Do you want to know when is the best time to go to Egypt? If so, you are in the right place. There is definitely a best time to travel to Egypt. There is actually more than one! Because of Egypt’s typically warm climate, the most favorable weather is between October and April, when the blistering summer sun has given way to much more bearable temperatures. But that is not the only factor to take into account when you are planning your trip.
While winter is the high season in Egypt due to its favorable temperatures, you also want to take into account your own schedule and traditional holiday school holiday schedules.
Why Visit Egypt in Spring
March and April are the best spring months to visit Egypt. The days are very warm, but not too hot. When you move into May, the daytime highs can make daytime activities unbearably hot. For example, in May, Luxor sees highs of 39 C (101 F). In April the average high is up to 35C (95F) and lows of 17C (63F). Those few degrees make a big difference when you are exploring desert areas like Luxor’s Valley of the Kings of shopping for Egyptian souvenirs.
Egypt is a large country and will see climate differences. For example, in Cairo, the weather does not get as hot as Luxor and average highs are more around 29C (84F) and 17C (61F) in April. In Sharm el-sheik on the Red Sea, in April you are going to see highs of 31C (87F) if you are planning a resort-type getaway.
Why Visit Egypt In Fall
The months of October and November (and onwards into December) are also some of the best time to go to Egypt. The hot summer days are gone (although it is still very warm in the sun and October may still be too hot for many as daytime highs in Luxor average around 35C). If you are visiting in November, and into winter, bring a light jacket, it can be cooler in certain parts of the country.
Fall sees a return to high season and you will find it busy, but not overly busy. Tourism in Egypt has not recovered since the Arab Spring instability that rocked the region with violence. Do not be put off by traveling in high season, it offers excellent weather and the wide-open spaces of the outdoor sites in Egypt can accommodate a large number of people.
Why Visit Egypt in the Winter
Winter offers the coolest temperatures and is also one of the best times to visit Egypt. If you are not a fan of hot weather, visiting in December, January and February are the months to plan a trip. However, this is also the most popular time to visit Egypt. January sees average high temperatures of 23C (74F) and lows at the night as low as 7C (44F). You are going to want to have layers as the evenings will quickly turn cool. In Cairo in January you temperatures that are not quite as warm but also not quite as cool (averages are a high of 19C and low of 10C).
If you are in Egypt over the holidays, ensure you find a Coptic Christmas celebration on January 7th.
Ensure you book your hotel rooms for Egypt in advance if you plan to travel over the winter.
Visiting Egypt in the Summer
Egypt is very hot in the summer from May to September. While tourists do visit and I have found myself on a ferry from Aqaba to Taba off the coast on the Red Sea in July, it is too hot to do much in the sun during the day. Luxor sees temperatures in excess of 40C and does not dip below 20C (average 25C). Cairo sees mid 30s (average 35C) during the day, which does not seem too hot for some, but the dry heat and walking around tourist sites can be very uncomfortable. It is much nicer to be at a beach than a desert. If you love hot weather and sun, consider a beach trip to the Sinai Penninsula and spend some time on the Red Sea at Taba, Sharm el Sheikh or Dahab. You can easily visit by boat from Jordan to Egypt.
The benefit of visiting Egypt in the summer is you will find lower prices and less tourists in Egypt.
Ramadan In Egypt
When planning your trip to Egypt, consider when Ramadan will fall. If you visit during Ramadan, you will find local shops and restaurants closed. The tourist sites and hotels are not affected.
So When is the Best time to go to Egypt?
As mentioned above, comfortable temperatures exist between October and April before summer temperatures make sightseeing almost unbearably hot. If you want to avoid the massive winter crowds, you should plan to visit in October or November or March and April. These months offer comfortable temperatures and avoid the Christmas Holiday traveler.
More Egypt Travel Resources
Always consult travel advice when you are planning a trip to Egypt. You can find current information on government websites. If your country has a program for registering your trip abroad, consider doing that for your trip.
8 Things to Bring with you to Egypt
I have always been a guide book person and physically having that book in your hand as you plan your day, in addition to blogs like this one, can help immensely. Pick up a Lonely Planet Guide to Egypt (or the kindle version) before your trip to Egypt.
A Power Bank is a must when traveling. With a day of photo and videos it is easy for a phone battery to be drained before the day is out. Make sure you grab one that has enough juice to power a few charges. Keep it in your carry on, as some airports will take it out of your checked bags.
SCARF, HAT & SUNGLASSES
Whether you want to keep the sun off your head or want to show a little modesty, a scarf goes a long way in Egypt any time of the year. You will find both men and women wearing scarves all over the Middle East. You can bring one with you or pick up one when you arrive, but don’t leave your hotel in the morning without it! It can serve as a hat to keep the sun off your head and neck in the summer and can add some warmth in winter and can offer modesty to cover shoulders for women. Also make sure you have a sun and sunglasses any time of year.
A Grayl Water Bottle is something I recommend for every traveller, not just those going to the Middle East. Some people say the water is safe to drink from the tap, others say it is not; it is not something I am going to chance. And Egypt has a HUGE garbage problem. The streets, the forests and even the desert are littered with plastic bottles.
If you consider drinking at least 1-2 big water bottles a day while you are there, think of how much plastic that creates. With a Grayl, you can filter any tap water (or actually any water source) and have clean drinking water in seconds. Since most people travel with water bottles already, consider one like this with a filter so that you are not just pouring from big water bottles to small. It might sound expensive, but when you compare it to spending a few dollars per day on water while you travel (and do not forget how expensive the water is inside airports), you will pay for this very quickly.
UNIVERSAL TRAVEL ADAPTER
An inexpensive Universal Travel Adapter is another must for Egypt. You will find an assortment of 220V plugs, from European 2 pin, another style of 2 pin and UK Plugs. While European 2 pin is most common, it is best to carry one of these adapters with you. With a handy USB input, you do not need to bring your plugs from home.
KLEENEX OR WIPES
Kleenex or Wipes are another thing to put on your list. Egypt’s public washrooms (and even restraint or hotel lobby washrooms can often be unstocked. Unless you are good with a bidet sprayer, bring yourself some kleenex or wipes just in case! You will find that most washrooms in tourist sites and rest stops have an attendant that will give you toilet paper and paper towel for a small tip.
In much of Egypt, the plumbing is not set up to handle toilet paper. Every bathroom (even hotels) you should use the garbage can beside the toilet for your toilet paper and any sanitary products.
Metal Straws are something to think about if your environmental impact is important to you. You will be given a straw with almost every drink. You can say no and reuse a metal one instead.
Travel Insurance for Egypt
There are a few other things to think about when it comes to travel. The first thing is travel insurance. Whether it is an emergency room visit for something as simple as strep throat, or an emergency appendix surgery, or an unfortunate moped incident things do go wrong when people travel everyday.
I highly suggest travel insurance and a good policy. I personally never travel without it, and I even checked into my policy about care for my children if I am ever in an accident or hospitalized. There are just too many things to think about.
You can find out more information and buy your travel insurance here.
Planning to Visit Israel and Jordan
Are you planning on adding a visit to nearby Jordan or Israel to your trip. Read about the best time to visit Jordan so that you can enjoy your trip to Petra and the rest of Jordan’s highlights. Check out this 7 day itinerary for Jordan as well as the best Jordan tours.
You will also want to read about the best time to visit Israel.