|Historical Significance||Ancient Craftsmanship|
|Style Variety||Textile Art|
|Market Offerings||Diverse Souvenirs|
|Souk Experience||Vibrant Culture|
Souk Al Khayamiya is one of the most living artistic attractions in existence filled with enchanting man-made marvels on every corner which are dedicated to a number of different time periods and styles. Everyone will be part of the most entertaining shopping tour is one of the most exciting activities that you can do in Egypt after visiting the most interesting ancient attractions & sightseeing.
There are tens of amazing bazaars, open-air markets, and shops in Egypt that are located in different places, and among the most fascinating of them is the impressive Souk Al-Khayamiya "Tentmakers Bazaar".
Souk Al Khayamiya is located across the street from Bab Zuweila behind the Fatimid Cairo’s southern walls dating to the 17th century. There have been lots of markets in the area that used to sell different types of goods & souvenirs in Egypt but the tentmakers are the only remaining ones.
After visiting Bab Zuweila, you will see a narrow alley ahead and it is covered by a high roof. In that alley, you will find merchants who are specialized in selling textile goods and you will find thousands of amazing things to look at and buy during your vacation in Egypt.
Souk Al Khayamiya for hundreds of years has stood as a miraculous example of the cultural heritage and craftsmanship of the Egyptians who were able to protect a style of art and continue to thrive despite the challenges posed by modernity. The marvelous art of Al Khayamiya has its origin dating back to the time of ancient Egypt when it was used to make a number of beautiful decorative covers for special occasions and celebrations which was used to provide privacy and shade.
With the many changes in modern life, the use of this traditional Khayamiya totally declined, but interest has risen in time because of the natural material made in the street which led to the resurgence in its popularity in the modern era.
The magnificent textiles of Al Khayamiya are historically rare because they were designed for outdoor use where they can stand in dusty and dry conditions, which can be also very replaceable. In 2010, The Khayamiya was recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO. The souk across the history of Egypt raised significant awareness about the art and offered support for its promotion and preservation.
Khayamiya is a marvelous intricately designed colorful appliques that are traditionally used to adorn the interiors of the tents for both its decorative allure and as a functional shelter. It is crafted of three layers, a strong base, a background top, and a complex applique on top. The Khayamiya served as curtains but they evolved with time and were used to create a number of fashion items, bags, cushion covers, and bedspreads.
The textiles were made with hand-stitched cotton applique on a solid cotton base which was designed to endure the dry, hot, and dusty climate of Egypt. The hand-stitching is executed by very professional tentmakers who cut the fabric pieces and use scissors, needles, and thread. A single tentmaker has the skill and power to produce basic cushion covers and intricate wall hangings that can span to several meters which can take up many months to finish.
The common design motifs found across the Khayamiya include curvilinear arabesque and geometric patterns which are totally inspired by Islamic art plus there are depictions of pharaonic art which include lotus motifs and papyrus. The Khayamiya tend to have creative innovations that fit the modern world. It also held a number of calligraphic patterns that were taken from Quranic texts. The contemporary Khayamiya is known to be more intricate and finer handwork.
The rich textile art form Khayamiya encompasses four main categories: tourist, Khedival, contemporary, and street. The Khayamiya was crafted between 1867 and 1914 and is made of massive appliqued panels with red, indigo, and white designs found on beige canvas which are known to feature vertical blue stripes found within the canvas. The touristic Khayamiya was established in the 1890s and remains to be produced until our current moment; its fame came after the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.
It is known to be smaller and decorated with figurative appliques that hold motifs from contemporary scenes of Egyptian life and ancient Egypt plus themes from folkloric Egypt. Orientalist Khayamiya is filled with street scenes, bird Khayamiya with incredible scenes of the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Life, or Pharaonic tomb art. It also carries magical and marvelous images of traditional Egyptian and Nubian music and dancing. It holds intricate and attractive designs of Quranic texts and Islamic calligraphy.
It has magnificent pharaonic designs taken directly from ancient Egyptian papyrus texts located in the Book of the Dead and other great works of ancient Egyptian art. The street Khayamiya has always served outdoor purposes in Egypt such as backdrops or Suradeq pavilions for public events. The magnificent contemporary Khayamiya is made indoors and is known to have a number of different types like a beautiful arabesque Khayamiya, and marvelous folkloric Khayamiya showcasing the legend of Goha. A number of talented and famous artists, curators, designers, and publishers make their own Khayamiya.
While being in the Souk of Al-Khayamiya, you will find lots of wall hangings, colorful tapestries & carpets, and amazing colorful canvases that are decorated with amazing designs that reflect the Islamic era. The tents that are being sold in that market have been used for special occasions & outdoor activities for a long time including funerals, holiday celebrations, shop openings, and wedding feasts.
It is the last remaining covered market that is in use in Cairo up to date and that is not all about it as the crafts that are being produced there are very valuable and of high quality at affordable prices. You will find different textile pieces that are of more affordable prices than what you can find in Khan El-Khalili Bazaar. If you are walking around in Cairo’s famous neighborhoods, you will definitely see some of those tents and hear some loud music & the celebration sounds in Old Cairo’s Streets and avenues. In there, you will find a number of great shops that have a number of essential oils, gold vendors, antiques, fabric, carpets, and much more. One of the notable café is Al Fishawy which is Cairo's oldest and is adorned with massive mirrors and large antique furniture.
Khan El-Khalili Bazaar is the biggest and the most colorful and crowded market you will ever witness in Egypt because of its magical shiny baubles, and amazing goods that attract tourists from all over the world, especially with its breathtaking spice market that includes the best fresh spices you will ever find in addition to the largest perfume market that has numerous essential oils’ scents.
Inside the market, you will be able to find some gold vendors & shops of antiques that are filled with priceless pieces of art. In addition to this, there are also some fabric shops & vendors of carpets that sell nearly all of the things that you may have a desire to buy while being in Egypt.
So while being in Egypt to spend your vacation, don’t miss that chance of visiting such glamorous markets and bazaars that have all of what may come to your mind while touring around the majestic land of Pharaohs. Make sure to have a local tour guide with you while buying such items to get them at good prices and in order not to be cheated by any of the locals as you deserve to spend the best vacation ever.
You can also look for our majestic Cairo day tours that offer amazing day trips to the best attractions in Cairo such as the Giza pyramids, the Egyptian Museum, the Khan El Khalili Bazaar, and much more.
The entire country of Egypt deserve to be explored with its every heavenly detail but there are places that must be seen before any other such as the breathtaking Hurghada's red sea, The wonders of Cairo the pyramids of Giza, the great sphinx, the Egyptian Museum, Khan El Khalili Bazaar, the wonders of Luxor like Valley of the Kings, Karnak & Hatshepsut temple and the wonders of Aswan such as Abu Simbel temples, Philea temple, Unfinished obelisk and The Wonders of Alexandria like Qaitbat Citadel, Pompey's Pillar and Alexandria Library. Read more about the best places to visit in Egypt.
If you want to apply for a Visa On Arrival that lasts for 30 days then you should be one of the eligible countries, have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and pay 25$ USD in cash, as for the E-Visa for 30 day you should have a valid passport for at least 8 months, complete the online application, pay the e-visa fee then print the e-visa to later be presented to the airport border guard. You could also be one of the lucky ones who can obtain a free visa for 90 days. Read more about Egypt travel visa.
Egypt has a variety of delicious cuisines but we recommend “Ful & Ta’meya (Fava Beans and Falafel)”, Mulukhiya, “Koshary”, a traditional Egyptian pasta dish, and Kebab & Kofta, the Egyptian traditional meat dish.
The best time to travel to Egypt is during the winter from September to April as the climate becomes a little tropical accompanied by a magical atmosphere of warm weather with a winter breeze. You will be notified in the week of your trip if the Climate is unsafe and if any changes have been made.
You should pack everything you could ever need in a small bag so you could move easily between your destinations.
We have been creating the finest vacations for more than 20 years around the most majestic destinations in Egypt. Our staff consists of the best operators, guides and drivers who dedicate all of their time & effort to make you have the perfect vacation. All of our tours are customized by Travel, Financial & Time consultants to fit your every possible need during your vacation. It doesn't go without saying that your safety and comfort are our main priority and all of our resources will be directed to provide the finest atmosphere until you return home.
You will feel safe in Egypt as the current atmosphere of the country is quite peaceful after the government took powerful measures like restructuring the entire tourist police to include all the important and tourist attractions in Egypt. Read more about is it safe to travel to Egypt.
Wear whatever feels right and comfortable. It is advised to wear something light and comfortable footwear like a closed-toe shoe to sustain the terrain of Egypt. Put on sun block during your time in Egypt in the summer to protect yourself from the sun.
The best activity is by far boarding a Nile Cruise between Luxor and Aswan or Vise Versa. Witness the beauty of Egypt from a hot balloon or a plane and try all the delicious Egyptian cuisines and drinks plus shopping in old Cairo. Explore the allure and wonders of the red sea in the magical city resorts of Egypt like Hurghada and many more by diving and snorkeling in the marine life or Hurghada. Behold the mesmerizing western desert by a safari trip under the heavenly Egyptian skies.
There are a lot of public holidays in Egypt too many to count either religious or nation, the most important festivals are the holy month of Ramadan which ends with Eid Al Fitr, Christmas and new years eve. Read more about festivals & publich holidays in Egypt.
Egypt is considered to be one of the most liberal Islamic countries but it has become a little bit conservative in the last couple of decades so it is advised to avoid showing your chest, shoulders or legs below the knees.
Arabic is the official language and Most Egyptians, who live in the cities, speak or understand English or at least some English words or phrases. Fewer Egyptians can speak French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Professional tour guides, who work in the tourism sector, are equipped to handle visitors who cannot speak Arabic and they will speak enough English and other languages to fulfill the needs of all our clients.
The fastest way is a car, of course, a taxi. If you are in Cairo ride a white taxi to move faster or you could board the fastest way of transportation in Egypt metro if the roads are in rush hour.
The temperature in Egypt ranges from 37c to 14 c. Summer in Egypt is somehow hot but sometimes it becomes cold at night and winter is cool and mild. The average of low temperatures vary from 9.5 °C in the wintertime to 23 °C in the summertime and the average high temperatures vary from 17 °C in the wintertime to 32 °C in the summertime. The temperature is moderate all along the coasts.
It is the home of everything a traveler might be looking for from amazing historical sites dating to more than 4000 years to enchanting city resorts & beaches. You will live the vacation you deserve as Egypt has everything you could possibly imagine.