Packing for a Visit or Stay in Cairo

April 21, 2023 5:24 pm104 commentsViews: 121

Whether coming to Cairo to study abroad or for a quick visit, here are some essentials that are necessary for a fun-filled and healthy trip.

Protection From the Egyptian Sun

The Egyptian sun is famous for a reason. Some days it is so bright that merely stepping outside and walking around can be painful without eye protection. If touring sites with little or no shade, like the pyramids, sunglasses are an absolute must.

It’s safe to say that if skin is sensitive, pack an extra strong sunscreen. Touring or site seeing won’t be as fun while sun-burned.

Getting Around Cairo and Learning Egyptian Arabic Basics

Before takeoff, take some time to familiarize with basic Cairo neighborhoods, and create a list of desired sites to visit. There are endless treasures and wonders in Egypt. Preparing this list in advance are helpful.

Also, depending on how long the trip is, why not plan to go outside of Cairo? There are several great 2-5 day trips outside of Cairo, which include visits to Alexandra, Siwa, Sinai or Luxor and Aswan. If hoping to visit all of these cities and sites, a month is recommended–and even that would be close to cutting it.

Egypt Lonely Planet is recommended for touristic information in Cairo and the places listed above.

Egyptian Arabic is different from both other colloquial Arabic dialects and from modern standard Arabic, so it might be helpful to learn a few basic phrases. A little bit goes a long way! Egyptians are always pleased to hear someone attempt to speak their dialect.

Besides, knowledge of numbers and basic expressions will definitely cut a bargain at Cairo’s largest bazaar, called Khan El Khalili.

What to Wear in Egypt

Check the weather before arrival. Cairo can get pretty cold in the winter and super hot during the summer.

Even if the weather is really hot, it’s advisable to dress modestly to draw minimal attention. Women especially might feel more comfortable revealing less skin. Generally, it’s a good idea to have elbows, collar bones and ankles covered.

Many male tourists in Cairo wear shorts. It should be known however that shorts on men are known in Egypt to a bit effeminate.

Sturdy shoes are positively necessary in Cairo where there is much to cover on foot. This is especially true if interested in hiking up Mt. Sinai, or doing extensive 3 day tours of Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel.

Also, sand can get very hot, and one should never wear any type of sandal to the pyramids. Sneakers are fine, just be sure there is no exposure to the toes or feet.

A common inexpensive activity for fun in Cairo is horseback riding at the pyramids. This will also require sturdy shoes.

Also, one of the great thing about Egypt is water, sea and beaches. So don’t forget to pack a bathing suit!

Whether blissfully swimming in the Red Sea and gazing at Saudi Arabia, going for a dip in the Mediterranean in Alexandria or even escaping hot and humid Cairo temperature, don’t forget to pack the bathing suit!

Egypt is a magical and adventurous place. With these few items, fun during a stay is Cairo is sure to be maximized.


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