Have you ever dreamt of bringing home a piece of Egypt’s magic? Beyond the awe-inspiring pyramids and ancient wonders, this land brims with treasures waiting to be discovered. But amidst the bustling bazaars and vibrant shops, where do you begin? Worry not; this guide unlocks the secrets to the top 29 Egyptian souvenirs you must have from Egypt, handpicked to captivate your senses and ignite memories that last a lifetime.
For those wondering “what to buy from Egypt” or searching for the “best souvenirs from Egypt,” we’ve meticulously curated a list of must-have items that promise to enchant and inspire. From handcrafted papyrus adorned with hieroglyphs to shimmering perfume crafted from ancient recipes, we’ll delve into:
- Sparkling treasures: Unearth exquisite jewelry crafted from gold, silver, and colorful gemstones, each piece whispering tales of pharaohs and their queens.
- Textile tales: Immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Egyptian textiles, from hand-woven rugs adorned with intricate patterns to luxurious scarves whispered by silkworms.
- The taste of Egypt: Capture the essence of Egyptian cuisine with aromatic spices, delectable sweets like flaky baklava, and rich, locally sourced coffee.
- Artistic expressions: Adorn your walls with captivating paintings depicting desert landscapes, bustling markets, or playful feluccas sailing down the Nile.
- And much more! We’ll uncover hidden gems like hand-carved wooden artifacts, fragrant incense transporting you to ancient temples, and even musical instruments ready to serenade your home with captivating melodies.
Each souvenir you choose is a tangible piece of Egypt’s vibrant tapestry, a story waiting to be told. Imagine the conversations sparked by a unique alabaster figurine or the warmth of a handwoven rug under your feet, each transporting you back to the bustling markets and the timeless spirit of this ancient land.
Ready to embark on your souvenir adventure? Don’t just read; experience Egypt firsthand! Book one of our All-inclusive vacations to Egypt, and let us guide you through the hidden gems, bustling markets, and expert artisans who will help you discover the perfect piece of Egypt to bring home. Remember, the best souvenirs are not just objects but memories waiting to be made. So, pack your bags, ignite your curiosity, and get ready to unveil the treasures that await!
Don’t forget to bookmark this guide for easy reference as you navigate the colorful chaos of Egyptian markets. Happy shopping!
Discover the Top 29 Famous Egyptian Souvenirs to Bring Home
1- Mini Pyramids
A pyramid is the best symbol of a trip to Egypt. Mini pyramids are one of the most famous souvenirs. The Great Pyramid of Giza is a wonder of the ancient world that is still standing. You can buy a miniature version of it for your table in the markets in Egypt. You can buy the whole complex, including the pyramids and the Sphinx, another ancient treasure.
Papyrus is the most famous souvenir from egypt due to its history, traditions, and popularity. It was the medium where the most critical societal events were recorded, so papyrus was exported to other countries. Hieroglyphs show the life of ancient Egyptians and vital events for posterity. Today, thanks to the preservation of these ancient papyri, it is possible to learn how the pyramids were built.
In Egypt, there are printing machines and shops where you can find papyrus with pictures typical of the country. We advise you to avoid what is sold on the street, as many are fake. You can run a wet finger over the papyrus’s surface to determine whether it is genuine. If the water does not penetrate, it is original.
Perfumes are the best Egypt Souvenirs You Must Buy in The Bazaars. It is one of the most sought-after souvenirs in Egypt. Many streets of Egyptian cities such as Cairo or Alexandria are filled with perfume.
On tours, stopping at perfume houses dotted along the street is common. It is better to buy it from stores because they guarantee that it is an authentic perfume and has not been mixed with copious amounts of water.
4- Pharaonic Objects
You might be able to find almost anything with a picture of an Egyptian pharaoh on it, from small plastic copies to Tutankhamun’s death mask. But seeing the small, hand-carved facts about some of the most well-known pharaohs is worth it. These things are typical of the country and can go in your memory room.
5- Egyptian Ankh Cross
When we give an Ankh cross to a family member or friend, we wish them a long life, As the ancient Egyptians believed. It is one of the travelers’ most common gifts for their loved ones. It is a popular souvenir in malls, Bazaers, and jewelry stores. You can also get it in the material you like best.
6- Egyptian Cat Statues
Looking closely, you can find cat figures everywhere in egypt, including in bazaars, shops, and stores. People say the ancient Egyptians worshipped cats, which is why they are seen as gods and should be treated with respect. These can be found in many things, from figurines to vases and plates with designs on them.
7- Arabesque Boxes
They have a style called “Arabesque.” They come in many different shapes and sizes, and the Islamic patterns make them very attractive. You can put other gifts and souvenirs in these beautiful drawers. Islamic geometrics are usually associated with Egypt’s Islamic period.
One of the most common things to buy as a souvenir from Egypt is a cartouche, which is a gold or silver pendant with a name made up of between 4 and 6 letters. The engraving is done in hieroglyphics.
9- Lucky Beetles (scarab beetle)
In Egyptian culture, scarabs have always been seen as random, and Egyptians have always carried them as amulets. This insect is common and has become a symbol and icon of the country. In the past, beetles had religious meanings, and you can find them in all kinds of colors and materials, but the most popular ones are the blue ones.
10- Hookah or Shisha
Also called Argila, hookah is the metal or glass pipe used to smoke tobacco of different flavors and filtered through water. It is an ingrained habit in Arab countries, so not only can this product be found in many restaurants and tea shops, but it is also available in almost every store in the country.
They come in different sizes and designs, maybe even hand-painted with an Egyptian motif. It’s a craft shop. One of the best places to buy them at a low price is the Khalili market in Cairo, where you can find a wide variety of them.
Egyptian handicrafts have a long tradition, as pottery has been practiced since ancient Egypt. The most common goods from this material include statues of ancient pharaohs, such as the bust of Tutankhamun or Nefertiti. You can also see figures of the giant and ceramic tiles etched with a scene from ancient Egypt.
Clay is one of the materials most used by artisans, so it is common to find miniature replicas of pyramids made from it. You’ll find homes with handicraft stalls at the entrance all over the country, especially in the small villages dotted along the banks of the Nile.
It is the typical garment of the Egyptians: a traditional Arab tunic that covers the body from neck to feet. Traditionally, the men’s tunic is primarily white with some red trim on the neck, while women can choose from a wide range of colors and embroidery. It will have a single price depending on the material, wool or Cotton, and its design. They are making it one of the best-selling products in the country. You can find them in the many textile shops that can be found in the villages around the Nile River, as well as in the traditional stores in Cairo. This robe is more suitable for men than for women
Gold art has a long tradition in Egypt because, in ancient times, jewelry was used for religious purposes, not to be a bearer of evil. Although raw materials were used initially after discovering some desert quarries, such as Nubia, some precious stones, such as turquoise and agate, began to be incorporated into minerals and pieces of gold.
Jewels were used not only for personal beauty but also for tombs, crowns, and accessories. Today, Egyptian jewelry souvenirs are one of the most sought-after items for travelers in Egypt. If you want to buy gold, it is best to do it in jewelry stores in the neighboring cities of Maadi or Zamalek, Cairo. There are also many goldsmith’s stalls in Khan al-Khalili.
14- Glass Sand Bottles
Egypt is not just the land of the pharaohs; it is also the ideal beach destination, especially to escape the snow in winter. Bring back pretty jars filled with colored Egyptian sand. These artistic souvenirs are beautiful, forming typical paintings of Egyptian landscapes, such as a caravan of camels. These are sold primarily in coastal towns.
They also work a lot with leather; in the shops of Cairo, you can find puffs, wallets, bags, slippers, shoes, and many other things.
Burn some Oud powder to bring the Middle Eastern scent to your home. Your home and heart will be filled with the warm Middle Eastern air that fills the narrow streets and souks of Cairo.
There are two different types of incense. First, there is the well-known agarwood, also called “agarwood.” It comes from the heart of an Aquilaria tree that has been “infected” with a specific type of mold. Egyptians love the smell of oud.
Incense is the other type of incense in Egypt. You can buy it anywhere, from perfume shops to grocery stores, and it costs a lot less than agarwood because it’s made from a mixture of ordinary woods that have been soaked in oils or perfumes.
17- Copper and Brass
Brass and copper make all kinds of things in Egyptian markets, from tea sets to bread trays. Most of the time, they aren’t too expensive, but the quality can vary significantly from one brand to the next.
18- Egyptian Cotton
Cotton products, especially towels, T-shirts, and sheets, are probably one of the most important things people in Egypt buy, and this is because people worldwide know how good these products are. Egypt started growing Cotton in the 19th century, and it has since become one of the country’s most important exports.
19- Rugs and Carpets
Egypt isn’t as good at making rugs as Morocco, Iran, or Turkey. But thick wool or camel hair rugs can be bought cheaply and look very nice. In specialty stores, you can find colorful rugs that show scenes from the countryside or ancient Egypt. These rugs can be a great way to remember your trip and decorate your living room.
Egypt is known for its spices, which are natural and have more robust flavors than most spices found in packages in the West. The quality of these food items, especially cumin, cinnamon, and a mix of spices called dukkah.
, is very high21- Belly Dancing Outfit
The belly dance, which comes from Egypt, is one of the most popular dances in the world. Women usually do this dance, which involves moving the pelvis in a certain way to traditional music. The dancers’ clothes are bright and colorful, and tourists, especially women, love them.
22- Camel Skin Products
In Egypt, you can buy socks, paintings, slippers, blankets, and carpets made from camel skin. In Egyptian markets, you can buy anything made from natural camel wool.
Kohl is a black powder in a small wood, plastic, or iron bottle, and it can be used as a black eyeliner crayon or an eyebrow pencil. Another benefit of the original kohl is that it closes the blood vessels in the eye, making the eyes look whiter.
To make their eyes look better, the ancient Egyptians ground “lead sulfide” from the rock of Galena into a beautiful powder. People thought the beauty ritual would protect the eyes from bright light, bad luck from the evil eye, and handspring allergies.
Kohl is still used a lot, and the Egyptians still prefer the original powder, even though there are cheaper options. There are two kinds of Kohl powder: “Bared,” which means “cold” and is also called “regular Kohl,” is used as a beauty product, and “Hami,” which means “hot,” is used primarily as a medicine and eye cleanser.
24- Traditional Hats
Tourists often buy hats from street vendors in Egypt; the hats they sell are different in size, shape, and color. Most Egyptians buy Nubian caps, which you can find in Aswan, Cairo, Giza, and many other bazaars around the country.
Cowboy hats are also popular in Egypt, and they are primarily sold in Giza and Cairo to protect tourists from the sun’s heat and make them look great in front of Egypt’s most famous landmarks.
Dates make tasty, healthier snacks easier to carry than sticky Asian sweets. Dates can be bought in large markets and grocery stores all over Egypt. If you want the best, go to the Siwa Oasis in the Western Desert. It is beautiful with beautiful landscapes, salt pools, hot springs, and lively Amazigh culture. The area’s marine soil and mineral water give Siwa dates unique sweetness. Since the time of the pharaohs, dates from Siwa have been a bright spot on Egyptian tables.
Dates from Siwa are sweet and chewy, like caramel, and they are dense. Tiwi farmers take about 25,000 tonnes of dates from 280,000 palm trees annually. To meet demand
And if you are in Egypt for a while, order some coffee or chocolate-covered Siwa dates from the Sithe wa Shali Store.
26- Ramadan Lanterns (Fanous)
Egypt’s famous Ramadan lanterns, which look like fans, were made during the time of the Fatimids (10th to 12th centuries). When many people walked to mosques for late-night prayers during the holy month, they lit the streets. They are also related to the mesaharaty, who walk the streets before dawn to wake up the neighborhood or to have a last meal before a day of fasting.
These Ramadan lanterns add so much atmosphere to the streets of Egypt that people from all over the Muslim world come to Cairo to feel the holiday spirit. Copper and colored glass are used to make Ramadan lanterns, which have a base for a candle and intricate patterns carved into them. But you can get cheaper versions made in China out of plastic and powered by batteries, or you can get a simple tin lantern.
Scarves are everywhere in Egypt, and most souvenir stands have a great selection.
Then, striped cotton scarves are fabulous for spring weather because they are light and airy. And in Upper Egypt, people wore thick scarves so vast that they could be used as great throws.
Around Luxor, there are many places where the pink, orange, and purple-colored desert stone alabaster is used to make small sculptures and vases for decoration. Figures and copies of old things, like scarabs, are made of alabaster. The best places to buy alabaster are in Luxor shops and the Theban necropolis village of Gurna. The best things to take home from Luxor are made of alabaster.
You can try this product made from Middle Eastern textiles that were mainly used to make tents but are now mostly made for decoration in Cairo, Egypt. Stop by Sharia al Khayamiya or Souq El-Khaymiya (Street of the Tentmakers) and look for these beautiful rugs. They are made by hand by traders who enjoy the traditional patterns passed down through their families for generations.
What to buy in Cairo? The best things to buy in Cairo are listed here in Souq El-Khaymiya. They come in many different shapes and designs, so you can use them to decorate your floors or hang the small ones on your walls as a piece of art from Egypt.
Tips for Selecting and Buying Souvenirs
When you embark on a memorable journey to a fascinating destination like Egypt, one thing that tops the list is bringing back souvenirs to cherish the memories forever. However, selecting and buying the perfect souvenirs can be a daunting task. Fret not! We’ve covered you with valuable tips that will make your souvenir shopping experience a breeze.
- Finding Authentic Souvenirs: Explore local markets and bazaars like Khan El Khalili in Cairo or Luxor’s Souq to ensure you take home a piece of true Egyptian culture. Artisan workshops and museum gift shops are excellent sources of unique and authentic items.
- Negotiating Prices: Haggling is part of the shopping experience in Egypt. Begin negotiations with a friendly demeanor and a reasonable counteroffer. Knowledge of the approximate price range for desired items can also be advantageous.
- Packing and Transporting Souvenirs: Use protective packaging and sturdy containers to keep your treasures safe. Remember airline carry-on and checked baggage guidelines, especially for fragile or valuable items.
- Avoiding Souvenir Scams: Stay cautious of too-good-to-be-true offers and avoid purchasing from street vendors who may sell counterfeit or low-quality goods. Opting for reputable shops and markets can help you avoid common tourist traps.
FAQ – Navigating Your Egyptian Souvenir Hunt
What products are a must-buy in Egypt?
Egyptian Cotton, spices, essential oils, perfumes, gold and silver jewelry, handmade crafts, and alabaster products stand out as quintessential Egyptian souvenirs.
Are souvenirs cheaper in Egypt?
Yes, Egypt is known for its affordability, offering great value on a wide range of souvenirs compared to Western countries.
What is considered a thoughtful gift in Egypt?
Gifts that reflect genuine Egyptian craftsmanship and culture, such as handmade jewelry, traditional textiles, or artisanal crafts, are highly valued. When gifting, consider the recipient’s interests and choose something that has a personal touch.
Embracing the Art of Egyptian Souvenir Shopping
Shopping for souvenirs in Egypt is more than a mere transaction; it’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the country’s rich cultural tapestry. By selecting authentic, meaningful souvenirs, you ensure that your memories of Egypt will adorn your home and enrich your understanding of this ancient civilization. Follow these tips, embrace the adventure, and you’ll find treasures that tell stories, evoke memories, and inspire future explorations.