What to Wear in Egypt – An Ultimate Guide for Tourists

Egypt, with its mix of ancient history and modern metropolis, has certain cultural and weather-related clothing considerations. While the country is generally tolerant, respecting local customs and religious sites, including dressing modestly, is crucial. When it comes to figuring out what to wear in Egypt, it’s important to consider the extreme heat and occasional sandstorms when choosing what to pack. 

If you’re visiting in December, Egypt’s peak tourist season, you’ll experience milder but still warm weather. For a hassle-free experience, consider opting for one of the package tours that we offer, which includes air conditioned transportation throughout your experience in Egypt.

Understanding Modesty in Egypt

Egypt Modest Clothing Religious

When packing for your Egyptian adventure, keep in mind that modesty is key. Although Egypt is a modern country, it’s predominantly Muslim, and modest dress is appreciated, especially in non-touristy areas and religious sites. 

For both men and women, clothes that cover the shoulders and knees are recommended. Women may want to carry a lightweight scarf for visiting mosques where covering the hair is required. Check out our guide to Egyptian Culture and Customs for more insights.

Dressing for Egypt’s Weather

The weather in Egypt is predominantly hot and dry, with intense sunlight throughout the year. The summer months, from May to October, see temperatures soaring above 30°C (86°F), making lightweight, breathable clothing essential. Sandstorms can occur, particularly in the spring, necessitating protective eyewear and scarves. Despite the heat, remember to respect local customs by dressing modestly. 

December offers mild and pleasant weather, making it the peak tourist season. Daytime temperatures hover around 20°C (68°F), while nights can be cooler. It’s the perfect time for exploring attractions like the Pyramids or Luxor’s temples.

Egypt’s climate varies from extremely hot in the summer to milder temperatures in the winter. Lightweight, breathable clothing is a must for any visit. Think cotton or linen materials, and avoid synthetics which can trap heat. In the summer, a hat and sunglasses are indispensable, and don’t forget to pack a good sunscreen. If you’re visiting in December, nights can be a bit cool, so a light jacket or wrap might come in handy.

How to Dress in the Summer in Egypt

Egypt Weather Appropriate Clothing

Dressing for Egypt’s summer weather requires striking a balance between comfort and modesty. Light, breathable fabrics like linen or cotton are recommended to keep you cool under the intense Egyptian sun. Opt for loose, long-sleeved tops and full-length pants or maxi skirts, which provide ample coverage and allow air circulation. 

Sun hats or light scarves can protect your head and neck from sunburn. Don’t forget to pack a good pair of sunglasses and use plenty of sunblock. For footwear, sturdy sandals or walking shoes that can handle the heat and dusty terrains are ideal.

How to Dress at Egypt’s Religious Sites

When visiting religious sites in Egypt, such as mosques or Coptic churches, dressing modestly is not only respectful but often required. Women should have a scarf handy to cover their heads and men should wear long pants. Both genders should wear tops that cover their shoulders and are not low-cut. 

For example, a ‘galabeya’ (traditional Egyptian robe) or a tunic paired with loose trousers would be appropriate. Some mosques provide ‘abayas’ (loose-fitting cloaks) and ‘kufis’ (caps) for visitors to wear. Always remove your shoes before entering a mosque. Make sure to have socks or shoe covers as the floor can be hot or cold.

Footwear for Egypt’s Terrain 

Choosing the right footwear is just as important as clothing when planning your visit to Egypt. Whether you’re traversing the sandy expanses near the pyramids of Giza, walking through the bustling streets of Cairo, or exploring ancient temples, comfortable, sturdy shoes are a must. Sand can get hot, so closed-toe shoes are preferable when visiting desert areas or during sandstorms.

What to Wear When Visiting Iconic Sites

Wear in Egypt pyramids

Visiting iconic sites such as the pyramids, the Sphinx, or the temples of Luxor and Karnak is a highlight of any trip to Egypt. While these sites are somewhat lenient with clothing, comfort and modesty should still guide your choices. Remember, these are not just tourist attractions, but also hold significant historical and cultural importance. 

For a truly enriching experience, consider our well-curated package tours that cover these and many more sites.

What to Wear in Egypt – For Women 

Understanding what to wear in Egypt for women is important for ensuring a respectful and comfortable travel experience. Modesty is a key part of Egyptian culture. While cities like Cairo and Alexandria are more cosmopolitan, in general, attire that covers your shoulders, knees, and chest is appreciated. Lightweight, long-sleeved tops, tunics, and loose pants or long skirts are ideal. A breathable scarf is a versatile accessory, useful for covering your hair when visiting religious sites such as mosques, and also as protection against the sun and sand. 

In terms of footwear, opt for comfortable, closed-toe shoes, especially for sightseeing in historic sites or traversing sandy terrains. For beach towns like Sharm El-Sheikh, Western swimwear is acceptable within the confines of the resort – so feel free to pack your bikini. But remember, when you leave the beach, it’s time to cover up again. It’s all about respecting the culture while staying comfortable in Egypt’s generally hot climate. For a guaranteed extra layer of safety as a female traveler in Egypt, consider exploring the numerous private tours we offer.

What to Wear in Egypt – For Men 

Men considering what to wear in Egypt should think about the same restrictions as women – it’s all about balancing comfort with respect for local customs. Men are also expected to dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious or cultural sites. Lightweight, breathable clothing that covers the shoulders and legs is recommended. Shorts are generally acceptable in tourist areas and resorts, but longer trousers are preferred in more conservative regions or when visiting mosques. A sturdy pair of comfortable walking shoes is essential for exploring Egypt’s historical sites. 

For a more detailed guide on Egyptian customs and what to expect, check out our comprehensive multi-day package tours and resources.

Egyptian Dress Code: Wrapped Up

Knowing what to wear in Egypt is all about balance. Striking the right note between modesty and comfort, while being prepared for the country’s climate and terrain, will ensure you have a fulfilling and respectful trip. For more in-depth information, our package tours provide detailed guidance and offer immersive experiences across Egypt. For further reading, you might also want to check out our other articles on Egyptian culture and customs.

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