Egypt is one of those countries we’ve all learned about in school. With over 7,000 years of history, architectural marvels that include one of the Seven Wonders of the World, magical myths, vast views, incredible culture, and fantastic food, it’s no wonder Egypt is on so many of our bucket lists. “Egypt is a part of history everyone should see,” said traveler Rebecca.
Most people will tell you to visit Egypt in the winter, because it’s cooler. But it’s also peak tourism season. That’s why we’re sharing 5 reasons why you should visit Egypt in the fall, instead.
1. It’s not as hot
In the summer, temperatures in Egypt can reach up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, with an average of 104 degrees. That’s really hot—and exactly why most tourists visit the country during the winter, instead. But winter isn’t the only time you can go on a tour of Egypt. As fall arrives, the summer heat begins to simmer as temperatures begin to drop to more moderate levels.
So, what is the weather like in Egypt in September? The temperature tends to range from an average of 68 to 91 degrees in Cairo with lots of sun and little rain. Then, as you head into October and November, it cools off even more, with nighttime lows hovering around 51 degrees by late November.
The cooler weather makes exploring the busy streets of Cairo, gazing at the Pyramids in the sunny desert, and exploring ancient tombs more comfortable and enjoyable. Read about what it’s like to experience Egypt on a group tour.
Packing tip: Even if it’s not going to be as hot as it is in the summer, bring a hat! You’ll want to shield your eyes from the harsh sun.
2. It’s not too cold, either
Another weather-related reason to visit Egypt in the fall is that nighttime temperatures can plummet to just below freezing in the winter, but typically don’t go below the low 50s in the fall—staying even warmer down south. Not too hot or too cold, it truly is the best time to visit Egypt!
The fall is a great time to visit Alexandria, too, which tends to get pretty damp during the winter months. The weather in Luxor, the West Bank, Abu Simbel, and along the Red Sea coast tends to be pretty perfect this time of year, too. And don’t forget: Mild weather means you can pack lighter, too!
Packing tip: Bring lots of layers! The weather in Egypt is often much warmer during the day than it is at night. Even if it doesn’t get too cold, you might get chilly! Get more tips on what to pack from The Go Ahead Travel Guide to Egypt & the Nile.
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3. It’s less crowded
If you’re wondering what to do in Egypt in the fall, the answer is everything—but without the crowds!
If you’re not a fan of busy sites or crowded places, the best time to go to Egypt is in the fall, because there are far fewer tourists. You’ll escape the winter rush, without being stuck in the summer heat. (We all know being in a hot, crowded place isn’t exactly fun.)
Fewer crowds also mean you get to take your time. You’ll have places like the iconic Pyramids of Giza (almost) all to yourself. Plus, the fewer people, the better the photo op. “Point your camera in any direction at the Pyramids of Giza and you’ll capture a breathtaking photo. ... Overall this was one of the best Go Ahead tours I’ve been on,” said traveler Ralph.
So whether you’re learning fun facts about the Pyramids of Giza, eating warm, freshly baked pita in Cairo, or taking in every single artifact you see at the Luxor Museum, you can enjoy yourself without feeling rushed. By the end of October, the crowds will start to pick up as the tourism season begins, but it doesn’t fully pick up until mid-November.
Travel tip: Visit Alexandria, if you get the chance. In Egypt’s second-largest city, you can explore the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the modern successor to the famous Library of Alexandria that was destroyed centuries ago. You'll also get the chance to visit the Catacombs of Kom el-Shoqafa, Egypt’s largest-known Roman funerary complex, and the recently excavated Roman amphitheatre. Here are 6 Egyptian wonders beyond the pyramids you need to visit on a tour of Egypt.
4. It’s cheaper
Since the fall is technically considered off-season travel, it means you’ll likely be charged lower prices. When visiting Egypt in the fall, everything is open and tours are just beginning to pick up, so you’ll get to do everything you want to do—and save some money, too.
Prices begin to rise on hotels, food in touristy areas, and tours starting in late October as the colder months arrive. So Egypt in September is cheaper than Egypt in November, which is definitely cheaper than Egypt in December or January. So be sure to keep that in mind when deciding when to go to Egypt.
Planning tip: Check when Ramadan falls. Ramadan is the Muslim holy month of fasting. Because it follows the Islamic calendar, the dates change every year. There’s no expectation for tourists to fast, but you might want to note that some of the smaller tours, shops, banks, and restaurants may not be open during daylight hours. You also may not want to eat in front of fasting folks, either. Many larger operations remain open for tourists during this time, though, and the country really comes alive at night when people can eat. So don’t write it off completely! Just be aware of this religious custom as you plan.
5. You’ll get to feel more like a local
Many consider the off-season to be the best time to go to Egypt because, well, it’s the off-season! That means fewer tourists, which means you may not feel as much like a tourist, yourself.
“I had a personal encounter with an Egyptian family. The mother and father gently smiled and indicated that their small daughter could speak English. The little girl extended her hand and said, 'How do you do?' The parents were obviously proud; I was overwhelmed by the compliment ...,” said traveler Colleen.
Since it will be less busy, you’ll be able to truly experience the popular sites for locals and tourists alike—from the Egyptian Museum in Giza, to delicious falafel at smaller restaurants. See what that looks like with this traveler's photo diary.
Another reason fall is the best time to visit Egypt is because of the seasonal events and festivals that take place across the country. For example, the Abu Simbel Sun Festival kicks off in October at The Temples of Abu Simbel. This temple remains in darkness for the entire year except for two occasions: in February and October. It’s designed in a specific way to align to the light during only these two times, and it’s an experience you’ll never forget.
Food tip: If you really want to live like a local, try kushari at a small restaurant or market stall. This delicious dish features a mix of rice, chickpeas, pasta, black lentils, tomato sauce, and fried onions.