Packing List for Egypt: Dress Code in Egypt for Tourists (Comprehensive)
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Egypt is an ancient and vibrant country, and more versatile than you would think – from the expansive desert that dominates most of the country, the humid waters of the Nile, to the tropical Red Sea Resorts. It’s also a bit hard to decide upon a packing list for Egypt as there seems to be a dress code in Egypt for tourists, in the sense that there are certain things that aren’t appropriate to wear.
This Egypt packing list is geared towards women who plan to hit the most popular destinations in Egypt – the sights of Cairo and the Giza Pyramids, cruising down the Nile River from Luxor to Aswan, and the various open air / indoor museums that dot the country. Hopefully you’ll walk away from this packing list confidently knowing what to wear in Egypt.
And if you’re hoping to theme up your packing list, take a look at all things Egypt here: Find Egypt related items on Amazon.
Though Egypt is a more conservative country than most Western tourists are used to, it is very tourist friendly. A good rule of thumb for the dress code in Egypt for tourists is to cover your arms and legs, especially in mosques or more conservative areas. To beat the heat, stick to loose and light fabrics such as cotton, silk or rayon — especially if traveling during the summer.
All items should easily fit into one carry on, depending on how many non-clothing items you add to the list. This packing list for Egypt could easily be used for two weeks or longer, and modified as you see fit.
When To Visit Egypt: Weather & Seasons
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For the purpose of simplification, Egypt has two main seasonal variations, with the first lasting from November to March, and the second from April to October. While of course four seasons are present, when speaking of weather in Egypt it’s often divided into two to describe the hot and ‘cold’ season.
Seasons in Egypt:
- Autumn in Egypt (September to November): While September can still be quite hot as Autumn moves in, with it comes perfect weather (and tourists). The average temperature is around 30 C or 95F at this time.
- Winter in Egypt (December to February): The winds start to pick up as winter approaches, followed by Christmas holiday travelers in the late part of December and early January. Winds are stronger in January and February, so you’re best bet is an early December trip if visiting during this time.
- Spring in Egypt (March to May): Egypt has a risk of sandstorms between March and April, so watch out for days with strong winds if visiting during this time, especially during March and April. Expect temperatures from 20-34 degrees celsius (68-93f). However at night it can get down to around 13c or 55f.
- Summer in Egypt (June to August): The hottest time to visit Egypt with temperatures regularly around 40 degrees Celsius or 104 Fahrenheit. Temperatures have been known to rise upwards to 50 C or 122 F on days without a lot of wind. Consider bringing a cheap portable fan – see prices here.
Egypt Packing List: 2 Weeks in Egypt
- Pants x 2: Long and loose cotton pants are perfect for keeping you cool against the heat, and ideal for keeping you warm in the air conditioned hotels and restaurants of Egypt. They’re also an automatic cover for your legs if you’re planning on entering any mosques.
- Skirt x 2: Long maxi skirts in cotton or rayon (these two are pretty cute: red, floral) are light and can keep you surprisingly cool.
- Dress x 1: A long maxi dress in cotton or rayon is also ideal for the heat. If you need to cover up your arms / chest, pair it with a pashmina or scarf.
- Tops x 5: Loose T-Shirts or tunics in cotton, silk or rayon fabric is your best bet. Stick to light colors to mix and match with your pants and skirts.
- Cardigan x 1: A cardigan will keep you warm during the cooler nights, and also serves as a cover up for your arms in mosques or while you’re out and about on the street. It’s also a lifesaver on a cold plane.
- Pashmina / scarf x 1: A pashmina or scarf serves many purposes. It can cover your head in the heat, keep you warm, or cover your shoulders / chest in the more conservative areas you visit.
- Swimsuit x1: Most of the touristy resorts or hotels have swimming pools, so be sure to include this if you plan to swim. If you are staying at an actual resort, feel free to bring along more swim suits. Here are some cute ones: bikini & one piece.
- Cover up x 1: A loose and light cover up is ideal for lounging by the pool.
- Sneakers x 1: The grounds around the Giza Pyramids and the outdoor museums are grimy and dusty, so a sturdy pair of (breathable) sneakers is absolutely necessary.
- Sandals x 1: Perfect for indoors or lounging by the pool. I’d recommend picking sandals with arch support, like these ones, to keep your feet comfortable while sightseeing. If you don’t mind wearing open toed shoes for the whole trip and wanted to save space, you could go with just one to two pairs of sandals as your only pairs of shoes.
- Ballet flats x 1: Instead of heels, which take up space and are not practical for grimy Egyptian roads and tourist spots, these are an easy way to jazz up any outfit you bring.
- Underwear / bras x 7: The key here is to make sure they’re cotton and breathable. Sports bras are ideal.
- Sun hat: An absolute necessity in the blazing sun, especially if you have dark hair. This one is pretty much perfect for Egypt – see prices here.
- Sunglasses: Even more essential than the sun hat. I’d even recommend bringing a second pair in case the first pair breaks or gets misplaced.
Packing List for Egypt: Other Items
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- Make up & Toiletries: While essentials like a toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant are a given, you’ll need to decide how much makeup you wish to bring. In the summer months be aware that you might want to save yourself the weight and leave the make up at home, seeing as it’ll melt off your face anyway. Pack some dehydration sachets if you’re visiting in the hotter months. And sunscreen is essential! Here’s a handy travel sized makeup bag which is made to meet TSA requirements.
- Camera + charger with 2 batteries is essential for your Egypt packing list. Egypt is a bucketlist site so be sure to capture your memories.
- 2-4 memory cards. I’d recommend taking 2-4 (8-16gb) cards rather than 1 (32-64mb) memory card (I recommend this brand). It’s always best to spread your pictures across memory cards than rely on one incase it gets stolen or breaks.
- Power bank: In case you need to charge on the go. I recommend this one as its cheap and even can charge off solar power as a back up if both your phone and the power bank run out of power.
- All Else:
- Door stop: A travel sized $5 doorstop will help you feel safer while sleeping at night.
- Photocopies of your passport, credit cards and visa incase anything goes wrong.
- Multiple bank cards – trust me you never want to leave the country and only have one card on you. Aim for atleast one visa, and one mastercard from well known banks.
- Recommended Luggage:
- Backpack: You can often take a 45L backpack as a carry on (check bag dimensions against your flight carrier of choice prior to buying). I personally love Osprey and would recommend this 46 Litre one, but there are plenty of similar brands that are cheaper (but wont last as long)
- Suitcase: Anything over 20 kilos and you’ll be frustrated by the end of the trip if you have to pull it around yourself. Try to stay between 10-12 kilos, or even less if you’re hoping to get it in as a carry on. This suitcase is good for traveling light but check with your airline if its dimensions meet carry on requirements.
Where to Stay in Egypt?
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- Cairo / Giza (Most expensive area)
- Budget : Starting from around $17 a night, a good city center hotel is Travelers House Hotel Cairo (check prices here).
- Midrange: Good hotel picks with pyramid views are the Great Pyramid Inn (check here for prices) or the Guardian Guesthouse (check prices here). Prices start around $40-50 a night.
- High End: Again, for pyramid views the Marriott Mena House Cairo (check prices here) or the Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence (check prices here) are a good choice. Please note though that these hotels are near the pyramids and not the city center. Prices are generally $200+ a night
- More choices: To see all hotels and hostels available in Cairo / Giza click here.
- Budget – Midrange: The Karnak Hotel offers comfortable rooms from $15 a night (check prices here).
- High End: With prices much more afforable than Cairo, for luxury I’d recommend the Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa (check prices here) starting around $80 a night.
- More choices: To see all hotels in Luxor click here.
- Midrange: Starting at around $25 a night some good choices are the Royal Star Empire Hotel Hurghada (check here for prices) or the Luxor Hotel Hurghada (click here for prices).
- High End: There are so many good choices for high end hotels in Hurghada starting at around 180-250 a night. Have a look at the Sunrise Crystal Bay Resort (check prices here) and the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Red Sea (see prices here).
- More choices: To see all choices, including cheaper hotels, click here.
- For all other cities click here.
Don’t Forget to Pack Travel Insurance | Egypt Packing List
While not the most glamorous aspect of travel, travel insurance is essential when going overseas. In countries like Egypt it’s even more necessary to make sure you are adequately covered. I personally recommend World Nomads travel insurance because:
- I’ve used it personally on all of my travels to (at time of writing) 25 countries.
- I’ve claimed multiple times and have had positive experiences with the claims team and the claims process
- You don’t have to be at home to purchase it. While many insurance companies insist you purchase while in your home country, you can sign up to World Nomads even if you’re already overseas (there is a short waiting period).
- It’s competitively priced (aka, it’s affordable)
If you want to check out how much you’ll be paying for 2 weeks in Egypt (or however long you plan to stay for), check out their price estimator here (click here)
What To Wear in Egypt: Safety & Health
- Due to the heat, especially when visiting in the warmer seasons, it’s important to protect yourself from heat related issues. Preparing medicine for dehydration or heatstroke will help put your mind at ease in case things go wrong.
- Make sure you give your itinerary to a family or friend back home.
- As mentioned above keep photocopies of your important documents.
- Be careful when diving as some sites in Egypt are classified as advanced. Always seek out a reputable dive center by checking either Trip Advisor reviews or the advice of other travelers. If you feel unsafe on a dive, never be afraid to end it/ not go through with it.
Popular Day Tours
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Luckily guided tours in Egypt are very affordable, many starting around the $25-30 mark. This is especially fortunate for budget travelers who want to see the sights without the hassle of navigating public transport and extreme weather.
For those of you who would prefer to stay in one city instead of moving around, basing yourself in Cairo is a good idea. There are many day trips from Cairo.
- Private Giza Pyramids, Spinx and Sakkara Day Trip: See prices here.
- Cairo Quad Bike Desert Safari around Giza Pyramids: See more details here.
- Nile River Cruise with Entertainment: Check it out here.
- Day tour to Alexandria from Cairo: Learn details here.
- 4 Day Nile River Cruise from Aswan to Luxor with Pick Up in Cairo: See price here.
- For more tours in egypt check out this link (click here).
For other ideas on what to do in Egypt if you prefer to travel without any pre-arranged tours, check out this Egypt travel guidebook.
Seasonal Variations: What to Pack for Egypt in…
- What to pack for Egypt in Summer: Summer is extremely hot so make sure you’re bringing lightweight clothes, sunglasses and a hat. Seek shade during midday and make sure you drink lots of water. If you plan to be in the ocean during your trip in Egypt consider packing an enviromentally friendly sunscreen.
- What to pack for Egypt in Winter: Bring a scarf to protect yourself from the winds, especially if visiting sandy areas. Also pack an extra cardigan or light jacket for evenings.
- What to pack for Egypt in Spring: Like above, if visiting in March or April bring a scarf to protect you from winds in sandy areas.
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