Shopping in AlexandriaEdit This
Often called the “Pearl of the Mediterranean,” Alexandria, Egypt ,was named after the great Roman dictator, Julius Caesar. Visitors to the Alexandria Shopping scene can find a variety of experiences from open air markets to Western style malls. After indulging in the local beaches and cultural gems of this ancient city, the visitor can wander the shopping district for unique souvenirs.
Alexandria has many traditional open markets, called “souqs,” which sell antiques, papyrus, clothes and other items. Most traditional markets are located on the western side of Midan Tahrir. A visitor to the city can wander through the markets places and observe Arabic culture up close. Market places have coffee houses where men gather to discuss the news and gossip. The shopkeepers are friendly and encourage their patrons, especially tourists, to haggle over prices. Bazaars reflect the changing times in Alexandria. Younger Egyptians prefer the shopping the malls to the open markets. As a result older, more traditional, people frequent the open air markets. One bazaar, Attraine Souk, is a maze of small streets that are too narrow for cars to pass through. The market is famous for being a stop off the beaten path where tourists can shop at bargain shops for less money. Visitors view modern Egyptian fashion and take home unique finds for themselves. Tourists should be aware that the markets close early on Friday for the observance of the Muslim Sabbath.
For those craving a more Western experience, there is an abundance of shopping malls in Alexandria. Modern hotels like the Hilton Egypt Alexandria, have their own shopping malls. While they may lack the authentic feel found in the bazaars, they offer a range of goods for tourists. Other malls like the Deeb Mall offer tourists modern amenities. While shopping, a visitor can check email through the Wi-Fi network offered. They visit the art galleries that maintain paints from American, Egyptian and Scandinavian artists. Visitors will find antique stores that sell finds from the 18th and 19th centuries. As some of the museums in Alexandria charge entrance fees tourists can a sense of the culture for free through the art galleries and antique shops. The stores sell everything from high fashion to electronics.
As in the case of open air markets, tourists have to mindful that some stores close early on Fridays in observance of the Sabbath.