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What To Wear In Egypt (And What NOT To)

When I travel somewhere I do my best out of respect to match the culture as I am a guest in their country. But when researching what to wear in Egypt- everyone online seemed to have a different opinion and I was so confused seeing conflicting IG Photos... so do you have to wear a head scarf everywhere? What about shorts? Can my shoulders be showing? What's appropriate- what's not?

Now after living here for a year, I feel more confident because of my own personal experiences from traveling all over the country, and now I have a better understanding of what to wear and what NOT to wear in Egypt.

Here's what I'd recommend:

Most everywhere you go, in my opinion it's best to respect the culture and here its primarily an Islamic state and as well most Christians are rather conservative so I would make sure your clothes cover your shoulders and any dresses, skirts, or shorts come to your knees.

Some churches and mosques will provide (sometimes for a small fee 5LE) scarfs or smock dresses to cover yourself if your shoulders, chest, or legs are revealing too much. If you plan on visiting sacred locations I would pack a scarf with you or be dressed appropriately cause most of the time they'll hand you what looks like a hospital gown- and that doesn't look cute in photos.

I would pack lots of long flowy dresses, maxi skirts, linens and cotton clothes. Bring layers, the mornings can be chilly and even more so in the evenings once the sun sets. But during the day you'll be glad you aren't wearing any heavy or tight clothing.

Wear comfortable shoes- you're going to do a lot of walking! Always pack at least one pair of closed toed shoes, the sidewalks and roads can be uneven or under construction. And if you're going hiking in the desert at all you'll want to keep your feet protected.

Sandals are fine, as long as they're comfortable. I wouldnt recommend any heeled shoes or boots based off all the walking you'll do and the uneven surfaces.

So what's the deal with all the IG photos??

When you are at Tourist Sites (Pyramids, Abu Simbel, the temples) or along the Red Sea (Hurghada or Sharm el Sheikh)... you'll find more people in less conservative clothes. Because these are more touristic sites the locals are used to tourists wearing less and its less frowned upon. But when you're in downtown Cairo or small local villages I would in respect be more covered up.

What I would do is wear my pretty dress to the site, take my pictures and then once finished put on a shawl or top on over it.- easy!

Egyptians are super curious people- they love "foreigners" and love interacting with people from different countries. Keeping this in mind, while you're in Egypt you're going to get a lot of curious looks- whether you're covered up or not. But I would say, the less covered up you are... the more stares you'll get. So as long as you keep this in mind you'll know what to expect visiting Egypt!

Honestly though I would leave the booty shorts, mini skirts, and tube tops at home- or keep them in the suitcase till you're in a private resort in Sharm!


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