How to Dress When Visiting Egypt?

Being a Muslim country, most Egyptians dress very conservatively but foreigners can dress as they wish. Still, we recommend dressing on the conservative side, with beach resorts being an exception.

How to Dress When Visiting Egypt

Man wearing a traditional galabeya dress next to a colorful Nubian house, Nubia, southern Egypt


How to Dress When Visiting Egypt

There is no getting away from the fact that Egypt is a conservative country, but it is far less conservative than many other Arab countries, and especially when it comes to foreign travelers. Contrary to what you may have read or been told, there really isn’t any reason to worry about how to dress when visiting Egypt.

From the moment you arrive in the country, you will notice that Egyptian men and Egyptian woman dress conservatively, and especially Egyptian woman. However, this is sort of dress code is not really expected of foreigners, including foreign woman. Still, you will certainly feel a lot more comfortable if you dress somewhat on the conservative side.

The Best Way to Dress for Sightseeing Tours

Given that Egypt is a very hot country for most of the year, many people worry about how to dress when visiting Egypt, and especially during sightseeing tours and/or Nile cruise excursions.

During sightseeing tours, loose-fitting baggy clothes tend to be the most comfortable regardless of when in the year to you choose to visit. You should also opt for clothing made from breathable fabrics. Long cotton slacks and cotton long-sleeve shirts are ideal when visiting Egypt’s breathtaking tourist sites such as the legendary Giza Pyramids and the magnificent Abu Simbel Temples complex. Woman can of course also wear loose dresses.

Dressing like this not only helps you to stay cool, but it also helps you to avoid serious sunburn. You should also consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat in order to protect your face from sunburn. If you would rather wear short pants and t-shirts, then feel free to do so, especially at major tourist attractions and other touristy areas.

Believe us when we say that the Egyptians you will encounter in places like this are well accustomed to tourists and the way in which they choose dress. Nobody is going to bat an eyelid if you choose to wear short pants, and the same applies to both male tourists and female tourists.

As far as footwear is concerned, we highly recommend that you pack in a pair of comfortable closed-toe shoes and a pair of comfortable sandals. Whether you choose to wear shoes or sandals while you are out sightseeing is a personal choice.

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When to Dress Conservatively?

As a general rule, you should always dress conservatively, and especially when you are away from Egypt’s main tourist areas. Men are free to dress more or less however they wish, regardless of where about in the country they are, but for women it is not quite the same.

Women who choose to go exploring on foot in cities like Cairo, wearing very revealing clothing, including crop tops, miniskirts, or barely-there short pants, are going to attract unnecessary attention, and could possibly also experience some degree of harassment.

You will also need to dress conservatively when entering any mosque. This is not optional. Ideally, tourists should wear a pair of trousers and a long-sleeve top. However, as a man you are not likely to be turned away simply because you have arrived in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt.

Women, including women tourists must, at the very least, cover their  hair, neck, shoulders, and their legs to below the knees. Female tourists can usually rent a headscarf and/or a long robe at tourist-friendly mosques if need be.

How to Dress when Visiting Egypt for a Beach Holiday

How to dress when visiting Egypt’s coastal resorts such as Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, etc? We can only say that you don’t have to dress as conservatively as what we would recommend for other parts of the country. Places like Sharm El-Sheikh are thriving tourist hotspots. The vast majority of locals in such areas are very much accustomed to tourists and the way in which they choose to dress.

Let us just say that nobody is going to bat an eyelid if you choose to walk around in shorts and a sleeveless top if you are a guy, or short pants and crop tops if you are a woman. You can also wear the same sort of swimwear when you’re on the beach as you would if you were visiting the beach in your own country. So, if you are a female tourist and you want to go sunbathing in a bikini, you are welcome to do so.

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How to Dress For a Nile River Cruise

On most of the regular Nile River cruise ships there is no special dress code, but many passengers tend to dress smart casual, particularly during meal times. With that having been said, on some of the most luxurious Nile cruise ships, there is often a dress code that requires passengers to dress in smart casual attire during mealtimes and in certain indoor spaces. When you are outdoors on deck or you are lounging around the pool, you’re free to dress as you wish.

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Final Summary: How to Dress when Visiting Egypt

The most part, tourists should dress on the conservative side when traveling in Egypt but they can adopt a more relaxed attitude towards the way in which they dress when they visit coastal resorts and popular tourist attractions.

We also recommend doing further research about what to pack for Egypt once you have decided on a travel date. Despite what many people tend to believe, some months of the year are actually cold in Egypt and it is wise to pack accordingly.

Suggested Reading: What to Pack for Egypt?

A Dream Trip Awaits

Are you interested in booking a dream vacation to Egypt? At Egypt Tours Plus, we have an absolutely fantastic range of private guided Egypt tours packages and 5-star Nile River cruises to suit all tastes and budgets.

All of our package tours are fully customizable and include private expert guides, personal drivers, and deluxe air condition transport. We also offer 100% tailor-made tours which allow you to design your own unique travel itinerary from scratch.

Contact us now to begin designing or planning your once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Land of the Pharaohs, or to book your dream vacation in Egypt today.


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Last Updated on March 25, 2024