Many Asian and African countries, including Egypt, are predominantly Muslim, so the religious sites you are most likely to encounter, are, predictably, mosques. This is a brief tip of advice, written from the point of view of a non-Muslim, female traveler (yours truly!!!):
- Do dress modestly, covering arms, legs, shoulders and the like, no frivolous dressing will be allowed. Hire the modest dress if needed;
- Check whether you are allowed into the mosque at all, since most of them admit you only into the courtyard, and some do not admit non-Muslims at all. However, in several countries you may be able to visit the interiors of many mosques;
- Respect the boundaries laid and do not attempt to enter further (I saw such a thing once, and it did arouse ill-feeling);
- If possible try to avoid going even to the courtyard on Friday afternoon, since I remember this is the most important praying time of the week;
- If you are curious, feel free to ask questions (though not of people hurrying to pray) and most likely you will be answered: I’ve always found people proud of their culture and heritage and ready to explain it;
- Do not criticize things we in Europe and in the West might (such as separate praying space for men and women), for such are the customs of the land and mosques are the least appropriate places for such topics.
This advice is based only on common sense, but it allowed me to see something of the mosques and learn loads of interesting info on Muslim countries, their religion, and culture. Really helped me when we had a general education class on religions at University:))
Egypt is fast becoming a popular tourist attraction and as such tourist's are ignoring the very culture they have come to see. Please dress with modesty in all areas apart from the beach where bikini's ans swimming trunks are allowed, and remember this is a country of Islam and respect their religion.
One thing you will quickly notice in Cairo is the number of minarets as this is an islamic country. You will hear the call to prayer several times a day and probably, like me, miss the melodic tones when you leave. Though I didn't miss the really early one that would jolt me awake from my sleep. There was a minaret only two buildings away from our hotel and it was quite loud. The one pictured is at the Mosque of Sayyidna al-Hussein by Khan el-Khalili.
We never got problems with the locals.
As it is an islamic country I think it is a good idea to show not too much skin...
We always wore shirts with long sleeves and long trousers (an excellent protection against heat and sun) and were accepted (even in mosques, which are full of excellent artwork).
You have to take off your shoes in mosques. It will be good if you are in something which you can dress off easily. You will have to take it with you in your hands.