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“Experience better than I thought”
Review of Souks (Market)

Souks (Market)
Ranked #42 of 84 things to do in Luxor
Attraction details
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Experience better than I thought”
Reviewed 1 April 2013

After my experience in Khan el Khalil in Cairo 16 months ago I was expecting to be hassled just as much but I was very surprised. You got invited into their shop but they certainly didn't hassle you. I am not sure if it was because I had my guide Khaled with me. When I was looking for silver earrings I found they didn't really negotiate as much either. Prices were certainly up since I was in Egypt last.

Visited February 2013
2 Thank Karen K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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60 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
55 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Hassle free shopping”
Reviewed 22 March 2013 via mobile

Having been hassled on the street to buy or take a Caleche ride, I was expecting more of the same in the Souk. I was pleasantly surprised as although the stall holders were calling ut to you to have a look, they politely accepted if we said La Shokran and moved on. We did not experience any hassle and had fun bartering.

1 Thank BirminghamKatie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Romford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
147 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“An experience”
Reviewed 26 February 2013

This was really enjoyable. We had hassle all week walking through the street of Luxor. Although we really wanted to experience the Souk we expected it to be the same. The stall holder are calling out to you for your business but I ve got to say its very good natured and we had quite a laugh with them. Our youngest needed the toilet and we were suspicious of a man offering to take us as we thought he would want money. He explained that not everyone was after money and that it was for 'our baby', he got someone to unlock a toilet for us. We then sat at a cafe for a mint tea and soaked up the atmosphere. We really enjoyed this and would reccommendit. Go with an open mind and sense of humour and you won t go wrong.

Visited February 2013
Thank laura y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Tourisit versus locals Souk”
Reviewed 22 January 2013

Remember that your are expected to haggle, start at 50% of the asking price and then negotiate. For example we bought perfume in the tourist part at £8 per bottle then went to the locals part with our taxi driver and paid £2.00 a bottle. It is unsafe to go to the locals souk by yourself as there are pickpockets around.

Visited December 2012
Thank Kay C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
68 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Good fun if you like to haggle.”
Reviewed 20 December 2012

If you can accept that Egyptians really need tourism right now and therefore the Souk is more empty than usual and therefore more vendors saying 'come and look' then this is a really good experience. People are very willing to talk politics at the moment and enjoy to invite you for a drink; hot or cold, (I recommend Hibiscus tea and have never had any tummy problems) Everywhere in the souk vendors pay commission so if someone asks for "something for me" they are low on the earning scale. £1 or 2 0r 10/20 Egyptian is appreciated. (add it in to your calculation when you are agreeing a price if you are paying more than £10 for your purchases) This will happen If you find you want something but haven't brought enough money someone will walk back with you to where you stay. (that stops the hassle!)
Two shops where I have had good experiences are the beautifully clean Old Market House, on the left hand side not far in. Mahmood is the young man who speaks good English. And further in on the right a small shop with boxes and perfume bottles before a spice shop caller Maher El Attar: ask for Sayed. The boxes are good value: in the airport they are from £8 for a small hexagonal one to £10 for an oblong bigger one and £12 for a more elaborate one. (The prices in the airport are in Dollars so I have divided by 3 and x'd by 2 to get £s)
If you like talking to local people this is a good way to do it: if you spend a little money then this is a price to pay in a country where there is a lot of poverty and extended families of a dozen or more can rely on what you spend. DO not be annoyed: if you refuse to buy a scarf from a woman on the Cornish, or have your shoes cleaned etc and someone is rude to you just walk away. I have founf the best time to shop in the Souk is after sunset, it is easier to walk there too, not so much Caleche hassle.
Egyptians are basically warm friendly people who are suffering at the moment because tourists are put off by the political trouble in Cairo. Luxor is hundreds of miles away and depends on us for income. Be nice; it costs nothing. But don't be naieve: silk scarves are usually NOT silk, £5 for a nice scarf isn't a bad price but £20 is what you pay when you feel you can't get out of a shop. A good idea is to have some signals between you to say if you want to be 'rescued' A man saying "Come away NOw" in a firm voice soon brings the price down! Good hunting!

Visited December 2012
1 Thank worldwanderer63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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