Egypt is one of the most popular tourists destination in the world. Whether it is for a beautiful and relaxing beach holiday or for visiting historical sights that Egypt is well known for. As Egypt is a conservative and mainly Muslim country, a lot of tourists question what they should wear in Egypt. There is no strict dress code in Egypt, however, when you are traveling to any country, you should respect the culture. Not only for respect but also for unwanted attention, which in this case wouldn’t be positive attention.
However, different parts or places of Egypt require a little bit of different clothing. Therefore this article is going to answer your question; What should and shouldn’t I wear in Egypt? The advice will be mostly for women, let’s face it, when it comes to a dress code, men’s life is easier than women’s, however, I am going to mention appropriate clothes for men too. So let’s dive in, shall we?
When you are coming to Egypt for a beach holiday at hotel resorts in Hurghada, Sharm El-Sheikh, or Aswan, you don’t really have to worry about your clothes. Hotel resorts are very open to tourists.
On the beach, you can wear a bikini. When you are going inside to your room or restaurant for lunch, you need to wear something on top of your bikini, for example, a dress, skirt or shorts, and t-shirts.
When you are coming for the dinner, your clothes should be smarter and more appropriate for a restaurant. Here it also depends on the hotel. If you are in a luxurious 5* hotel, they may require a dress code of smart clothing. Men should wear long trousers, a shirt or a polo t-shirt without big writings and closed shoes. Shorts, flip-flops, or any beach wear is not allowed. Women as well should wear a smart dress, skirt, long trousers, and a blouse or shirt. When it comes to shoes you can wear elegant sandals or even high heels if you wish.
If you are going out of the hotel resort, for example, buying some souvenirs, looking around the town, or going for a desert safari, your clothes should be more respectful. You shouldn’t wear anything above your knees, tank tops unless you put a scarf or small top over your shoulders, midriff-baring tops, low-cut v-neck t-shirts, and clothes that are see-through. Men can wear long trousers or shorts, a t-shirt or a shirt. Easy cheesy.
If you go on a desert safari, you want to wear comfortable clothes, like trousers and a t-shirt. You can even wear shorts, but not very short, close to your knees will be fine. Choose materials like cotton and linen and loose-fitting to feel comfortable. Don’t forget to bring a scarf or you can buy one in Egypt. It will protect you from the sand if needed.
Sightseeing in Cairo and other cities
When you are going to Cairo or other cities to see the historical sights, you should dress more conservatively. By this, I don’t mean that you have to wear an abaya and hijab as some local women do. Actually, not all local women wear an abaya, even though most of them cover their heads with a hijab. A lot of local women go with fashion and dress in modern stylish clothes while they don’t show their skin. Meaning long trousers, skirts, dresses, and long sleeves.
Therefore, as a woman, if you don’t want unwanted attention, wear long trousers, a skirt or dress with a t-shirt or a shirt which can be short or long sleeves. If you are wearing a tank top, always have a scarf or light top to cover your shoulders. You will be walking a lot, so you need comfortable shoes, whether sneakers or sandals.
Local men in Egypt dress mostly smartly, wearing long trousers, shirts, and leather shoes. However, the younger generation is dressing more like westerners. As a tourist man, you can wear long trousers or shorts and a t-shirt. Not a big deal. Don’t forget about comfortable shoes.
As already mentioned, choose materials like cotton and linen and rather looser clothes than tight ones as the weather is very hot and you will suffer.
When you are planning to visit mosques in Egypt or any other middle-eastern country, you have to have your legs and shoulders covered and this applies to men too. No shorts and no tank tops showing your shoulders.
For women I recommend bringing a scarf as you have to cover your head when entering the mosque, otherwise, you will not be allowed to enter. Some mosques may be lending abayas, but I think it is better and easier to wear your own scarf.
Bear in mind that before entering a mosque you will have to take your shoes off. In case you don’t want to walk barefoot, take your socks with you.
Tips on what to take with you to Egypt
Egypt has very hot weather and strong sun as it is predominantly a desert. However, winters can get a bit colder, especially in the evening and night can go as low as 9 degrees Celsius. Here are some tips for what you should and shouldn’t take with you when visiting Egypt.
- Sunscreen and after-sun lotion, lip balm
- During the winter months warmer jumper or jacket
- Secure purse or money belt
- Medication for diarrhea (just in case)
- Don’t bring expensive and shiny jewelry and watches
Egypt is a wonderful country with a long history, beautiful beaches, and very friendly and kind people. Even if the culture is conservative, you don’t have to worry that someone is going to punish you for inappropriate clothes. However, when you travel to any country you should know how to dress and have some basic information about the culture. We should always respect the people of the country we are visiting and our travel experience will be more pleasant with friendly people always willing to help. I hope this article helped you with the subject of the clothes you should or shouldn’t wear in Egypt. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.