- Labranda Club Makadi Hurghada Review
- Visit Hurghada in December
- Sentido Palm Royale Resort Soma Bay
- Titanic Palace Resort in Hurghada Review
- What To Do in Hurghada Egypt – Best Activities
- Where to Stay in Egypt – Best Hotels in Cairo
- Visiting Cairo – All you need to Know
- A Tour Guide to Visiting Egypt
- Mahmya Island – Prices, Weather and Hotels
If you’re wondering what to do in Hurghada Egypt, we’ll have you know that we’ve been there 3 times already and never got bored. That’s because there are so many things you can do while you’re there and they are all fulfilling! We’ve yet to have a trip that would let us down!
In our trips to Hurghada Egypt, we visited the following: Orange Bay island, Cairo with the pyramids, made a short cruise on the Nile, went to the papyrus factory and Museum of Cairo, took a day for safari, toured Hurghada, visited Luxor and nearby attractions, went parasailing and a bunch of other activities. So, if you’re wondering what to do in Hurghada, then keep on reading this post. We’re sure you’ll find something!
Below we’ll be detailing what we did and provide you with some useful information for when you book your trips in Hurghada. Be sure to also read our Tips and Tricks!
- Hurghada Weather – When to visit
- Orange Bay
- Travel to Cairo from Hurghada to see the pyramids and many more
- Take a safari in Hurghada Egypt
- Tour Hurghada Egypt
- Go Parasailing
- Submarine ride
- Speed boat
- Visit Mini Egypt Park
- Take a Trip to the Valley of the Kings
- Visit Karnak Temple
- Tips and Tricks
Things to do in Hurghada
On our list of things to do in Hurghada Egypt you will find mostly trips. We’ll also let you know what is worth visiting in Hurghada, things we had no time do to, but wish we had seen. One thing you should know is that you won’t be able to take trips everyday. It’s exhausting. For example, if you plan on seeing they pyramids, that takes a whole day. The next day you’ll be so worn out, you’ll probably sleep half of it.
We’ll tell you what we did on each day spend in Hurghada, Egypt.
Booking your trips
To start off, I would like to mention that everything is negotiable. Even the prices for the trips are negotiable. You can try to go as low as half of the price and negotiate from there.
If you find the prices are too high, you can book them with another tour operator. We’ve had friends that have used GetYourGuide and ended up better than booking at the hotel. We’ll post offers from GetYourGuide for each trip we made, so you can see the costs and compare them to the local guide’s, if you plan on going to Hurghada Egypt.
Orange Bay Hurghada Day Trip
We opted in for an Orange Bay Hurghada day trip, for our second day. It’s an 8 to 9 hour long trip, that will keep you occupied for the whole day.
You leave the hotel with a bus, at a given time, and head to Tito’s marina. At the said hours, you need to be either at the reception or in front of the hotel. This goes for all the trips you book. When you pay for the trips, they will give you a paper for each one. You need to have that paper with you when you leave, because it will be given to the driver or guide.
From the hotel to the boat, the drive lasted around 30 minutes. We got off at the small port, and embarked.
For the Orange bay Hurghada trip, you will have lunch included, which will be savored on the island. Free drinks are included on the boat. Bring your sunscreen, as you will need it! Also, there’s a stop for snorkeling to see the reefs and fish that swim in the sea.
The sea is crystal clear. You will be able to see everything down there, so be sure to bring your equipment. We had ours, but we also saw they had some on the boat. Also, if you’re not a good swimmer, ask for a vest.
On our way to snorkel, we passed Mahmya Island and Paradise beach.
After snorkeling, the boat would sail to Orange bay, where you will stay around 3 hours. That’s more than enough, because there isn’t much to do there.
There are multiple bars and places you can sunbathe on poufs, so bring your towels. The beer was around 7 EUR (Stela, local beer) and a fresh was 6 EUR.
Lunch was great, as we had various options to choose from. There were also local dishes, as well as international. You wouldn’t starve and you could get as much as you wanted.
The sea there is magnificent. You have a hammock in the sea where everyone takes pictures, a swing and lots of walking on shallow water. The sea withdraws and after some hours rises again. It’s a place where you would want to go, if you love the sea. Pictures below for Orange Bay Hurghada.
Visiting Cairo and the Pyramids from Hurghada Egypt
On our second day, we had booked a private tour to the pyramids. The reason why we took a private tour was because we were a total of 8 people, and it would save us some time, as opposed to traveling with a larger group.
Friends had warned us about this trip. They told us that they would get up at 2 am and reach the hotel back at around the same time. This was because when traveling with a larger group, some want to stay more in one place, and the guide will have no option but to do that. So if some want to stay more visiting the museum, then all have to stay. If some want to ride the camel at the pyramids, then they all have to wait.
Although it is not suitable for children, we had 2 kids around 5 years old that were just fine. They slept while going to Cairo, and the whole way back. As a consequence, we wouldn’t say it’s not suitable for kids, but definitely not suitable for babies!
We left the hotel around 3am and were back by 22:00. The hotel had packed us lunch, as we were told we could have it to go. So the evening before, we informed the reception we would be heading to Cairo and they had the bags ready for us. It wasn’t something I would call lunch, but more of a snack. The actual lunch was included in the trip in Cairo.
Visiting Cairo and the pyramids from Hurghada is something you should do only if you’re keen on seeing the pyramids. I, myself, would have rather visited Luxor, but we did that on our next trip there. I’ll explain later why it was not a must see for me.
On your way from Hurghada to Cairo, the bus will stop several times for checks. There are military filters that check the passengers and make the drivers stop to rest for 10-20 minutes. The drivers are not allowed to drive for long hours, thus they are obligated to stop. It’s a safety thing and I thought it was a good thing. The bus will also stop in some locations where you can use the restroom. Don’t be afraid to use them, they are cleaner than I have seen in other European countries.
During our drive, the guide told us a lot about Egypt and how it has expanded in the last 7 years. A new city was being built next to Cairo. They’d call it the New Cairo and all the public institutions would be moved there. It would be a high tech city, connected to the old Cairo by electric train. They were also planning on building a new airport next to the pyramids and move the museum there.
In the last 7 years, over 7500km of new roads were built. And this wasn’t stopping. We saw 14 lane roads at one point, all for one way of driving. Driving from Hurghada to Cairo was made much easier after there roads were built.
He also told us new cities were being built in the desert. We saw one where they were building a private college, and a whole campus around it. It was enormous. Wind mill farms were planted in the desert. Expansion is the word for all of Egypt now, if you ask me, after seeing it.
When we arrived in Cairo, we couldn’t believe the traffic. It was like nothing I had ever seen. It was chaotic! Cars looked like they all had their own driving rules, went from one lane to the other without signals, there were no traffic signs and I had only seen one traffic light. They would sometimes come so close to the bus, you thought they would hit us. Two actually did, but everyone carried on. No one was mad. Pedestrians crossed the street wherever they could. Someone was driving on our lane, but opposite way. They would just honk and be on their way. Until you actually see it, you cannot imagine this even exists. Moreover, you cannot understand how they can even function this way. But they do.
The guide told us before that being a private tour, we get to do and stay as much as we want everywhere. He said we could visit the Papyrus institute, a factory perfume shop, a shop from where we could buy clothes made of Egyptian cotton (factory shop), cruise on the Nile, the Cairo Museum and the pyramids, plus take a tour on the camels. We chose all of them, minus the camel ride. We had that included in our safari tour for the following days. Also, the Nile cruise would be an extra 10 EUR per person.
The papyrus institute in Cairo
The papyrus institute can be skipped. After visiting, I would never ever come back. They did greet us with tea. This is something you will see everywhere. They would pour some red (berry maybe) tea and invite you to have some when you arrive.
It’s a small shop-like place, where there’s an Asian looking guy that explains how papyrus is made: how it’s weaved and how much it takes for it to change color and be painted. That takes around 10 minutes.
The guy that explained was so annoying. I was trying to translate what he was saying and he would look at the rest continuously telling them to pay attention. If they don’t want to pay attention, they can leave. We had 2 kids with us and he was annoyed that they weren’t curious about how the papyrus is made. I’m not sure if he’s the only guy there explaining this, but if he is, he will make you feel so bad you even entered the place.
After he had finished explaining, he would push you to a tunnel like room, where papyrus was listed on the walls. And he would shut the door. Neatly framed papyrus, of all sizes, were hung up for display. He turned off the light and we were able to see them glow in the dark. While in the light there was something painted on them, when it would get dark you would see a totally different drawing.
Prices for the papyrus were out of this world, extremely expensive. You will see some prices in Egyptian Lira (E.L.) in the photos below. He told us that he would give us 50% discount on any of them. Still, even with that discount, they were expensive. Even if you would have negotiated to 20% of the price, it would have been expensive. Plus, we later purchased papyrus in Hurghada Egypt at decent rates. We’ll get to that later.
So, if you’re planning on visiting the papyrus institute in Cairo, don’t expect much. At least that is how I felt. Don’t get me wrong, the papyruses are great! A couple of pictures below for you to see.
Factory perfume shop in Cairo
This guy here knew how to do business. We ended up purchasing 8 bottles of perfume from him. Prices were decent and the man would not lower them. Scents are magnificent. We even got his business card and said he could ship to our country anytime.
To start with, you would never find this shop on your own. It’s like a basement. You descent from the street and enter the perfume shop in Cairo. They will great you again with tea. This time he saw we weren’t too fond of that tea so he asked if we would like some coffee instead. We all agreed to that.
He spoke our language which was a nice surprise. After we got a sip of coffee, he started explaining to us that these scents could help with various problems, like sleep issues, headaches, back pain and so on. He also started listing the names of famous perfumes that he had replicated there, in a manner that you would not be able to tell which one is which.
After giving us several samples to sniff and tested on our skin, we were addicted. The scents were wonderful. It was not your average perfume, but an oily essence, packed in a painted glass bottle. You just had to have one! Or, as in our case, several.
The perfumes were sold in groups of four. You couldn’t purchase one, just 4 of the same quantity. That is you could have 4 bottles of perfume, but with different scents. We took 4 smaller bottles of Jasmine and Lotus flower (2 bottles of each) packed in a nice box, and 4 larger of Ramses and Nefertiti (2 of each) packed in a velvet red box. The smaller ones cost 60 EUR and the larger ones 110 EUR. He also added some very small but elegant perfume bottles that we could later use as a gift.
We were kind of afraid that once we got home we would find that the perfumes would be changed, or somehow altered, but it was not the case. Those were the same perfumes we tested, so don’t be afraid to purchase from the perfume shop in Cairo. They were all sealed with a tape, to prevent them from leaking. As for the prices, they were very good, compared to other places we went. As an example, we bought just one large bottle of perfume from Hurghada Egypt, which ended up costing us around 72 EUR – way more expensive. And we also couldn’t negotiate that one. He just gave us an extra bottle, a smaller one, half the size as extra.
If you plan on taking a trip from Hurghada Egypt to Cairo and love perfumes, then his factory perfume shop is something you shouldn’t miss!
Egyptian cotton shop
This is yet again something you might want to skip. It’s just a shop where they have doubled the prices or more for clothing and some accessories.
Being our first visit to an actual shop with clothes made out of Egyptian cotton, we had to purchase something. I ended up spending 15 EUR for a small t-shirt which I planned on gifting to my 1 year old niece. They asked for 25 EUR at first and I ended up purchasing it for 15 EUR. I thought I made a bargain, but I later found that the t-shirt were being sold at 6-8 EUR.
If you plan on getting something from the Egyptian cotton shop in Cairo, make sure to really negotiate. If they ask for 25 EUR, you can get it at 8EUR for sure. Don’t let them intimidate you.
I don’t have any photos from this location, as it would be your normal clothing shop. Nothing worth photographing.
Cruise on the Nile
For 10 EUR per person, you can take a short cruise on the Nile in Cairo. There isn’t much to see, except abandoned floating restaurants that give you the feeling that there was once something marvelous there.
It’s a short ride, with the wind blowing, that will make you relax. All you’ll see are buildings, palm trees and some hotels. We maybe could have negotiated the price too, since we were a larger group, but we didn’t try to do it. We just went with it.
Visiting the pyramids in Cairo from Hurghada Egypt
We didn’t come all the way from Hurghada Egypt to Cairo not to see the pyramids! But before we did that, we stopped to have lunch with an awesome view. The place had the windows facing the pyramids. Food was great as we were also famished. It took a while from Hurghada Egypt to the pyramids, so we were hoping for a nice meal, which we had. Drinks not included, just so you know.
Now, the pyramids are everything you see in the pictures and just that. The guide advised us about visiting them inside, as there was nothing to see. Inside the pyramids there are no hieroglyphs, no paintings on the wall, nothing. You just go inside a narrow tunnel and come back. At a certain point you would need to actually crawl, as in gets lower. And that’s all there is inside to see.
Another thing you should be careful about is those people trying to make you ride the camel. They will tell you it’s free to ride the camel, but what they don’t tell you is that it costs you to get off it. The guide told us that we should stay away from them and just ignore them. They would make you hop on the camel, start a tour with you, and when you’re a bit far away and want to come back they would ask for money. Sometimes it would cost you 100 EUR to get off the camel. Don’t try it, at least not without your guide next to you.
We toured the pyramids and then went to see the Sphinx with the bus. We saw an amazing panoramic view at the top, where the guide showed us some other pyramids far, far away. There are multiple pyramids all over Egypt, but these are the ones that are the most marketed.
Visit the pyramids only if you’re actually keen on seeing them. If you’re more interested in knowing the history of Egypt, go to Luxor and Aswan. That’s where the magic is!
Visiting the Cairo Museum
This is something you should not miss. It packs all the history in Egypt, and if you have a great guide like we had, you will leave with enormous information.
It’s full of ancient relics, tombs, mummies and golden masks that each tell a tale.
Before you enter the museum, you will see a pool of lotus flowers and papyrus outside. They represent the South and the North: Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. The lotus flowers symbolize rebirth, as they would close during the night and blossom again in the morning. They would also be associated with the sun God – Ra. On the other hand, papyrus is associated with growth, youth and freshness . Placed together they depict the unification of Egypt.
Don’t be frightened by the long line that awaits to enter. It moves fast and you’ll be in the Cairo Museum in a few minutes. You’ll walk freely there, but be sure to pay attention to the guide. He’s your main source of information and will walk you to the most important artefacts in the museum, so you don’t waste your time.
Did you know that pharaohs didn’t exactly look like their statues? They weren’t tall or muscular? Even their faces were different. This was because the Egyptians looked at pharaohs as Gods, and thus they represented them through imposing and beautiful sculptures. There’s one life size statue of a pharaoh in the Museum and you’ll see they were kind of normal sized.
Today, King Tutankhamun’s mummy is in the Valley of the Kings, but his golden mask is still on display in Cairo’s Museum. By late 2022 it is said the museum will be moving to a location closer to the pyramids and a new airport will be built there.
Until then, upon entering the current Museum in Cairo, you will have to scan your luggage, backpack, anything you have on you. It’s a security measure, don’t worry. This is kind of normal throughout Egypt.
accessories from ancient Egypt Gold plated slippers Tutankhamun possessions Tutankhamun chair, covered in gold
After we finished touring Cairo, we left for Hurghada Egypt. We didn’t realize how tired we were, but we slept most of the next day. Traveling from Hurghada Egypt to Cairo to visit it, is a bit exhausting. But, given that we slept the entire night, and we had a bit of rest while coming back to the hotel, made it less discomforting. It was worth it.
And I almost forgot to mention that at the end of our trip, when we were reaching the hotel, the guide told us that if we wanted we could tip the driver and him. He handed us 2 envelopes for us to place the tips. We all tipped them a total of 20 EUR the driver and 70 EUR the guide. We appreciated all the attention he gave with explaining the recent history of Egypt, how he warned us about not going for a camel ride without us, how he cared for us at the museum and all of that. We didn’t appreciate the driver that was talking on the phone and almost crashed us into another bus, if we didn’t scream about it.
Safari in Hurghada Egypt
This is the trip I loved most from Hurghada Egypt, taking a safari. We embarked again on a bus, but this time it wasn’t a private safari. You can also opt in for that, but we thought it would be much more interesting if we went with a larger group. Given that the 2 kids and their parents didn’t go, we were 4 out of 8 and it was better with a group.
What you do in the safari: go around the desert with a buggy, an ATV and then visit a Bedouin site, where you get to ride a camel.
The safari in Hurghada Egypt started around 10 am and we reached the hotel back at around 19:00, so you could say it was a full day. They picked us up at the hotel and rushed us at the safari site, where they had the ATVs, buggy and other cars to transport you to the Bedouin site.
Before going inside the place, the bus would be scanned and the driver would report how many passengers he had and from where. This became normal for us, when we did trips. We grew accustomed by now. The same thing would happen when you left the site.
When arriving at the actual location, the guide would talk a bit about Hurghada Egypt and if you would have any questions, we would answer. Not included in the safari cost were the googles for the wind and the scarf for your head. Renting the googles would be 2 EUR each and to purchase a scarf would be 4 EUR each. It summed up to 12 EUR for us and we gave the guide a 20EUR paper. He wrote on his paper the change he would have to give us back and left. The guide later forgot about giving us the change, but we kindly reminded him at the end of our whole trip and he excused himself for forgetting and paid us back 8 EUR. He didn’t forget, and we all know that.
We got to drive in the desert for around 40 minutes maybe, on ATVs. I have no idea when time flew by. We stopped to take photos with our phone, as you couldn’t take photos while you were on the ATV. The wind blew so much sand, it was obvious we couldn’t handle it without the googles and scarf.
There was another guy that took photos and filmed the entire time, from the start of the safari until the very end. Be careful in the end when he will charge you 25 EUR for the photos. He’ll take 13 EUR. Also, if you’re in a larger group, tell them that only you want the photos. This is because they will place the photos in bulk on a stick, so you will all have them! This is a tip we wish we knew before. We actually realized that after we paid the money, that there was no way he would remember which one is which, so the photos will all be on the stick, as they were.
After the ATV ride which you could take by yourself, or 2 on the ATV, you would try out the buggy. This car was so rudimental, that you had to start it by connecting two wires, just like you see in the movies! But boy, did it run! It was much more comfortable then riding the ATV, but you still had to keep your googles and scarf. Again, you followed the group in the desert and would wave at the cameraman whenever he was around you.
After that, you would hop in a car that was more like a van. You sat in the back on a bench and hung onto anything you could. Around 8 people could fit in, so it was us 4 and a family with 2 kids. The kids were no older than 4 years, maybe less, and one would start to feel sick, but was okay in the end.
Now there is a reason as to why that kid felt nausea. It was because of the driving. That van would go up the hills and dive down like you have never seen before. If there was a steep hill, that driver would climb it. And the desert didn’t lack them. He could go around them, but the feeling was fantastic. It was like going to an amusement park. That was the best ride I had in Hurghada Egypt! I would recommend taking a safari trip in Hurghada Egypt anytime!
When we arrived at the Bedouin site, there wasn’t much to see. We were greeted with their traditional tea, which resembled more with a black tea. We have no idea what it was, but we’re still here. You should try sipping from it, just to see how it is.
They also had a sort of a pharmacy with medicinal plants and ointments. The guide told us that the “doctor” skills were passed down from generation to generation. There were bags filled with plans and the doctor told us that they were collected from the desert and used to treat diseases. He told us about each plant and then invited us to buy. The costs were around 5 EUR for a bag filled with plants, or ointments. We bought an ointment that was supposedly going to help with our back pains. It did absolutely nothing. It smelled like one of those Chinese yellow balms if you’re familiar with them, but less pronounced.
On the same table there would be some bracelets hand made by the Bedouins themselves, so they said. One bracelet would be 3 to 5 EUR and a hand made camel would strip you off of 10 EUR. Negotiation is the key, so if you ever actually want to buy something, be sure to have that in mind.
Anyway, I started wondering from where all of those were collected, given that the desert was just sand and wind. You might think that all of that is staged and even that it’s not actually a Bedouin site. I’ll explain why. First of all, the guide told us that the Bedouin women cannot be photographed with other men. They can be photographed with other women instead. Same goes for the men: not to be photographed with other women. Actually, the Bedouin women and men were kind of not allowed to even make eye contact with people of the opposite sex.
In this Bedouin location we found a woman that was making traditional bread. You could even taste it after it was done. It was something made from grains, that were grounded with a stone, by a very small girl. She would flip it several times for it to cook, and it would come out the size and thickness of a pancake. It was actually pretty good to taste. Everyone took photos with the lady cooking the bread and the little girls, even men. You had a plate where you could tip them. Yes, everything is based on tips, as I mentioned in the beginning.
After you had tasted some Bedouin bread, you went to ride the camel. It was just a few feet from the location. You would hop on the camel and take a short ride. The person, man or woman, that held the harness would ask for your phone to take pictures of you. Of course, once they handed your phone back, they would expect a tip. We gave him 1EUR. Most of us did so. Some gave 2EUR and they received a big hug. You went to ride the camels in pairs of 2, no more and no less.
After this we could all buy some Cola or Fanta at a local sort of shop, for 2 EUR and then head back to the truck. The ride back was the same as it was to get there, like a rollercoaster!
When we got back, people were preparing dinner and we had yet again plenty to choose from. Of course, we didn’t forget to tip the driver before dropping us off to the site. The night ended with a show: belly dancing, a flame thrower and a guy that swirled around in a traditional costume – which I loved. The atmosphere was so nice, the wind a was blowing a bit, people were eating, drinking and socializing.
Before the show, the guide would walk to everyone with the cameraman and told them about how much it would cost them to buy the photos. He also had 1 photo printed out for each family, which would cost you 3EUR – a ripoff if you ask me, but we took it as a souvenir, as I told the guide he owed us some money from the googles and scarves. I left him 5 EUR as tip.
All in all, this safari trip in Hurghada Egypt was the best time I had there. I have no idea how time went by and it got dark. It was an experience totally worth it.
The guide also told us in the beginning about the Bedouins. He talked about how they came to Egypt, running from wars in their countries. The Bedouins had no rights whatsoever. They were not allowed to live in the cities, not allowed to go to hospitals, to the police and so on. They were exiled in the desert because they came with lots and lots of animals and they couldn’t fit it. So, they settled there.
It was later when their former president Mubarak granted them permission to marry Arab women, go to the hospitals, police, and settle in the cities – but this was, of course, without their animals. Given the fact that this was the only lifestyle they knew, living in the desert, they never moved.
Bedouins have their own law and a sort of a chief. When they have issues, they don’t go to the police, they go to their chief and he decides how things are handled.
Also, you can trade camels for women. That’s a true fact. Marriage is tricky, and they can get married as young as 13-14 years old. Maybe even younger. The marriage can be imposed on them, and they would have nothing to say, or there is a ritual.
Let’s say the mother has found a suitable man for her daughter. They will both meet at a sort of a tea ceremony. The girl’s face is covered with a vail, but when she pours the tea for her and the man, she lifts the vail. If the man likes her and wants to marry her, he will taste the tea. The same goes for the girl. If she likes the man, she will sip the tea. Both have to like each other in order to marry. If one of them doesn’t sip from the tea, the girl puts back her vail and that’s that.
Other Bedouins marry their children without them ever meeting. And they cannot oppose the marriage, they are just told that they would be marrying that person. They would have nothing to say about it.
Hurghada Egypt city tour
On our sixth day, we decided to tour Hurghada Egypt with a group. It was an organized trip, given as a bonus to us. It was a bonus probably because we didn’t negotiate well on the other trips and they thought to give us something in return, because we paid too much. If they don’t give you any bonus trips, you can say you negotiated better than us!
The Hurghada Egypt tour included a trip at the marina, the mosque, a Christian church, a candy shop where the prices were non negotiable, a visit to their local market place and go shopping in a shopping center – again, non negotiable. Non negotiable meant that you would be paying the price that was displayed. Nothing extra, no tips. Fair prices for tourists, not doubled or tripled, as seen in other touristy locations.
The trip started around 12:00 and lasted a few hours. Keep in mind that the actual city is not where the resorts are located. It takes about 35-40 minutes to reach it by bus.
Hurghada Egypt Marina
Hurghada Marina is actually a pretty nice spot to visit. It has nice terraces along its main path. You can enjoy a stroll with a wonderful view of the Red Sea.
If you’re only doing the tour of Hurghada, unfortunately you won’t be able to sit down and enjoy a coffee there. There’s no time for that.
Parked there are yachts, small boats and submarines or sea scope boats for tourists. You can embark with a group to see the amazing underwater life. Sadly, we didn’t have the opportunity to do so, but from others had told us, it’s worth a ride.
Hurghada Egypt El Mina Mosque
From the Marina you can actually see the El Mina Mosque. It’s not so far and you would expect to simply walk to it. Instead, you will hop in the bus again and it will leave you in front of it.
While passing to see the mosque, you will also get a glimpse of the fish market in Hurghada Egypt. There are lots and lots of fresh fish there, piled one on top of another. The guide also told us that you can have you fish prepared there and eat it. It looked delicious.
Before entering the mosque, women had to wear a long dress with long sleeves and something that would cover your head. It costs 1 EUR to rent one. You will be shown a small room with dresses on hangers and a guy would just give you one. Mine was for a woman that would have been one meter taller than me. I could barely walk in it.
Once you have your dress on, you will exit the room into the mosque’s front yard. Before actually entering it, you would have to take off your shoes and go barefoot. It was a nice feeling, as the floor had some sort of foam cushion under the rug.
The guide explained to us that each mosque would have a nice with a certain shape, that would be pointing towards the Mecca. That’s the way they have to pray, towards that direction. More precisely, towards the sacred Kaaba in Mecca. Every Muslim prays towards the Mecca, anywhere they are.
Women are not allowed to pray with men. In the first rows sitting in the mosque there would be men, followed by children. Women had a separate place where they would pray, upstairs. If the mosque didn’t have a separate place for women, they would pray in the corner.
You could also find brochures about Islam in several languages, for free. You can take them with you and read them in your own time.
After you finish your tour, as a woman, you go back to that room outside to change. You take off the dress, place it on the hanger and leave.
Coptic Cathedral of Saint Shenouda
With stained glass and long benches to sit on, this church is small in size, but the story that the guide told us made it feel so spacious.
Going back a while ago, ‘coptic ’ used to mean Egyptian and Christian as well. Nowadays, when you say you’re Coptic, you mean you’re Christian. In the old days, there were hardly any Muslims in Egypt so their was no need for distinction.
This church also serves as a hospital and educational center for the needy ones, which we found was heartwarming.
If you haven’t visited this church, honestly, you haven’t missed much. It’s just a nice church where you’ll get some extra (but interesting) information from your guide.
Candy shop El Zahraa
It’s a small but delightful shop, where you will be able to buy chocolate at decent rates. We took 3 small boxes of chocolate that had some figurines taped, referencing Egypt. They were all 18 EUR.
You were greeted with some chocolate samples you could try and they had an ice cream display at the door, which you could also taste.
We later found that the same brand had a shop in the Airport, in the food court area. Worth buying to gift to your loved ones back home.
Before we entered the local market, the guide told us that we had to follow him and not stop anywhere. And so we did. We were in and out of the Hurghada Egypt market in 2 minutes or less.
The market was packed with fresh vegetables and fruits. In a corner you could see cages that held chicken, rabbits and other small creatures.
The prices were all listed for every visitor to see. Egyptians would normally tour the market at least once, before even purchasing anything. We found out that they eat fresh food, and barely taste anything that is frozen.
Hurghada Egypt Shopping center
From the market we headed straight to the shopping center. This was much closer to our resort, so we passed by the airport and headed back.
The shopping center was actually in Hurghada Museum. It kind of looked like it was closed and abandoned. And that’s because it was closed, but the shopping gallery was open. At least for us it was.
At first, we thought we would go to their mall for shopping, Senzo mall. One guide told us it was the largest in that area. But, we ended up at this gallery instead.
It was a gallery with a few shops: clothes, silver, perfume, papyrus and other souvenirs. You would take a trolly and put everything in it, and pay at the counter – where you came in.
There were some locals there that would help you with your purchases and convert Egyptian Lira to EUR or USD so you would kind of know how much it would cost you. It was like you had your personal shopping assistant. They would advise what to purchase, look for the sizes, add it in the trolley and walk with you in every shop. For that, we tipped 2 USD at the end.
We were first kind of reluctant to buy anything, thinking it would be expensive. But when we reached the counter and the cashier said it summed up to about 140 EUR, we went back to make some more shopping.
T-shirts were 6-8 EUR, dresses the same, some costing up to 14 EUR depending on the quality of the material. We bought 2 silver pendants for 18 EUR. We also bought a papyrus which was 6 EUR and it was beautifully placed in a papyrus box, as opposed to the exorbitant prices at the papyrus institute in Cairo. Perfumes were more expensive than those we found in Cairo, but there was a scent we had not sniffed back there and we liked it, so we took it. Magnets, keychains, everything else was at a very decent rate so we bought everything we liked.
We ended up with two loaded bags for around 250 EUR. That’s 6 adult t-shirts, 2 small t-shirts for kids, 2 perfume bottles (one large and one small, given as “bonus”), 3 long dresses, one pair of slit trousers, around 8 magnets, 1 papyrus, some 2 keychains, 1 cola and 1 pepsi can. The 2 silver pendants were paid separately and the perfume alone was around 75 EUR. There might have been something else we bought, but I don’t remember at this time. In the end, we thought it was worth it!
We went parasailing in Hurghada on our third trip. We stayed at a 4 stars hotel this time, because we booked 14 days of relaxation and you can read here about Labranda Club Makadi review.
The booking was made with a local operator that had an office in the resort and it cost us 35 EUR per person for one ride. They would take you to sea with a boat at the settled time and then you will change boats – hop on the parasailing boat. There, a few other people will be waiting their turns.
The parasailing itself doesn’t last long, but it’s a memorable and fun experience. We thought we’d give it a try since this was something we wanted to do years back. They will strap you in a harness with a life vest and up you’ll go! A photographer will be there to take a few photos (like 50 of them) and charge you 10 EUR per session. He’ll try asking for 20 EUR, but you can bargain for a decent price.
If you have kids, don’t worry. They will enjoy the ride as much as you’ll do. Be sure to have them looking up and not down, as they might get sick.
One thing you’ll thank me later for telling you: they will dip you 1-2 times in the sea, so make sure you hold on tight to your underwear 😀 We saw other parasailing rides that just dipped your toes, but this guy had us all in!
This was another awesome thing we did, when we went to Sentido Pam Royale – which was much closed to Safaga than Hurghada. But if you’re in Hurghada and you’re wondering what to do there, then make sure to book a submarine ride! This also included a snorkeling stop, but we loved seeing the fish and turtles from the submarine! We never got off for snorkeling. The underwater life is amazing there so make sure you don’t skip this!
You might be thinking it’s something the kids will enjoy, but we loved it too! We went with the Sea Scope submarine on the Read Sea for 3 hours, and pricing was 35 EUR/person – we did not negotiate this, but you can try if you feel it’s worth less.
What to do in Hurghada – Take a Speed Boat
If you’re feeling bored after so many days off at the beach, you can try taking a tour of the shores with a speed boat. It’s both relaxing and fun and you might even get to drive it – we had that luck!
On this tour, they will also stop the boat in a gorgeous spot where the sea is turquoise and shallow and you can swim and take pictures. This was right in the middle of the sea! You can even see the crabs and small fish swimming with you! Pricing wise, I remember paying 100 EUR for the boat – we were the only ones on it.
Tour Mini Egypt Park
If you don’t plan on visiting all of Egypt, then this park might just be what you need to see the highlights! Although it is slightly a tourist trap, just because they charge you too much for what it’s worth, it’s a great way to read about Egypt’s history and take pictures with the monuments.
The replicas are well made, but the whole so called park is rather small to begin with. After we went inside, the moment we stepped in, we felt a bit sorry.
First of all, it’s Egypt, you have very high temperatures there, and there’s absolutely no shade in this park! You don’t have any bars or anything from where you can purchase a bottle of water. There are no trees or anything at all. We were lucky enough we had some water, but we visited at around 14:00 and it was just impossible to admire the miniatures because of the sun and overwhelming heat.
Secondly, it was just empty, like deserted! I guess we saw a couple walking at some point, but I’m thinking they left when they saw what it was about. We’ll post a video on our 7DaysAbroad Youtube channel where we’ll show you the whole park. I got to film it as I was walking, just so you’ll have an idea if it’s worth visiting or not.
If we probably would have visited in the morning or late afternoon, it would have been so much better. It might have been one of the reasons why nobody was there – we were literally melting. But, leaving that aside, we found the park interesting and the miniatures well made. They respected the scale or the original monument and they all had a tablet written in a few languages.
If you’re in Hurghada and looking to visit the mini Egypt park, you should know it’s like 22km away from Hurghada, in Makadi Bay. In the middle of nowhere, as I would say. Prices are very high for one ticket – like around 30 EUR and you will need to get there yourself. You can also book on their website and they will pick you up from your hotel.
Tips and Tricks
- do not drink tap water. Or any water besides bottled water. Egypt doesn’t have drinking water and you will have stomach problem;
- be careful what you eat. Food is not bad, it’s just your stomach that might not be used to new things;
- take mosquito repellent, you’ll need it;
- SPF +50 sunscreen is a must;
- do not buy souvenirs from touristy places as they are expensive. Buy them from malls or shop galleries. Or, if you want, you should negotiate. A fair price would be at least half of what they are asking;
- do not go on a “free” camel ride at the pyramids. There’s no such thing as “free” in Egypt. They will charge you up to 100 EUR to take you down from the camel;
- tip the staff at the hotel, it will do you wonders;
- drivers and guides expect tips at the end of the trips;
- do not pack towels with you. You have towel cards at the hotel and you can exchange them for towels;
- everything is negotiable.
If you have any questions regarding our trips, just leave a comment and we’ll be sure to answer! Have a safe trip, wherever you plan on going!