If you're going through your closet in preparation for your big Egypt adventure and wondering what you can pack and what you can leave at home, keep the two Cs in mind – cool and conservative. 

Summer temperatures in southern cities like Aswan can reach heights of 50°C (122°F) and don’t always drop at night. Light fabrics like linen, cotton and athletic gear made to take the heat are best. Just remember to cover up from your shoulders to below the knee. While women are expected to dress more conservatively than men, even the fellas should leave the short shorts and tight singlets at home. Also, avoid packing anything in white. While standing in front of the pyramids in an all-white linen suit makes for a great photo, the desert dust will quickly turn those light-coloured clothes a not-so-delightful shade of brown.

If you’re travelling outside of winter, don’t underestimate the cool change that can come in the evenings, especially if you’re spending the night in the desert or on a Nile cruise. A light fleece or jacket should be sufficient to keep you warm on Egypt’s chillier nights.   

In terms of footwear, sneakers and/or sandals made for walking are essential. Pathways on historical sites are often rocky and uneven, and the footpaths in the main cities aren’t much better.

Click here to read more about weather in Egypt

what to wear in cairo, Egypt

What should female travellers wear in Egypt?

Women are held to a more conservative dress standard than men in Egypt. While the expectations for travellers are less strict than for local women, you will draw less attention (and have a more immersive journey) if you pack clothes that cover from at least shoulder to below the knee.  

The looser your clothes are, the better. Form-fitting clothing can be just as poorly received as exposed skin. Packing a couple of tunics and long sleeved shirts that you can slip over the top of your outfits is also a good idea for easy layering in more conservative areas.

For visits to mosques, female travellers should wear clothing that covers from ankle to elbow as well as decolletage and hair. Don’t worry if you have a few stray strands hanging out beneath the head scarf, it’s more about being seen to make the effort. Aside from mosque visits, female travellers are not expected to wear a headscarf. 

So, what if you want to swim? The good news is you can pack your regular swimsuit when travelling to Egypt. Hotels with pools that cater to foreigners do not have dress codes.

Must-pack items for Egypt

  • Long, baggy skirts and/or pants
  • Long-sleeved t-shirts
  • Bathing suit
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • A scarf or shawl for women to cover their hair when visiting mosques
  • A light fleece or jacket if travelling outside of summer

See our ultimate packing list for a more comprehensive list of items you should bring on your trip to Egypt.

Click here to return to Egypt FAQs

Our tours in Egypt

12 Days From 2472

From Cairo, Alexandria and Aswan to the Valley of the Kings at Luxor, see the pharaohs,...

8 Days From 1130

Visit Egypt and adventure along the River Nile through the land of the pharaohs, from...

8 Days From 2709

From the Pyramids of Giza to the temples of Karnak and the bustling Khan al-Khalili...

19 Days From 4635

This 19-day tour explores the best of Egypt and Jordan in Comfort, from Cairo to...

15 Days From 5700

Discover Egypt and Jordan on a 15-day Premium adventure from Cairo to Amman, including...

Tailor-Made trips

Take two or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

15 Days From 2735

Take an adventure holiday through Egypt and Jordan. Visit Cairo, the Pyramids of Giza,...

15 Days From 3728

Travel down the Nile from Cairo to Aswan, exploring Luxor, Alexandria and more along...

21 Days From 7965

Uncover the culture and history of the Middle East on a 21-day Premium journey through...

22 Days From 6555

Discover the contrasts of modern and ancient Egypt and Jordan on this in-depth Premium...

22 Days From 2903

Jordan and Egypt on a 22-day adventure including Petra, Cairo, Wadi Rum, Aswan, Luxor,...

15 Days From 1240

Explore Egypt in 15 days with an Intrepid tour to Cairo, the Nile, Aswan, Luxor and...

9 Days From 923

Take an immersive nine-day tour through Egypt. Kick off in Cairo, home to the Pyramids...

9 Days From 1369

Follow in the footsteps of prophets on an adventure tour through Jordan and Egypt....

15 Days From 2291

This is trip for the big names – Lawrence of Arabia, Indiana Jones, Tutankhamen. Jordan...

22 Days From 5330

Experience the best of the Middle East across Jordan, Egypt, Israel & Palestine....

19 Days From 3337

Travel from Cairo to Tel Aviv, stopping at Aswan, Luxor, Cairo, Wadi Rum, Petra, Amman...

8 Days From 1820

Decode the secrets of the Great Sphinx and more during this family adventure through...

28 Days From 11675

Deep dive into the Middle East on a 28-day Premium journey through Egypt, Jordan,...