The villages of Kerdassa and Harraniyya have no connection with the Pyramids, but tour groups often pay one or both of them a visit. Kerdassa (accessible by microbus from the junction of Pyramids Road with Sharia Mansureya) is where most of the scarves, galabiyyas and shirts in Cairo are made, plus carpets, which are sold by the metre. Although no longer a place for bargains, it’s still frequented by collectors of ethnic textiles, particularly Bedouin robes and veils (the best-quality ones sell for hundreds of dollars).

Guided tours often take in Harraniyya, the site of the famous Wissa Wassef Art Centre (daily 10am–5pm; t 02 3381 5746, w and w Founded in 1952 by Ramses Wissa Wassef, an architect who wanted to preserve village crafts and alleviate rural unemployment, the centre teaches children to design and weave carpets, and has branched out into batik work and pottery. The pupils, supervised by Wassef’s widow, daughters and the original generation of students, produce beautiful tapestries which now sell for thousands of dollars and are imitated throughout Egypt. You can see them at work (except at lunchtime, Thurs afternoons and Fri) and admire a superb collection, laid out in a mud-brick museum designed by Hassan Fathy. To reach the Art Centre under your own steam, take a taxi or minibus 4km south along the Saqqara road (Maryotteya Canal, west bank) from Pyramids Road, or bus #335 (hourly) from Midan Giza and get off at Harraniyya.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Egypt features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
7 amazing African journeys

7 amazing African journeys

Africa is a continent of wild open savannahs, terracotta sunsets, thousands of vibrant green hills and rugged coastlines. Here, you can be chugging along on …

06 Jul 2016 • Harriet Constable insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook