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Egypt is an exotic country with ancient architectural monuments. Thanks to the diversity of the underwater world, year-round summer and ancient pyramids, sphinxes and pharaohs, the country attracts thousands of tourists from different countries. It has long been popular among Russian holidaymakers who, having enjoyed the sun, the sea and ancient history to their heart's content, have been wondering in recent days: what to bring from Egypt as a souvenir of pleasant moments of rest and share it with their relatives and friends, colleagues, friends? In this article we will tell you all about shopping in Egypt and answer all your questions.
Where to buy in Egypt?
You can buy souvenirs and various goods (groceries, clothes, etc.) everywhere: in shopping malls and on the streets, specialty stores and factories, numerous pharmacies. Even during the excursion and throughout the entire excursion route, not a single merchant will ignore you, and the accompanying guides themselves will actively offer to purchase teas, creams, ointments and all sorts of nonsense from him. Moreover, they all do it with special persistence and importunity, convincing that his product is the best and at the best price.
Goods in small shops, along busy streets, can be of low and medium quality, but you still need to look for a good product. Items purchased in specialized stores, at a papyrus factory and a quarry will cost an order of magnitude more expensive than in numerous city shops, however, you should not worry about the authenticity and value of the purchase. All products are of high quality, original, and the choice is much larger.
In addition to street and market trade in Egypt, popular resorts and large cities have quite civilized shops, large shopping centers, modern chain supermarkets with fixed prices. But still, civilized shopping at fixed prices is not very well developed in the resorts, so be prepared for the fact that you will have to be content with street shopping within walking distance from your hotel, and you will need to go far to large shopping centers by taxi or local public transport, which, unfortunately, is very poorly developed.
In Egypt, at popular resorts, you can find funny fake shops for Russian chain brands. For example, there are "Pyaterochka", "Sportmaster", "Fix-Price" and others. Of course, they have nothing in common with Russian networks, and the goods there are of a completely different type. in general, in popular resorts in egypt, almost all the signs are duplicated in russian in one way or another.
Where to buy in Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada?
There is no shortage of goods and souvenirs in the main resorts of Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada, you can buy them everywhere. The largest concentration of souvenirs and tourist goods in Charm is the territory of the Old Market or "Old Market", where prices are quite high and you need to bargain. Many shops are also located in the Naama Bey area. Those who are accustomed to buying at a fixed price need to go to Mango Market on Al Benouk Street in the Al-Fanar district or to the Fix Price souvenir supermarket on Al Sultan Qabos Street in Naama Bay. If you need products, including something edible in the form of gifts, household goods, etc., then it is best to buy it at the largest hypermarket in the city of Carrefour.
Hurghada is not inferior to its competitor in shopping. Most often tourists shop on the busiest Sheraton street (Sheraton Rd), where there are many shops, shops, cafes, restaurants. In general, this whole street is a solid big market, but here you need to bargain. If you don't like to bargain, then go to one of the popular online souvenir shops Cleopatra Bazaar (Cleopatra Bazar) with fixed prices. Another supermarket that is known among vacationers is Gomla Market, the prices of goods both there and there are indicated in pounds.
How to buy in Egypt so as not to overpay, and how to bargain?
Never rush to buy, here you first need to get a price, and then buy. Prices in Egypt are a very relative thing, especially in relation to tourists, so be sure to bargain. In Egypt, it is not customary to name the real price right away, as a rule, it is initially very high. In general, Egyptian traders at resorts are professionals and excellent psychologists, they have it, one might say, in their blood. You will be appreciated externally (how tanned you are or just arrived), they will ask questions where you are from and how many times you have been to Egypt, with whom you arrived and in which hotel you stayed. And all this is not because of friendliness, but for business reasons, in order to assess what price you should initially call. After all, it is obvious that if you are in Egypt for the first time, just arrived, stayed in a rich hotel and came from a rich country, you will be ready to pay double and triple prices for any product.
Therefore, the ability to bargain is very important here, because during the auction the initial price can be reduced by 2, 3, 4 or even more times! For example, for a printed T-shirt, you can negotiate from $ 12 to $ 8, and in some places, personally checked, up to $ 6. You just need to do the bidding gently and delicately, with a smile, and sometimes even defiantly-artistically showing surprise and discontent. Merchants themselves like to arrange a whole performance, showing you the friendliness, the dissatisfaction with the price you offer, sometimes even mock anger or resentment. In most cases, all this is also part of the "concert" when bidding.
Do not worry about the language barrier when bidding. almost all traders at the resorts can speak russian fluently, there will be no problems with this. in unpopular tourist places, russian is not common, but even there it will be easy to bargain using a calculator on a smartphone, sign language and facial expressions.
Chattering and confusing you is also a popular way of trading. You can also hear different stories about the fact that today is the merchant's birthday, or he has been to your country and even city many times, that he has a wife from your country and other endless tall tales. They love to lie to tourists, and they do it great.
But never translate trading into aggression and resentment, do not raise your voice and do not call names. You need to understand a simple thing and treat it with respect: selling something more expensive than its price for an Egyptian is not always a deception and divorce, but a form of Egyptian "people's marketing". It's just that in Egypt it is customary to trade in this way, and this should be taken for granted and not taken to heart, even if you later saw the purchased item twice as cheap. And then shopping and relaxing in Egypt will be a pleasure for you and without unpleasant memories. Of course, it's fair to say that there are cases of outright deception, but we'll tell you more about this at the end of the article in the section "Shopping Tips".
Well, if you don't like or don't know how to bargain, then go shopping in supermarkets and large stores with fixed prices. There are such at every resort, including souvenir supermarkets.
How to pay for purchases in Egypt?
You can pay for purchases in Egypt both in local currency – Egyptian pounds, and in dollars and euros. However, large shops and supermarkets accept only pounds for payment. Unfortunately, it will not be possible to pay in rubles in Egypt anywhere.
Sometimes sellers may ask again to clarify in which currency to call the price of the product for you. And here you need to "keep your eyes open" to assess which option is more profitable. For example, a product that costs 15 pounds you may be offered to buy for one dollar at a rate of 27 pounds per dollar, which will obviously not be profitable for you. That is why we prefer in Egypt to always have at least a small amount in local currency during shopping in order to make small purchases, pay for transport and visit supermarkets. We recommend you to read our article in more detail - Do I need to change the currency in Egypt.
The change in the calculation of currency can be given to you at will: either in pounds, or in dollars and euros. This may be the desire of the seller, and most often they want to give change in Egyptian pounds, and of course at an unfavorable rate. If you want to change in foreign currency, then discuss it in advance, be sure before you hand over the money to the seller.
As for bank cards, you can pay with them, but, of course, not on the market. Cards are accepted in supermarkets, large stores, pharmacies, sometimes even in large souvenir shops. And recently, even hotel and tour guides have portable terminals for receiving cards. But, unfortunately, all Russian Mastercard, Visa, Mir cards no longer work. It is reported that negotiations are underway to launch the Mir system, but most likely it will be only in the distant future. There are also problems with bank cards of the Chinese UnionPay payment system issued by Russian banks: some seem to work and sometimes even work, but there is no guarantee in this. Therefore, the good old cash for tourists from Russia as of 2024 is the most reliable way to shop in Egypt.
What to buy and bring from Egypt?
The most inexpensive and popular purchases brought from any country, Egypt will be no exception, are traditional souvenirs - magnets, plates, mugs, figurines and figurines, key chains and other things with Egyptian symbols. One of the unusual souvenirs may be paintings and calendars made of papyrus.
Some souvenirs, such as paintings on papyrus, figurines of gods, scarabs need to be chosen, taking into account some features. For example, a scarab beetle should have legs either drawn or cut out, otherwise it does not bode well. It is not necessary to purchase figures of sarcophagi and jackals, as they symbolize death.
In addition to commemorative products, you can bring seasonal fruits, sweet dates, local desserts and sweets. In addition to them, be sure to buy a bag of red karkade tea or yellow held tea for friends, as well as teas with fruit additives, for example, date, mango, pomegranate, orange and others. A bright touch of the East will be added to your dishes by natural and aromatic spices and seasonings, of which there is a wide variety. Do not forget about health, because medicines in local pharmacies can be found 2-3 or even more times cheaper.
Women are interested in cosmetics of the Egyptian brand Eva (Eva) and Indian Dabur (Dabur). The choice of cosmetics is huge from face creams to hair care products, and the prices are reasonable. We also note a wide variety of essential and cosmetic oils and perfumes.
For a friendly company, you can recommend a hookah or shisha, from low to 2-meter specimens with a large selection of tobacco blends.
Clothes from kholopka and textiles for the house of local production will be a pleasant gift for the household.
And now let's tell you more about the most popular categories of tourist purchases from Egypt:
Souvenirs from Egypt
The most memorable and original kind of gift is souvenirs, and no tourist trip to Egypt is complete without them. An endless variety of magnets, key chains (from $ 1 for a couple of pieces), plates with a signature, drawings in the Egyptian manner and without (from $ 5); beautiful bottles with paintings of the desert and camels of colorful sand (from $ 2); figurines of cats, pharaohs, scarab beetles, ancient Egyptian gods, pyramids and other (from $ 3); mugs with images of pharaohs, with hieroglyphs (from $ 5) – for every taste. We wrote more about souvenirs from Egypt here...
Cosmetics and oils from Egypt
Cosmetics and essential oils will be a particularly pleasant and useful gift from Egypt for women.
Cosmetics are inexpensive here and there are both local brands Eva (Eva) and Indian Dabur (Dabur). Both brands are quite popular and are often found in supermarkets, shops, hotels and pharmacies. Both use natural ingredients in their production and have proven themselves well. So, the Egyptian Eva offers a line of cosmetic products for skin and hair care, prices are different, from anti-aging creams (from $ 25 for 50 ml) to budget (from $ 7 for 50 ml).
Oils from Egypt are very popular with tourists – cosmetic and essential oils. Their difference among themselves is that the essential oils are more saturated, concentrated and their consumption is less. Both are used to add to creams and lotions for the body, face, masks and shampoos for hair, soap, room aromatization, perfumery to obtain a rich composition, for inhalation. The most common oils are jojoba, black cumin, argan, helba, coconut, sandalwood, lotus, camel, orange, aloe vera, the price for a 125 ml bottle starts from $ 5 in a supermarket, and from $ 25 for 125 ml in a company store. You can buy oils in supermarkets, special stores, shops, pharmacies, they are sold both in packaged form and for bottling. Carefully monitor the integrity of the bottle during transportation.
The Indian brand Dabur is known primarily for its hair care products Vatika (sprays, shampoos, balms, masks), as well as skin care products of the Gulabari series.
Cosmetics include a stick for brushing teeth from the roots and branches of the arak – sivak tree (or misvak). Such a stick is chewed, and it is believed that the bristles used in the chewing process perfectly clean the teeth, strengthen the gums. You can buy either such a wand, or a more familiar tube of toothpaste with the addition of miswak root. Such a delicious paste is called Miswak, and it happens to be simple in a green package and a little more expensive in a yellow Gold package. The price for a tube of Miswak paste in a supermarket is 15 pounds (approximatelyrubles), and in pharmacies and markets there is 1 dollar.
You can take a closer look at supermarkets and our usual body and skin care products, because they are much cheaper here. For example, we bought Rexona deodorant in an Egyptian supermarket for 31 pounds (approximately read more about the money of Egypt and the exchange rate), which is three times cheaper to read than at home. But it is important to understand that it is better to buy such things in supermarkets, in markets, in tourist shops and pharmacies, they ask more for them.rubles,
Hookahs (shisha) from Egypt
If you want to please a man or friends, gathering in a circle of pleasant company, take a closer look at hookahs. Their variety of shapes and designs can even make your head spin. However, when choosing a hookah, several points should be taken into account: it should be made of copper or brass, the manufacturer's stamp should be stamped on it, and the height of a good hookah should not be lower than 70 cm, it is better if it is collapsible. For the purchase of a hookah, as a rule, ask for a gift of tobacco. Well, one more caveat: you can't carry a hookah in the carry-on luggage of an airplane, and therefore pack it well in a luggage suitcase or backpack. The simplest and cheapest hookah costs from $ 5, average – from $ 30 to $ 50, expensive – from $ 100 and above.
Tobacco for hookahs is sold in different flavors from fruit to champagne and chocolate. Depending on the manufacturer and the fortress, you can buy from $ 2 for a pack of 100 g.
Tea and coffee from Egypt
From the trip, you should definitely bring a bag of Karkade tea (Karkade), which is a traditional drink of Egypt, it is also called "tea of the pharaohs." Karkade is made from the petals of the plant Sudanese rose (or Hibiscus). This tea has a sweet and sour taste and a dark red color. It quenches thirst well in the heat and tones up. The price starts from $ 5 for 0.5 kg, which is very cheap by Russian standards.
As an alternative to red tea, Yellow tea (or Helba) can serve. It is a scattering of small seeds of the Fenugreek plant. Fenugreek tea has a nutty taste, lowers blood sugar, has anti-inflammatory, strengthening and analgesic effects. Its price starts from $ 5 per 1 kg.
In addition, on the street ruins and in supermarkets you can find fragrant black and green tea with different flavorings, for example, date, cardamom, mango, guava, lemongrass and others.
Teas are sold in ready-made packages and by weight. It is only worth noting that when choosing tea by weight in shops and street vendors, carefully monitor which jar you are given to smell it from and which one is applied, otherwise you will not bring with you what you have chosen. And also keep an eye on the scales and double-check everything yourself, since underweight and tea substitution are very common here.
Coffee is not grown in Egypt, it is imported, but you can still buy a package of ground or grain coffee with the inscription "made in Egypt" for a sample. Coffee is ground here to a state of powder, and the highlight of local producers is the addition of cardamom to ground coffee, which gives it an unusual and piquant taste. The price for 500 g of coffee in the supermarket is from 100 Egyptian pounds (approximatelyrubles).
Spices from Egypt
One of the best gifts from Egypt will be spices and spices, because here they have a rich aroma and taste and are absolutely natural. Among the most exquisite, we note: saffron, turmeric, cumin, cardamom, anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, sesame, basil, cumin and many others, as well as mixtures of spices and seasonings. The largest selection in local markets, prices from $ 1 per 100 g. You can buy in stores, even in some large supermarkets spices are sold by weight. For example, in Hurghada in the supermarket Gomla market there is a separate with spices by weight.
The original Egyptian product is Dukka – a mixture of chopped nuts (peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios) and spices (salt, sugar, coriander, sesame, pepper, cumin, aromatic herbs). Bread is dipped in this mixture, sprinkled with ready-made dishes as a seasoning, used instead of a breadcrumbs mixture, and when oil is added, it is used as a sauce. Mixtures are prepared differently, depending on personal preferences. Dukka can only be found in the markets.
Clothes from Egypt
There are a huge number of shops with clothes and textiles on the streets of Egypt, both branded brands and consumer goods. If you are well versed in the quality of clothes, then it will not be difficult to buy a good thing. The vast majority of tourists buy cheap fakes of famous European brands.
In addition, the country has established its own production of cotton products, and clothes (dresses, shirts, T-shirts), towels and home textiles are particularly popular.
The most sophisticated can take a closer look at camel wool products (slippers, socks, hats, scarves).
Bags, belts, wallets made of leather can also be found everywhere, however, it is often possible to come across a fake. The price for the belt starts from $ 5.
Jewelry from Egypt
You can buy everything from earrings to necklaces. It is best to choose something colorful, with the image of Egyptian symbols. If you have an inscription containing hieroglyphs with your name on the selected accessory, but it is practically impossible to verify the authenticity of this inscription. Prices are very different, and it is better to buy in specialized stores.
You can buy something unusual with you to please your loved ones with new culinary delights in supermarkets and markets. In the market, compared to supermarkets, the price may be overstated by 30%, but payment is possible in any currency. And in supermarkets, you can only pay with Egyptian pounds or bank cards.
From a variety of oriental sweets, you can bring halva, sherbet, dates, Turkish delight, baklava, kunaf, basbusa with nuts and coconut. Unfortunately, the shelf life of ready-made sweets is short, so you can choose dry mixes for cooking at home, and take into account the shelf life of the product. For example, a package of basbus mixture in a supermarket costs 22 pounds for 400 g. (approximatelyrubles), a box of dates 700 g. – from 41 pounds (approximately rubles).
Another option for sweet gifts is jams and jams made from dates and figs, as well as honey with various additives, among them honey harvested from black cumin flowers stands out, sometimes it is called black honey (Black seed honey) for a can of 450 ml. in a supermarket 63 pounds (approximatelyrubles).
Fruits from Egypt
Despite the obvious variety of fruits, both grown in Russia and imported, it will not be superfluous to please your family with exotic fruits from Egypt. This is especially true in those periods when the ripening time of some fruits in Russia and Egypt does not coincide. Therefore, it makes sense to bring strawberries, mangoes, pomegranates, figs, guavas, dates, tangerines, watermelons and plums from Egypt when we don't have them on sale or prices are too high due to the season. But perhaps the king of Egyptian fruits are mango, dates and pomegranate.
Prices for local fruits are low and therefore tourists like to buy a couple of kilograms with them. But keep in mind that there is also a seasonality of fruit ripening, and therefore there is a big difference in price at different times: the price of seasonal fruits is almost 2 times lower than out of season. For example, the average price per kilo of mango in the ripening season is about $ 2, and out of season they are sold even for 5.
Note one more thing – the country does not have large areas for planting vegetables and fruits, and therefore, to obtain 3-4 harvests per year, it is necessary to actively use fertilizers, which can invariably affect the taste of products and their safety.
Fruits are sold in supermarkets and markets, at prices about the same. Moreover, in the market, unlike the store, you can bargain and try, and even beg for packaging for transportation.
Please note that in accordance with the rules of transportation, fruits should only be transported in hand luggage as a separate place.
Medicines from Egypt
Egypt has long been popular with holidaymakers as a place from where you can bring inexpensive and high-quality medicines. Sometimes the difference in price compared to the Russian market here reaches 2-3 times, or even more.
You can buy medicines in Egypt only in pharmacies. It is better to prepare in advance a list of those drugs that you want to purchase and prescribe their analogues, since familiar names, such as "Citramon", cannot be found here.
in most pharmacy points, they can talk to you in russian, but not everywhere they will be able to give an intelligent consultation if you do not know what you need, and as a substitute they will offer drugs of a completely different group. Therefore, it is worth going through several pharmacies to find a pharmacist who can understand you well and recommend the right medicine. By the way, for example, there are pharmacies where Russian-speaking pharmacists work, who will not only pick up the right drug, but will help to purchase other medicines and funds necessary on a daily basis. There are even online pharmacies, for example, https://russkaya-apteka.com /, where they will not only give advice, offer medicines, but also arrange a transfer from any resort in Egypt to the nearest pharmacy for free. On the website, you can choose the drugs yourself according to the description and place an online order, which will be delivered directly to the hotel or to the address.
Prices for drugs are fixed, and, as a rule, on each box, where the dates of manufacture and expiration date are printed, the price is indicated. The cost is determined in Egyptian pounds under the symbol "LE". There is also such a record "3000PT", which means 3000 piastres (local kopecks) and is equal to 30 pounds. Payment for purchases is made in pounds, in dollars, in euros, and you can pay in a mixed way (some in pounds, some in dollars). It will be especially convenient before your departure if there are pounds left, but they are not enough to buy. We wrote more about medicines from Egypt here...
Tips for shopping in Egypt
In order for shopping in Egypt to leave you only pleasant impressions and be profitable, we advise you to get acquainted with our selection of tips:
- Be sure to bargain at markets and tourist shops. Initially, I can tell you the price is several times higher than the one for which they are really ready to give.
- When bargaining, keep calm, smile, do not shout and do not be offended. Bargaining with elements of a "concert", including showing false resentment or dissatisfaction with the merchant, is an integral part of local "people's marketing" simply in order to sell you more expensive goods, and you should not treat this as a way of deception.
- If you do not know how and do not like to bargain, look for shops with fixed prices, there are plenty of them in the resorts of Egypt too.
- Don't buy into the constant offers to sell anything for just one dollar. This is just a trick to lure you to your store and to your shop. If you try to buy the offered product for $ 1, the seller will immediately forget about his words about one dollar.
- Egyptian traders are sometimes very intrusive and simply do not give passage while walking through the tourist streets. If you don't intend to buy anything right now, just don't respond to their shouts and suggestions, or politely refuse. After all, if you become interested in the supposedly very low price that they shout out to you and enter into a dialogue, then the real price will most likely be several times higher than the one mentioned, and it will be very difficult to get rid of the huckster.
- Traders are very resourceful, and they are ready to lie to you "out of the box" in order to win you over. If you believe them all, then every second merchant in Egypt has a wife from Russia or a CIS country, their children study at a Russian-language school, all their friends are from Russia, and today is their birthday.
- Do not shop in the first days after arrival. First you need to tan in order to look like an experienced vacationer, and then prices will become lower for you, and bargaining will go easier.
- Before the final transfer of money to the merchant, be sure to agree on all the issues of the transaction: the price, what you will pay, what you will receive change in. If this is not done, then after the transfer of money, the merchant will interpret everything for his own benefit, and it will not be easy to refuse the purchase and get the money already given back.
- After the purchase, do not hesitate to check the change and the purchased goods in full view of the seller, and do it without fail, because merchants can easily slip the wrong bills (piasters instead of pounds) or cheat, and replace the goods with defective or other during packing or packing.
- While shopping in Egypt, do not get too carried away with the number of purchases and do not forget that there are baggage and carry-on baggage allowances, as well as customs rules on departure and return home, otherwise you can say goodbye to part of your purchases. Usually, on most flights, hand luggage can not exceed 10 kilograms, and luggage no more than 20, plus there are size restrictions. But these figures may be different, they can be viewed in the itinerary of the flight receipt or tour documents. If you can't find this information in the document, then search the airline's website. About customs regulations and what is forbidden to export from Egypt is written here, and about The customs rules for tourists entering Russia are here.
- And finally, the last piece of advice – never go shopping in Egypt in a drunken state, otherwise you will spend all the money tipsy and overpay a lot.