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Authentic Egyptian Souvenirs: Top 10 to Buy in Egypt

April 24
7 min read
Captivating image of Egypt showcasing the ancient wonders of Egypt's iconic landmarks and rich cultural heritage; authentic Egyptian souvenirs.
Table of Contents

    A trip to Egypt is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so you’re most likely leaving room in the suitcase to bring back souvenirs. There will be a lot of crowds, a lot of pushy salespeople, and a lot of bazaars around so it is best that you go into your vacation with a plan of what you’re interested in bringing home. That way, you can do your research and ask your tour guide for recommendations of where to purchase the items and to try your best to avoid scams. Even if you try your hardest, without any knowledge of Arabic you’re likely to be quoted a higher price. I know because it happened to me. Egyptian culture and history have so much to offer to help narrow down your choices, I provide a list of my top 10 authentic Egyptian souvenirs to buy in Egypt below.


    The first “paper” material that led to the development of what we use today. Papyrus is a paper-like material made from reeds that grow along the Nile River using ancient techniques. The process involves stripping and layering the reeds in a weaving pattern, then pressing strips of papyrus together to form a sheet. These sheets can then be used for writing or painting. This is one of the most popular souvenirs and is easy to find around the country with elaborate designs. The prices will depend on the intricacy of the design, the age of the papyrus, and the size. I highly recommend consulting your tour guide or making your purchase through a government-approved shop, in order to avoid scams. Additionally, the government-approved shops help with the preservation of culture and to ensure tourists feel safe and will encourage tourism to their country. Many vendors sell fake papyrus and scam tourists. Two ways to test are by holding the sheet to the light and see if there is a weaving pattern or by crunching a part of the papyrus. If it doesn’t spring back, then it’s fake.

    Cotton Products

    Egyptian cotton is known for its high quality and softness, making it some of the best in the world. For centuries, the Egyptians used natural dye techniques to color the cotton into the lush colors you see today. Today, the cotton is made into clothing, bedding, towels, and upholstered furniture. You can also purchase authentic Egyptian galabeyas, which are traditional dresses that help the wearer stay cool under the hot sun. To avoid scams, be sure to check the product’s label to ensure that the items are in fact made with genuine Egyptian cotton.

    Perfume Oils and Incense

    The ancient Egyptians were the first to create and implement perfume into their culture, as it was used in the embalming process of the pharaohs and personal grooming. This has made the country famous for its unique scents of oil perfumes and essential oils, and incense. The most popular scent is musk oil, but there are many others to choose from such as Nubian jasmine, lotus, sandalwood, rose, and Egyptian agarwood. There are two types of incense available the Oud, agarwood, which comes from the heart of the infected Aquilaria tree and Bokhor “Incense sticks.” This was one of the authentic Egyptian souvenirs that.I brought home and has lasted for years.

    Captivating image of Egypt showcasing the ancient wonders of Egypt's iconic landmarks and rich cultural heritage; authentic Egyptian souvenirs.

    Gold and Silver Jewelry

    Egypt is renowned for its luxurious high-quality gold and silver jewelry often decorate with intricate designs and precious stones. One of the most popular souvenirs to bring back is a silve or gold cartouche necklaces that are personalized with your name written in Egyptian hieroglyphics. This jewelry was inspired by the ancient Egyptian cartoches that were used on the sacaphogus and goods of the pharaoh for identification. Similar to the other souvenirs, you can purchase gold or silver from government-approved shops to ensure that you aren’t getting scammed. However, it is possible to buy the jewelry at bazaars and markets through haggling.


    A crunchy biscuit made with brown sugar and spices, dating back to the 1650s. It was originally made on the eve of Sinterklaas, well-behaved children would be given generous helpings of them as gifts and treats. However, today they’re served year-round and sometimes given on airlines, or with tea and coffee. These biscuits are easy to find at almost any grocery store and make a light and easy souvenir to bring home for friends, family, and colleagues.

    Spices and Herbs

    Bring home the flavors and tastes of Egypt to recreate your favorite dishes bac home. Visit the bazaars and spice markets to purchase popular Egyptian spices such as cumin, coriander, saffron, turmeric, and cardamom, while popular herbs include parsley, mint, and dill. Be sure to check your customs regulations before purchasing them to bring home.

    Alabaster Products

    Alabaster is unique to Egypt and has been used to create stone products since the ancient civilizations such as vases, lamps, and bowls. This is another product to be careful with when making your purchase outside of government-approved shops. The risky test is that alabaster stone and products will not break if you bang it against a surface. While this is the true test, obviously if you do the test and you break it you will have to buy it. So my recommendation is that it’s best to buy from an accredited store.


    A fine decorative handmade textile of thick Tiel “Kenaf” cloth, famous for its durability. It was often used to create shelter tents to protect against the sun and sand storms while traveling in the desert. Historically, Khayameya artisans were chosen by the community sheikh of Khayameya after examining the artisans’ artwork, to ensure quality and skill. Today, the textile is used to decorate people’s houses, and for special events and occasions. This textile can be purchased at the Khayameya market or at the Egyptian Textile Museum.

    Captivating image of Egypt showcasing the ancient wonders of Egypt's iconic landmarks and rich cultural heritage; authentic Egyptian souvenirs


    The original eyeliner was made by grinding the Galena rock “lead sulfide.” In addition to looking beautiful, kohl is believed to protect the eyes from harsh sun rays, curses by evil eyes, and spring allergies that cause watery eyes. There are two kinds of Kohl powder “Bared,” translating to “cold” which is the main type. The other is “Hami,” translating to “hot,” which is believed to have healing effects on the eyes.


    Kilim carpets are made entirely of natural, environment-friendly materials, and natural dye, which are then woven using a wooden loom. hand-made using a wooden loom. The traditional processes are still used today despite new technology. Designs of the carpets vary from traditional patterns to traditional Nubian compositions. The prices will vary depending on the type of material used, such as wool versus silk, the size, and the patterning, If you purchase from a government-approved store, some will even ship the carpet to your home for no additional cost.

    Exploring Egypt’s bustling markets and historical sites presents a unique opportunity to acquire authentic Egyptian souvenirs. From intricately woven carpets to the timeless art of papyrus, each item carries a piece of Egypt’s rich cultural heritage. By immersing yourself in the local markets and engaging with skilled artisans, you can discover treasures that capture the essence of this fascinating country. Whether you choose to adorn your home with handmade textiles or indulge in the luxurious scents of perfume oils, these souvenirs serve as tangible reminders of your unforgettable Egyptian journey. So, embrace the adventure of souvenir hunting and treasure the authentic Egyptian souvenirs that reflect the beauty and craftsmanship of Egypt’s timeless traditions.

    Planning a visit to Egypt? Visit my complete travel guide!

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