Hurghada was once a relatively small and unimposing fishing village, located next to the Red Sea and boasting several superb beaches. Now, the resort of Hurghada is almost unrecognisable compared to its past life. It has grown to become the most visited tourist destination in the whole of Egypt, with more than 100 different hotels, many of which line the shoreline.
Famous for its superb diving opportunities, Hurghada is especially appealing to those with little scuba diving experience, who come to marvel at the underwater reefs and remarkable marine life. Currently, tourism constitutes a considerable part of Hurghada income. Each year, many tourists combine their holiday with visits to other prominent locations along the Nile Valley, including the relatively nearby city of Luxor.
- Location of Hurghada City
- Administrative Divisions
- Hurghada Attractions
- Shopping in Hurghada
- Hurghada Activities
- History-Related and Sightseeing Activities in Hurghada
- Snorkelling Activities in Hurghada
- Diving Activities in Hurghada
- Fishing Activities in Hurghada
- Sea-Related Activities in Hurghada
- Water Sports Activities in Hurghada
- Desert Safari Activities in Hurghada
- Horse Riding Activities in Hurghada
- City Touring Activities in Hurghada
- Beauty and Wellness Activities in Hurghada
- Entertainment and Fun Activities in Hurghada
- General information about the Hurghada International Airport
- How to Get to Hurghada?
Location of Hurghada City
- El Dahar is the old Downtown.
- Sekalla is the city centre and the old part of the city.
- Also, El Qura is the modern part.
- Abdulmoneim Riadh Mosque.
- El-Mina Grand Mosque.
- Church of St. Mary.
- Hurghada Marina Boulevard.
- Fish Market.
- Fruit Market.
- Marine Port.
- Giftun Islands.
- Hurghada Grand Aquarium.
- Jungle Aqua Park.
- Hurghada Museum.
- Sand City.
- Mini Egypt.
- Hard Rock Café.
- Also, Little Buddha.
Hurghada Marina Boulevard
The Hurghada Marina project is considered one of the most significant and most splendid projects in Hurghada, Egypt. Hurghada Marina Boulevard lies on the west coast of the red sea with a surface of over 150 000 sq. Meters. It was designed by the Sorgreah Consultants in France, while the ASA consultants in Egypt carried out the project’s overall consultancy services.
Hurghada Fish Market
The local fish market (in Arabic, Hallaqat El-Samak) is a must, a fantastic place to see a great local culture. This Fish Market is an excellent shopping venue for a great local shopping experience in the popular Hurghada Marina area. Moreover, the market offers an extensive assortment of fresh local fish and other products from the sea.
El Mina Mosque Hurghada
The El Mina-Mosque (in Arabic, Masjid El Mina) is one of the most famous mosques and the top attractions in Hurghada. It is undoubtedly the biggest and most impressive mosque and building in Hurghada. This mosque opened in 2012, on 8,000 meters at 20 million pounds.
Masjid Al-Mina Al-Kabir is the largest mosque in the governorate of the Red Sea and is a significant tourist attraction with its magnificent architecture. Tourism companies in Hurghada organise visits to the mosque as one of the most important Islamic shrines in the city.
Saint Shenouda Church Hurghada
The Saint Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church is located in the El Dahar area of Hurghada and belongs to the Coptic Orthodox community. The church occupies 1500 m2. It appears to be relatively modest from the outside. However, inside, the architecture is intricate and simply astounding, featured primarily on the stained-glass windows and the painted ceilings, as well as interesting religious murals and paintings above the altar. Travellers can find a second church under the main cathedral to accommodate the overflow of worshipers attending on special religious days.
Hurghada Museum is the first antiquities museum in al‑Bahr al‑Ahmar (Red Sea) Governorate, the first museum of its kind. It is the fruitful result of a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, al‑Bahr al‑Ahmar (Red Sea) Governorate, and the private sector. In this case, the private sector funded the museum’s construction as a sponsor partner.
Grand Aquarium stands in Hurghada’s heart, just 5 minutes away from Hurghada International Airport, in the Magawish tourist area. Hurghada’s Grand Aquarium is the largest in the Middle East and North Africa, and also it counts the seventh in the world. It is home to thousands of species of marine organisms. In addition, it uniquely has a rainforest with its abundant rain, intertwining trees, and the open forest similar to the African forests, which contain the most beautiful animals and different birds.
Sand City Museum
Sand City possesses more than 70 sculptures of sand statues and inscriptions. Artists formed these statues from pressed wet sand to become stiff like stones. Sculptors painted their surfaces with varnish to protect them from wind and rain. Some of these statues are about 10 meters high. It took about six months to complete this museum 29 artists from different parts of the world participated in the exit of these creations. It includes different eras and civilisations, notably Pharaonic figures and sculptures, and Napoleon, Zeus, Cleopatra, Posiden, Caesar and Eros. Modern-day heroes such as “King Kong”, “Jack Sparrow”, and Spider-Man.
2. Dahar Mosque
Dahar Mosque is one of the most important landmarks of Hurghada and one of its most beautiful mosques. It exists in the Al-Dahar district in the city centre. This mosque is famous for its two distinctive high-rise minarets and the decorations on the interior walls. In the evening, a wall façade is lit from it, which gives it a magnificent view, and whoever goes to this mosque will see the large number of street vendors spread over its yard, making it one of the main crowded areas in the city.
3. Sahl Hasheesh
The resorts of Sahl Hasheesh have a distinctive character. It is famous for higher tourist accommodation prices than hotels in Hurghada and includes 1660 hotel rooms. It will open 6 thousand hotel rooms and an open theatre famous for the vast concerts held by foremost Arab singers and attended by thousands of their fans.
4. El Gouna
El Gouna dated back to 1990 and was established by the Orascom Group company owned by the Sawiris family, about 20 km away from Hurghada International Airport, 470 km away from Cairo. The city is heading to achieve self-sufficiency in food by relying heavily on the products of the El Gouna farm built on an area of 120 acres. The area is famous for being a site for diving in the depths and various water sports such as water skiing, windsurfing, and golf. There are two main beaches, “Zaitouna Beach” and “Mangroovy Beach”. Furthermore, the resort has many water channels, many Islands, marinas and yachting in large numbers, and many health clubs.
There are six neighbourhoods in El Gouna: Marina Town, the Mediterranean, the Golf District, the Nubian Quarter, the Hadaba neighbourhood and the Italian Quarter. All resorts’ investments tend to rely on clean solar energy and dispense entirely with government-generated electricity by storing batteries for the power generated from Solar cells.
Shopping in Hurghada
Beaches are not the only one that attracts visitors, but rather the shopping places and the tourist walkway of Hurghada. This place has cafes, restaurants and shops, famous markets and malls. Thus, the area provides more fun and nightlife to wander at night alone without boredom or with friends and family.
You can buy many souvenirs from the shops spread inside the main town (Sekalla high street) and along with the beach areas. Also, the old downtown (el Dahar) has a wide selection of bazaars with lower prices than Sekalla.
For brand names and higher-quality products, head down to ‘New Marina’ and Sheraton Road, where you can find Adidas, Timberland, Dockers and Levi’s, as well as a traditional bazaar (Souq in Arabic). Often the clothes are counterfeit knockoffs, though you will notice that any shop may post famous trademarks on its banner and yet sell fake garments.
Senzo Mall is the first real shopping mall in Hurghada. Since its opening, it has been a significant destination for those who want to replace the city rush enjoyment. Diverse shops known as local and international brands always offer visitors current fashion collections and an excellent selection of home appliances and other products. Fresh and tasty specialities will provide a real break for all visitors, bringing additional energy for all-day fun in Senzo Mall. Leafing through the magazine with a perfect coffee aroma is complemented by a wide selection of delicious sandwiches and cakes.
Hurghada is famous for its coral reefs, islands and entertainment. Generally, many tourists visit it annually to enjoy snorkelling, diving, and sightseeing. For the sake of the sea and culture, excursions go everywhere in Hurghada. On the other hand, these trips head from Hurghada to various tourist destinations in the coastal cities of Safaga, Marsa Alam, and El Gouna. Moreover, several tours go far to Cairo and Luxor. Infrequently, they head to Israel and Jordan.
So, here is a comprehensive list of the activities and things to do in Hurghada. For your convenience, we have grouped these entries into the following basic categories:
- History Related/Sightseeing in Hurghada.
- Snorkeling in Hurghada.
- Diving in Hurghada.
- Sea Related Activities.
- Water Sports/Water-Related Activities.
- Also, Fun and Entertainments in Hurghada.
History-Related and Sightseeing Activities in Hurghada
Group Sightseeing Activities
- Excursion to Cairo-Giza from Hurghada.
- Two-Days Trip to Cairo from Hurghada – Old Cairo.
- And, Bus Trip to Cairo-Alexandria from Hurghada.
- Excursion to Luxor- Valley of the kings from Hurghada.
- Day Trip to Dendera – Luxor from Hurghada.
- And, Trip to Luxor – Valley of Queens by Bus from Hurghada.
- Also, Nile Boat Trip Hurghada.
Individual Sightseeing Activities
- Individual Trip to Luxor from Hurghada.
- Private Trip to El-Minya from Hurghada.
- Trip to Monastery of St. Anthony from Hurghada.
- Private Trip to Cairo from Hurghada by plane.
- Individual Excursion Cairo from Hurghada.
- Private Trip to Abydos – Sohag from Hurghada.
- Individual Trip to Abydos – Dendera from Hurghada.
- Also, Individual trip to Dendera – Luxor from Hurghada.
Snorkelling Activities in Hurghada
- Individual Trip to Sharm El-Naga from Hurghada.
- Excursion Super Utopia from Hurghada.
- Private Speedboat to Dolphin Bay from Hurghada.
- Sea trip to El-Gouna from Hurghada.
- Private Speedboat to Orange Bay in Hurghada.
- Excursion to Orange Bay in Hurghada.
- And, fishing trip in Hurghada.
- Excursion to Abu Dabab Beach from Hurghada.
- Boat trip to Mahmya Island-Beach from Hurghada.
- Excursion Super Gouna from Hurghada.
- Boat trip to the Dolphin House in Hurghada.
- Excursion to Giftun island in Hurghada.
- Also, Snorkeling trip to Paradise Island-Beach in Hurghada.
Diving Activities in Hurghada
Fishing Activities in Hurghada
Sea-Related Activities in Hurghada
Water Sports Activities in Hurghada
Desert Safari Activities in Hurghada
Horse Riding Activities in Hurghada
City Touring Activities in Hurghada
Beauty and Wellness Activities in Hurghada
Entertainment and Fun Activities in Hurghada
General information about the Hurghada International Airport
Hurghada International Airport stands inland, 5 km (3 miles) southwest of the downtown of Hurghada (El Dahar district). This airport presents Hurghada, the Red Sea Governorate of Egypt, Safaga. In addition, it serves many amazing Red Sea beaches and aquatic sports resorts: Al Quseir, Sharm El Naga, El Gouna, Al-Mahmya, Soma Bay and Makadi Bay.
The Route network of Hurghada consists of scheduled passenger services to the Egyptian capital city of Cairo and direct connections to several European destinations. More than 40 airlines perform seasonable charter flights to the cities in Western and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Russia and the CIS countries. The airport has undergone massive renovations to accommodate dramatically rising leisure traffic.
There is only one terminal in the Hurghada airport, and car parking is located just outside the terminal. Also, it is possible to get to the city or hotels by taxi or public transport (minibuses).
More about getting to the airport
In the terminal, various infrastructure is necessary to satisfy taking off and arriving passengers. This infrastructure includes restaurants and cafes, changes, phones and post offices. Also, it comprises souvenirs and essential commodities shops, a left-luggage office, the VIP lounge, and a car rental office.
More about passenger services
There are no business facilities at the airport. Still, it is possible to use conference and meeting facilities at the resort hotels, located only 5 minutes by car from the airport.
Hurghada airport suggests a wide range of shopping possibilities before the flight. Also, many souvenir shops exist at the terminal. There are also duty-free shops in the departure zone selling perfumes, alcohol and confectionery products with great discounts.
Hurghada Time Zone
Time zone in Hurghada GMT +2 (daylight saving time GMT +3 from the last Friday in April to the last Thursday in September). Hurghada Airport phone number: +20 65 443 976, fax number: +20 65 443 976.
How to Get to Hurghada?
Prices depend on the time of the booking and the airline. Most major airlines in Europe and the Middle East can fly you straight to Hurghada International Airport (IATA: HRG) without having to stop in Cairo. You will see a big sign saying “Visa 25USD” as you enter the airport building. Airport guides will usher you towards a stand where you must buy the visa for 25 Euro (over 30USD). You can easily avoid this by going to the ‘National Bank Of Egypt’ stand in the same hall and presenting your passport, along with precisely 25 US dollars, to the attendant. This bank will give you the visa, and you finish everything in half the time, for half the price.
From the airport to the town vice-versa, cab drivers will likely ask for quote prices in Euros. Note that the price they will ask is high above the metered price, about 40 LE to the city (many will start at 10 euro/200 LE plus a 50 LE airport fee). Note that you can get this price down quite a bit with quite a bit of bargaining.
If you are in Cairo, you can also fly to Hurghada on Egypt Air Express (a subsidiary of Egypt Air) or Nile Air, servicing domestic locations in Egypt. Prices vary 400-900 Egyptian pounds depending on the season and how early you book your tickets.
From Sharm el-Sheikh, you can fly with Egypt Air for about 450-550 LE (the trip takes about 1 hour).
From Cairo: the trip takes about 7 hours, depending on the operator. Prices range from 50 to 150LE for a one-way ticket, and buses will leave nearly every hour. Good operators are Super Jet and Go Bus; avoid MCV Co.
From Alexandria, operate two daily buses. The first one is run by Upper Egypt and leaves at 18:30, arriving in Hurghada around 4:30 the following day. It is not ideal as you will find the city asleep and it is tough to get a taxi this early. The second bus, operated by Super Jet, will leave around 20:30 and arrive around 6:30 in the morning. Prices are around 90-100LE for a one-way trip.
From Luxor: about 4-5h by Super Jet bus or longer by Upper Egypt. Super Jet runs twice daily, and Upper Egypt has buses more frequently.
From Aswan: 2 daily buses, both operated by Upper Egypt. The first one leaves at 15:30, the second leaves at 17:30. The trip takes at least 8 hours, meaning you will arrive in Hurghada after midnight. Prices are around 50-55LE.
Buses arrive and leave for many destinations from the Old Town bus station. Eighty per cent of them run on schedule; the others may have long delays. Be there at least one hour before the scheduled departure. Your ticket might be an excellent way to avoid frustration whilst saving money.
Go Bus Egypt is a reliable company with friendly buses offering daily service to Cairo (from 190EGP) and Luxor (from 110 EGP).
Buses leave for Quseer and Marsa Alam (3 times a day), Luxor (3 times), Cairo (each 1 hour), there are no direct buses to Sharm El Sheikh; you must go to Cairo or Suez with the GOV buses.
Update (September, 2019): Hurghada to Luxor. Three bus companies service routes to Luxor. Each exists along El-Nasr. Go bus has two departures daily at 08:15 and 15:30 (EGP 135). Blue Bus has one departure daily at 15:00 (EGP 150). Upper Egypt Bus Co. has six departures daily at 01:00, 03:00, 10:00, 13:00, 19:30, and 22:30 (EGP 40).
Since the 1980s, Hurghada has grown from a small fishing village to an internationally renowned resort town on the Red Sea Governorate. It became an international centre for aquatic sports like windsurfing, sailing, deep-sea fishing, swimming, and above all, snorkelling and diving. The unique underwater gardens offshore are some of the finest in the world, justifiably famous amongst divers. Hurghada’s warm waters are ideal for rare fish and coral reefs, observed through glass bottom boats. for more details
Hurghada is merging the old with the new. It boasts some of the most delicate hotel chains in Villages Road and the tourist districts around it like Sahel Hasheesh, or north of it and El-Gouna in the south. The Hurghada International Airport serves the city, which has direct connections with several cities in Europe for more details.
860791 people inhabit Hurghada (according to the 2006 census). The majority of the inhabitants depend on tourism. However, some of them work in fishing.