Contrary to popular belief, Egypt is a safe country. Especially Dahab is one of the friendliest and most welcoming places on earth. In fact, it is so amazing that I (a solo female traveler) decided to live here (here are my Top 10 Reasons Everyone Should Visit Egypt). I feel safer than in any bigger city in Europe, honestly. I created this list of Things To Do in Dahab to convince people to come to this wonderful little beach town on the Red Sea that I call home now and help you have a fantastic time.
It is so diverse, there is no way you will ever feel bored. If you don’t fall in love with the sea, you will fall in love with the desert. Or the people. Or the animals. Or the food. Trust me. You WILL fall in love one way or another 😉
Here’s 77 reasons you should book your flight to Egypt right now! Forget the travel warnings and YALLA – come to Dahab!
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Activities in Dahab
- Put on a snorkeling mask and jump in the water at Lighthouse or Eel Garden – the reefs are amazing! No need to take a boat or swim far out.
- Go to the Friday Market and enjoy some homemade international food.
- Take a peek into the underwater world and book a Discover scuba diving trip.
- Hooked? Then do your PADI Open Water in Dahab. You won’t find it much cheaper or more beautiful anywhere else in the world! Here is my guide to scuba diving in Dahab.
- Experienced diver? Go on a Night Dive with and explore the fluorescent nightlife underwater.
- Pet the stray animals. Dahab wouldn’t be the same without its cats and dogs. They’re friendly and won’t hurt you. Quite the opposite actually, they love to cuddle!
- Bring a bottle of wine and watch the sunset at the Laguna.
- Finally see the world famous Blue Hole for yourself. You can’t miss this 94m deep submarine sinkhole.
- While you’re there, try Freediving. Dahab is one of the most popular places for Freediving (especially the Blue Hole), thanks to the lack of current and accessibility from the shore.
- Tired of the water? Go on a quad tour into the desert.
- If you don’t like to drive and would rather move your lazy ass – go hiking! No matter where you go, it’s always beautiful.
- Stargazing! You can see thousands of stars from anywhere in Dahab, but if you go into the mountains, away from the city lights, you will really be hypnotized by the beautiful star sky.
- Take a Yoga Class at Coral Coast Hotel.
- Go horseback riding into the desert or on the beach! You can even go into the water with some horses.
- Ride a camel. You can’t leave Egypt before you’ve done that. It’s not exactly comfortable, but fun! Plus the camels are treated fine here, not like at the pyramids or other tourist attractions.
- Swim out to the sea around sunset to see the mountains glowing all around you.
- Sip a fresh juice at Lighthouse and watch the fish and the kite & windsurfers jumping.
- Looks like fun? Take some lessons. Dahab is one of the best places in the world to learn kite- and windsurfing.
- At night, share tea over a campfire and exchange stories.
- Go rock climbing in the nearby mountains of Dahab. You’ll be provided with all the equipment and assistance you need when you book a tour.
- Take a few Arabic lessons so you can talk to the friendly locals in their language.
- Haggle over a souvenir at one of the many shops between Lighthouse and Mashraba.
- If you want to see a surreal underwater garden, rent a bike and go to Ras Abu Helal for snorkeling!
- Go paddle boarding on a day with little wind. On some days you can even see a paddle boarding dog in Dahab 😉
- Watch the sun rising over the Red Sea.
- Enjoy the view on Dahab from above. Just climb any of the surrounding mountains.
- Try an Oriental Dance Class.
- Relax at Three Pools for an afternoon and snorkel the three connected underwater pools.
- Go to Wadi Gnai (by horse, camel, quad or car) and admire the beauty of an oasis in the middle of the desert.
- If you’re lucky you can watch dolphins! They’re often seen around Dahab, and when they’re in the mood they’ll even swim with you. In summer, your chances at seeing them are especially high around Tiran Island in Sharm El-Sheikh.
- I bet you haven’t tried sand boarding yet. Now’s your chance! Read all about my sandboarding day trip here.
- Talk to the locals. Everyone in Dahab is incredibly welcoming and nice. It’s worth getting to know them and their stories. Many of them struggle with problems we never thought about, yet they are always smiling.
- Go on a short camel safari to Wadi El-Toalat and a small narrow canyon for a panoramic view of Dahab.
- Need a time-out? Charge your energy levels by doing a Detox Retreat.
- Go to a concert and listen to some traditional Bedouin music.
- Give your body a rest from all the sporty activities and enjoy a wellness day at Perfecto Massage in Mashraba (Dyarna Hotel). Sip on some tea in the jacuzzi overlooking the sea, get a body scrub and a relaxing massage. You’ll leave feeling like a new person!
- Take a free Salsa class on a Saturday night at Coral Coast Hotel.
- Are you the esoteric kind of person or just want to try something new? Get a Tarot Card Reading at El Dorado Pizzeria.
- Wave to Saudi Arabia! On most days you can see the Saudi Mountains on the other side of the sea.
- Join a Drum Circle in the desert and dance to the melodic beats.
- Need to get some work done? Visit the local coworking space and set up your laptop with a view on the sea. It’s completely over-priced in my opinion and I don’t like the vibe, but I’m adding it here because it is an option and you might like it. (Edit: A new co-working cafe opened in 2018 – Mojo’s at Lighthouse, which is supposed to have a good wifi connection, friendlier and more reasonable!).
- Cuddle some baby goats. They’re incredibly soft and super funny!
- Get a private boat and spend the day on the water, fishing and tanning.
- Relax from a day full of activities with a Shisha by the Sea.
- Buy traditional hers as medicine/tea for whatever health issue you have – Just ask a local Bedouin and they surely know what herb works best for your specific problem.
- Enjoy not caring about Make Up and chic clothes – put on some harem pants and embrace your dirty feet.
- Nothing! Yes, that’s right! One of the best things you can do in Dahab is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! It’s the perfect place to forget about work, home, stress and problems.
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Food & Drinks in Dahab
I have an overview of traditional Egyptian food here, you should try at least some of them!
- Have Bedouin dinner in the desert (you could combine this with a quad tour e.g.)
- Hungover and in need of a proper breakfast? Ralph’s German Bakery has better bread rolls than my bakery at home in Germany. You also need to try the apple cake!
- Everyday Café will spoil you with delicious cakes while you sit on their swing enjoying the view over Dahab – it also offers live music every night in a cool atmosphere.
- A hot summer afternoon without Ice Cream from Ice Bubble? No chance!
- Have a delicious traditional Tajine in a clay pot at Same Same But Different Restaurant.
- Take a break from your diet and indulge in Sahleb, my favorite Egyptian dessert.
- Look out for this food cart and take some Koshary to enjoy on the beach.
- Have Bedouin Tea every day and with everyone. No chance you’ll get around it.
- Have dinner at Ali Babas – The award-winning restaurant not only impresses with delicious food but also the best service you’ve had in a long time.
- Try some Mexican burritos at Jackie’s.
- Get a falafel sandwich at Yum Yum Falafel in Mashraba or even better: a big Egyptian breakfast.
- King Chicken is always busy – good sign for all chicken lovers!
- Try the taste of Molokhia, a traditional Egyptian stew or soup made from leaves of Nalta jute. Some people say it’s too slimy, but Egyptians love it!
- Missing some Italian flavor? Dai Pescatori’s got you covered! Indulge in their famous pizza and pasta and feel like you’re in Rome – but next to the sea 😉
- You need to try Om Ali – a traditional Egyptian desert equivalent to North America’s bread pudding. You can serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Or two. 😉
Day trips from Dahab
- Spend a night in Ras Abu Galum, a protected natural area and Bedouin village. You can either walk (1.5hrs), take a camel or go by boat as it is not accessible by car from Dahab. The local families will take care of you and serve fresh fish (or veggies) for dinner after spending the day snorkeling and… well, that’s it. It’s the perfect place to wind down.
- A short drive from Ras Abu Galum is the Blue Lagoon, where you can watch kite surfers perform their spectacular jumps.
- Walk or take a camel through El Wishwashi Valley & Oasis, where you will see water running between the impressive rock formations.
- Visit Sharm El-Sheikh for a day to see the beautiful mosques and do some shopping.
- Go to Gabr El Bint by boat or foot. For a great camping experience, bring a tent and food and spend the night.
- The national park of Ras Mohammed close to Sharm El-Sheikh is one of the most beautiful diving and snorkeling spots in the world with more than 1000 different species of fish. It is my favorite in Sinai!
- Visit St. Catherine, the oldest working monastery in the world.
- If you’re up for a great hike, climb Mount Moses. Watch the sunrise or sunset on top of the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
- Spoil yourself at Castle Zaman in Nuweiba. This place is more expensive than all other places in Sinai, but well worth the money. You get access to the castle overlooking the sea for a full day. Sweat in the sauna and then enjoy a good drink by the pool while you wait for your amazing fresh served dinner.
- Walk around Nabq National Park to the mangrove forest and snorkel as long as you want.
- See the magnificent Colored Canyon, a canyon that is 1 km long with rocks varying from sandstone to limestone and granite in all the colors of the rainbow.
- Go on a trip to the White Canyon & Salama Canyon, see the famous Mushroom rock and have lunch at Ain Khudra Oasis & spring.
- Can’t get enough of the incredible rock formations? You’re in for a treat! Another magical place for nature lovers is Rainbow Canyon. Not far is the Bir El Birea Oasis, where you can have lunch and relax.
- Go on a tour to Serabit El-Khadem in the south-west of Sinai. You can visit the Hasthor Temple and Gebl el Fuga, the forest of pillars. The ancient Egyptians used to mine turquoise here.
- Go on a 4×4 jeep excursion to see the “Eye of the desert” and the big sand dunes on the way to St. Catherine. Bring a board – this is where you can go sandboarding (read more about my Sinai sandboarding trip here).
More Tips For You From Dahab’s Community (thanks guys!)
78. Dive the Underwater Museum in Dahab. The i-Dive Tribe built a museum underwater, consisting of several artworks statues made by Egyptian hands and representing the culture. Scientists expect that most of the coral reefs worldwide will die within the next 70 years, except those inhibiting the Red Sea and the Arabian Gulf. This museum serves as a new home for coral reefs. Plus it looks really cool, check out this video:
78. On a calm day (shouldn’t be too windy), rent a kayak and paddle out on the beautiful Red Sea to see Dahab in its full beauty, with the mountains in the background and the water in the front.
79. Test your performing skills – go to CarmInn for a fun karaoke night. And run if you ever see me there, you don’t want to hear that 😀
79. Let someone paint a henna tattoo on your body to get the holiday vibe going. Don’t worry, it will disappear after 1-3 weeks. Be creative!
80. Visit the Art Exhibition at the Meridian Hotel that is held every three months. It’s a wonderful place where local artists share their work with everyone.
81. Go on a mountain bike adventure to Abu Galum or Nabq. It can get challenging, so you should be fit, but for sure you’ll have an awesome time and a great workout! If you’re up for a challenge, you can even go to St. Catherine. You can rent bikes from Dahab Cycling Club. There’s a Russian group called Velovuyki that organizes cycling tours in Sinai as well.
82. Get hair braids or get your headphone cables, phone charger cables etc braided. That way every time you charge your phone you will be reminded of your amazing time in Dahab 🙂
83. Dive the mysterious Caves south of Dahab and relax at the camp “The Caves” after. Unspoiled nature and home-cooked food at its best!
84. My newest discovery: Get some tailor-made clothes from Nadr, a super talented tailor. His shop is located in a small alley opposite Ali Baba Restaurant, and he’ll sew you a stunning custom dress for like 300LE.
85. Admire Dahab’s Street Art and take that famous angel wing shot!
If you’re traveling to Egypt, make sure you make the most of your trip by reading the following articles:
If you like to stay in a private apartment – on Airbnb you can get $35 FREE TRAVEL CREDIT for your first trip if you use this affiliate link.
Note: If you book through these links, I will get a small amount of money from these sites – no disadvantage for you, you get FREE travel money as well. That way we can both travel more 🙂
I’m sure there’s lots of other things you can do in Dahab that I didn’t mention. Please send me your favorites via my Facebook page, so everyone will find out how amazing this place is and in the future I can update this article so we hopefully get to 100 Things To Do In Dahab, Egypt 🙂
Here’s the most detailed guide to Dahab I’ve found, from hotels to restaurants, everything is listed.
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