OK it’s true that Egypt is hot and Cairo is busy and dusty too so you might be tempted to pack sleeveless tops… but think again. Light coloured long sleeved tops will reflect the heat and keep the harsh rays of the sun off you during the hours you’ll be spending sight seeing. If like me you have any plans to take a camel ride be sure to wear long trousers too – they protect you from the sun and the dust and from any of the nasties that camels are known to carry.
Egypt is a Muslim country and it’s respectful to dress modestly, if you don’t you will be stared at, ridiculed and if you want to look inside the beautiful mosques you’ll be made to wear a hideous green/blue sheet and trust me you really don’t want that… not a great look and who know’s who wore it before you or when it was last washed?
For a 4 day trip I took really comfortable closed in shoes for daytime (but remember your feet may swell in the heat) and sparkly flip flops for night, long trousers and long sleeved shirts for daytime in lightweight fabrics; walking trousers and tops are perfect. For visiting the amazing Cairo museum and the city sites I took capri pants and short sleeved tops. Night time as we were staying in a lovely hotel I took a simple silk dress, which packed down to nothing and a bright pashmina to change the look plus a pair of linen trousers and silk top.
It’s so easy to wash things through and they dry so quickly you really don’t need to pack much. But don’t forget good quality suncream, sunglasses and your camera and batteries.
When you arrive get a lot of small local coins because tipping really is part of the culture here and that way you’ll fit in and won’t feel pressured to give too much away… but get used to giving small sums, even the locals do.
For more tips see our full advice page on What To Wear In Egypt.