Located at the coast of the Red Sea in Egypt, the city of Hurghada used to be a quiet fishing village some twenty years ago. However, since then the city has seen some rapid transformation to become the leading seashore resort on the Red Sea.
There are holiday villages and hotels that provide aquatic sports facilities for those looking for some thrill, as well as 36 km of beaches you can use to relax before diving into the Red Sea to explore its mystic treasures. All in all, there is an abundance of things to do in Hurghada, ranging from fun stuff for kids to delightful activities for adults.
With yearlong sunshine and incredible beaches to explore, the city of Hurghada has exciting attractions for all ages. It is the perfect holiday destination and Egypt’s oldest and most famous resort town.
Most of Hurghada’s tourism influx consists of northern Europeans who find an escape destination for winters in Hurghada with its sandy white beaches and dreamy blue skies. While the city’s main attractions may be its beaches and water-related activities, there’s much to do on dry land as well.
I’m a solo female expat from Germany and I’ve been living in Egypt for almost 3 years now. Though I live in Dahab, Sinai, I’ve visited Hurghada several times and think I can give you some great vacation inspiration.
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So, here’s a comprehensive list of all the places to visit and fun things to do in Hurghada, Egypt. For your convenience, I’ve grouped these entries into five basic categories:
- Water Sports / Water-Related Activities
- Other Activities and Things to Do in Hurghada
- Special Restaurants and Shopping Avenues
- Fun Day Trips from Hurghada
Water-Related Activities In Hurghada
1. Dive into the Beauty of Nature at the Giftun Islands
One of Hurghada’s most popular boat excursions, the Giftun Islands allow you to enjoy the white sand while you soak up the sun. There are also plenty of snorkeling and scuba diving activities, so you can fully explore and experience the exquisiteness of the Red Sea. However, for those wanting to stay away from the water, there are palm shelters where you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the pleasant views. For a full-day snorkeling tour to the Giftun Islands, this one comes highly recommended and includes lunch in the national park for less than 21€.
2. Experience Wreck Diving at the Straits of Gubal
The Straits of Gubal is a narrow strip of water squeezed between the Red Sea Coast and the Western shore of Sinai Peninsula. It is one of the country’s major diving destinations and something that should be at the top of your things to do in Hurghada list if you want to experience some wreck diving.
3. Discover the Gota Abu Ramada Dive Site
4. Sail across the Sea in the Sindbad Submarine
You really shouldn’t miss out on the Red Sea’s abundant coral and marine life for anything in the world! That is why if you aren’t a fan of diving or snorkeling, you can take a ride on the only operational submarine on the Red Sea that takes you to a depth of 22 meters and lets you experience and perceive the magical world below. The 3-hour trip includes a pick-up service from your hotel and starts at 34€.
5. Explore the Abu Nahas Shipwreck Sites
Just north of Shadwan Island is this fantastic area to submerge into the sea that offers no less than five shipwrecks to explore. One of the main attractions is the wreck of the Carnatic, a UK cargo ship sunk in the 19th century.
One of the most popular diving sites near Hurghada, it is also known as “The Aquarium” due to the huge amount of marine life that thrives here. Dive operators use this site as a try-dive site for novice divers, but experienced divers will also find joy experiencing the rich sea life.
6. Spot dolphins at Mahmya Island
The beach of Mahmya should be at the top of your list of things to do in Hurghada. Located at the Southern tip of the glorious Giftun Islands, the beach can be reached by booking a short boat trip. Once you get there, you can enjoy lazing on the glowing white sand and twirling through the crystal-clear waters. You might even spot a pod of dolphins on your boat ride so keep your cameras ready!
7. Go on a Luxurious Snorkeling Tour
This luxurious full-day tour takes you on a boat trip to the open sea areas where the dolphins can be found so you can get a chance to experience these magnificent creatures up close. Take in the beauty of the coral reefs or just go swimming or snorkeling with these beautiful sea creatures!
8. Be a kid again in one of the many waterparks
The perfect place to have some family fun is at one of the big water parks. The Jungle Aqua Park is the largest water theme park in Hurghada and boasts 35 slides as well as 14 pools. At Makadi Water World, you can choose between 50 water attractions, swimming pools, a children’s park, recreation areas and much more, including a 19m free-fall slide and a gleaming river to fulfill all your diving fantasies! There is plenty to do for both kids and adults!
9. Go Reef Diving in the Caves of the Careless Reef
With many coral forests and a dense population of fish, this is a popular diving site in Hurghada. The reef consists of two coral towers brushing the water’s surface. Between the towers is a 16 meters deep valley that offers numerous diving options. It is accessible for both professional and less experienced divers.
10. Go on a Classic Red Sea Family Cruise
Discover the beauty and secrets of the Red Sea with this 6-hour cruise. Enjoy the full day relaxing in a remarkable cruise with your family on the Red Sea. Explore the stunning coral reefs while you swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear waters. Be on the lookout for ray fish, sea turtles, angelfish, and playful dolphins and you might catch sight of them in their natural habitat. Get served with a delicious lunch buffet that is served on board. The tour starts from Hurghada and takes you to three snorkeling sites to explore the vast sea.
11. Dive Your Heart Out at the Omo Gamaar
One of the best diving locations with an abundance of marine life, the Omo Gamaar is a must-visit for novice and expert divers alike. You can go scuba diving or snorkeling and enjoy the sights of the corals and the gorgeous sea creatures. If you want to experience the underwater life at the Red Sea, then this is one of the best diving spots!
12. Go on a Fun Parasailing Adventure
It doesn’t get any more exciting than parasailing. Make your vacation even more exceptional when you go parasailing in Hurghada. The activity involves a parachute being attached to a speedboat while one or two persons ride at the same time. Witness the stunning and scenic views of the Red Sea at bird’s eye level with this parasailing adventure in Hurghada, Egypt.
Other Activities in Hurghada
13. Explore the massive Resort Strip
The best spots have all been claimed by the shore side resorts. However, they do allow daytime access to non-guests as well. To truly experience the beach life, though, it is recommended that you book a few nights at a resort.
14. Discover the vast Marine Life at the Hurghada Aquarium
If you want to get a close glimpse of the beautiful Red Sea marine life and the attractive sea creatures, then the Hurghada Grand Aquarium is a place you’ll love! Non-swimmers interested in sea life should put this on top of their list of the things to do in Hurghada, Egypt. You can pre-book a ticket including a guided tour here to avoid any hassle.
15. Visit the Red Sea Monasteries of St. Anthony and St. Paul
Those expecting only mighty mosques might be surprised to know Egypt is home to some of the most beautiful Coptic churches in the world. The monasteries of St. Anthony and St. Paul are old Christian monasteries dating back to the 4th century AD. The Monastery of St. Anthony specifically is considered the holiest site of the Coptic Church in Egypt.
16. Visit the Abdulmoneim Riadh Mosque
Also called the Big Mosque, the architectural marvel that stands tall offers tourists the opportunity to connect with the culture and daily life of Hurghada, Egypt. The classic Islamic architecture and the intricate design might be enough of an attraction for many. Clothes with which women can cover are available for free near the entrance of the mosque. You will need to be fully covered (not just your head).
17. Go on an Exciting Desert Jeep Expedition to the Sahara Park
With the city being famous for its beaches and water activities, it is easy to forget the beautiful deserts. Quad biking and jeep expeditions are some of the most popular on-ground attractions in the city that allow you to experience and explore the vast desert.
18. Embark on an Oriental Camel Ride
Deserts and camels are almost synonymous. All of Hurghada’s resorts offer camel rides whether it be on the beach or in the desert itself. There is always a guide that accompanies you so you can just relax and enjoy the views from the high saddle. Please just make sure the camels look like they’re being well taken care of.
19. Gaze at the Stars during an Astronomical Night Tour
The astronomical night tours offered in the city involve journeying away from the city and into the desert away from the noise and light pollution so you can enjoy the wonders of the night sky with a telescope at hand for closer inspection.
20. Experience the Bedouin Culture by joining a Bedouin Dinner
You won’t find a better way to experience Egyptian food and culture than this! The Bedouin Dinner Tours offered by many resorts involve heading out to nearby Bedouin settlements and enjoying flavorful local cooking while reclining on colorful cushions in tradition Bedouin tent setting.
21. Get Enlightened at the Church of St. Mary
Founded in 2008, it is the first evangelical church in the Red Sea. Its warm atmosphere and interesting architecture might not be something you would be expecting to experience in Egypt. The establishment works to help children in need offering them and a chance at a better future.
22. Take a stroll through the Hurghada Marina Boulevard
You can end your day of touring all around Hurghada with a nice stroll along the Marina Boulevard in the city. This is the perfect time to witness the sun setting over the Red Sea before you settle down in a pub or café nearby.
23. Experience a Bedouin Barbeque in the Egyptian Desert
Another opportunity to experience Egyptian food and culture, tourists can take organized tours that take them on a 4×4 ride into the desert, where they learn more about the Bedouin lifestyle while enjoying the scrumptious Egyptian food. They can even witness the magnificent sunset over the desert if they visit during those specific hours.
24. Witness the 1001 Arabian Nights Show
The locals also call it ‘Alf Layla wa-Layla’. This 6-hour show is one that you shouldn’t miss out on when you’re on a vacation in Hurghada, it’s a classic. The performance takes place daily at the open-air theatre of the Fantasia 4-star hotel in the Egyptian Resort. Look forward to traditional music, stunning light effects, and delicious cuisine. The show depicts scenes from the times of the Pharaohs and ancient cults. Since it’s so popular, it’s advisable to book a ticket ahead of time here.
25. Admire all of Egypt’s famous landmarks at “Mini Egypt”
Discover Egypt in miniature at the open-air Mini Egypt Park museum. It’s a great way to get a glimpse of Egypt’s magnificent history and architecture without having to travel all over Egypt. Maybe this will entice you to explore more of the country next time? Either way, even the scale models of iconic buildings such as the Great Pyramid of Giza and Roman Amphitheatre of Alexandria are admirable.
26. Soak in some sunlight at the Abu Tig Marina in El Gouna
Regarded by many as one of the best places to visit if you want to enjoy the sea view while taking in some sunlight. Take a stroll around this relaxing place and enjoy the soothing atmosphere of the Abu Tig Marina in El Gouna. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants around so you can settle in to eat once you’ve had your fill of strolling through this spectacular place.
27. Go on a Desert Safari to the Hurghada Desert
Go on an adventurous ride through the desert as you journey in jeeps, quads, buggies, horses and even camels. There is no better way to experience and explore the desert than going on a desert safari through the Hurghada Desert. Make sure to pack some water and protect yourself from the sun if it’s hot. The journey leads you to the Bedouin village where you get to see their way of life whilst also getting a chance at camel rides if you’re willing to do so!
28. Admire the Qatari Mosque
If you’re an architecture lover, there’s plenty of stunning buildings in Hurghada, especially mosques. The Qatari mosque is surrounded by a beautiful garden and is just a short walk or Uber ride from the New Marina/El Mina mosque.
29. Stroll through the Eastern (Arabian) Desert
Another adventurous fun-filled activity is experiencing the Eastern (Arabian) Desert as you go through on quads. It gets even more interesting when you visit the Bedouins and get to witness their way of life. Camel rides are also offered. A very fun and filling experience but make sure to take water, sunscreen, glasses, and a scarf, especially if you’re going to be quad biking.
30. Stroll around the traditional fish market
Right between the New Marina and the big mosque, you’ll find the traditional fish market of Hurghada. Not polished for tourists, you’ll see (and smell) some real, everyday life in Egypt and get an idea of the local fish and seafood specialties.
31. Build and admire sandcastles at Sand City Hurghada
This is the only Open-air and Sand Sculptures Museum in Africa and the Middle East. Sand City Hurghada is made of 42 sculptures and 17 reliefs by artists from different countries who left a piece of heart and soul in their work. They also have regular events and workshops.
32. Spoil yourself with a Thai Massage
Admittedly, Egypt doesn’t seem to be THE place to get a Thai massage. Surprisingly though, here in Hurghada Foot Work Thai Massage offers fantastic, authentic Thai massages by some lovely Thai ladies for only about 15€ for an hour. Don’t expect a fancy wellness spa, their focus is on good work, not good style. Just to be clear, this is not a “happy end” service.
33. Go on a Private Hurghada Sightseeing Tour
Apart from the desert and beaches, there’s still so much to do in the city of Hurghada. This private sightseeing tour takes you on a three-hour tour to see the top attractions of the city. You will get to witness some of the biggest tourist attractions like the Big Mosque and the Coptic Church of Saint Mary, and will even get to visit the picturesque and the local viewpoint that provides sweeping city views.
34. Go Horse Riding On The Beach
What better place to take a horse ride than in Hurghada, Egypt? On this horse ride, you will get to experience the real Arabian feel as you take this horseback tour on the finest bred horses and experienced trainers. The trainers provide pre-ride coaching and assist you throughout your ride.
35. Practice haggling while souvenir shopping
Egypt is a shopping paradise. From traditional herbs and teas bursting with flavor to gold and silver jewelry, you won’t go home empty-handed. Test your bargaining skills, but please keep in mind that Egyptians are facing a serious economical crisis with prices exploding since their currency was devaluated. Many are really struggling to feed their families, so don’t be too cheap if you can afford it.
36. Get a portrait of yourself drawn
At the New Marina, you can have someone hand-draw a portrait of yourself, your kids or your entire family. It’ll be a great reminder of your holiday in Hurghada and also makes a sweet gift for the grandparents.
Special Restaurants and Shopping Avenues in Hurghada
37. Indulge in Fantastic Food and Views at the New Marina
A fashionable and modern addition to the dining destinations in the town of Sigala, the New Marina is the perfect place to dine in the evening while you enjoy the sunset and the splendid views of the Red Sea stretching all the way to the horizon.
38. Dine-in at the Sofra Middle Eastern Cuisine
The restaurant provides you with an open feel to further enrich its oriental atmosphere. This is further enhanced by the special lighting and typical architecture. With vegan-friendly options and a variety of cuisines including Lebanese, Middle Eastern and even Mediterranean, this place is a must visit for those wanting to try something new.
39. Enjoy a hearty meal with Scenic Views at the Maritim Restaurant
Another great dining option, the Maritim Restaurant lets you enjoy your meal with scenic views of the yachts passing by. Vegan-friendly, as well as gluten-free options, are also available. The view of the Marina becomes breathtaking during the sunset, which can be an added plus if you’re dining in at that specific time!
40. Experience the Taste of the Diverse Continents at the Heaven Restaurant
A modern European restaurant with an amazing view of the Sea, the Heaven Restaurant is located inside the Marina Hurghada. Offering vegan-friendly options as well as halal and gluten-free options, the restaurant presents Asian, Seafood, International, European and Mediterranean cuisines. There even is a kids menu – making it ideal for families! Not only is the food good but so is the staff and the service.
41. Go on a Fun Shopping Spree at the Senzo Mall
Looking to go shopping? Head for the largest shopping complex of its kind in the Red Sea Riviera and browse the extensive variety of fashion and homeware stores. There’s an indoor food court and an amusement park as well, ensuring your children don’t feel left out!
Fun Day Trips from Hurghada
42. Admire the Pyramids of Giza
The Pyramids are a must-visit when you’re in Egypt. While there’s plenty to do in Hurghada, you can also head out to enjoy these man-made marvels for yourself. Traveling by coach typically takes around six hours and most tours set off very early in the morning so bear that in mind. You could also jump on a quick flight.
43. Explore the Ancient City of Luxor
The ancient city of Luxor is the greatest temple complex in Egypt. It is almost a four-hour drive away and allows you to tour the most famous sites the place is known for. Luxor is also often called the world’s greatest open-air museum so make sure you definitely check this entry on your list of things to do in Hurghada, Egypt.
45. Enjoy a Full-Day Red Sea Monastery Tour from Hurghada
Take this fourteen-hour private tour from Hurghada to St. Anthony’s Monastery and St. Paul’s Monastery. The tour will have you traveling the Eastern Desert mountains to see Egypt’s oldest Coptic Christian monasteries. Admire the architecture of the monasteries and sites, learn about their history and explore the decorated churches and chapels that have stood for ages.
46. Dive into the Rich History of Cairo
Cairo is easily one of the most famous places in Egypt and a day trip can easily help you explore and experience it. Besides the pyramids, there’s the world-famous Egyptian Museum that holds more than 120,000 Egyptian relicts of history. In the museum, you can also find the popular and fascinating mummy room! This day tour is a great way to experience the rich history and cultural significance of Cairo. It only costs 65€ and covers the main monuments of Cairo’s Old Town and the Giza Plateau. You will learn about the mummification of the pharaohs at the Egyptian Museum, and marvel at the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx. For the Top 5 Things To See In Cairo, visit this blog.
47. Embark on a Full-Day Dendera Temple Tour
The Dendera Complex is a vast compound of shrines, chapels, and temples that were built over thousands of years. This private tour will provide you with a personal guide that will educate you on the history of this magnificent site. After savoring a buffet lunch at a nearby restaurant, you will enjoy a private Nile sailing trip before your guide finally drops you back to your hotel. The drive to the temple alone is around three hours. The tour will be led by a professional Egyptologist, making for a quite informative trip!
Hurghada has so much to offer to people from all walks of life. Whether you are a fun-loving and adventurous person willing to explore the lush marine life or perhaps just want to relax and enjoy the calm on the beaches or the deserts, there are fun activities for adults and families alike, and this list is a small proof of that. You can enjoy exotic dining experiences, unwind in the warm waters and picturesque beaches of Hurghada or just go visit the old sites and historical places Egypt is famous for.
The Best Time To Visit Hurghada
The spring and fall seasons are the best times to pay Egypt a visit. From November to February the Red Sea is quite cold so that snorkeling and swimming won’t be as enjoyable. In July and August, on the other hand, the air temperature rises up quite high which can be exhausting, especially when traveling with elders or kids. If you’re visiting during this time, desert trips may be a bit too much. You’ll probably want to spend most of your time in the water to cool down. It’s a great season for diving and freediving though.
Make sure to also keep the Ramadan dates in mind, as the holy month of Muslims will be starting on May 6th this year and continuing for a full month before it comes to an end. During Ramadan, everyday life in Egypt changes a bit. Make sure to read this article to know what to expect.
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