Egypt is a destination that features on many travelers' bucket lists, and for good reason. But deciding on the best time to visit Egypt depends on your itinerary. Not only is it home to one of the world's most famous and intriguing archaeological sites, its year-round sunshine, world-class diving, and abundant culture continue to entice travelers the world over. Here's what you need to know when planning a trip to Egypt.
Editor's note: On October 7, 2023, violence erupted across Israel and Gaza in one of the worst conflicts the region has seen in decades, according to The New York Times. While travel experts advise postponing travel to Israel, no travel advisories have been issued against travel to surrounding countries in the Middle East, including Egypt, at press time.
A version of this article originally appeared in Condé Nast Traveller Middle East.
When is the best time to visit Egypt?
It depends. If you want to relax on the beaches of Hurghada or Sharm El-Sheikh, you’ll likely want sunshine and warm temperatures. The months either side of winter, October and November or March and April offer the best conditions, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures hovering around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, occasionally creeping into the low nineties.
If you’re planning to explore the busy streets of Cairo, you’re better off waiting for the cooler temperatures that December and January bring. Like much of the Middle East and North Africa, Egypt experiences warm and dry weather year round, although coastal areas do see rain and milder temperatures during winter.
When is the best time to visit Egypt to see the Pyramids?
The Pyramids of Giza are Egypt’s most-visited attraction, so naturally, many travelers plan their itinerary around a stop here. If you want to make the most of exploring the major archaeological sites at this complex, including the three pyramids of kings Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure and the Great Sphinx, it’s best to avoid the summer months, when temperatures regularly reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
The months between December and February are the coolest, with highs of around the high sixties. However, evenings can get chilly during these months, so pack accordingly. This is also a popular time for organized group tours, so attractions can get crowded. March and October are good options, still offering cooler temperatures, with fewer tourists around.
When is the cheapest time to go to Egypt?
It’s always cheapest to travel during the off-season, which would fall between May and August across Egypt. These months bring about harsh desert summer temperatures, so if you are planning to travel in summer, you’re better off heading to coastal areas, which are slightly cooler. On the plus side, this is the best time to find deals on flights and hotels, when occupancy rates are lower. The next best option are the shoulder months, so look for deals in September or late April.
When is the busiest time to visit Egypt?
Peak tourist season across Egypt lasts from mid-October to mid-February, so expect major attractions to be busy during these months. However, Egypt is particularly busy around the traditional festive season in late December, as well in early January, when many in Egypt celebrate Orthodox Christmas on January 7.
When is the best time for diving in Egypt?
Egypt’s Red Sea coast has long been a haven for scuba divers, who flock to these waters to explore its thriving coral reefs which are home to more than 1,200 underwater species. For divers keen to spot the likes of hammerhead sharks and manta rays, June to September offers the best chance, when water temperatures are at their warmest.