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Tentmakers Market, Cairo Overview

Situated along a 300-meter-long stretch of road across the Bab Zuwalya, the Tent Makers Market of Cairo is a must-visit place if you are fond of handwoven textile designs and embroidery techniques. Beautiful blankets, embroidered pillowcases, and blankets can be found in this ancient market.

The Tent Makers Market of Cairo is not only the hotspot of tent making and textile art in Egypt, but it also houses a majority of members of the Tent Makers community of this beautiful city. While strolling through the market, you can discover the awe-inspiring legacy Egypt’s textile industry followed to date. 

Such a level of art and textiles work is difficult to find in the age of machines and industries. In addition to the beauty of the Tent Makers market, the covered roof along the stretch of the market helps keep you charged for sightseeing the entire place and avoid the scorching Sahara’s Sun. Although sunlight do peeps in from cavities made at intervals in the ceiling, that will definitely not heat you up during the trip to this wonderful place.

The Architecture of the Market

With its foundations laid in the 17th Century, the Tent Makers market is one of the few places in Egypt which dates back to the medieval period. Deriving its name from some of the masterpieces produced by Egypt, the Tent Makers market is the one and only place to visit in Cairo if you are willing to buy any textile material.

Upon entering the market, you can observe a common pattern in the architecture of the place. The building built on either side of the street comprises of two storey buildings. The lower floor is used by the tent makers as their shop, while the upper floor serves as their respective residences.

Among these shops, you can find shops related to tents and appliqué works decorating the interiors of the shops. As you move further, you can find shops related to other textile products such as coloured fabrics, cushions, pillow covers, wall hangings, Egyptian cotton made bed covers and many more. The tents made in this market are used for a variety of events such as weddings, funerals, public gatherings, inauguration events etc.

The Tent Makers market suffered damages on a large scale after the severe earthquake of 1992, which shook the land of Pharaohs to its foundations. Till the present day, there are some structures which are undergoing restoration. Looking at them gives a feeling of the intense magnitude and impact of the earthquake of 1992. But ignoring such things is the best you can do if you wish to fill your scrapbooks with memories and only memories.

History of Tent Makers Market

Sharia Khayamiya, one of the remaining fully covered markets of Cairo, originally forms part of the Muiz El Din Street, glorifying the stretch of road between Bab El Fotouh and Bab Zuwalya. Even though the shops in this market are somewhere close to over 150 years old, the craftsmanship related to tents and other textile products has been practices since 2500 BC.

These shops suffered severe damages from the earthquakes of 1992, as a result of which almost all of them have undergone renovation since then. All in all, it is the stories of survival of this market which is one of the most fascinating things to know about.

Nearby Eating Spots

One of the best advantages of the location of this place is that you can stroll across the market while satisfying your appetite in the subsequence. Either you are a street food lover or restaurant goer, Tent Makers market in Cairo has everything covered.

You can find a lot of local vendors preparing and selling Kushari on the streets, giving you a taste of what blend of Egyptian pasta, lentils, chickpeas, fried onions feels like. The flavour of this dish is further amplified when you add the spicy tomato sauce atop all these ingredients.

If you are a restaurant goer, the Zizo, located just opposite to Bab El Fotouh, is the place for you. You can move on to Alfi Bey Restaurant situated at 3 Shar’a el Alifi after feeding on the Alexandrian style spicy tomato sausage sandwiches served at Zizo.

Timings

Monday to Saturday: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

How to Reach

Car
If you happen to be a local resident of Cairo, then it is confirmed that you don’t need any directions to reach the Tent Makers market. You can definitely drive to the marketplace. Even if you are a tourist, you can rent a taxi and hop off at the market location easily.

Subway
To reach the Tent Makers market by a different and relatively simple route, you can board the subway from any part of Cairo, and deboard at Bab El Shaaria metro station. From there, all you need to do is rent a taxi to reach the market, since the market lies approximately 1.9 Km. South of the metro station. Going by Subway can save your energy for the fun-filled day ahead.

Choosing either of the modes for transportation will get you to the Tent Makers market, but it is recommended to reach the market via Subway to avoid the buzzing and honking traffic of Cairo.

Best Time to Visit

Considering the popularity of this place, the best time to visit the Tent Makers market is during the holy festival of Ramadan. The marketplace undergoes a stunning makeover during this period, and the charm of this place speaks for itself in attracting people from all over the world.

While some people are busy buying yellow, blue or red coloured Egyptian fabrics to decorate their homes and shops, you can also buy here to your heart’s content.

In addition to this, there is a great probability that you may spot one of the masterpieces hanging in any of the Café you visit across Cairo, tracing back to the Tent Makers market. Whatever be the reason, one cannot deny from the fact that Tent Makers market delves into the colours of this holy festival with the city. This makes the festival of Ramadan the best time to give this place a visit in order to experience the true colours of this place.

Tips

As the market is closed on Sundays, plan your trip to the Tent Makers market accordingly.

Interesting Fact

The Kiswah (Cloth that covers the Kaaba in Mecca) has been produced in the Tent Makers Market of Cairo.

Read More on Tentmakers Market

How to Reach

Car
If you happen to be a local resident of Cairo, then it is confirmed that you don’t need any directions to reach the Tent Makers market. You can definitely drive to the marketplace. Even if you are a tourist, you can rent a taxi and hop off at the market location easily.

Subway
To reach the Tent Makers market by a different and relatively simple route, you can board the subway from any part of Cairo, and deboard at Bab El Shaaria metro station. From there, all you need to do is rent a taxi to reach the market, since the market lies approximately 1.9 Km. South of the metro station. Going by Subway can save your energy for the fun-filled day ahead.

Choosing either of the modes for transportation will get you to the Tent Makers market, but it is recommended to reach the market via Subway to avoid the buzzing and honking traffic of Cairo.

Tips

As the market is closed on Sundays, plan your trip to the Tent Makers market accordingly.

Best Time to Visit

Considering the popularity of this place, the best time to visit the Tent Makers market is during the holy festival of Ramadan. The marketplace undergoes a stunning makeover during this period, and the charm of this place speaks for itself in attracting people from all over the world.

While some people are busy buying yellow, blue or red coloured Egyptian fabrics to decorate their homes and shops, you can also buy here to your heart’s content.

In addition to this, there is a great probability that you may spot one of the masterpieces hanging in any of the Café you visit across Cairo, tracing back to the Tent Makers market. Whatever be the reason, one cannot deny from the fact that Tent Makers market delves into the colours of this holy festival with the city. This makes the festival of Ramadan the best time to give this place a visit in order to experience the true colours of this place.

Timings

Monday to Saturday: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Nearby Eating Spots

One of the best advantages of the location of this place is that you can stroll across the market while satisfying your appetite in the subsequence. Either you are a street food lover or restaurant goer, Tent Makers market in Cairo has everything covered.

You can find a lot of local vendors preparing and selling Kushari on the streets, giving you a taste of what blend of Egyptian pasta, lentils, chickpeas, fried onions feels like. The flavour of this dish is further amplified when you add the spicy tomato sauce atop all these ingredients.

If you are a restaurant goer, the Zizo, located just opposite to Bab El Fotouh, is the place for you. You can move on to Alfi Bey Restaurant situated at 3 Shar’a el Alifi after feeding on the Alexandrian style spicy tomato sausage sandwiches served at Zizo.

History of Tent Makers Market

Sharia Khayamiya, one of the remaining fully covered markets of Cairo, originally forms part of the Muiz El Din Street, glorifying the stretch of road between Bab El Fotouh and Bab Zuwalya. Even though the shops in this market are somewhere close to over 150 years old, the craftsmanship related to tents and other textile products has been practices since 2500 BC.

These shops suffered severe damages from the earthquakes of 1992, as a result of which almost all of them have undergone renovation since then. All in all, it is the stories of survival of this market which is one of the most fascinating things to know about.

Interesting Fact

The Kiswah (Cloth that covers the Kaaba in Mecca) has been produced in the Tent Makers Market of Cairo.

The Architecture of the Market

With its foundations laid in the 17th Century, the Tent Makers market is one of the few places in Egypt which dates back to the medieval period. Deriving its name from some of the masterpieces produced by Egypt, the Tent Makers market is the one and only place to visit in Cairo if you are willing to buy any textile material.

Upon entering the market, you can observe a common pattern in the architecture of the place. The building built on either side of the street comprises of two storey buildings. The lower floor is used by the tent makers as their shop, while the upper floor serves as their respective residences.

Among these shops, you can find shops related to tents and appliqué works decorating the interiors of the shops. As you move further, you can find shops related to other textile products such as coloured fabrics, cushions, pillow covers, wall hangings, Egyptian cotton made bed covers and many more. The tents made in this market are used for a variety of events such as weddings, funerals, public gatherings, inauguration events etc.

The Tent Makers market suffered damages on a large scale after the severe earthquake of 1992, which shook the land of Pharaohs to its foundations. Till the present day, there are some structures which are undergoing restoration. Looking at them gives a feeling of the intense magnitude and impact of the earthquake of 1992. But ignoring such things is the best you can do if you wish to fill your scrapbooks with memories and only memories.

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