Weather-wise, there's a notable variation in the temperature between the beginning and end of the month. Early in September, for example, daytime highs in Cairo average around 93°F (and drop to about 70°F at night). By the end of the month, however, it's only about 87°F during the day and can get as low as 66°F in the evenings—enough even to want a light jacket.
Farther south, Luxor and Aswan are considerably hotter with daytime averages of 102°F at the beginning of the month. If you plan to visit these areas, go later in September when you can count on it being closer to 98°F. This is still extremely hot but the few degrees make a big difference.
In terms of daylight hours, the sun typically rises around 5:30 am this time of year and sets about 5:30 pm, offering about 12 hours to tour the sites. Although this is definitely shorter than summertime days, it still allows plenty of time to explore.
There's almost no rain anywhere in the country this time of year.
Crowds and Costs
September is an absolutely wonderful month to come to Egypt if you're looking for smaller crowds. Although there are definitely more people than you'll find in July or August, it's still 100% shoulder season and there aren't nearly as many visitors crammed into tour buses or roaming the historical sites. This is especially true in the beginning of the month. As you approach October, crowds begin to thicken slightly.
In addition to better crowd sizes, prices are moderate in September, too. Some hotels may increase the rates slightly compared to what they charge in the dead of summer but by and large, it's still off-season prices that you'll find. Airfare also remains more affordable.
Where to Go
Although places in the central and southern parts of the country such as Luxor and Aswan begin getting more tolerable later in the month, September is still a good time to focus the majority of your trip in the north. Cairo is ideal this time of year. The midday heat is still intense, however, if you plan your tours early in the morning or late in the afternoon, you can avoid the worst of it.
There's an abundance of sunrise excursions to sites like the Pyramids of Giza and other historical attractions, as well as a number of sunset activities. This tour schedule allows you to spend the ultra-hot part of the day hunkered down in your hotel room or grabbing lunch inside a cafe with air conditioning.
The Sinai Peninsula is also a marvelous destination for September. Aside from the fact that the temperatures are lower there, all of the activities are focused on the beach and ocean where you can cool off in the sea or in any of the many pools that dot the coastline.
If you decide to head to Luxor, Aswan, or Abu Simbel, try to visit later in the month. If you have to arrive in the first two weeks, bring lots of sunscreen and prepare for heat. It's also important to keep hydrated as temperatures will likely hit triple digits.
What to Do
In Cairo, it's mandatory to check out the Pyramids of Giza. No matter how many photos you've seen, it's impossible to get a full sense of the wonder of these giant structures (there's a reason they're deemed among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World). While there, you'll see the Great Sphinx, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure, among other ruins. Take a camel ride at sunrise or arrive at sunset and stay for the colorful Sound and Light Show after dark.
From the capital city, you can also take a day trip to Alexandria or Saqqara. The former, which is a town on the northern coast, is home to the famous Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa, along with the Roman Amphitheater where the old bathhouses were. The latter town is full of ancient temples including the Step Pyramid, Bent Pyramid, and Red Pyramid.
Along the Red Sea, there are tons of resorts sprinkled along the coastline. Head to Sharm el-Sheikh or Hurghada to pamper yourself with massages or sip cocktails by the pool. Or, if you'd rather go somewhere more laidback, Dahab offers many of the same activities at a more affordable price. All of the beach towns provide the opportunity for water-based activities like snorkeling, sea kayaking, scuba diving or surfing. There's also great food, entertainment, and nightlife.
Farther south, Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel are all great jumping-off points for a cruise along the Nile River where you can visit more historical ruins like Edfu, Esna, and Kom Ombo. Aside from it being a convenient and scenic method of travel, opting for a cruise is also a cooler way to visit this hot part of the country.
Events in September
Wafaa Al Nil: Dedicated to the sacred Nile River, this festive celebration (which means "Fidelity of the Nile") pays tribute to the massive body of water that Egyptians regard as a symbol of life. Many of the activities today are focused on the arts with events like poetry readings, music, and lectures.
Traveling to Egypt in September? Check out this great itinerary
Explore Egypt: Cairo, Alexandria, & Sharm El Sheikh - 7 Days: This versatile seven-day trip focuses on Cairo, Alexandria, and the Red Sea beaches, making it an excellent September itinerary. In addition to the famous Great Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza, some of the highlights include the Citadel of Fort Qaitbey which has an ancient lighthouse bearing a statue of Poseidon and the Library of Alexandria. You'll also go snorkeling in turquoise waters and ride a camel along the scenic coast.