Slap in the center of Aswan’s downtown district, Sharia el-Souk is a souvenir hunter’s dream. The stalls brim with spices and perfumes galore, traditional galebeyas (long robes) and scarves in rainbow hues, basketry, and silverware. It’s a fun place to browse and — for the most part — free from the vendor hustle that you get in other parts of Egypt.
Look out particularly for Nubian jewelry and needlework, which showcase the distinctly different culture of Upper Egypt’s people. And if you’ve become addicted to the refreshing local karkadai drink, keep your eyes peeled for buckets of the dark-red dried karkadai (hibiscus) petals that you can buy by weight to recreate the drink back home