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Attire and footwear in Egypt

I am a novice to travel.
I have enjoyed several of the Rick Steves' tours to France and Italy; and ventured out to Russia and Kiev on my own.
Packing light and my attire was pretty much the same for each of these countries.
Now, I would like to try Egypt.
Should I wear more denim or khaki?
Should I where more of a boot-like shoe?
Any other observations, advice and/or warnings would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by
22982 posts

Don't know why you travel attire would be any difference for Egypt than anywhere else. Obviously it could be potential hotter but other than adjusting for that what difference do you expect. Personally we don't take any denim ever simply because it can be heavier and harder to care for but foot wear would be the same.

Posted by
2250 posts

Dress modestly and nothing revealing. Shoulders and knees covered. Wear closed toed shoes when out touring as the sites are sandy and dirty. I wore sneakers. You didn’t say what month you are going. We were in Egypt in April. It was pretty warm during the day and cooler at night so I needed a light jacket or sweater.

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you both for your replies.
They were very helpful.
I would welcome any further advice from other travelers.
By the way, I am a 68-year-old, Caucasian male and I will probably be traveling alone.
Please forgive me for not mentioning my demographics sooner.

Posted by
2250 posts

LOL! I thought you were a woman. You can ignore my dress advice. It would help to know what time of year you are going to Egypt so others can advise you.

Posted by
8 posts

Yes, my mistake for not letting people know my gender.
With regard to the time of year to travel, I am flexible.
Perhaps people could recommend a best time-- taking into consideration crowds, weather, price of accommodations, safety, etc. (?)

Posted by
641 posts

Mary, you have been to Egypt, and maybe you can advise me. I keep hearing mixed advice about whether to pack cotton/linen or synthetics. About half of what of what I am reading says to stick to natural fibers only because it's a desert where moisture-wicking fabrics are counterproductive, and the other half says to take synthetic fibers for sun protection and quick drying. I am planning to visit Egypt next March and am expecting the highest temperatures to be in the mid to upper 80's.

Posted by
571 posts

Best time for Egypt, I’ve been twice, once in October the other in March. Both times the weather was comfortable in the 80’s. Of course it can be hotter or cooler..

Definitely closed toe shoes, sand is everywhere, even in the cities. I found trainers worked best.

Egypt is volatile just now so maybe a tour might be the way to go, safety in numbers and probably a back up plan in case of more problems.

I’d love to go back......

Posted by
7178 posts

I visited Egypt in August and then in December. It was very, very hot in August and still hot in December. I think it was 90 degrees F plus in December during the day.

I would not wear shorts (men or women). For one thing you need to dress modestly due to the culture there. Also, you need to cover your skin and protect it from the sun. Be sure to wear a hat and if you have cool long sleeves that would protect your skin. Some people on our tours took umbrellas (it didn't rain the whole time we were in Egypt) to protect themselves from the sun.

Khaki is better than jeans. Athletic shoes are ok, but I have a nice pair of lightweight low cut Colombia boots that work great in places like Egypt.

Posted by
2250 posts

Marie - I was there in April and wore loose fitting cotton/poly blends. The daytime temps were in the high 70’s to low 80’s and quite a bit cooler at night so I needed a sweater.

Posted by
2250 posts

Chuchoteur - we did a tour with Scenic USA which is the American branch (in Boston, MA) of an Australian company. So most of the guests were Aussies. Their price included airfare and was very reasonable in terms of the quality of the hotels, meals, tours, service, etc. It was a small group tour (24 or 26 people). We had our own small boutique ship to cruise the Nile. The pace was a bit tiring as they pack a lot into the time you have there. But I think all the tours do the same itinerary. Security was high everywhere. You go through a scanner to get into your hotel, museum, etc. and your bags are ex rayed as well. At one hotel, they checked under our bus before we could enter the gated premises. We had an armed guard on the bus at one point and a security detail to escort our bus on another occasion. The touts are seriously annoying. The weather was perfect in April. My husband wore his cargo pants and short sleeved shirts and a sweater at night. The new Egyptian museum is supposed to open next year and when it does we will be going back to Cairo for a few days. I hope this info helps.

Posted by
4429 posts

I would go in North American winter. By May, south Egypt, like Abu Simbel can be 50 C or 120+F. Cairo and Alexandria wilm be considerably cooler. Loose clothes are generally most comfortable. Jean's may be fine for Cairo. Khaki long roll up sleeves, cotton or blend...or even specific,'travel' shirts will work well. T shirts for layering or on own. I am not averse to typical cargo shorts at archeology sites. Wicking or wool socks, full shoe. I actually wore open sandals a lot, otherwise a simple athletic shoe.

Posted by
483 posts

I was in Egypt at the end of April into May this year and it was extremely hot.
I would recommend December - March for travel.
I wore Merrell hiking shoes and they were great for the uneven, sandy and rocky surfaces.
A wide brimmed hat is good too. I wore a lot of long sleeve shirts which kept the sun off my arms.
There were people wearing sandals and flip flops and our tour guide has to tell folks to wear covered
shoes especially for the trip to the Valley of the Kings.
Egypt is a wonderful country to visit but I think in the interest of your safety you should use a tour company.
I used Gate1Travel and they took care of all the planning, hotel accommodation and transportation.
The tour guide assigned to my group was excellent and we had a great time.
Everything was take care of. We also had an armed security guard on the buses with us at all times.

Posted by
8 posts

Many thanks to all who responded to my questions.
The answers were all very helpful.It sounds as if the political climate in the Middle East is move a factor than the desert climate.
All of you gave some great advice on when, if and how to travel to Egypt.
Thanks again,