Egypt is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. With 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (most of which cultural) and 5-star resorts on the coast of the famous Red Sea, Egypt is the ideal destination for beach lovers and cultural tourists alike.
Egypt is also a predominantly Islamic country. Many Western travelers — and especially, female visitors — wonder about the dress code for tourists in Egypt. Packing appropriately is, to many, a natural part of travel planning, just like booking a plane seat and applying for the right visa for Egypt.
In this article, you’ll learn about:
- Egypt tourist dress code
- Acceptable items of clothing for male and female travelers
- Specific rules for specific tourist landmarks.
As it’s the case with most of Middle East’s societies, Egyptians are warm and welcoming people. Of course, respecting their traditions and customs will help foreigners enjoy an hassle-free time in the country, whether they’re there for business or pleasure.
What Is the Dress Code in Egypt?
Egypt is a nation proud of its customs and culture. This means that citizens of other countries coming to visit Egypt with an Egyptian visa are expected to be sensible with local customs in many occasions — from respecting (but not necessarily following) the sacred month of Ramadan to dressing appropriately.
Although most of the rules are unwritten when it comes to clothing, Egypt is an overall conservative country. Egyptians love fashion and often dress in smart outfits but these always lean towards modesty and avoid showing too much skin.
Egyptian land is mostly desert. During the summer months, the temperatures can rise to well over 40 degrees. Therefore, it’s essential that visitors wear light, breathable clothing at all times as well as a hat or scarf to cover their heads during the hottest hours of the day, especially if they are walking and sightseeing.
Do Women Have a Dress Code in Egypt?
As mentioned before, tourists should wear what many Westerners consider conservative outfits. However, there is no compulsory dress code for women in Egypt, no matter whether they are locals or tourists.
In general, it’s advisable to keep your cleavage, knees, and shoulders covered. However, you can wear a bathing suit on Egyptian beaches.
Many Muslim women decide to cover their hair with the traditional hijab every time they are in public. But the hijab is in no way mandatory and foreigners and Egyptians alike are free to decide whether they want it to wear it or not in most circumstances.
One exception is represented by Mosques and other religious sites. Here, visitors of both genders are expected to respect the Islamic tradition. For women, this means covering their head, arms, and legs. In the most popular Mosques, you’ll be offered appropriate clothing by the staff so there’s no need to worry about carrying extra clothes with you.
Dress Code for Men in Egypt
Egyptian men like to wear smart clothes — it’s normal to see men of all ages in shirts, long trousers, and leather shoes. Jeans and t-shirts are rarer. Watches are usually worn but showy jewelry is not the norm.
Tourists are not expected to dress formally and t-shirts are considered acceptable for sightseeing (but not in formal occasions or if you’re invited to someone’s house).
Shorts above the knee and sleeveless shirts are not allowed inside Mosques and other sacred sites.
What Do You Wear to the Pyramids in Egypt?
The Pyramids are right on the outskirts of Cairo. The sun can be scorching here during the summer and it’s unlikely that you’ll spend much time in the shade. It’s paramount that you wear breathing materials like cotton and linen.
Comfortable footwear is also essential — avoid high heels and open toes. Women who intend to visit the inside of the Pyramids may want to wear trousers as they’ll need to ascend and descend staircases as well as crawl in narrow passages.
Winter Palace Egypt: Dress Code
A luxury establishment that attracts many, the Winter Palace in Luxor offers an experience that is likely to be remembered. Whether you wish to take a walk in its gardens or book a spot for high tea, a visit to the Winter Palace is considered a formal occasion.
Although many decide to wear black tie attire, long trousers and long-sleeved shirts will suffice.Obtain your eVisa