On this page I’m sharing my travel tips for Hurghada in Egypt. This city, located at the coast of the Red Sea, is very popular with tourists. But I’m telling you how to experience Hurghada, Egypt off the beaten track. With a stay in a boutique hotel instead of in an all-inclusive resort for example. And I’m sharing my tips for what to see, what to do and where to eat.
Boutique Hotel Hurghada Marina
I dislike the big, all-inclusive resorts a bit. So I went looking for a nice hotel that isn’t an all-inclusive resort, but that has a nice location so that you can go out for lunch or dinner nearby. I found the pretty Boutique Hotel Hurghada Marina. It’s located next to the new marina at the start of a strip of restaurants and some shops. It’s a pretty designed hotel with a rooftop restaurant where they serve breakfast and dinner. You can choose for the option to have breakfast and dinner included during your stay. The area is well protected so we felt very safe there.
Olie’s Restaurant Hurghada Marina
Right underneath the Boutique Hotel Hurghada Marina you can find Olie’s Restaurant. A lovely restaurant where we went to quite often. They have comfortable sofas with soft pillows and you look over the boulevard. They’ve got tasty vegetarian dishes on the menu and besides breakfast, lunch and dinner, they also have a nice menu with fingerfood like garlic bread and mozzarella sticks.
Egyptian restaurant Nubian Sky
The restaurants at Hurghada Marina are very touristic, but there are all kinds of kitchens to choose from. Besides Olie’s, I also liked Egyptian restaurant Nubian Sky. When you’re in Egypt, I think it’s nice to eat Egyptian food I think. Nubian Sky also has great vegetarian options. Pictured you see some mezze that we shared: Baba Ganoush, Pita Bread, Falafel and Tahini salad.
The best place for ice cream at Hurghada Marina is restaurant Friends. You can choose your flavor for a cup or a cone, but you can also order one of their sundaes. Pictured you see their Snickers ice cream sundae with chocolate and vanilla ice cream, Snickers, cookies, whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
Diving from Hurghada
Before I went to Egypt, people told me that the Red Sea is one of the best diving spots in the world. I’ve got my PADI diving certification, so I went on two dives in the Red Sea. There are several good diving schools in Hurghada. We went with Sea Gate and had an excellent experience with them. Dutch Marieke and Egyptian Khaled are the owners of this diving school in Hurghada. I loved it that Marieke speaks Dutch so that we could do all the communication in Dutch and that I knew that all the diving equipment would be well maintained.
We had two very pleasant dives. Although it was quite busy with other boats at the spot we went to, you didn’t notice that underwater.
The water was very clear and we saw quite a few nice fish. Many small tropical fish, and also Moray eels, Clown fish and Lion fish.
El Dahar Bazars
It’s really worth stepping out of the gates of your resort in Hurghada and visit the parts where the locals live. I can’t really call it the ‘old town’ because it’s only about 30 years old, when tourism started to flourish in Hurghada. The best place to have your taxi driver drop you off is at the El Dahar Bazars. Here you can find tens of shops where the locals buy their clothes, food and more.
Al Mina Mosque
Right next to the Hurghada Marina and the Fish Market you can find the Al Mina Mosque. If you’ve been on a boat trip from Hurghada, you’ve probably seen its minarets towering above the rest of the town. It’s a beautiful mosque. You can also visit the inside of the mosque if you’re suitably dressed.
A bit more of an adventurous trip, is to go sailing. There are several boat owners renting out their boat including the service of a captain on board. It’s a must to have sea legs, and it’s a pre if you have sailing experience. Most of the trips include lunch on board and you can often choose between a full day and a half day.
Day tours from Hurghada
From Hurghada you can go on a day tour to Luxor to visit the Karnak temple complex and the Valley of the Kings. You’ll go by minivan with a small group. They’ll pick you up at your hotel in Hurghada in the early morning (prepare to be ready at 4/4:30am), and they’ll drop you off at your hotel in the evening (around 9/10pm). But it’s great to see more of the country than just your hotel, and besides it’s very impressive to see these ancient Egyptian temples and tombs.