Citystars is Egypt’s top retail mall and is on par with an international mall. It carries the majority of foreign brands as well as the majority of international culinary chains. It has a cinema and an amusement park. Mall of Arabia is a brand new, huge retail mall in the 6 October City suburbs. It is Cairo’s second most popular shopping location, with many of the same American and European brands as Citystars.
ATMs may be found in a variety of locations across downtown. ATMs at five-star hotels are a more secure choice. There are also various currency exchange offices, or you may go to any big bank, such as HSBC or Commercial International Bank, for currency swaps or to redeem traveler’s cheques. In Cairo, there are also a handful of Citibank branches.
Foreign currencies may also be exchanged into Egyptian pounds at all Egyptian banks, including Banque Misr, National Bank of Egypt, Banque De Caire, Arab African Bank, The United Bank, and big Bureau De Change branches.
Be warned that many sellers will attempt to defraud you as much as they can. Papyrus museums are a particularly prevalent ruse. They vary in a variety of flavors, but they are often referred to as galleries, museums, or workshops. You will be given a short explanation or demonstration on how papyrus is created, and you will be advised against purchasing papyrus from cheaper stores that use banana leaf (though no matter where you go, no one has a sample to show you, questioning the legitimacy of this “warning”). Prices will be in the hundreds of dollars, and you will be given what looks to be a substantial discount. However, if you look around, you will see that the majority of what they provide is only worth EGP1-5 at best. Tour guides, taxi drivers, and hotel personnel are all in on it, and they often get a 50% fee if they lead an unsuspecting visitor into this trap.
In Islamic Cairo, the Khan El-Khalili market is a massive souq. The merchants in this town are hungry and skillful, so don’t fall for the hard sell and be prepared to haggle. This is an excellent location for purchasing rustic glassware and perfume bottles. Take your time.
Zamalek offers a lot of tiny yet upscale businesses, as well as shops providing crafts, jewelry, and other products. Fair Trade Cairo, located in Zamalek, is a fantastic boutique that sells high-quality goods manufactured by local craftsmen. Nefertari, which is situated in Zamalek, sells amazing organic cotton linens, skin care products, and other such items. Nomad also has a modest, beautiful second floor storefront in Zamalek, as do Nagada and Khan Misr Taloun.
Midan Talaat Harb and its adjoining streets, especially Talaat Harb Street, are teeming with stores offering everything from shoes to books to sweets.
The Midan Ataba district of Downtown Cairo is home to big bookstore markets, where you can get affordable books, as well as electronics and apparel shops; however, be wary of the overcrowding, since it makes pickpocketing easier.