As a Middle Eastern, predominately Muslim nation, Egypt is not the biggest partying and drinking destination in the world. There are a variety of clubs, discos, casinos and bars, but it's not a huge part of the culture.
That being said, Egypt is full of life and there are many other things to do for nightly entertainment while you are in Egypt.
Wondering what behavior is appropriate and what's not? Get this culture guide
Egypt Nightlife – How to Party in Egypt
When to Go Out
Coffeeshops and local hangouts in Egypt are open until the early hours of the morning serving sheesha, food and hot beverages.
Bars and clubs usually start to fill up around 10 pm, and some of them shut their doors by 2 am, while others remain open until 4 am and beyond.
What to Wear
Egyptians like to dress smart. Even during the day, though it's often blazing hot, men normally wear long pants and shoes.
When it comes to going out at night, it's important to look good. If you are on the Red Sea you might get away with board shorts and flip flops but in the city long pants, loafers and sweaters are more respectable.
For women, there's an entirely different set of criteria on how to dress in Egypt. As a predominantly Muslim country, it is highly important to respect the rules and guidelines that Egypt has in place.
No, it's not a requirement for a woman to cover her head (even many Egyptian women don't), but showing legs and arms is definitely iffy. Ultimately it's up to you, but I recommend always trying to be respectful in the country you are visiting.
Many nightclubs in Egypt are located within major hotels. In Cairo the main nightclub area is around the Zamalek district.
Other popular nightlife places in Egypt include the Red Sea tourist resort towns of Dahab and Sharm el-Sheikh
Bars exist around the country. Any establishment that serves alcohol is required to be indoors, and the windows blocked from the outside so no one can see inside.
Stella is the most popular local beer in Egypt, and it goes for about 15 – 30 LE ($2.51 – $5.02) per large bottle.
If gambling is your thing, Egypt has plenty of large-scale casinos, resort casinos, and hotel casinos around the country.
Popular Egyptian Nightlife
- Coffeeshops – One of the most popular things to do as a local in Egypt during the night time hours is to relax at a coffeeshop while drinking cups of tea or coffee and possibly sampling a sheesha water pipe. Some of the real local style neighborhood coffeeshops are for males only, but in central areas of towns and in touristy areas females are also permitted.
- Restaurants – People in Egypt seem to be night owls – and a popular family activity to do is go out to eat at late hours of the night and enjoy each others company.
- Cinemas – You can watch movies at theaters until late in Egypt.
In Egypt there is a wide range of social dynamics when it comes to going out at night. For the most part, it is quite relaxed as a Middle Eastern country, yet there is still some male/female segregation.
Some Egyptians go out for the night with their families, while others go out with their friends. For foreigners, it's fine to go out with your same age group of friends.
Note that there are some clubs in Egypt that will only allow couples to enter, not singles. There are also some neighborhood coffee shops that prefer only males to enter.
It is possible to locate discos and nightclubs in Egypt that blast a variety of music, including Western hip-hop and trance, as well as local Arabic tunes.
The major clubs in Cairo and throughout the rest of the country include large dance floors.
Belly dancing is a popular form of dance, and there are a number of local and tourist venues to see live performances. Some tours include dinner and a belly dancing show.
Before thinking about dating an Egyptian woman, one must really strive to understand some of the Egyptian culture and religious connotations that come with it.
However, in a modernizing world and Egypt, you never know who you can meet along the way.
If you are a foreign male it can be extremely difficult to date traditional Egyptian females, but it is possible.
From what a few foreign women have told me, Egyptian men can sometimes be aggressive. I don't begin to know all the complications of a woman dating an Egyptian man, but I know that many local men are happy and eager to talk to females.
Just as for dating people in any part of the world, I would recommend doing some research and reading about cultural and background issues before getting into a deep relationship. There can be many cross cultural mis-understandings.
Sex in Egypt
Sex with Egyptian females is basically off limits unless you want to get married. Abortion is illegal in Egypt, but it is still common. Emergency contraceptives are not available at normal pharmacies.