First Time in Hurghada: A Guide for Beginners

Makadi Spa Hotel

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We remember our first time in Hurghada – it was October 2005 and we booked a last minute unspecified 3* all-inclusive hotel deal, as was all the rage those days. It only cost £300pp for a week, including flights!

Luckily, we landed on our feet and ended up staying at the luxury 5* Grand Resort Hotel.

Back in 2005, going somewhere for the first time was a bit of a leap of faith. You didn’t have sites focussed on Hurghada to rely on, and what we’d have given for a ‘first time visitor guide’ like this.

Hurghada has come a long way since 2005, and continues to attract thousands of tourists from the UK every week – and it’s not hard to see why.

We’ve put together this guide for anyone who’s in the same place that we were, 20 years ago. If you’re planning your first trip to Hurghada, here’s our guide to the things you should know to make the most of your experience.

Sunbeds on Hurghada beach at sunset

Top Attractions to Visit

There are so many places to see and things to in Hurghada, and realistically you’re not going to tick them all off during your first visit.

If you’re visiting Hurghada in Egypt for the first time, you’ll want to explore some of the must-see attractions the resort has to offer. Here are some of the top places to visit:

Giftun Island

This is without doubt one of the most beautiful islands in the Red Sea. Giftun is a natural reserve with colourful coral reefs, and a huge variety of marine life, including dolphins, turtles, and exotic fish.

The best way to discover Giftun Island is by choosing an organised trip. These are available from our travel partners

Mahmya Island

Located off the coast of Hurghada, Mahmya Island is a paradise for snorkelling, diving, and sunbathing. You’ll be amazed by the stunning turquoise waters and fine white sand beaches.

Hurghada Grand Aquarium

Hurghada Grand Aquarium is a great place to visit for anyone who enjoys marine life. You’ll get to see over 1,200 species of fish, sharks, rays, and reptiles. One of the highlights of visiting here is that there is also a glass tunnel that allows you to walk underwater.

El Dahar

El Dahar is the old town area of Hurghada, probably the most authentic part of the resort. Here, you can find a great blend of popular sights nestled within traditional Egyptian architecture.

Hurghada Centre

Spend a few hours exploring the vibrant souk (market) filled with spices, textiles, and souvenirs, as well as plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars.

Sharm El Naga

If you’re looking for a peaceful and secluded spot, Sharm El Naga is a beautiful beach with a long coral reef that is ideal for snorkelling or diving. You can also just enjoy a camel ride or a sunset yoga class.

How to Get Around Hurghada on Your First Visit

If you’re busy planning your first visit to Hurghada, we fully understand it’s hard to know what to expect. One of the questions you may be asking is how do you get around when you’re there? We have the answer!

Here are some tips to help you move around the are easily, cheaply and safely:


Without doubt the easiest way to get around. Taxis are really common here and you’ll find them everywhere – at your hotel, outside the airport, at bus stations etc. One thing that’s different from the UK is that most of the vehicles don’t have a meter! So, it’s HUGELY important that you agree the fare before you start your journey.

If there is any reluctance from the driver to do this, then our advice would be to walk away. It’s not worth putting yourself in a difficult situation.


The local bus system covers most parts of the city. They’re cheap – so a big tick in the affordable box – but they can also be really crowded. And we mean REALLY crowded during peak hours. The best thing to do is check with your hotel before you travel to find out what your best option is.


A pretty unique experience. As much an attraction as convenience. Microbuses are smaller than regular buses – think a tiny minibus and zoom around at speed. They are a far more informal way of travelling around and you can just hail them by the side of the road – remember to ask where they’re going though!

Rental Cars

Honestly – don’t! Driving in Hurghada can be challenging due to the high level of traffic and unfamiliar road conditions. The only rule seems to be that there are no rules. Take a bus or a taxi. Live to see another day.


Hurghada is a relatively small city, and walking is a viable option if you are staying in the city centre. However, during the summer months, walking can be tiring due to the heat, so it’s important to carry water and protect yourself from the sun.

Hurghada City

The Best Time To Visit Hurghada

When planning a visit to Hurghada for the first time, timing is everything. This part of our guide will provide you with useful insight into the best time to visit Hurghada based on things like weather, what you want do and lots more.

Weather Conditions

The peak tourist season in Hurghada is between November and March. This is mainly because the temperature is still lovely and warm, but not the extreme heat found during the rest of the year.

You can check out our month-by-month guide to Hurghada Weather, but during this time temperatures hover between 20°C to 25°C, making it an ideal time to explore the town and its surroundings.

Be aware though that during December and January, the nights can get colder, so remember to pack some extra layers if you’re planning on being out and about.

During the summer months (June to August) is when Hurghada experiences the extreme temperatures that many associate with an Egyptian summer. If you don’t enjoy the heat particularly, then we’d strongly advise avoiding this time of year.

January19°C to 22°C
February19°C to 23°C
March21°C to 25°C
April24°C to 28°C
May26°C to 31°C
June29°C to 34°C
July30°C to 36°C
August30°C to 36°C
September28°C to 33°C
October25°C to 30°C
November23°C to 27°C
December20°C to 23°C
Average temperatures month-by-month in Hurghada

Crowds and Tourist Season

It might be your first time in Hurghada, but lots of people have already had their first time and are coming back again! It’s such a popular resort and people return year-on-year and it can get crowded, particularly during the peak season.

Want to avoid the masses? Visit during what’s known as the shoulder season – this is typically April-May or September-October. You get the best of both worlds during these times, as the weather is incredible and you have more space and less queues everywhere. It’s our favourite time to visit.

Diving and Snorkelling

Hurghada is world-famous for it’s scuba diving. The best time to do this is between May and September. The reasons for this are that during this time water visibility is best, so you get the best views possible of the vibrant and colourful coral reefs.

Dolphin underwater

Tips for First-Time Visitors to Hurghada

If you’re planning your first visit to Hurghada, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make the most of your experience. Here are our top tips – we hope they are useful:

  • Pack wisely: Hurghada is known for being hot and sunny, so bear this in mind when you’re packing. Lightweight and breathable clothing to stay cool is the best option here, but if you’re visiting between November and March, bear in mind the evenings can get a little cooler, so bring layers. If you plan to travel inland or visit any desert areas, bring some long sleeves and trousers. And most importantly – don’t forget your sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat!
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water, especially during the summer months when temperatures can soar. Most hotels and resorts offer bottled water, but it’s also a good idea for the environment to bring a reusable water bottle to fill up throughout the day. However, be careful doing this as the water in Hurghada is absolutely not good to drink. So make sure it’s being filled up from a filtered source.
  • Be respectful: As with anywhere in the world, it’s your duty as the visitor to fit in with local rules, regulations, customs and culture. Egypt is a Muslim country, so it’s important to be respectful of this. Mainly, this means dressing modestly when visiting mosques or other religious sites, and avoid public displays of affection.
  • Exchange currency: Even in today’s cashless society, it’s a good idea to exchange some currency before you arrive in Hurghada, as not all businesses – particularly in the souks (markets) accept credit cards. You can withdraw Egyptian pounds from ATMs, but avoid the hassle as many of them charge a fee.
  • Haggle wisely: Bargaining is a common practice in Hurghada, especially when shopping in markets and bazaars. However, it’s really important to be respectful when haggling and don’t go too low with your offers. Also, it’s meant to be a good natured exchange, so don’t become rude or difficult just because you’re not getting your own way. A good rule of thumb is to start with a price that is half of the vendor’s initial offer, and work your way up from there. But most importantly, remember to smile when you’re doing it!
  • Book excursions through recognised operators: There are many places to book a tour or excursion in Hurghada – some better than others. We’d recommend only using – and look out for their ‘certified’ badge for the very best tours on offer. Booking ahead doesn’t only ensure your safety and enjoyment, but it also guarantees availability and price.

By keeping these tips in mind ahead of your first trip to Hurghada, you’ll be better prepared to make the most out of your time here.

Where to Stay in Hurghada: Accommodation Options for First-Time Visitors

If you’re planning your first-ever trip to Hurghada, deciding on where to stay is a crucial part of your planning process. Here is a breakdown of the different accommodation options available for first-time visitors to Hurghada:

Hotel Hurghada

All-Inclusive Resorts

Hurghada is well-known for its luxurious, all-inclusive resorts. Some of the best hotels in Hurghada are right on the beach, offering stunning views of the Red Sea. Staying at an all-inclusive resort means that you’ll have easy access to everything you need, including food, drinks, and entertainment.

Budget-Friendly Hotels

Hurghada also has plenty of budget-friendly hotels that offer comfortable accommodation without breaking the bank. These hotels are usually located in the city centre, a short distance away from the beach. While they may not offer the same level of luxury as the all-inclusive resorts, budget-friendly hotels are a great option for those who want to save money while still being close to all the action.

Apartments and Villas

If you’re travelling in a group or planning an extended stay in Hurghada, renting an apartment or villa might be a good option. This allows you to have your own space, cook your own meals and enjoy the privacy and freedom of having your own accommodation. Many apartments and villas are located close to Hurghada’s beaches and come with stunning sea views.

Bed and Breakfasts

Bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) offer a more intimate and personalised experience for travellers. They are usually small, family-run establishments that offer comfortable rooms with breakfast included in the price. B&Bs are usually located away from the busy tourist areas, giving you a taste of local life in Hurghada.

Marsa Alam

Our Final Thoughts

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of our guide to visiting Hurghada for the first time. We hope that you’ve found this guide to be helpful in planning your trip to this beautiful Egyptian resort.

Hurghada Town is an excellent destination for first-time travellers to Egypt. Its warm climate, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture make it a memorable and enjoyable place to visit. We wish you the best of luck in planning your trip and hope you have a wonderful time in Hurghada!