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What not to wear in Egypt

What not to wear in Egypt

Are you worried about What not to wear in Egypt? Wondering what the Egypt dress code is due to it being a Muslim country and wondering if the cities are different to the tourist sites. In this guide we round up what not to wear in Egypt and wear along with the best alternatives to make sure you have a fantastic and well dress vacation. 

Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

Egypt is an Islamic country and most residents in Egypt are practising Muslims. As such there is a Egypt dress code.

Why you should follow Egypt dress code rules

If you are wondering why you should floow the Egypt dress code rules it is simple

1)    It is respectful to your host country to follow the rules and not make anyone feel uncomfortable by your dress

2)    You are less likely to get unwanted attention in Egypt if you are dressed more modestly. 

What are the Egypt Dress code rules 

Although the rules are less strict than what not to wear in Abu Dhabi or the Qatar dress code, and probably more akin to say what not to wear in Dubai but it is important to still consider the Islamic nature of the country in your clothes. Therefore it is best to:

·      Keep your knees covered 

·      Keep your shoulders covered

·      Do not bare your midriff

As such the following should be on your what not wear in Egypt list.

What not to Wear in Egypt


As I mentioned, in Islamic culture it is expected that you should keep your knees covered. This goes for both men and women. Therefore if you want to wear shorts in Egypt I would recommend wearing long shorts that cover your knees. 

Although you may see some people in shorter shorts, particularly men I would err on the cautious side and only wear longer shorts whether you are a man or woman. 

Strappy Tops

In Islamic culture the shoulder tends to be covered at all times. And as a visitor you should respect the local Islamic culture. Therefore we recommend not packing the following items of clothing:

·      Spaghetti strap tops

·      Crop tops

·      Tank tops

·      Strapless tops

for traveling around Egypt. 

Again you will be getting unwanted attention fi you wear any of the above, it is also disrespectful toe the local Muslim culture. 

At a minimum all sleeves should have at least a cap sleeve but the longer the better really as it has the added bonus of sun protection. 

See Through clothing

See through clothing breaks the Egypt dress code. Modesty is a key to all clothing in Muslim countries and Egypt is no different.

Leave anything see through at home and instead choose clothing that is flowy and breathable. 


When you are traveling in Egypt swimwear should be kept to the pool and beaches only. It is not acceptable to be wearing swimwear on the streets of Cairo or at the Pyramids – click here to see what to wear to the Pyramids in Egypt here.

Obviously when you are in the resorts at the Red Sea near Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh the dress code is not as strict but even there I would advise packing a beach cover with you for when you are not at the ebach or poolside. 

Tight Clothing 

Tight clothing is another no no. 

The one exception to this however is skinny jeans which you will see local Egyptian women wearing usually paired with a longer length tunic top however. 

I would say however that depending on what month you are 

Mini Skirts

Mini skirts are one of the big no nos on the what should female toursits wear in Egypt list. 

As I have mentioned before Islamic culture expects knees to be covered and you will not see mini skirts on thestreets of Cairo or even at the Pyramids. 

Mini skirts will mean you get a lot of undesirable attention in Egypt and can make it very uncomfortable. On top of that wearing a mini skirt is also disrespectful to the local culture.

Leave the mini skirts at home when you are visiting Egypt and pack instead skirts that are at least midi length though personally I would recommend maxi as a better length skirt in Egypt/ 

Synthetic Fabrics

Egypt, especially Egypt in July or August gets very very hot. Synthetic fabrics are notorious for making a person sweat more. 

Therefore if you are traveling in Egypt try to stick like natural fabrics in cotton and linen which are more breathable and will definitely be more comfortable in the heat. 

Revealing clothing

Again given the conservative nature of the dress code in Egypt items that are overly revealing should be left at home and something more conservative packed in their place. 

This also includes clothes that show your midriff due to local sensibilities. I would advise leaving crop tops at home and pack something longer length in its place. 

Sports bras should also be left at home unless you are doing sports but again I personally would not wear this out on the streets. 

I would also advise not having tops that bare your stomach when you raise your arms either. It is worth checking this before packing so you don’t get any nasty surprise when you arrive in Egypt. 

Expensive Jewelry

Now this one isn’t a rule in the Egypt dress code but is a good piece of advice for travel anywhere. 

Pickpockets can be found in any place that has tourists and Egypt is no exception to this. Don’t make yourself a target by leaving flashy and expensive looking jewelry at home. 

Flip Flops and Open toe shoes

Now flip flops and open toe shoes are fine at the beach resorts in places like Sharm el Sheikh but I would advise against them in both the cities and for when you are visiting the pyramids. 

There is a lot of walking involved for a day sightseeing in Egypt and flip flops firstly don’t offer good support for your feet but secondly there is nothing worse that getting sand in open toe shoes. 

Also the surfaces at the pyramids and other great Egyptian sites are often uneven and slippery. You will want a shoe with a good sole for walking in these locations. 

Exceptions to the Egypt Dress Code 

In beach towns and resorts in places such as Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh and other Red sea resorts the dress code is looser. 

At the beach and at these resorts’ shorts are permitted but I would not wear them outside of these locations. 

The same can be said for crop tops, spaghetti strap tops and strapless tops. They are fine at these resorts but nowhere else. 

Nile River Cruises

Nile River Cruises are aimed at tourists and often ran by Western companies. Therefore the Egyptian dress code rules do not apply on board. 

However if you are wondering what to wear on a Nile River Cruise be sure to take things that are suitable for both on board and on land. 

Top What to Pack for Egypt Tip

The number one thing I would recommend taking with you when traveling to Egypt is a Pashmina. 

Pashminas are great as they provide an extra layer should you be out in the desert at night when it gets chilly or in a strongly air conditioned mall but they can also act as an extra layer or covering should you require one. 

They are great for use in mosques and anywhere that requires a more conservative dress or if you realise something you have packed isn’t quite right.

Click here to shop Pashminas

Have you been to Egypt? Let us know in the comments anything you would add to the what not to wear in Egypt list.


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