Remote Giftun Island in the Red Sea near Hurghada, Egypt

Things to do in  Hurghada

See a different side of Egypt

Flanking Egypt’s Red Sea coast, sun-drenched Hurghada has plenty to offer for beach and water sports vacations. While many travelers simply sit on its sands, the Red Sea reels in scuba divers and snorkelers, promising exotic marine life and fantastic coral reefs. Undersea world aside, there are plenty of other things to do in Hurghada. Think cruises to the white beaches of Giftun Islands, 4WD and buggy forays into desert mountains, visits to old Hurghada’s souks and aquarium, and day trips to see the antiquities of Luxor, Aswan, and Cairo.

Top 11 attractions in Hurghada

Hurghada Marina

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Opened in 2008, Hurghada Marina is the recreational hub of the Red Sea resort. Centered on a 200-berth harbour and bordered by the Marina Boulevard—a walkway flanked by palms, parks, and ochre-painted shops and residential blocks—the marina boasts an abundance of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.More

Careless Reef

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The corals of Careless Reef, set in the open waters of the Red Sea about an hour from Hurghada, are flourishing again as it recovers from the crown-of-thorns seastar’s predation. With excellent visibility, shallow pinnacles, and a steep wall with caves and overhangs, it offers something for every diver, including the chance of big pelagics.More

Giftun Islands

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The two Giftun Islands—Giftun Kebir and Giftun Sughayer—are some of the closest to Egypt’s resort town of Hurghada and comprise part of a marine reserve in the Red Sea with spectacular coral reefs and drop-offs teeming with life. Day-trippers come for snorkeling, diving, and sunbathing on the pair of islands’ pristine, protected beaches.More

Hurghada Grand Aquarium

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The Hurghada Grand Aquarium focuses on the the aquatic wonderland lying offshore. Whether you’re a keen snorkeler or merely want to learn more about the world’s rare coral reefs, the aquarium can expand your perspective on the Red Sea’s ecological environment, including all the animals, like sharks and turtles, that call it home.More

El Dahar (Hurghada Old Town)

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North of Hurghada’s luxury resorts lies the Old Town of El Dahar, where you’ll find the city’s most authentic restaurants and shops. A highlight of the area is a traditional Egyptian souk that’s crammed with shops selling leather, copper, papyrus, spices, and shisha pipes.More

Makadi Water World

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In the Makadi Bay resort area south of Hurghada, Makadi Water World is one of Egypt’s biggest water parks. Fifty different rides and slides include 25 adult-centered experiences such as Twister, Kamikaze, Space Boat, Black Hole, and Turbo Tunnel, and 25 kid-friendly rides. There’s also a surf simulator, wave pool, and lazy river.More

Mahmya Island

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Despite the name, Mahmya Island is not actually an island: it’s one section of Big Giftun Island in the Giftun Islands, off Hurghada’s Red Sea coast. Lounge on the sandy beaches; snorkel the coral reef from the beach or a boat; rent a “Sea-Spi’ glass-bottom watercraft; or eat and drink at the restaurants.More
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Red Sea

Red Sea

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The Red Sea channel draws tendrils of Indian Ocean water up through Africa and Arabia to Egypt, Jordan, and Israel. Divers and snorkelers appreciate the Red Sea’s clear waters and colorful coral and marine life, while sandy beaches lure sun worshippers from around the world.More

Hurghada 1,001 Nights (Alf Leila Wa Leila)

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The open-air theater at the Hurghada Alf Leila Wa Leila hotel plays host each evening to the spectacular Fantasia show, often known as Alf Leila Wa Leila (1,001 Nights. The 2,500-capacity space delivers a feast of Arab, Bedouin, and Egyptian culture, folklore, history, and dance, complete with a horse show and an illuminated fountain.More

Mons Porphyrites

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Egypt’s rare porphyry was highly valued by the ancient Romans, and this former Roman quarry—once a thriving settlement of houses, temples, and workshops—was mined for its precious purple and white crystalline stone, used to decorate columns, sarcophagi, and temples. Relics and ruins of this activity remain at this archaeological site.More
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Abdel-Moneim Riad Mosque

Abdel-Moneim Riad Mosque

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Named for the Egyptian military hero Abdul Munim Riad, the Abdel-Moneim Riad Mosque can be spelled many different ways in English. Built in the early ’70s, not long after Riad was killed in action, the mosque’s twin minarets tower above El Dahar (Old Town, Hurghada’s most traditionally Egyptian district.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Hurghada

Small group Hurghada to Luxor, Valley of the Kings by Van
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Small group Hurghada to Luxor, Valley of the Kings by Van

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Day Trip to Cairo by Bus
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Day Trip to Cairo by Bus

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Hurghada: Star watching Desert Adventure by Jeep with Dinner
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Hurghada: Star watching Desert Adventure by Jeep with Dinner

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Orange Bay Island Snorkeling Trip With Water Sports From Hurghada
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Orange Bay Island Snorkeling Trip With Water Sports From Hurghada

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Hurghada: 3-Hour Desert Safari Quad Bike and Camel Ride
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Hurghada: 3-Hour Desert Safari Quad Bike and Camel Ride

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All about Hurghada

When to visit

Hurghada boasts year-round sunshine. When you land here, you’re almost guaranteed a blast of warm, dry air. The period from November to January brings milder (but still sunbathing) weather with almost no rain, though even hardy swimmers may find the sea chilly.

Winter is also when Hurghada’s popular sporting events take place, including the Ironman competition in November and International Fishing Festival in February. Summer and the shoulder season see regular temps above 90°F (32°C).

Getting around

Hurghada doesn’t have much public transportation, largely because most visitors relax at the pool or beach for the duration of their trips. If you want to visit the Marina or Old Town, hop on a hotel shuttle, or do like the locals do and catch a public microbus. These cheap, cheerful (usually white) minivans will collect you and drop you off at the roadside on request. Cabs are also plentiful. But to avoid haggling with drivers who don’t use meters, use rideshare services instead.

Traveler tips

If you want to see a slice of authentic Egyptian life, head for the El Dahar souk in old Hurghada. The market is full of fruit, vegetable, fish, and meat stalls, as well as colorful trinket and clothing stands. It offers fascinating insight into locals’ everyday routines. Take Egyptian currency and haggle. While Hurghada is a safe place to travel, you may want to carry two purses or split your cash and cards into two sections, in case you run into pickpockets.

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People Also Ask

What is Hurghada famous for?

Hugging Egypt’s Red Sea coastline, Hurghada is known for its hot sun, beaches, and abundant marine life. Beach fans come to tan on its golden sands, while water babes and scuba divers book snorkel and diving trips to encounter the area’s dazzling coral reefs and underwater species. In addition to all the things to do in Hurghada itself, the city also serves as a good jumping point for other Egyptian excursions.

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Can you visit the pyramids from Hurghada?

Yes, it’s easy to visit Cairo’s pyramids of Giza including the Great Sphinx. Popular day trips include cheap-and-cheerful bus tours to Egypt’s capital to view the extraordinary ancient tombs. A more comfortable option is by air. Flying to Cairo and back in a day allows you more time at Giza and the city’s other sights.

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Which is better Hurghada or Sharm?

Much depends on what you want from your vacation. Both offer great beaches and scuba diving, but Sharm el Sheikh is livelier, with more shops, restaurants, and nightlife—the latter concentrated in Na’ama Bay. Hurghada is quieter and closer to Cairo, Luxor, and the Valley of the Kings, allowing you to squeeze day trips into your Red Sea vacation.

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Is there a dress code in Hurghada?

The dress code in Red Sea resorts, including Hurghada, is less strict than in other places in Egypt. Swimwear is fine for women at the beach and pool, as are shorts in hotel areas, shops, and most restaurants. However, women still need to cover their heads and shoulders if visiting mosques.

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Is Hurghada expensive?

No, it’s pretty budget-friendly. While it’s one of the pricier resorts on Egypt’s Red Sea and boasts numerous upscale hotels, dining out and the popular things to do in Hurghada are still cheaper than across the Med, for example. Dinner for two, with wine, at a tourist restaurant will likely come in around US$30, for instance.

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Is Hurghada worth visiting?

Yes. For sun and sea any time of year, Hurghada ticks the boxes. Beach-lovers come to enjoy warm or mild temps from September to May in particular, although the heat is oppressive between June-August. Hurghada is also a diving heaven, with good visibility and comfortable sea temps during April-May and October-November.

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