Updated on June 4, 2020 by Asher Fergusson
To help you out, we’ve put together this complete packing list with what to wear in Egypt, what NOT to pack, and answers to all your top Egypt frequently asked questions.
What to Pack for Egypt – 17 Essentials
1. Neck Wallet
A neck wallet is a total game changer in any destination that’s particularly touristy or crowded. Whether you’re strolling through the markets in Cairo or visiting the iconic pyramids, you’ll likely find yourself surrounded by crowds and tourist traps. Wear a neck wallet tucked beneath your shirt to keep your passport, wallet, credit cards, and smartphone organized and secure to avoid pickpocketing and petty theft.
If you’re visiting from North America, Egypt is a long way from home! Avoid the unpleasant symptoms of jet lag by taking these homeopathic jet lag relief pills. They work as both a prevention and a cure and will keep you on your feet during the first day of your trip!
If you’re coming from North America or countries outside of the Middle East, you will need a power adapter to plug in your electronics while in Egypt. This universal power adapter will have you covered in Egypt as well as in many other countries throughout the world. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty guarantee!
Though the tap water in Egypt is not safe to drink, you won’t want to keep shelling out money for bottled water, plus using single-use plastics is awful for the environment! Instead, use this reusable LifeStraw water bottle that comes with a built-in filter so you can ensure the water you’re drinking is safe.
Make your life easier by using packing cubes for your trip to Egypt! Packing cubes will help you avoid overpacking and stay organized so you won’t have to dig through your luggage searching for your last pair of clean socks. This set comes in a variety of colors and includes extra cases for shoes and laundry!
You don’t want to be stuck in Egypt without access to your smartphone. Whether you’re relying on it for communication, navigation, or photos, you won’t want to deal with a dead battery at an inconvenient time! Toss this lipstick-sized portable charger in your daypack so you can easily charge up your devices while you’re out and about.
A VPN is useful for so many reasons whenever you’re traveling abroad. Use it to access websites from home that may be blocked or censored by the host country, and even use it to get around popular new sites’ paywalls that restrict monthly article views. Most importantly, use your VPN to prevent hackers from stealing your sensitive information whenever you’re connected to WiFi in public places.
8. Long Skirt
It’s important to be respectful of cultural norms during your time in Egypt. That means women should be sure to cover their knees, shoulders, and everything in between! The weather in Egypt can get hot, so a long, flowing maxi skirt is the way to go as far as blending in and keeping cool.
Egypt can get buggy, especially in the bigger cities like Cairo and Alexandria. Make sure you’re protected against pesky mosquito bites by packing plenty of insect repellent and applying it frequently throughout your trip.
Whether you’re spending the day strolling through the streets of Cairo or cruising down the ancient waters of the Nile, you’ll definitely need a daypack to carry everything you need with you. This pack is durable and large enough to hold your camera, jacket, snacks, sunscreen, and anything else you might need during the day.
There are few things more important for your Egypt trip than reliable travel insurance. The Middle East can be unpredictable and you’ll need to make sure you’re covered in case of emergency. World Nomads is always our go-to for good travel insurance, and we never take a trip without them!
It’s important to be extra cautious of food and drink in Egypt, as cleanliness standards might not be up to what you’re used to at home. If you feel like you might have eaten something that doesn’t agree with you, take these activated charcoal tablets to quickly expel the toxins in your system to keep you from getting sick.
When you’re spending long days exploring in Egypt’s heat, it’s important to keep hydrated! Add some of these electrolytes to your drinking water to help your body absorb the vitamins and nutrients you need. Electrolytes will also come in handy to soothe a hangover or to help get over food poisoning.
14. Quick Dry Towel
If your accommodations don’t provide a towel, or if the towel provided is unclean, you’ll be glad you packed your own lightweight, compact, microfiber travel towel. This one is great because it dries quickly and isn’t bulky and heavy like a regular towel.
15. Deodorant wipes
After a long day of discovering the best of Egypt, you’ll likely be sweaty and not smelling your best. Pull out your pack of deodorant wipes for a quick refresh on the go. You’ll feel and smell a lot better and your travel partners will thank you!
16. Sturdy Sandals
In Egypt’s hot climate, you’ll likely prefer sturdy, breathable sandals for walking around and exploring than stuffy sneakers. These shoes are comfortable enough for long days on your feet and won’t leave you feeling overheated.
17. Pashmina Shawl
A pashmina shawl is an invaluable item to bring with you on your trip to Egypt. Whether you’re entering a holy site or mosque and need to cover your head or shoulders, or just want to wear it as a wrap on a chilly evening, you’ll be glad you packed one!
Other Egypt Packing List Items Not to Forget
Travel Neck Pillow
Motion Sickness Relief
Over the Counter Medications
ATM or Debit Card without International Fees
Swimsuit Cover Up
Steripod Toothbrush Cover
Makeup Remover Wipes
Hanging Toiletry Case
TSA Approved Travel Size Bottles
Hard Copies of Vital Documents
Noise Cancelling Headphonesk
What to Wear in Egypt
Egypt is known for being dusty and sandy, so avoid wearing white clothing, as it’ll turn to brown quicker than you can imagine! As a general rule, both men and women should remain covered from their shoulders down to their knees, as this is the cultural expectation in Egypt and will be important both for blending in and for your own safety.
Women in Egypt’s big cities, like Cairo and Alexandria will often opt for more modern, westernized dress, while still keeping with conservative customs of covering their shoulders, chest, and knees. At more touristy resorts and beaches, you’re free to wear shorts and bathing suits, though you still might be a bit uncomfortable on the streets with men catcalling and yelling at you. Throughout the country women are expected to dress more conservatively, so try your best to respect the culture both to blend in and for your own safety.
Men visiting Egypt should also dress relatively conservatively and cover their knees and shoulders with longer shorts and a t-shirt. Try to avoid wearing tank tops or particularly tight fitting clothing. It’s common to see men in the bigger cities like Cairo and Alexandria dressing in modern, westernized clothing, so you’ll be comfortable dressing similarly.
Dressing for the Seasons in Egypt
Egypt has an arid desert climate, meaning winters are mild to cool but rarely cold, and summers are intensely hot. Regardless of the heat, locals and tourists alike will be expected to cover up to keep in line with the region’s cultural customs. Opt for loose-fitting, flowing, breathable clothing that will keep you cool but will also help you blend in.
WINTER – December, January, February:
Winter in Egypt enjoys mild weather, and temperatures rarely drop below 50°F (10°C). Winter can get windy, so avoid wearing white or light colored clothing, which is sure to get dusty and dirty! Prepare for temperatures to be warmer during the day and cool down a bit at night, which will require a light jacket.
SPRING – March, April, May:
Spring in Egypt can be unpredictable, but expect temperatures to rise starting in March. Again, be prepared for warmer or hotter temperatures during the day and cooler temperatures at night. Sandstorms can also be prevalent during this time, but they mostly occur outside of major cities. Pack lightweight long and short-sleeved shirts and layers to adjust to changing temperatures.
SUMMER – June, July, August:
Summer in Egypt is HOT, with temperatures averaging around 104° F (40° C) daily. Be prepared for the intense heat by packing plenty of lightweight cotton or linen clothing, sunscreen, sunglasses, and a good sun hat to protect you from the sun’s rays. Don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, too.
FALL – September, October, November :
Fall in Egypt is much more mild, with pleasant temperatures averaging around 85°F (29°C). Due to the improved weather, fall is one of the most popular tourist seasons in Egypt. Expect higher prices and bigger crowds at major tourist attractions during this time. You might also experience some rain in the fall, so pack your umbrella!
Pyramids and Historic Sites – Though these locations are more touristy, it’s important for both genders to show respect for the local culture by keeping covered from your shoulders down to your knees. Opt for long skirts and flowing pants and tops that will keep you cool in the heat. Don’t forget your hat and sunscreen, too!
Nile River Cruise – Nile river cruise attire is a bit more relaxed than many of your other Egyptian destinations, as you’ll likely be surrounded by other tourists in western dress. Bare shoulders, shorts, and swimsuits are fine, but as a general rule, try to remain respectful of the crew and local Egyptians by proceeding with caution when it comes to overly revealing clothing.
Exploring the Cities – In the bigger cities like Cairo and Alexandria, many locals tend to opt for western style clothing like skinny jeans and t-shirts, as long as they are covered from the shoulders down to their knees. As long as you keep with this general rule and don’t wear overly tight or revealing clothing, you should be absolutely fine with western style clothing in the big cities.
Beach Resorts – Beach resorts in Egypt will also be a bit more relaxed when it comes to what to wear. Feel free to wear shorts and bathing suits as you’ll likely be surrounded by majority tourists. That said, consider opting for a more conservative swimsuit like this one to ward off unwanted attention and to show respect for the local culture.
Mosques and Holy Sites – It’s essential to dress appropriately and conservatively when entering mosques and holy sites in Egypt. That means women may be required to cover their head with a scarf or shawl, and both men and women will need to make sure they’re covered from their shoulders down to below their knees.
What NOT to bring to Egypt
3) DON’T TAKE full-size liquids: The last thing you need is to have your expensive jewelry or electronics lost, stolen, or broken during your trip to Egypt. Save yourself some stress (and maybe even some money) by leaving your valuables at home and only bringing what you absolutely need.
5) 5. DON’T BRING revealing clothes: Egypt’s culture requires visitors to dress more conservatively than they may be used to. This means avoiding wearing tight or revealing clothing, and instead opting for loose fitting clothes with more coverage.
4) 4. DON’T PACK too much stuff: Egypt is a country with amazing things to do and see from north to south. Save yourself the hassle of lugging around excessively heavy, overstuffed baggage by using packing cubes to stay organized and avoid overpacking.
6) 6. DON’T TAKE full-sized liquids: Don’t risk having your expensive liquid toiletries dumped out by security at the airport or having them leak and spill all over your luggage during the journey. Instead, pack your liquids in these TSA approved travel-sized bottles and bring only what you need.
FAQs for Going to Egypt
1. Is it safe to drink the water in Egypt?
No, it is not safe to drink tap water in Egypt. Instead, opt for bottled water or fill up your reusable bottle with filtered water which you can find at many hotels and higher-end restaurants and cafes. Avoid eating fresh fruit and vegetables without a peel, and be wary of drinking beverages that come with ice, as the ice was likely made with tap water.
2. Should I take public transportation in Egypt?
No, it’s not advisable to take public transportation in Egypt. Trains are prone to crashing and often result in casualties. Busses are overcrowded, slow, and get caught in the crazy traffic and congestion of Egypt’s larger cities. Using any public transportation option will be chaotic and difficult to use unless you have a good knowledge of Arabic. We recommend taking taxis or even Uber instead.
3. Is it safe to travel to Egypt?
It is currently safe to travel to the more touristy parts of Egypt, including Cairo and the Great Pyramids. That said, it’s always important to remain cautious and keep your wits about you at all times, keeping wary of pickpocketing and petty theft. The majority of the Sinai Peninsula with some exceptions is considered to be dangerous for tourists, and visitors should proceed with extreme caution.
4. Do I need a visa to visit Egypt?
If you’re visiting from the US, you do need to get a visa to enter Egypt. You can obtain a visa by paying $25 USD upon your arrival at the airport. If you’re visiting from Europe or other nations, you will also need to obtain a visa for entry to Egypt, though you’ll need to check online for the details specific to your country of residence.
5. Do you need vaccines to visit Egypt?
As long as you are up to date with the standard vaccinations, no additional vaccines are required to visit Egypt. That said, it’s always prudent to check with your healthcare professional and make sure you’re all set before you go.
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