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Best things to do in Hurghada, Egypt in 2024

Simon Calder’s Travel

On Egypt‘s popular Red Sea coast – famed for long stretches of beautiful shoreline and vibrant corals – the city of Hurghada has grown from a quiet fishing village into the capital of a region beloved by tourists. While often visitors will ensconce themselves into the comfort of the many resorts, venturing outside reveals plenty of activities to pack a holiday with.

Visitors can immerse themselves in ‘old Hurghada’ in the souks and restaurants of the old town, or opt for something more modern with a stint of people watching around the swish marina. It’s from the latter that you can head out onto the water – there are a string of boat operators who will take you out for the day, including trips to the wonderful Giftun Islands – as well as book diving trips (there are a couple of impressive ship wrecks to explore).

Hurghada also makes a convenient base should you wish to get out and discover more of Egypt. Bedouin villages and rolling dunes await in the desert, or make a journey back in time to see some of the country’s most fascinating historical sites with a day trip to Luxor.

Here’s how to ensure your Hurghada holiday on the Red Sea is a memorable one.

Explore the old town

Hurghada’s souks sell everything from herbs and spices to handmade jewellery (Getty Images)

Hurghada’s old town, known as El Dahar, used to be the centre of the city during its past as a fishing village. Nowadays, it is the most ‘authentically Egyptian’ part of Hurghada, with souks, local restaurants and plenty of cheaper hotel options. This is away from the beaten tourist path, but it’s a bustling part of the city, the highlights of which are the El Mina Mosque and the Church of St. Shenouda.

Read more: Simon Calder reveals why Egypt is the bargain of the 21st century

Visit the marina

Hurghada’s marina project was completed in the early 2000s (Getty Images)

The city’s pedestrianised marina is one of the most pleasant places to go for a relaxed stroll, evening meal or some drinks (and it’s also the hub of Hurghada’s nightlife). Plenty of hotels, restaurants and bars line the promenade, many housed in pastel pink and ochre buildings, with Hurghada Marina Boulevard acting as the focal point for events.

Hit the beach

Some of Hurghada’s beaches charge a small access fee of around £1 (Getty Images)

Hurghada is mostly known as a coastal resort…

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