Hurghada is one of the main resorts in Egypt. Located on the shores of the Red Sea, Hurghada attracts many travelers for the beach, diving but also to make some excursions elsewhere in the country.
What to do in Hurghada in Egypt ? What are the essential activities or excursions ? In this guide, I share everything you need to know before going there: practical advice, where to sleep in Hurghada, places to see or activities not to be missed. We will also end this blog article with a focus on the 2 most popular excursions for a quick discovery of ancient Egypt from the famous seaside resort of the Red Sea.
Practical advice for going to Hurghada in Egypt
Before talking about the many things to do in Hurghada, I will share some practical information that will certainly be useful for you to prepare your stay on the shores of the Red Sea.
How to get there
Map of Hurghada in EgyptThe city of Hurghada, الغردقة in Arabic, is located in eastern Egypt, on the shores of the Red Sea. It is located more or less at the level of Luxor (a bit further north) and therefore more or less in the center of the north-south axis.
Several options are possible to get there:
by plane from France , it is often necessary to plan a stopover unless you go through a travel agency package
by plane from Cairo (1 hour direct flight, several flights a day)
by taxi or by bus because the city is not served by the train (4h journey from Luxor)
If you are not going there directly from France and this seaside resort is a stopover in your circuit, I recommend that you integrate it when you are in Luxor. It is the nearest tourist point in a classic circuit that passes through Cairo, Luxor and Aswan. Starting with Aswan then Luxor, you can visit Hurghada before reaching Cairo for example. This optimized route avoids unnecessary travel.
Note, if you plan to book a bus ride to get there from elsewhere in the country on your own, I recommend going through 12go.asia . This site allows you to book your tickets in advance online. To find a flight at the best price, I recommend going through the Ulysse comparator which does not add any hidden costs. It can be used for flights from France but also for domestic flights to/from Hurghada.
Finally, if you want to avoid negotiating for a taxi when you arrive on site, you can book a transfer to your hotel online here .
Where to sleep in Hurghada
Accommodation is always a crucial issue when planning your stay. You should know that this seaside resort has many large all-inclusive type hotels. The Red Sea attracts many travelers for one or two weeks with a trip mainly oriented by the sea, water activities, … But there are also hostels or smaller hotels.
Here is what you need to know to know where to stay in Hurghada:
El Dahar corresponds to the historic center and there are few tourist accommodations
Hadaba and Sakkala is the center. It is north of El Dahar and includes part of the coast. There are smaller hotels than large all-inclusive resorts. You can turn to the Luxor Hotel for a cheap address. The Hilton Plaza is in a good location and offers beach/pool while still being close to the city center
to the north and south (Al Ahiaa), there are many complexes with a swimming pool / beach, often all-inclusive. The Sindbad Club is one of the popular and affordable addresses. A little further south, we find the best hotel to sleep in Hurghada, The Oberoi Beach Resort
Where to sleep in Hurghada
Some go there directly from France for 7 or 15 days and plan a few excursions. For others, it’s a stopover of 3 or 4 nights for a bit of relaxation by the sea at the end of the trip, for example.
After visiting the rest of the country, if you want to discover the city and enjoy activities in Hurghada (diving, snorkeling, boat trip for dolphins, …), I recommend spending at least 2 or 3 nights there . It’s up to you to spend the time you want there depending on your desire to enjoy a nice hotel or the beach.
What to do in Hurghada: the must-do activities
Let’s start with the things to do in Hurghada or in the immediate vicinity. Indeed, we will see that day trips are also possible. We will discuss them in the last part of this practical guide.
Let’s focus here on the activities that can be done directly here or in the immediate vicinity. We will see that it offers mainly seaside type experiences. But let’s not forget that it is also located at the gates of the desert…
Visit the historic center of Hurghada
Even if you don’t go to Hurghada for a cultural stay, it should still be noted that there is a small historic center that is worth a visit. This is the area that most closely resembles a classical Egyptian city. This historic heart is located around the place called El Dahar. It is here that we find markets, mosques and streets typical of the Arab world.
Souk Dahar in Hurghada
The area is not huge and you don’t necessarily spend more than half a day there. If your trip is limited to the shores of the Red Sea, I highly recommend taking a trip there to get a glimpse of an Egyptian city. In this district, here are the few places to see:
the El Dahar souks are a must in the historic center. The ideal place to do some shopping for local products
the Coptic church of Saint Shenouda can also justify a quick visit. It is very close to the heart of the district
further south, a detour to the El Mina mosque is a must. It is the largest mosque in Hurghada and it is located near the marina. It is possible to visit it but not necessarily at all times of the day. Remember to inquire on site if you want to go inside
Diving or snorkeling trip
Hurghada and more widely the Red Sea are renowned for scuba diving. It seems difficult to go there on vacation without going on a diving or snorkeling trip. These activities are very popular and there are dozens of boat trips to dive. On the program: coral reefs, fish of all colors and turtles too.