5 Effortless Egypt Outfits & What to Wear in Egypt for Women and Men

by | Jul 26, 2023 | 4 comments

The fun starts long before you’re wandering ancient tombs and temples in Egypt because you get to plan your Egypt outfits!

Egypt is a predominately Muslim country with a completely different culture so it’s totally normal to feel so confused about what to wear in Egypt. This guide will tell you exactly what to pack for Egypt and give you tons of Egypt outfits ideas based on what I wore on my Egypt honeymoon. Plus, you’ll also get tips on what your man should wear if you’re doing a couples Egypt trip.

woman wearing egypt outfit example at Abu Simbel, Egypt

Me in front of Abu Simbel. It’s a three-hour drive each way but TOTALLY worth it. Don’t miss it on your trip!

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What to Know Before Visiting Egypt to Give You Realistic Expectations

In this day and age, it’s easy to think a destination is totally glamorous because all you’re exposed to is the highlight reel on Instagram. That’s why I’m sharing some honest information on what to expect in Egypt so you’re not surprised during your stay.

Egypt is a predominately Muslim country with the second-largest religion being Coptic Christian.

While traveling around Egypt, the majority of the women you see will be wearing some form of head covering and modest clothes, but not all. Around ten to twenty percent of Egypt’s population are Coptic Christians, meaning there are millions of women who do not cover their heads. Contrary to what the news will say, Egyptians are friendly people who coexist peacefully with each other, despite differing religious beliefs.

On our amazing Cairo tour with Salama he explained to use how Egyptians peacefully coexist and that most of his best friends are Coptic even though he is Muslim.

cairo egypt buildings

Fun Fact: When they widened the highway in Cairo they actually cut buildings in half to make room. The colored blocks you see used to be the inside walls of peoples home and bedrooms.

Egypt is developing country with poor living conditions for many.

The average Egyptian earns around $300 per month and most Egyptians live in what Westerners would refer to as slums or dilapidated buildings. I don’t say this to be insulting but to make you aware of what Egypt is actually like.

The water isn’t safe to drink and hygiene practices make food and drinks more risky than other countries.

Egypt is definitely a country that you’re more likely to get sick in due to the contaminated water and questionable hygiene practices. It’s so important you take preventative measures to avoid getting food poisoning or traveler’s diarrhea, and know what to do if you feel sick. Don’t let the risks of getting sick deter you from this amazing country! All the adventurous destinations come with some risk. 😉

Believe it or not I got sick on my Egypt honeymoon not from the delicious street food, but the meals on our Nile Cruise and at our all-inclusive resort in Sharm El Sheikh.

Related Post: What Is Travel Diarrhea? Everything You Never Wanted to Know

There’s a tipping culture.

Be prepared to tip everywhere and for everything. You’ll want small bills with you at all times so you can easily tip your driver, hotel staff, restaurant staff and tour guides. Constantly tipping can feel pretty annoying if you’re not used to a tipping culture. That’s why it’s so important to go to Egypt accepting that you’re going to tip and even being happy to do it. After all, your Egyptian tour guides and helpers work hard and will be so grateful!

You will get hassled, begged and scammed.

Unfortunately, the scamming and aggressive sales tactics in Egypt can be pretty overwhelming. In fact, it’s the main reason most traveler’s end having an awful time in Egypt or swearing they’ll never return.

You can avoid or greatly lessen how bad the hassling and scamming is by traveling with a reputable tour company and visiting the main sites with an Egyptologist. However, the key to not being bothered by these tactics and lessening how long they last is by completely ignoring them and being firm in saying no when necessary. Role play with your travel mate or friend before visiting Egypt if necessary because being prepared for this part of Egyptian tourism culture really helps you enjoy your trip.

what to wear in egypt woman at philae temple

What to Wear in Egypt Women: A General Guide

First of all, I should mention that you’re going to get widely different suggestions on what to wear in Egypt as you do your research and read different blog posts. Some people say to cover every inch of your body because it’s a Muslim culture. Others say wear whatever you want because you’re a tourist. My Egypt outfit recommendations fall in the middle, erring on the conservative side with practical modifications.

When I was packing for Egypt, I really erred on the conservative side. So, imagine my surprise when I saw female tourists at the major sites wearing crop tops, backless tops and thin tops with no bra! I definitely don’t recommend dressing like that, I just share that so you realize you do not need to be paranoid about what you wear at the tourist sites.

“General Rule of Thumb” Tips for What to Wear in Egypt as a Woman:

Tops: Avoid tops that show cleavage or your stomach. Sorry, no crop tops! When wearing a tank top, bring a thin chambray shirt, linen shirt or long scarf with you in case you need to cover up to feel comfortable or get out of the sun.

Bottoms: Wear dresses, skirts and pants that go past your knees. Avoid anything see through.

Shoes: Wear comfortable walking shoes that you can wear for hours on end. Tennis shoes or sandals are fine, just know your feet will get dusty and dirty if you’re wearing sandals.

Sun Protection: Bring a wide-brimmed hat, polarized sunglasses and non-toxic sunblock with you everywhere.

Heat Protection: Wear loose clothes you can comfortably sweat in (because you will!) and not overheat in. Think thin linen pants, breathable dresses, etc.

Egypt Outfits Ideas for Women

woman's egypt outfit

Me in Luxor Temple. My scarf was on point that day!

Egypt Outfits Idea 1: Loose linen pants + tank top + scarf

This was my favorite Egypt outfit by far. It’s so sweltering hot down in Luxor and Aswan that you really need to wear lightweight fabrics like linen, and these linen pants were absolutely perfect! I wore these pants many times. with a black cotton tank top or loose cotton t-shirt, then I’d bring my scarf for extra sun protection.

egypt outfit for women example at philae temple

Me in front of Isis & Horus at Philae Temple.

Egypt Outfits Idea 2: Striped pants + loose tank top

These striped pants really gave a “pop” to my pictures and looked great with any solid-colored top. They aren’t linen or even super thin but they were still really comfortable and not too hot.

woman wearing maxi dress egypt outfit

After our hot air balloon ride over Valley of the Kings.

Egypt Outfits Idea 3: Loose maxi dress

This maxi dress was so thin and easy to pack. It was the only item I brought in bright colors and I love how it came out in pictures. It was also very breathable while we were exploring the tombs in King’s Valley which can get so hot!
Buy a similar maxi dress with built-in waist string here.

man and women in egypt with camels

Ryan and I in the desert in Sharm El Sheikh.

Egypt Outfits Idea 4: White linen button down + dark leggings

Leggings with a loose linen top that covers your backside is such an easy, comfortable Egypt outfit. I wore this in both Cairo and the desert and felt totally comfortable both culture and weather wise.

Egyptian women wear leggings, too, so you don’t need to worry as long as YOU feel comfortable. Also, it’s key to bring a scarf to cover your head when visiting mosques.

what to wear in egypt midi dress

Egypt Outfits Idea 5: Midi sundress (past knees) + chambray shirt + scarf

I wore this sundress the day we went to see the Pyramids of Giza and Sphinx because I knew it would be perfect for photos—and it was! Most of the time I wore this dress I had my chambray shirt over top to cover my shoulders but that’s mainly because of the sun, not because I was uncomfortable. When you go to the tourist sites, you’ll be SHOCKED at the outfits many female tourists wear so trust me when I say that I didn’t stand out at all wearing spaghetti straps. Side note: Aside from Egypt outfits, this is my favorite sundress! It’s so flattering, feminine and comfortable.

what to wear egypt man example at sphinx

What to Wear in Egypt Man

Like most things in life for men, not much thought has to go into planning outfits for Egypt. Your dad, husband, boyfriend or friend can easily get buy with a few button-tops and pairs of lightweight pants.

When my husband was planning what to wear in Egypt as a man, it was as easy as placing an order for a few items on Amazon and picking up a hat in a local H&M.

what to wear in egypt man outfit example at pyramids

Egypt Outfits for Men Idea 1: Linen shirt + khaki pants

Neutral tones look great in the desert and men can’t go wrong with white linen, it just looks good on everyone!

what to wear in egypt man outfit example

Ryan and I at Abu Simbel. This was definitely one of the highlights of our Egypt honeymoon!

Egypt Outfits for Men Idea 2: Long-sleeve tactical shirt + shorts

Ryan got this shirt for our trip to Kenya and it has become his favorite shirt for travel anywhere! It looks really nice but keeps him cool and holds up well. He wore shorts at many of the tourist sites (like Abu Simbel and Valley of the Kings) and it was no big deal. If you want to be extra cautious, steer clear of wearing shorts in areas with tons of locals, like train stations, local restaurants, etc.

couple at mosque in cairo egypt

Egypt Outfits for Men Idea 3: Long-sleeve linen shirt + comfortable cotton pants

Our first day in Egypt we did this walking tour of Old Cairo and Ryan wore a long-sleeve linen shirt and comfortable cotton pants.

luxor temple linen shirt and pants

Ryan at Luxor Temple.

Egypt Outfits for Men Idea 4: Linen shirt + linen pants

Many days of the trip, he wore head to toe linen! Those pants were a nice color but they were semi see-through so I’d stick with darker colors if you buy pants at the link below. Something else you should definitely know is that linen shrinks when dried! One pair of his pants became unwearable after the first day because he dried them. Stick with hang drying!

couple at red sea in sharm el sheikh egypt

View above the beach at our resort in Sharm El Sheikh.

What to Pack for Egypt | Egypt Packing List Essentials

There are a few items you absolutely can’t travel Egypt without.

Hat for Egypt & Hat Clip

You will wear your hat every single day in Egypt, so do yourself a favor and buy a stylish hat that you’ll love wearing. Also, these hat clips were a complete game changer for this trip and all of our future travels! All you do is clip your hat to your bag in transit and you don’t have to worry about wearing it in airports or smushing it in your bag.

Comfortable Walking Shoes for Egypt

Whether you’re wearing really comfortable sandals or tennis shoes, I recommend going with a dark color so they aren’t completely dirty by day two of your Egypt trip.

100% Cotton Scarf for Egypt

This french blue scarf was one of my favorite travel items I picked up. It’s so stylish and easy to look elegant in. You may not be able to tell but it’s really thin so you could fold it and wear as a scarf or easily use it as a shawl.

If you buy the exact same one, make sure to wash it once before you wear it because many reviewers said the color bleeds. I washed it and had no issues!

Thin Chambray Shirt or Linen Button Down for Egypt

A quality chambray shirt is a must-have for all female travelers in my opinion. I bring one on every single trip and it’s so versatile and stylish, and hardly takes up any space to pack.

what to wear egypt man example with king tut mummy

Ryan and I with King Tut in his tomb!

My Egypt Carry-On Packing List for Two Weeks

If you plan on bringing just a carry-on bag for Egypt, here’s my exact packing list so you have good idea of how many items you can actually fit.

6 Tops
– Black tank top
– White tank undershirt
– Tan cotton tee
– Olive cotton tee
– Blue chambray button up
– White linen button up

3 Dresses (all below knees)
– Black thick cotton tank dress
– Floral box-fit maxi dress
– Blue/white floral strap dress

5 Bottoms
– Blue/white striped pants
– Olive linen pants
– Black leggings
– Olive leggings
– Jean shorts

Swim
– 2 bikinis
– 1 thin blue coverup
– 1 blue rash guard

Sleep/Undergarments
– 2 bras
– 2 bralettes
– 1 sleep tank
– 1 sleep shorts
– 28 pair underwear (day and night pairs)

2 Shoes
– Black sandals
– Navy tennis shoes + 8 socks

Misc.
– Wide-brimmed hat
– Thin blue scarf
– Sunglasses
– VERY simple jewelry that doesn’t stand out
– Compact backpack

Toiletries (in tiny containers)
– Zinc sunscreen
– Cetaphil face wash
– Lume deodorant
– Eminence face lotion
– Shampoo
– Minimal makeup (mascara, eye brow pencil, cover up)
– Sola wave
– Razor
– Tooth brush

Meds
– Homeopathic jet lag remedy (tried this for the first time!)
– Airborne
– Imodium

Bags
Cotopaxi Allpa
Toiletry bag
Compact backpack
– Fanny pack/crossbody bag I got in Mexico

couple on camel at the pyramids of Giza

Ryan and I riding a camel at the Pyramids of Giza!

Egypt Outfits FAQ

Can you wear shorts in Egypt?

You will not see Egyptian men or women wearing shorts but it’s perfectly fine for male tourists to wear shorts.

I recommend female tourists avoid wearing shorts, with the exception being on a Nile Cruise and in beach destinations like Sharm El Sheikh and Dahab. I wore shorts at one temple in the evening because it was so sweltering hot and I knew I’d be going right from our Nile Cruise to the temple and back. If I had to walk through Aswan or Cairo in shorts, I probably would have felt uncomfortable.

Do you have to cover your head or hair in Egypt?

No. The only time you need to cover your head is if you are visiting a mosque. Remember, ten to twenty percent of Egyptians are Coptic and they do not cover their heads.

What currency to use in Egypt?

The currency you should use in Egypt is the Egyptian Pound, though many places will take USD as well. In Sharm El Sheikh, it seemed like USD was the preferred currency because all our taxi drivers would ask for USD.

Is Egypt safe to visit?

Yes, Egypt is safe to visit when you thoroughly plan and research your trip, and book reputable guides and tour companies.

Is Egypt the Middle East?

Yes, Egypt is considered part of the Middle East even though it is located on the African continent.

woman at philea temple in egypt with text overlay what to wear in egypt 5 egypt outfits for women and men


If you have any questions on what to wear in Egypt, please feel free to email me or comment below!

4 Comments

  1. Holly

    Great guide thank you! My partner and I are going in october, can’t Wait and i now feel a lot better about what i should pack!

    Reply
    • Tara

      I’m SO excited for you. You’re going to have a blast! Happy to answer any questions you may have 🙂

      Reply
      • Yvette

        Thank you so much for this! Im trave to egy the end of this month and had the shakes a little (lol) about what to pack. This is so helpful!

        Reply
        • Tara

          Yay! I’m so glad this was helpful for you. You’re going to have an amazing trip!

          Reply

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