How to Visit Hurghada, Egypt's Popular Red Sea Resort Town

Girl riding on camel on the beach
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If you're planning to visit Hurghada, you will find information about hotels, transport, day trips, and more below. Hurghada (Ghardaga in Arabic) was once a sleepy fishing village and is now a booming resort town on Egypt's Red Sea Coast. Hurghada is a good diving destination, with coral gardens and fantastic shipwrecks to explore. It's a very fine place for those looking to enjoy the beach, sun, and an active nightlife at a reasonable price.

If you're looking to dive in a quieter location check out Marsa Alam, and if you want to go more upmarket, check out El Gouna. Hurghada is still adding more hotels to its 20km beach, so parts resemble a construction site and you have to take care when choosing a hotel. Hurghada is very popular with Russian and German tourists.

Hurghada is split into three sections. The northern end of town is El Dahhar which is where most of the budget hotels are located. This is the most "Egyptian" part of town, there are souqs, local restaurants, and general authentic bustle. Al-Sakkala is Hurghada's midsection; it's crowded with hotels on the beach and lower-end establishments in the back. South of Al-Sakkala is the resort strip, filled with high-end resorts, half-finished resorts, and some Western-style shops.

Where to Stay in Hurghada

There are more than a hundred hotels to choose from; most people opt for a package that includes their flight and accommodation. The hotels listed below offer good access to the beach and water sports and get good user reviews.

Budget: Triton Empire Inn, and Sol Y Mar Suites.

Mid Range: Iberotel Arabella and Jak Makadi Star and Spa

Luxury: Hurghada Marriott Beach ResortOberoi Sahl Hasheesh, and Citadel Azur Resort.

Hurghada Activities

  • Watersports - you can dive, snorkel, kiteboard, jet ski, and parasail. Responsible dive shops that help protect the coral reefs include James and MacSubex, and Divers Lodge.
  • Submarine Tour - Explore the underworld without getting wet.
  • Giftun Island - Take a boat trip out to the island for lunch and enjoy snorkeling and the lovely Mahmya beach.
  • Desert Safaris - Organize a trip into the desert on a quad bike, a 4x4, or on the back of a camel.

Getting to and From Hurghada

There's an international airport in Hurghada (code: HRG) with direct flights (including many charter flights) from Russia, Ukraine, England, Germany, and others. Egyptair offers domestic flights to Cairo. The airport is about a 20-minute drive from the center of town.

By land, you can take a long-distance bus from Luxor (5hrs) and Cairo (7hrs).

By sea, you can catch a ferry to and from Sharm el-Sheikh.