What are the guidelines for female tourists' clothing in Egypt? We will be on a tour, and I don't want to offend.
Modest. I would avoid short shorts and see through blouses. And carry a head scarf for one or two times when that may be needed.
I see you are in California, so let's just say Egypt is not California, but your tour company should be able to advise. If we on the forum say "dress modestly" do you need a more detailed reply?
And watch out if you happen take public transportation. When I traveled with two women there they were groped on the Cairo subway/metro. There was a diversion at the stop so no one noticed
We were there in January so did not have to deal with high temperatures. I wore my longer skirts...knee length or longer. I also always wore a pair of tights underneath them. I wore short sleeve shirts and carried a cardigan. I have an infinity scarf that I wear sometimes while traveling and if I ever wanted to cover my head, I could. We were on a private tour with a female guide and she loved my outfits. They weren't super modest but they never attracted any attention.
For one thing I would not advise a female to travel to Egypt without being on a tour. Another poster warned about women being molested in public. I lived in the Middle East for five years and have visited Egypt twice. Egypt is filled with wonderful history and well worth a visit, but it is a poor third world country with serious political issues. The Muslim Brotherhood is an extremist organization that the government has been dealing with ever since it threw out the earlier President that was from the MB. May Christian churches have been burned down or attacked. The Sinai Desert is rife with terrorists no where for Western tourists.
I would not go to Egypt on my own, I would only go on a guided tour where armed guards are provided by the government for protection.
Your clothing should be modestly exposing as little skin as possible. For one thing if you are out in the sun, you don't want to be exposed to the sun for very long.
If you can track down a Globe Trekker show with Megan McCormick in Egypt, I recall her having some modest, but nice clothing in it.
Contrary to what some people here are saying, you don't need too be fearful for your safety in Egypt, and you most certainly don't need armed guards.
Our guide told us a good rule of thumb: If you wouldn't wear it to dinner with your Grandma, don't wear it to Egypt. Short shorts, tank tops, probably not acceptable. But you don't need to wear only long-sleeved shirts and pants either.
If you bring some respectful t-shirts and shorts/skirts/etc that go at least to the knee, you should be fine, and will not offend anyone in Egypt.
Granted, there are people who do not follow this. Tourists come and wear short-shorts and tank tops all the time. It's maybe disrespectful, but most Egyptians honestly will not care, or if they do, they will probably just make a comment to their friend about "disrespectful foreigners."
Egypt is a beautiful and, despite what you hear in the news, SAFE country. Enjoy your trip!
One of Uniqlo's regular sub-lines is geared toward the modern Muslim woman if you want a few ideas:
jj, could you give us some more information about your experience in Egypt, how long were you there, with or without a group, how large a group. This is because you are new posting, so we don’t know anything about you and how extensive your experience is. This will help us process what you are saying vs someone else who lived five years in the Middle East. He said to be sure your group has armed guards, while you said to disregard that recommendation. You also said it is safe, which is a relative term. I consider Canada safe, so what do you mean by safe?
Of course Bets!
We were in Egypt 2 months ago for 2 weeks. It was a group of 4 (myself, my parents, and my sister, on a family vacation.) We went through a tour company called Memphis Tours.
I am also Canadian, and I felt safer walking through the streets of Cairo than I do in many places here in Toronto. It is "safe" meaning there is an extremely small chance anything bad will happen to you. The people are friendly and if there is any trouble they will help you, and the government has armed police at every major tourist site.
There are terrorists in Egypt but they are on the Sinai Peninsula, near Israel and Jordan, and that area isn't one where most tourists go. The Nile corridor between Alexandria, Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan is safe.
All of my information on what is appropriate to wear comes from our Egyptian guide.
Anyways, in conclusion, I will not say Egypt is the safest place in the world (although to be fair you are probably more likely to be attacked by a terrorist in Europe), but saying you need armed guards for your protection is a massive exaggeration.