If you are planning a trip to Egypt, you might be wondering what to wear. Egypt being largely a Muslim nation, one must adhere to specific dress rules in certain places. Nevertheless, beyond religious temples, you can wear whatever you want, particularly in tourist destinations such as the pyramids or temples, where nearly all visitors are international. This post will help you figure out what to wear where.
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How to Dress in Cairo
Technically, there are no specific limitations in terms of clothing for strolling around the streets of downtown Cairo, particularly for men. However, I would strongly advise for women to consider attire that covers your shoulders and knees. While it’s not mandatory, particularly if you stick to the more touristy areas, be aware that you may attract attention, especially in comparison to local women who often opt for more conservative clothing, some even wearing veils. Expect a few inquisitive glances from passersby. Personally, I chose a more discreet outfit to avoid standing out too conspicuously.
Needless to say that both men and women must adhere to strict dress code rules when visiting mosques. That is, shoulders and knees must be covered. Women may also be asked to wear a veil or headscarf (although, in my experience, this was not the case). Additionally, you are required to remove your shoes before entering mosques, so if you are meticulous, I recommend carrying socks in your backpack.
What to Wear to Visit the Pyramids
At both the Giza and Saqqara pyramids, as well as Dahshur, which primarily cater to international tourists, you can dress however you like. You will see millions of tourists wearing shorts or tank tops.
I suggest wearing comfortable clothing if you plan to explore the interior of the pyramids. The staircases for going up and down are narrow and steep, so opting for a miniskirt might not be the best choice. Additionally, it’s advisable to wear footwear that you don’t mind getting dirty, as you’ll be walking on sandy terrain.
Temples of Abu Simbel, Aswan and Luxor: Dress Code
Similar to the pyramids, the temples of Abu Simbel, Aswan, and Luxor experience a similar situation. The majority of visitors are foreign tourists, so there are no specific dress code requirements. Feel free to wear whatever you like!
However, keep one thing in mind. A significant portion of the time, you’ll be outdoors (except when entering the interior of some temples), in open spaces exposed to the sun with hardly any shade. If you visit Egypt during the hottest months, I strongly recommend wearing light clothing. It’s also essential to wear a hat and protect your skin using sunscreen.
Nile River Cruise: Packing List
Keep in mind that, while on the Nile cruise, you’ll be going on excursions to the temples mentioned earlier (Abu Simbel, Aswan, and Luxor). Therefore, simply bring along the outfits you’ve chosen for those visits. Cruises also typically have a pool, so don’t forget to include a swimsuit and flip-flops in your luggage.
Clearly, the dress code in Egypt is far less strict than one might assume initially. The key is to dress appropriately for the high temperatures. Make sure your suitcase includes essentials like a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and, most importantly, an ample supply of water.
TO-DO LIST BEFORE YOUR TRIP
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