No travel without shopping and, if anywhere, shopping in Sharm el Sheikh is a pleasure …
Shopping in Sharm el Sheikh
If you like copy designer brands in everything from bags and clothes, to shoes and sunglasses, and you like soft camel skin, spices and souvenirs, then bring an extra-large suitcase for Sharm el Sheikh.
Prices are low and prices are bargained for everything. In fact, prices are cheaper than in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
On our visit to Sharm el Sheikh, we took a walk around some of the shopping areas we had heard most about.
SoHo Square – the fancy shopping area
Our first visit to a shopping district, became the fancy area of SoHo Square. We had been told that there were many good restaurants, bars, shops of a slightly higher standard and not least, good entertainment.
We arrived by taxi at 6pm, and made an appointment with the taxi driver to pick us up again at 9pm.
The SoHo area must be Sharm el Sheikh’s big light chain mecca. Everywhere and in all formations and colors, the area was surrounded by light chains.
SoHo IS a beautiful, clean and nice area with a good selection of shops, but we were very surprised how few people there were.
We couldn’t really find the many restaurants we’d heard of. We visited a steakhouse, but with far too high prices and not a single guest, we ended up eating fish & chips at an English pub.
All in all we could count approx. 5 restaurants as well as some bars with the option of buying snacks.
The shops were neat, but not with a better or cheaper selection than in eg. the small shops at our hotel. We saw no entertainment.
At 9pm, we start walking back toward our taxi. At this point, a few more people had arrived, and we realized that SoHo Square probably didn’t really “start” until about 8-9pm.
Even more lights had been lit and places that had been closed were now open.
We didn’t get to see any entertainment – and we would definitely recommend you not go to SoHo until about 8pm.
It’s an ok experience to visit SoHo Square – it’s a beautiful area with a nice decorations. An area that’s far more fancy than anywhere other shopping area.
The atmosphere is good, and if the waiters would tighten up and take orders, then it’is quite nice to sit in the square with a drink or water pipe and watch the crowd of people passing by.
Read more about SoHo Square HERE
The Old Market
It’s said that The Old Market is the town’s cheapest shopping area. Since we had not yet shopped, it was with great urge we went to this market.
By taxi we were dropped off just outside the giant big and beautiful mosque, which in the dark lit up beautifully.
We had badly put our feet on the ground before several sellers tried to charm us, and before we could say no or stop, we were dressed up as Cleopatra and Caesar.
We weren’t quite prepared for these “attacks,” but everyone was nice and there were no bad vibes when we left the stores without buying.
The idea was to have dinner at The Old Market, but there we were really challenged. The Old Market is primarily aimed at the locals – as are the few restaurants.
With the small and only very local selection of restaurants, we chose a random one. We each ordered a Coke and started reading the menu card.
Most of the dishes we had no idea what was, but when we reached the dishes with kidneys, liver, sheep heads and testicles, we became a bit skeptical of the other dishes and decided that we should just settle for our coke.
We went for another round at the market, which despite its wide range of stores didn’t really tempt us to buy anything. Prices are low but quite the same as elsewhere.
The Old Market was nice to visit and probably the place closest to the locals.
The mosque can, it’s said, be visited inside, but we only saw it from the outside.
Naama Bay – “Sharms” largest and most visited shopping area
One of our last evenings, we visited Naama Bay. The area, we heard, should be Sharm el Sheikh’s most visited and touristic area – and with very aggressive sellers.
We got off our taxi by the front of the long pedestrian street, where the shops lay side by side on one side of the street, and restaurants / bars on the other side of the street.
Naama Bay is big and there should be a lot to experience in the area. However, we only had a few hours to spend on shopping. We only saw a small part of what the area has to offer.
All sellers were, like everywhere else, really nice and “intrusive” in a perfectly fine way – by no means ongoing and aggressive.
We got some good laughs – and again we got dressed out. I was constantly negotiating how many camels I would need to marry my oldest daughter away 🙂
Naama Bay became the place where we got to shop everything we dared (in terms of customs rules).
Perhaps we after several days in town had become better equipped in both price level and price bargaining, because we actually got the shopping really cheap – and at prices far cheaper than in Asia.
We liked Naama Bay, which was by no means as touristy as we had been told.
On the way back to a taxi, we walked along the restaurants – here the entertainment was running with everything from belly dancers and snake tamers to karaoke singers etc. Entertainment for young and old.
Next time we visit Sharm el Sheikh, we will definitely spend far more hours at Naama Bay.
Shopping in Sharm el Sheikh was both nice and fun and in every way a good experience