So when is the best time to visit Egypt?
Egypt is a fascinating place, whatever time of year you’re thinking about going. However, what you might want to know is that, despite being pretty much a desert, Egypt gets really cold sometimes.
And, yes, it also gets super hot, too! That’s why we have created this handy month-by-month guide to the best time to visit Egypt, including temperatures, where to visit, and even some of the best festivals Egypt has to offer. Let’s dig in!
When is the Best Time To Visit Egypt?
Weather in Egypt in January
If you’re planning to visit Egypt in January, then you’re in luck. Even though it’s winter, the average temperature of 22°C (in the daytime, at least), is pleasant. Conversely, the temperature can drop to around 9°C at night. Northern Egypt is colder, in general, and there’s more rainfall.
Cairo, for example, is pretty cloudy. In the south, somewhere like Siwa hardly gets any rain in January, and it hovers around 25°C. Coastal areas, such as Marsa Matruh, see quite changeable weather at this time of year. It’s a great time to visit Egypt without being too hot and bothered, not having to cover up from the sun the whole time.
Weather in Egypt in February
The weather in February in Egypt is pretty good. Daytime temperatures are on the rise, with parts of the country reaching the mid-20s. In other areas, such as Cairo, the average temperature is 18°C. escaping the heat is very easily done in this month, but it’s still a good time to visit Egypt for a slice of winter sun.
There are few showers in February in the North, but in Siwa, the temperature is 24, 25°C, and, with the humidity only at about 40%, it feels like spring. Very nice. At coastal Alexandria, on the other hand, things can get a little cold at night.
Weather in Egypt in March
Things are starting to warm up a little more, but it’s still not hot, which makes it a nice time to visit Egypt. When it’s super hot, you’re going to want to keep yourself shaded from the sun, but in March – it’s alright. Most days are warm with a lot of sunshine. Cairo sees temperatures in the early 20s, with some rain and a little bit of cloud.
It’s a great time to visit the bustling markets of the Egyptian capital or see the pyramids without the intense heat (or crowds) that come later in the year. The sea gets a little warmer, but it’s not quite swimming temperature yet.
Weather in Egypt in April
One of the best times to visit Egypt, April is a month of change weather-wise. Evenings begin to get warm, and you won’t have to worry so much about bringing a sweater along with you for your trip. This is a pleasant time to visit: Alexandria, still lacking humidity, now sees warm, sunny days with a bit of patchy rain here and there.
Cairo is warm, with some rain, and average temperatures of 24°C (though it can drop to 14°C at night) and quite high humidity – 60 to 70%. Want to visit Bedouin villages? Then April would be an excellent time to book your Egypt vacation; check out Marsa Matruh, for example.
Weather in Egypt in May
Egypt really starts to see some properly warm temperatures in May. The average temperature is 25°C, but the highs can soar up to 32°C. There are 12 hours of glorious sunshine daily with just one day of rain, on average, falling in May. Tourist season begins in May thanks to the good weather.
If you head to Siwa, you’ll find balmy temperatures of 27°C and barely any rain. This clarity also makes for great conditions for gazing up at the stars at night, too. Alexandria begins to see a lot of vacationers, with an average temperature of 27°C and cool breezes. In Marsa Matruh, the Mediterranean Sea is starting to get warm enough for swimming.
Weather in Egypt in June
June is here, which means the beginning of summertime for Egypt. It’s pretty hot now! The average temperature across the country is 27°C, with average highs of 34°C. Up there as one of the hottest months of the year, this is when Egypt really begins to live up to its hot, desert-like nature. There’s no rain and 14 hours of sunshine daily. Some parts of the country can get pretty humid, too – notably Cairo, which is close to the River Nile.
Alexandria is still cooler than other places in June, probably thanks to that fresh sea breeze, but it is nevertheless warm and sunny enough for chilling on the beach. Anywhere on the Mediterranean Sea right now is a good idea; June is also a good time to visit Egypt if you feel like heading out on a desert trek.
Weather in Egypt in July
Usually the joint hottest month of the year in Egypt, along with August, July is decidedly warm. Temperatures can easily reach 34°C with an average of 28°C, making almost everywhere in the country feel very hot. There’s hardly any rain, and the temperature barely drops below 22°C.
The intense heat means you’ll need to keep hydrated and protect yourself from the sun (we mean plenty of sunscreen). It’s not a great time of year to visit Egypt if you like adventure sports, but it is a pretty good time to come if you like the beach! That said, if you do have activities or sightseeing you want to do, save it for the early morning or early evening, away from the scorching midday sun.
Weather in Egypt in August
Another sweltering summer month in Egypt, the heat is still definitely on in August. Temperatures hover frequently above 30°C – the average high is 34°C, for example, but climbs higher in the day. Along with the heat to contend with, this is the busiest time of year in Egypt for tourists, thanks to summer vacation, so expect the sights and beaches to be busy (the Alexandria coast is super packed, for example).
This is not the best time of year to visit Egypt if you don’t like crowds! After about 1 pm, it’s too hot to hang around in the sun, so it’s a good time to retreat to a cafe or go for a siesta. The Siwa Valley has pleasant evenings in August, but the daytime temperatures are still high.
Weather in Egypt in September
The weather in September mercifully begins to cool off – but only very slightly. It’s still sweltering; the average temperature is 26°C, but it can reach 32°C. Cairo is still super hot in September, too, and there remains a high volume of tourists to go with it. Again, if heat and crowds aren’t your thing, September isn’t the best time to visit Egypt!
The sun is fierce in the daytime, but evenings at least are beginning to be more pleasant. Along the coastal areas, light sea breezes keep you cool and the beaches aren’t so busy, thanks to the summer vacation being over. Swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, at Marsa Matruh, for example, is definitely viable – the water has been heated up by the sun all summer long!
Weather in Egypt in October
Things start to cool off in October. It’s still pretty warm, but there’s a nice amount of refreshing air around, making for a good time to visit Egypt if you want to get around and see the country. The stifling temperatures of midsummer are beginning to ebb away, with an average of 23°C and a high of 28°C; the night temperature drops to around 18°C.
Rainfall starts to pick up again, but there’s an average of only one day of rain throughout the whole month. It’s still very clear and there are 11 hours of sunshine a day, so keep using sunscreen and cover up. Siwa is very warm, but not so bad that you’ll be cooked alive. Cairo is fine but sees hot afternoons. The Marsa Matruh coast is pleasant, with warm seas.
Weather in Egypt in November
November is an excellent time of year to visit Egypt. Things are cooling down considerably, with daytime temperatures hovering at highs of around 23°C. The night temperatures are getting pretty cold, with average after-dark numbers of 14°C. Cairo at this time of year is warm and sunny without any of those scorching summer days, making it a great time to explore the capital.
Now that winter is on its way, things are feeling much more pleasant, and still without too much rain to worry about (that’s one day of rain, on average, for November). You won’t have to worry about sunscreen, either.
Weather in Egypt in December
It’s winter in Egypt and, surprisingly, it can get a bit chilly. Days are still pretty pleasant though. Don’t expect anything totally freezing, just know that it won’t be the desert paradise you want it to be. Temperatures hover between 15 and 19°C in the daytime, with nights dropping to around 10°C. There are eight hours of sunshine a day, and without that unbearable heat, Cairo is a good place to visit in December.
You’ll get to see the sights and explore museums without sweating the whole time or fighting tourist crowds. Alexandria is similar but has a higher chance of rain, but in Siwa, spring-like days make it great to visit. There’s also no more swimming in Marsa Matruh, though sunny days are still on the cards.
Festivals in Egypt to Attend
Egypt Festivals in Spring
In March, it’s the time of D-CAF. This is the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival, and it takes place from March 29 to April 21. Come to this contemporary arts bonanza in Cairo if you like music, dance, and/or film.
Coptic Easter takes place sometime in April – it’s moveable, however. The Monday after Coptic Easter is Shamm Al Nasim, which means “Sniffing The Breeze” – a spring ritual dating back to the Ancient Egyptians when people flock out to picnic in green spaces to celebrate the coming of spring (takes place on April 20 in 2020).
Around the same time of year as Shamm Al Nasim is El Limbo, a folk festival held in Port Said, which involves the burning of an effigy and has its roots in 19th-century protests.
The end of April? That’s when 3alganoob happens; it’s a modern music festival held along the Red Sea. People camp out – it’s fun.
Moulid of Abu Al Haggag takes place on April 8 and marks the birthday of the Sufi prophet, Abu Al Haggag – involves lots of rustic, rural tradition.
Ramadan in 2020 takes place on April 23 (2021, April 12) and marks the start of the Holy Month of fasting for Muslims.
Egypt Festivals in Summer
June is the start of the summer vacation for Egyptian schools and is, sometimes at least, when Eid Al Fitr falls, marking the end of Ramadan. Expect big celebrations for this one and a lot (we mean, a lot) of feasting.
Eid Al Adha takes place July 30 (2020; July 19 in 2021) and is a national, four-day Islamic holiday. This isn’t one for vegetarians: families slaughter goats on the streets, and there’s a lot of blood and the roasting of meats.
Egypt Festivals in Fall
October 22 marks Ramases’ birthday and sees crowds once again drawn to Abu Simbel, when (also again) the Inner Sanctuary is illuminated by sunshine, linking Egypt to its ancient past.
Theater-buffs will enjoy the International Festival for Experimental Theater, which takes place in October at venues across Cairo. Also, head to Siwa during October for Siyaha. It’s a full moon festival with much Sufi chanting – and much food, too.
The last week of October is the Moulid of Sayyed Al Badawi, the founder of the Sufi order. Pilgrims head to Tantra, the place where the Sufi order was founded along the banks of the Nile Delta, for a big, family-style get-together.
In early November, the Arab Music Festival means ten days of Arabic music. It’s held at the Cairo Opera House and other venues around the city. Moulid An Nab falls sometime in late November. This is Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday; children get given sweets and clothes, amid general festivities.
Cairo International Film Festival happens at the end of November (20 – 29). This prestigious event is one of the oldest of its kind in the Arab world.
Egypt Festivals in Winter
The International Cairo Biennale takes place in late December, showcasing the works of Cairo artists.
January 1 is New Year’s Day, which is when families come together to eat food – not a great deal of celebrations (that was for New Year’s Eve in Cairo’s clubs). Instead of December 25, Coptic Christmas falls on January 7.
In the last week of January, Cairo International Book Fair (the biggest and oldest in the Arab world) is held at Nasr City Fairgrounds; it’s a big, cultural event with lectures.
On January 17, it’s time for the Egyptian Marathon. It moves (so you’ll need to check the dates). People run along the banks of the Nile, starting at Hatshepsut.
The Ascension of Ramases II takes place on February 22, the time of year when the sun enters the inner sanctuary of the temple at Abu Simbel, which illuminates the statues inside. Those Ancient Egyptians were pretty genius!
Keen anglers will enjoy the International Fishing Tournament in Hurghada on the Red Sea, an event that draws crowds from around the world.
When is the Cheapest Time to Visit Egypt?
Egypt is an affordable year-round. However, the high season runs from mid-October to March. This is when you will find prices at their highest and also sold out Nile River cruises and hotels. To score the best deal consider traveling to Egypt between March and September. (Keep in mind these are also the hottest times).
When is the Best Time for a Nile River Cruise
The best time to book a Nile River Cruise is between October and March – high season. This is when temperatures are milder and will make your cruise much more enjoyable. You definitely don’t want to be exploring sites like Luxor Temple in the heat of the day during an Egyptian Summer! We sailed the Nile in mid October and although it was still hot, the heat was bearable – but still book a room with AC.
When is the Best Time to Visit Cairo?
The best time to visit Cairo and the pyramids are in the shoulder and high season. March, April, October, and November would be ideal as the weather is comfortable and the crowds aren’t terrible quite yet. During March, April, and early October you may even be able to score some deals on a hotel.
When is the Best Time to Swim in the Red Sea?
We found the coastal areas of Egypt to have much more mild temperatures that the rest od the country. We were pleasantly surprised at all times on the coat of Hurghada by the breeziness during the day and night. This means that even in the peak of summer you can still feel okay on the Red Sea.
Honestly, swimming in the Red Sea is a year long activity!
Quick Egypt Travel Tips
- Language – Arabic. However, with good education and a strong tourist industry English is widely spoken.
- Currency: Egyptian Pound
- Visa: Most visitors can get a 30-day visa on arrival for $25
- What to Pack: Pack for desert temperatures. Light, loose, and conservative clothing works best here!
Plan and Pack for Egypt
I love wearing a relaxed pant when we travel. The Women’s Mantra pants are made out of hemp and recycled polyester while offering 50+ UPF protection. They are perfect for Egypt as they’re comfortable and conservative.
These pants are lightweight and weigh nothing in a carry-on bag. I could literally live in these pants if it were acceptable to wear them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner out. Cameron has now found his favorite pair of pants in the men’s version which is the Vaha Pant.
It’s best to bring a pair of breathable shoes to walk around Egypt The hear in Northern Africa and Egypt is intense. This means if you don’t want your feet to always feel sweaty and stinky wear cool and comfortable shoes.
I love the Allbird Tree Runners for their breathability in situations like this. I’ve been going strong in them for two years! Check out my other recommendations on women’s shoes, and the best men’s travel shoes.
Just throwing this into your bag is going to make packing for Egypt a breeze. A Shemagh is the perfect travel accessory for both the men and the women travelers out there. This can be worn for just about anything. It will keep you warm, cover your face, protect valuables in your backpack, and even double as an eye mask the shemagh has tons of different uses.
It’s perfect for anyone heading into the Sahara wanting to keep the sand out of their face. I would personally recommend buying this before you land because once you travel to the desert there will plenty of touts willing to sell you a cheap one at an exorbitant price.
Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF when traveling around Egypt. We recommend ordering some online before leaving the house as you will need it underneath the sun in the summer.
We highly recommend getting an eco friendly sun cream that does not contain harmful chemicals.
Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun. There are a lot of options for sunglasses and everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to make sure they do have UV protection for the health of your eyes.
We made our first investment in quality polarized sunglasses with a pair of SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. Truthfully, not everyone needs to invest $150 in a pair of sunglasses, but they do make a huge difference from the crappy $10 ones.
Most hotels will provide you with a towel, but for those times when they may not I like to have a backup travel towel. I like to travel with a microfiber towel because they are light and fold up small, and they also don’t cling on to sand our dirt. Here are a few of our favorite travel towels.
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