigate between them with many of the old buildings being redesigned & rebuilt while still preserving there captivating authentic design, feel and charm.


Tailor your Customized Tour in Khan el Khalili Bazaar here

Khan El Khalili Bazaar in Cairo



What is Khan El Khalili?


After Knowing the riveting History and Transition of this Ever charming area the next question that comes to mind is what does it do. From the tenth to the sixteenth  Century the Great Khan switched hands from Being a Place area inaccessible to the public to a Centralized market for all that is Precious & rare. Finally in modern times as a landmark tourist Venue and boiling point for all the cultures. Nowadays, the market mostly caters towards Tourist however mainly occupied by Local merchants. Jewellery shops as an example is still important for locals and a truly authentic craft. In addition to the several shops, there are many recreational venues such as coffee houses, street food vendors, restaurants and providers of textile, jewellery, rare spices herbs amongst others. Another feature of the Bazaar is the truly captivating and variant architectural styles & Building methodology, although distinctly oriental but truly mesmerizing and dumbfoundingly amazing. Last but not Least the Khan el Khalili area is home to many Religious sites such as Al- Hussein Mosque & shrine, Al- Azhar mosque and many other sites that all have a tale to tell. 

Khan El Khalili Bazaar in Cairo

Khan EL Khalili Tips: 


Here are some tips on how to get the utmost out of your Khan El Khalili Bazaar Experience


  • Try not to get lost in the Neverending showcases of handmade carpets, gold artefacts & antiques, pharaonic souvenirs that will all take your breath away  


  • Enjoy all that the Bazaar has to offer whether its a fascinating walk admiring the Islamic architecture in Muizz street, or the many authentic coffeeshops loved by both locals & foreigners 


  • The Khan el Khalili Area lies in the very heart of the City and is fully accessible by following the routes of most local transportation methods. If you want to save yourself the hassle of switching buses or metro carts ordering an uber is another way to go. Another means is taking a minibus or microbus from Ramses Station or EL Tahrir Square, Finally, another extremely easy way is to take the Metro.


In conclusion, Khan el Khalil is an essential part of any Egypt trip experience. It not only offers Historic venues in which you can get inspired by the unique architecture or Buzzing markets offering the rarest and best of products or a meeting place for both old and young locals & foreigners alike looking for a warm cup of tea and great company or finally those who are weary hearted and find comfort in El-Hussein. Khan el Khalili is more than that its a place to Serenity, Complementation, Beauty, good company & representation of everything that makes Egypt great.


Visit Khan El Khalili with our Amazing Egypt Tour Packages 

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