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Hurghada: Sights and Places of Interest

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Dream beaches and azure blue water enchant on Egypt's east coast

Hurghada impresses with its wonderfully fine sandy beaches, which stretch for almost 30 km along the coast of the Red Sea and invite you to sunbathe. Let yourself be seduced by the scent of oriental spices, which will enchant you with the colorful hustle and bustle and charm of 1001 nights in the local bazaars.

Immerse yourself in the fascinating underwater world of the Red Sea, which awaits you as a diving paradise with colorful corals and species-rich fauna.

This is what awaits you in Hurghada

As the most popular seaside resort on the Egyptian Red Sea coast, Hurghada not only attracts sun worshipers and diving enthusiasts, but families will also find everything they need for a varied and relaxing holiday by the sea. Summer temperatures prevail here all year round, which makes the place a year-round destination. Modern hotel complexes and extensive sandy beaches characterize the former fishing village, which only became one of the most popular holiday destinations in Egypt in the 1980s.

A change from sunbathing is offered by shopping in the pedestrian zones with their cafes and shops. Stroll through the old town of El Dahar and be enchanted by the scent of exotic spices in the souk, an oriental market. Here you can buy souvenirs such as colorful handicrafts or jewelry after traditional haggling.

Water sports are one of the most popular leisure activities. Whether windsurfing and kite surfing or snorkeling and diving on one of the numerous coral reefs, water sports enthusiasts get their money's worth here.

Airport information: Hurghada Airport

The international airport of Hurghada is located about 5 km outside the city center. The airport has 2 terminals. While the modern Terminal 1 is mainly used internationally and by all German airlines, the older Terminal 2 is only used for domestic flights and destinations in Russia. The new Terminal 1 building, which opened in 2015, has a modern architecture and a glass facade. Up to 13 million guests can be handled annually on 3 floors and at 72 check-in counters.

From the airport you can take a taxi or bus to Hurghada. It is recommended that you negotiate a price for the ride with the driver before boarding. You can also use minibuses, which stop as required and have no fixed stops. If you prefer to be behind the wheel yourself, the most popular car rental companies are also represented at the airport.

Airport address

Hurghada Airport Toll Gate

Airport Road Qesm Hurghada

Red Sea Governorate

84511, Egypt

Phone: +20 65 443 976

Out and about in Hurghada

The easiest way to get around in Hurghada are minibuses that are in constant use. There are no stops on the specified routes. You can easily stop the minibuses with a hand signal. City buses are another form of public transport. You drive according to fixed routes to the outskirts of the city.

Taxis are mainly found in the holiday areas. In order not to end up paying too much, just like for the buses, it is important to ask the price before the journey and make sure that the taximeter is switched on. Find out, for example, in your hotel what the current taxi prices are. The best way to pay the driver is through the window after getting out.

In the city center and at the port, you can explore the area relaxed on foot. With a rental car, you should note that the maximum speed in urban areas is 50 km / h.

Dos and don'ts in Hurghada

In any case, it is worth leaving the hotel complex, dining out in Arabic or experiencing the oriental flair of a market. Be sure to tip adequately as wages are very low in Egypt. If you want to buy souvenirs, you should pay particular attention to quality and price; Haggling is expected here. It is also a good idea to try a traditional hookah, shisha, with a glass of tea. In any case, don't forget to pack enough sunscreen, especially if you go snorkeling or go on a trip to the desert. Egypt is an Islamic country, so the following rules of conduct should also be observed:

  • Drinking alcohol on the street is strictly prohibited.
  • Outside of hotel facilities, women should wear clothing that covers arms and legs.
  • You should refrain from kissing in public.
  • In front of mosques, women can usually borrow a scarf to cover their hair.
  • Drinking tap water pure is unsuitable for vacationers. You should therefore boil water beforehand or ask for mineral water that is bottled.

Muslim peculiarities

Egypt is a liberal Islamic state, but the manners and rules of behavior tend to be stricter than in non-Islamic countries. Please note that women are always required to be restraint. It is not common to pay much attention to women in public spaces as it is considered impolite to keep eye contact with the opposite sex for long periods of time. Furthermore, it is frowned upon to publicly exchange caresses of any kind. These include hugs, kisses, or holding hands. Incidentally, men are also expected to wear appropriate clothing outside of the hotel complex. Those who pay attention to the cultural and religious peculiarities will get to know the extraordinary hospitality of the Egyptians.

Places to be - Recommended neighborhoods

Typical Egyptian life still pulsates in the El Dahar district, which is also known as Downtown. Oriental bazaars invite you to stroll, while the Coptic Church of St. Schinuda Father of the Hermits, known as one of the landmarks of Hurghada, exudes calm and devotion.

A little further south is the Sekalla district, which is very popular with holidaymakers thanks to its many hotels, restaurants and shops. This is also where the marina, the marina of Hurghada, is located, which particularly impresses with its promenade. Treat yourself to a freshly squeezed juice or feast on typical Egyptian delicacies that are available here on the many street beaches.

One of the most beautiful beaches in Hurghada is the almost luxurious Makadi Bay Beach, a true oasis that extends over 4 km of fine sandy beach.

Magawish Beach, which is lined with coconut palms, is somewhat reminiscent of the Caribbean and is also worth a visit.

Only accessible by boat is the breathtaking Mahmya Beach, which is part of the Giftun Island National Park and awaits you with white powdered sugar sand. The calm water in front of the island also invites you to discover the fascinating underwater world of the Red Sea while snorkeling.

Culture & sights

The impressive mosques of Hurghada are particularly worth seeing. One of them is the imposing Abdel Moneim Riad Mosque, which, however, is not allowed to be entered by holidaymakers. The largest and most impressive mosque is the snow-white Aldahaar Mosque.

The minarets adorned with Ottoman ornaments are an enchanting photo opportunity, especially in the evening when they are illuminated by powerful spotlights. The visit is possible for everyone and highly recommended. Another highlight is the El Mina Mosque, a pearl of modern Arabic architecture. Not far from here is the fishing port of Hurghada, where you can marvel at the daily catch of local fishermen.

The Arabian Desert, which belongs to the eastern part of the Sahara, extends just beyond the city limits. Book an unforgettable tour on a quad bike, stroll on the dunes as the sun goes down or have a strongly brewed and heavily sweetened tea when visiting one of the Bedouin villages.

If you want more culture in the form of pharaohs tombs, temples and magnificent palaces, you should book a day trip to the world-famous pyramids near Cairo or to Luxor to the Valley of the Kings.

Shopping in Hurghada

A typical oriental shopping experience is of course a visit to the El Dahar bazaar. Here you can buy freshly knotted carpets, exotic spices, jewelry, local handicrafts and replicas of ancient Egyptian deities. If you prefer something more modern, you will find it in the Senzo Mall, a shopping center of European standard located at the southern end of Hurghada. Clothing stores of international brands, a cinema and fast food chains are just as much a part of the offer as a modern supermarket.

The promenade of the marina with its many shops and restaurants is also ideal for strolling. There is plenty of space to stroll on the Mamsha Promenade. Shops and cafes are lined up along this two-lane one-way street.

The following tips are also useful when shopping in Hurghada. If you walk slowly past a store or if you stop in front of it, you will almost always be approached. Offensive advertising is part of a successful sales strategy here. If you decide on a product, action is required. If you offer half of the stated price, they will meet in the middle.

Since souvenirs are much more expensive in hotel shops, it is a good idea to get your souvenirs in town.

Eating & drinking tips

The Egyptian cuisine is down-to-earth oriental, but still creative. Meals are served in larger and smaller plates and bowls, with flatbread that is usually served, with which the food is put directly into your mouth.

Since meat is rare and very expensive, authentic Egyptian cuisine consists of many delicious vegetarian dishes. At the beginning of a meal, a selection of small starters called mezze is often served. Typical here are the chickpea butter hummus, the well-known baba ghanugh, which consists of aubergines, and falafel, which are served crispy fried with a sesame sauce.

You should definitely try the foul bean pulp, which is seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper and tomato pieces and tastes very intense and is extremely filling.

As a main course, we recommend bamya, a delicious dish made from okra pods with tomato sauce and garlic, which is typically served with rice. Koshari, a rice-lentil-noodle dish, served with fried onions, takes some getting used to. Matched with a spicy tomato sauce, it is not only extremely tasty, but also very high in energy thanks to its many carbohydrates.

A varied selection of Egyptian restaurants can be found on Sherystreet and Sheraton Road. When the service is good, it is common to tip around 10%.

nightlife

As a night owl, you will get your money's worth in Hurghada. The nightlife here is shaped by Europe and is very cosmopolitan. Most hotels offer their own varied evening program, but even within Hurghada there are many discos, bars and events that regularly host great DJs and show acts from all over Europe.

Most of the largest localities are in the newer district of Sekalla. The Ministry of Sounds, probably the most famous club in Hurghada, is located directly on the beach. You can dance the night away in the fine sand and in the open air. Live music and karaoke are just a few of the many events that can be experienced here.

Other notable destinations are the Little Buddha and the Calypso. With well-known DJs and a great atmosphere, people dance and laugh here until the early hours of the morning.

It is a bit more comfortable on the promenade of the marina. Here you will find numerous trendy bars and cocktail lounges, which are particularly popular at sunset due to their view of the sea.

The prices in the evening are, however, significantly more expensive than during the day and can be found within the clubs and bars on a European level.

The city in 3 days

The best way to start your weekend in Hurghada is with a visit to the beach. Take a stroll or relax in the sun with a freshly squeezed juice from the beach vendor. After that, you can try activities like windsurfing, jet skiing or parasailing. Got hungry? Try local delicacies such as foul or shawarma at one of the street stalls as you stroll along the marina. Visit a bazaar in the afternoon and photograph the majestically illuminated mosques of Hurghada in the evening.

Start your second day with a boat trip to the snow-white beach of Mahmya. Snorkel or dive along the offshore coral reefs and explore the colorful underwater world. Those who prefer to stay dry can experience the fascinating diversity of the Red Sea from a glass-bottom boat. In the afternoon you can discover the Sahara on a quad bike tour. Hike the dunes or visit a Bedouin village. Back again, choose one of the authentic restaurants in the old town for a culinary experience. Round off the evening in one of the city's many bars or clubs.

On the third day, immerse yourself in the ancient Egyptian culture and book a day trip to the Valley of the Kings near Luxor.

Insider tip

A few kilometers south of Hurghada is Safaga, a Mecca for windsurfers and fans of sailing. The beach, which slopes gently into the water, is particularly popular with families with children. Relax on the dark, almost black sand beach, which is said to have a healing effect on rheumatism and skin diseases.

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