Egypt is a fascinating country with a rich history, stunning landscapes, and iconic monuments that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. However, choosing the right time to visit Egypt can make all the difference in having an enjoyable trip versus an endurance test. Certain months bring intense heat, crowded tourist sites, and inflated prices that can dampen your experience.
The Worst Time to Visit Egypt
Use this guide on the worst time to visit Egypt to help you plan the most comfortable and cost-effective Egypt vacation. We’ll cover the key factors that make some months less desirable for travel, along with specific times to avoid.
The Hottest Months to Avoid in Egypt
The first aspect that makes some periods the worst time to visit Egypt is the intense heat and humidity. Egypt has a hot desert climate that brings very high temperatures, especially in the summer. The hottest months that you’ll want to avoid are:
During these months, average highs are 96 to 102°F (36 to 39°C) in popular destinations like Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan. Temperatures routinely exceed a scorching 104°F (40°C) and it remains very warm overnight.
The heat can make it difficult to enjoy sightseeing without getting overheated. It’s also very taxing if you want to spend long days exploring Egypt’s famed archaeological sites, like Luxor’s Valley of the Kings or the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx near Cairo.
To avoid the worst heat, it’s best to visit Egypt between October and May when temperatures are cooler and more comfortable. Winters are mild with highs around 70°F (21°C), making this one of the best times to visit.
Peak Crowds to Avoid
Another factor that influences the worst time to visit Egypt is when the major tourist sites are most crowded and busy. Peak tourist seasons tend to align with:
- European school holidays
- Public holidays
The busiest times at Egypt’s historical sites and museums are during the European summer break from June through August. Easter week and the Christmas/New Year holidays also draw big crowds.
Egyptian public school students are off for mid-year breaks in February and April too. Domestic tourists flock to the beaches at this time, making coastal areas like Sharm El Sheikh very crowded.
To beat the worst crowds, the best time to visit Egypt is typically between September and November. You’ll enjoy pleasant weather with fewer tourists than the winter high season. Spring can also be a nice time to visit between the mid-year school breaks.
When Prices Are Highest
Avoiding the worst time to visit Egypt can also save you money. Like many destinations, prices on flights, hotels, and tours rise when demand is highest.
Peak times when you’ll pay a premium include:
- Major holidays like Christmas/New Year’s and Easter week
- European summer vacations in July and August
- Egypt’s high season for tourism from October through April
For the most cost-effective trip, target travel between May and September. Hotel rates and airfare are substantially lower during these summer months. Temperatures are hot but you’ll save and beat the crowds.
It’s also possible to get deals on tours and Nile cruises during shoulder seasons in April/May and September/October.
The Worst Time to Visit Egypt
To recap when to avoid, the worst time to visit Egypt includes:
- July – September – Intensely hot temperatures across Egypt make sightseeing exhausting.
- Easter Week – Popular time for visitors that brings crowds and higher prices.
- June – August – European summer break fills tourist sites, especially at the Pyramids, Egyptian Museum, and Abu Simbel.
- Christmas / New Year’s – Peak holiday travel time with expensive airfare and hotel rates.
- February and April – Domestic tourists flock to the beaches during Egyptian school mid-year breaks.
The Best Time to Visit Egypt
In contrast, here are the best times of year to visit to avoid the largest crowds and heat:
- October – Pleasant weather and minimal crowds after summer vacations end.
- November – Warm days with even fewer tourists than October.
- December – Before Christmas/New Year’s crowds arrive, December has mild weather.
- March and May – Spring brings warmer weather and smaller crowds between Easter and summer vacations.
- September – Hot but less crowded after European travelers go home so deals can be found.
No matter when you decide to go, visiting Egypt is an epic adventure. Avoiding the worst times that bring sweltering heat, huge crowds, and inflated prices can help your trip go more smoothly. Use our guide on when to visit this amazing country to match your travel style and budget.
- Specific advice for avoiding crowds at major tourist sites:
The Pyramids of Giza and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo get exceptionally crowded in summer. Arrive right when they open to beat the big tour groups. For the pyramids, enter via the less-popular Entrance B or consider a private/custom tour for more flexible timing.
In Luxor, get to popular temples like Karnak early before the cruise ship groups arrive. Avoid the West Bank sights in the late morning when tours flood in. Instead, visit later in the afternoon when crowds thin out.
- How the weather affects activities:
The hot summer months make physically demanding outdoor activities challenging. For example, hiking in the Valley of the Kings or through temple ruins in Luxor can be extremely draining in August heat. Save these for cooler months.
Summertime is better suited for less intensive sightseeing or focusing on cultural activities like museum visits. Take breaks during the hottest parts of the day.
The pleasant winters allow you to spend full days sightseeing outdoors comfortably. Cruising the Nile is also more enjoyable when temperatures are milder.
- Additional advice on when to find deals:
One of the best times to find flight deals to Egypt is during the “shoulder season” months of early December and late January. You can avoid the Christmas rush but still benefit from lower winter pricing.
For hotels, last-minute discounts can bring excellent rates if you are flexible on dates. However, book early for the busy Christmas/New Year’s period when rooms fill fast.
- Trends in domestic tourism:
Cairo residents often head to the Mediterranean or Red Sea beaches during the mid-year school breaks in April and February. Prices jump at seaside resorts like Sharm El Sheikh. If combining a Nile cruise with a beach getaway, avoid these high seasons on the coast.
- Warnings about holiday weekends:
Egyptian public holidays lead to local tourist crowds at major sites like the pyramids. Avoid travel on these days. For example, over half a million Egyptians visited the pyramids over the recent Prophet’s Birthday long weekend!
Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Egypt
What is the best month to visit Egypt?
The best month with pleasant weather, smaller crowds, and lower prices is typically November. March and May are also excellent times to visit Egypt.
What should I wear in Egypt in August?
In the intense August heat, lightweight and light-colored clothing will help you stay cool and comfortable. Breathable fabrics like cotton or linen work well.
Is April a good time to visit Egypt?
April falls between two Egyptian school breaks so can be a nice time to visit, although Easter may impact crowds and prices at the beginning of the month. Expect warm spring weather, with possible highs around 90°F (32°C) in Luxor and Cairo.
How hot is Egypt in July?
July is one of the hottest months in Egypt. Average high temperatures range from 96°F to 102°F (36°C to 39°C) in cities like Cairo and Luxor. With intense heat and sunshine, sightseeing can be grueling.
Do prices go up in December?
Travel costs like airfare and hotels are typically more expensive in December due to peak holiday travel season. Tours and Nile cruises also see higher demand. Expect crowds at major sights too.
What is the weather like in February?
February is mild and comfortable in Egypt. In Cairo and Luxor, average highs are around 70°F (21°C) while nights are cooler. This makes for pleasant sightseeing conditions at popular destinations.