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What to Wear in Egypt as a Woman + My Egypt Packing List

Wondering what to wear in Egypt as a stylish woman? Then this is the guide for you! Not only will I share a complete Egypt packing list with you, but I will also mention all the guidelines to keep in mind when choosing what to wear and pack for Egypt.

Lindsey of Have Clothes, Will Travel wearing a white linen top and hiking pants at Karnak Temple in Egypt.

I found Egypt to be modern yet still pretty conservative in many ways.  Figuring out what to wear there isn’t too complicated, but there are definitely different expectations for men versus women when it comes to appropriate attire.  

Packing for a trip to Egypt can be a bit tricky if you’re a woman, especially if you’re a female tourist who likes to look stylish while traveling. This post is here to help! 

Lindsey of Have Clothes, WIll Travel wearing a fedora, sunglasses and Maxi dress at the Pyramids of Giza.
1 of my fave outfits I had packed for this trip!

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G Adventures is holding a cyber sale where group tour packages are up to 20% off!

Weather in Egypt and the Best Time to Visit

The weather in Egypt is definitely something to think about when planning your trip, even though it’s pretty hot for most of the year. And, of course, this will also somewhat influence what you wear.

The popular high season for visitors runs from December to February because the days are warm but not too bad.  

Lindsey of Have Clothes, Will Travel wearing a colorful maxi dress at Marriott Mena House in Cairo looking at the Pyramids of Giza.

You also have what they call the shoulder seasons – October–November and March–May. During those months, it gets really hot during the middle of the day.  

It’s best to plan things to do early morning or late evening and book a hotel with a pool so you can take a dip and cool down mid-day. But you can still manage to have a good time, especially since there aren’t as many tourists around. For context, we visited Egypt for 7 days in May.

Then there’s the low season of June through September when it’s just incredibly hot, and I’m talking temperatures that’ll have you melting into the pyramids.  

I don’t really suggest visiting then unless you’re (somehow) really used to those temperatures. 

Lindsey of Have Clothes, Will Travel wearing a greenish blue silk dress in a temple in Aswan

What to Wear in Egypt as a Woman

When trying to figure out what to pack for a trip to Egypt, people usually think about two main things. First, there’s the weather. 

Since Egypt is a desert, you can expect hot dry conditions most of the time. So packing light, breathable fabrics such as cotton or other natural fibers is key. Don’t forget the sunscreen and a hat! The sun is intense.  

The second consideration is dressing appropriately for a conservative culture since Egypt is a predominantly Muslim country. Therefore, you should pack modest clothing that will work well in the hot temperatures of Egypt. 

By dressing modestly, I mean, your shoulders, cleavage, and knees should be covered, and you should avoid tight, clingy clothing.

Now, it’s not the end of the world if any of these parts aren’t covered…it’s just not considered respectful to many of the people in this bustling country. It also might get you some unwanted attention (especially if you’re traveling solo) if you aren’t dressed modestly. 

Lindsey of Have Clothes, Will Travel wearing a modest maxi dress at Abu Simbel Egypt.
As you can see, a lot of people are wearing shorts at Abu Simbel.

At ancient sites with dusty terrain, closed-toe shoes make the most sense. And a mask can provide protection from germs and dust.  

Bright colors are common in Egyptian fashion, so don’t be afraid to incorporate some into your wardrobe. However, avoid clothing with provocative or controversial images or slogans, as they might be viewed as disrespectful as well.

Lastly, remember that these are general guidelines, and the dress code can vary depending on the location. For instance, beach resorts and major tourist sites (like the Egyptian Museum in Cairo) have more relaxed dress codes compared to more conservative rural areas or religious sites.

Zac wear a white linen shirt, khaki pants, bright orange sneakers and an oilskin leather hat standing in front of the entrance to King Tut's tomb with his hands on his hips.
My husband Zac wearing a white linen shirt, long pants, and an oilskin hat in Egypt.

What to Wear in Egypt as a Man

I decided to include some general guidelines for men too (considering my husband did travel with me, so I can speak from experience here as well). 

In Egypt, the men tend to dress up, wearing pants and button-down shirts – sometimes short-sleeved, other times long-sleeved shirts.  You’ll see some of the older men sporting traditional robes called abayas – they joke these airy garments are like having Egyptian air conditioning! 

I did notice many men getting away with wearing shorts, but they certainly stood out from the crowd.  The norms are loosening up a bit, but most local men opt for trousers over showing too much skin.

Lindsey traveling in Egypt wearing a yellow floral maxi dress and cream scarf paired with a straw fedora and sunglasses and white keds.
I wore a lightweight scarf, like this one, almost daily while in Egypt.

Keep in Mind the Heat When Deciding What to Wear

Egypt is generally always going to be warm, no matter what time of year you visit. Cairo’s temperatures will be a bit milder in the winter. 

But if you’re visiting Luxor…even in winter the average temps are in the upper 70s (Fahrenheit) ! I have an entire post dedicated to how to dress comfortably and stylishly for the heat in Luxor!

I had visited Egypt in May. This is just when the temps are starting to get nearly unbearable. This had its perks, though, as many places were quieter, with not as many tourists. (Except in Cairo – the Pyramids of Giza and the Egyptian Museum were still bonkers busy despite the heat!)

A couple sitting and posing with crowds of people photographing the Egyptian pyramids on a sunny day.
There are always going to be crowds here!

Wearing lightweight, natural fabrics will be your best bet in Egypt! This way you can still be covered but also comfortable. (Look for 100% cotton, silk, or linen items.)

That being said, though, those items tend to be a bit pricier and will generally wrinkle easily. Only about half of what I packed for this trip contained natural fibers. 

I did wear several dresses that contained synthetic fabrics – so, they were significantly less expensive – but were still perfectly comfortable (for me at least). I’ll talk more about exactly what I packed in a moment, though!

Lindsey wearing a Navy maxi dress at the Temple of Horus at Edfu
This dress by Milumia contained synthetic fabrics, but it was still perfectly comfortable.

During the cooler winter months, layering is key. While daytime temperatures can still be warm, evenings can get quite chilly. A light jacket or sweater is a good idea.

Remember, regardless of the season, the principle of modesty still applies. Aim to balance comfort with respect for local norms and traditions.

Shoes to Wear in Egypt

When it comes to shoes, keep in mind that there will be a lot of walking when visiting Egypt, so wearing comfortable shoes is key. 

And while there is definitely no societal reason for not wearing flip-flips, it’s practical not to wear them. This is mainly because the sand and pavement can get quite hot, and thanks to the uneven surfaces (even paved ones), you’re probably better off skipping the flip-flops here. 

Choose comfortable sandals or tennis shoes, and I recommend darker colors (when possible) so they don’t become completely dirty by day two!

What to Pack for a Week in Egypt

*A good rule of thumb: Pack one change of clothing per day. You’re likely going to sweat through everything you wear during the day!

I had 7 full days in Egypt. (On the 8th day I just woke up and hopped on a plane to Jordan.) Now, I like to wear dresses. I like the way they look, and I feel more comfortable while wearing them. 

So, the vast majority of what I packed for Egypt consisted of lightweight maxi dresses that had some kind of sleeve. (I also liked the added protection from the sun, as my sunscreen application throughout the day can be terrible!)

And, if you’re hoping to only pack a carry-on bag, this isn’t the packing list for you. Sorry.

I am also a style blogger, so only packing a carry-on rarely happens around here. (I also was heading to Jordan for 4 days after this and did re-wear some of these outfits…if they weren’t too smelly!)

*I used this checked bag to pack all of my clothing + toiletries in.

Lindsey of Have Clothes, WIll Travel wearing a fedora and a green maxi dress in front of the Philae Temple in Egypt.

However, if you want to dress comfortably yet stylishly and still respect Egyptian culture by dressing modestly, this is the Egypt packing list for you! (Who doesn’t want to look stylish in their photos next to the pyramids?!)

Here is exactly what I packed for clothing, and I’ll share each outfit with its corresponding post below.

*Note: if you are visiting in winter, then you will want to adjust the packing list a bit, as the temps will be chillier than when I was there in May. I would swap out some dresses for more pants + button-up shirt combos. Here are also some suggestions for additional items to pack:

So, yeah, I packed quite a bit! I did, however, wear all of this while in Egypt and re-wore quite a bit of it while in Jordan too. 

The reason there are more outfits than days is because a couple of these outfits were just for changing into for dinner after I showered from being in the heat all day. Plus, we had also taken a Nile River Cruise where most people showered and looked nice for dinner. Most people also looked nice at Mena House in Cairo after exploring for the day. I’ll list each outfit below.

Another Packing Essential – Use a VPN When Traveling to Egypt

VPN is short for “virtual private network.” A VPN (like IPVanish) sets up a private connection between your device and whatever network you are connected to – so, no one can see your browsing data. 

It is important to use a VPN anytime you are connected to public Wi-Fi (such as at a restaurant, resort, hotel, cafe, airport, etc.). This is because when you connect to a public network no matter where you are, you run the risk of a hacker grabbing your unencrypted data. 

Trust me, speaking from experience here…this can put a real damper on your trip if your banking, phone, or email get hacked while you’re traveling in Egypt!VPNs can also help you save on flights within Egypt, help you watch Netflix shows not available in the US, and more! You can read more about using a VPN in my post “Why I Use a VPN When Traveling and at Home (And You Should Too).”

  • Pro tip: if you are only planning to use a VPN for your vacation (and not daily life), purchase a monthly plan, right before you leave for your trip. Use the VPN for the duration of your trip, come home, and cancel the plan. This way you’ll have only spent a few dollars… but you’ll save yourself a HUGE headache.

The only outfit not listed above was my maxi skirt + T-shirt outfit I wore for a night at the Nubian Village, and I also wore this for my plane ride to Jordan. It’s a comfortable outfit. 

However, out of all my outfits, this one felt a bit too clingy for my preference…at least this particular skirt. I have looser-fitting maxi skirts that would have been better!

I did, however, love wearing this T shirt. (I also wore it nonstop when we were in the Amazon, along with lightweight travel pants.)

3 travelers posing for a photo in the Nubian Village in Egypt.
My maxi skirt outfit…

Toiletries To Pack for Egypt

Here are all the toiletries I packed for visit (along with a few others). This list should help you come up with your own packing list, but feel free to comment below if you have any questions:

Again, I pack above and beyond for toiletries (even if they are all travel-sized)! This is also why I check a bag – there isn’t any way that’s all coming in a carry-on bag with me. I’m high-maintenance – but, I still travel all the time. (There’s no changing me at this point!)

The majority of women would be able to pack half of this stuff and be OK – but, I’m being honest with what I all packed and used for this trip to Egypt. If you have any questions at all but what to wear in Egypt or what to pack for Egypt, fire away in the comments below!

G Adventures is holding cyber sales where group tour packages are up to 20% off!

Frequently Asked Questions on What to Wear in Egypt

Can you wear swimsuits in Egypt?

You can wear bikinis at your hotel/resort and also on Nile Cruises. (Again, I personally felt more comfortable in a one-piece swimsuit.) Egypt just isn’t a place you want to be wandering around in your swimsuit outside of these areas.

Can women wear shorts in Egypt?

I would not advise wearing shorts in Egypt, as it is not considered respectful to the locals. Opt for lightweight pants, maxi skirts, or maxi/midi dresses. Capris would also be considered respectful to wear in Egypt as they cover your knees.

Can you wear leggings or skinny jeans in Egypt?

You can. You will likely even notice local women wearing them. However, it’s important to balance these with a longer, loose-fitting top that will cover your bum.

Do women have to wear a hijab in Egypt?

It also is not necessary to wear a hijab in Egypt. Many of the local women will be wearing them, but it is not expected for women who are touring to wear them. (Unless you want to, of course. The locals will really appreciate your attempt at wearing one!)

If you plan to tour any mosques, though, it is a good idea to carry a scarf with you so you can cover your head. I almost always wore a lightweight scarf anyway, as I liked the added modesty it provided, to make sure my cleavage was never accidentally showing.

Other Travel Essentials for Egypt

Travel Insurance

I, personally, use Squaremouth to find the best insurance policies for my travels. I typically use the Trawick Safe Travelers policy. I have had no issues getting reimbursed for any claims I’ve had over the years (the most recent one being stuck in Peru for an extra 5 days). They’re also recommended by Forbes! You can get your free travel insurance quote here.

Visa Requirements for Egypt

To check if your country requires a Visa for traveling to Egypt check out this site. At the time I visited (as a U.S. Citizen), I bought my visa at the airport upon arrival.

What to Pack for a Trip to Egypt for Women (to be Stylish, Comfortable & Modest)
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  1. Jane Blodgett says:

    Thank you for your very informative blog. I travel extensively and your comments were so helpful. I’m headed to Egypt in a week and have used many of your ideas/suggestions. I like wearing dresses or skirts when I travel and had decided I should wear pants to keep with the below the knee/modest attire. I ended up buying a number of maxi dresses and I know I will feel much better in the still 90 degree heat.

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Oh gosh, that’s wonderful to hear! I’m so glad you’ve found these posts useful. Thank you for reading, Jane! Have a wonderful time in Egypt!

  2. Courtney Byers says:

    This is so helpful! I would not know what to pack. Maxi dresses do sound perfect, since they’re breezy and modest.

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      They worked really well for me!

  3. You travelled so stylishly around Egypt! Thanks for sharing! 🙂 I always need more than just a carry on case, I overpack!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thanks! Glad it’s not just me!

  4. Very detailed list: I always like to see what others pack! And very helpful because of the location!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      So glad you enjoyed it!

  5. I don’t consider that high maintenance…I like having stuff for just in case!! And I never go carryon!!
    I loved these posts, and it’s going to help me in AZ too!!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Haha, I’m so glad a fellow non-carryon person is out there! I just can’t do it for this long of a trip! Thank you so much for reading, Jodie.

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