The three stunning pyramids at Giza are amongst the most visited tourist sites in the world. The Great Pyramid (Cheops) dates from about 2580 BC and is the oldest of the seven wonders of the ancient world and also the tallest man-made structure in the world. The other pyramids are Cephron and Menkaure. Their sheer size and method of construction in ancient times is truly awe-inspiring. Needless to say, there are a plethora of gift shops in the vicinity and plenty of hawkers selling a wide range of memorabilia that is much sought after by visitors to this amazing site. Friendly bargaining over prices is fully expected, so, start by offering half the suggested price until you agree on a price that you are happy with!
1. Buy some mini pyramids
Although many would wince at such an idea, in all honesty, these little pyramids will always remind you of your visit to see the pyramids which is particularly special if you manage to get inside one of them. The mini pyramids can look smart on a bookshelf in your office or home. Other popular souvenirs from Giza include models of the Sphinx, material camels and the splendid death mask of Tutankhamun which is on display in the Cairo Museum.
2. Be tempted with some papyrus
Papyrus paper was first made in Ancient Egypt using papyrus grown in the Nile delta. Beautiful handmade papyrus which has been hand painted can still be bought – at a price – but machine manufactured and painted pieces are very affordable souvenirs. There are a variety of sizes available with views of the pyramids, sphinx, Egyptian gods and hieroglyphics amongst the various designs. It is also possible to buy a piece of papyrus with your name written in hieroglyphics. Your piece of papyrus can certainly be treasured for years to come as the colored dyes used do not fade with age.
3. Choose a scarab beetle
Although this Egyptian lucky charm has been popular since ancient times, the scarab beetle is, in reality, a ‘dung beetle’. Nevertheless, it is a popular souvenir as it is said to represent rebirth and regeneration. Models are made in a variety of sizes and materials. One of the most special materials to look out for is the creamy alabaster as this is often used and feels beautifully smooth. Scarab beetles are also popular as charms on silver bracelets and necklaces too.
4. Treat yourself to a cartouche
These beautiful Egyptian silver pendants are very special as they are rectangular in shape and are personalized with your name written vertically in hieroglyphics. Double-sided ones are available for ‘his and hers’ names and attractive open styled cartouches rather than solid silver ones are equally popular. Your name can be written on the cartouche in just a short time by one of the craftsmen.
5. Buy a comfortable jalabiya
Light and extremely comfortable to wear, the jalabiya is a long, loose-fitting dress with long sleeves that is worn both by men and women. The men’s version tends to be collarless and in darker colors, whilst ladies’ jalabiyas are usually brightly colored and often decorated with coins. In the hot summer months, white is the preferred color for both men and women.
6. Pamper your feet with comfortable slippers
Soft luxurious slippers are perfect for slipping on at the end of the day. Crafted in the softest leather and available in a variety of colors, the slippers are decorated with contrast stitch work on the seams and are popular with both men and women.
7. Admire the pretty inlaid jewelry boxes
Available in a variety of shapes and sizes, these attractive wooden jewelry boxes are decorated in intricate Islamic geometric patterns that incorporate mother of pearl or slivers of conch shell. Modern designs even use thin pieces of pearlized plastic in the decoration.
8. Don a colorful Nubian hat
Distinctively styled, the round ‘pillbox’ Nubians are popular headwear for men. They are made from white linen cloth that is completely covered and decorated with brightly colored stitched patterns that makes them very hard wearing.
9. Sip some hibiscus tea
If you are looking for something different as a souvenir that is light and easy to pack, consider some hibiscus tea. Light and refreshing to drink, this delightful ruby-colored drink can be enjoyed either hot or cold and tastes similar to cranberries. Hibiscus tea is known to help lower blood pressure and high cholesterol and it also tastes good.
10. Taste the excellent stuffed dates
Egypt is well known for its excellent dates and is one of the main producers. Dates have been grown there for more than 5,000 years. One of the most popular gift ideas from Giza is a box of stuffed dates. The dates are each filled with a large juicy almond and are then semi-dried in the sun. The result is a truly delicious and irresistible snack or accompaniment to a cup of coffee. Of course, not only do the dates taste good, they are extremely nutritious as they are full of vitamins and minerals as well as being a good source of dietary fiber.