Eco-friendly travel guide to Hurghada advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Hurghada, Egypt.
- Air quality: 3.5 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 2.5 / 5
- Public transportation: 3 / 5
- Parks: 3 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3.5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3 / 5
- Safety: 4 / 5
- Accommodation: US$40 - $150
- Budget per day: US$250 - $400
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Hurghada is one of the famous cities in Egypt. The city is known for its oldest and most Ancient Egyptian sites, and it surrounds two huge, surviving ancient monuments. Thousands of tourists worldwide arrive annually to visit these monuments, which contributes significantly to the modern city's economy. There are numerous sites to see and many rich cultures to experience in Hurghada, making it a must-visit. For the eco-friendly, there are many ways to travel responsibly in the city. Listed below are some things that you can do:
- The most comfortable and most convenient way to get around the city is cycling. The city authorities have embarked on a redesign of the city's roads to incorporate lanes for cycling. It reduces congestion in the city.
- As an eco-friendly tourist, you can choose an option like walking. While the entire metropolitan area is almost 700 square kilometers, the city center and its immediate surrounding can be easily accessed by walking. It's best to avoid walking the streets at night if possible. At night try to make use of taxies or other travel with the group. Walking is typically safe, but one should take care to watch the surroundings and keep valuables close.
- If one wishes to travel on public transport, the train is the best option. The train is a very affordable and reliable means of transportation. But it is available only in some parts of the city. However, plans are advanced to improve on the existing lines and expand into other parts of the city.
- Public transport in the city comprises small vans carrying about 14 passengers, minibusses, and buses carrying between 25 and 66 passengers. The bigger buses are better managed and are the preferred mode of transport for most of the locals. Almost all parts of Hurghada are accessed by minibusses. However, Minibusses are known for their lawlessness, such as speeding, overloading.
Air Quality and Pollution
The Air Quality of any tourist location or place is a crucial thing to keep in mind because not all tourists can adapt to a city where air pollution is low, and the air quality is good, especially for people who belong to a sensitive group. Hurghada mostly has good air quality, and pollution levels aren't harmful. One can say that automobiles' effect is more than that of the people who visit the city. Other than ground transportation, the shipping industry has contributed a lot to air pollution. If you wish to get fresh and clean air in Hurghada, prefer visiting the outskirts and the hilly regions. Most of the fuels used in marine ships have a significant concentration of sulfur, a contaminant.
Respect the Culture
There are many other cultural expectations that you could research before visiting the city. The majority of Egyptians are Muslim, and Islam's tenets guide Egyptian politics, economic activity, and social life. An Egyptian's loyalty to his family is paramount, with his ties to immediate and extended family trumping all other bonds and obligations. Also, Egyptians remove their shoes before entering a home and complimenting the host on his residence is considered a common courtesy. Lastly, a gift of flowers is a faux pas, as they are reserved for weddings and people suffering illness.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Some people may wonder why others would want to visit Hurghada, and tourists' sites are amongst the reasons. Here are the top 10 places you can see in the city:
- Hurghada Grand Aquarium: It is one of the famous aquariums in the city of Hurghada. It is located in Villages Road, Red Sea, and Hurghada, Egypt. It was established in the year 2015.
- Hurghada Marina: It is a famous tourist attraction in the city of Hurghada. It is located in First Hurghada, Red Sea, Governorate, Egypt.
- Sand City Hurghada: An open-air museum in the city of Hurghada. The sculptures were featuring numerous imaginative and historical sand sculptures by the artists. It is located in Hurghada, Red Sea, Governorate, Egypt.
- El-Dahar Square: It is the oldest part of the city. It is also known as downtown. It is one of the famous markets in the town of Hurghada.
- Orange Bay: It is for dining and swimming on an island beach in the city of Hurghada. It is located in Orange Bay, Hurghada, Egypt. It is a sandy strip on the island with clear blue waters.
- Mini Egypt: A park with replicas of Egyptian landmarks. It is one of the famous museums in the city of Hurghada. It is located in Mini, Egypt, Hurghada, Egypt.
- Desert breath: It is a large-scale spiral desert in the city of Hurghada. It is located in Hurghada, Red Sea, Egypt. D.A.ST created it.
- Dolphin World: It is a famous tourist attraction in the city of Hurghada. It is located in Makadi Bay, Hurghada, Egypt. Tourists can see choreographed shows and swim with the dolphins.
- Schnorchelausflug: One of the famous amusement parks in the city of Hurghada. It is located in the Red Sea, Governorate, Egypt. It is one of the favorite places to visit.
- Royal Sea Scope Trips: It is a marina in the city of Hurghada. It is located in First Hurghada, Red Sea Governorate, Hurghada, Egypt.
Hurghada was an essential city of the ancient world for more than two thousand years; it was the largest city in Egypt. The city has a rich history, and during the Hellenistic period, it was home to a lighthouse ranking among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and a vast library. The city also has Greco-Roman landmarks, old-world cafes, and sandy beaches. These are just some of the fantastic areas found in the town.
Hurghada is famous for its vast collection of parks. It has big open spaces and greeneries where you can spend time with your children and other family members. Its detractors point to its horrendous traffic, low safety levels, and less-than-gorgeous appearance.
- Makadi Bay Aqua Park
- Sliders Cable Park-El Gouna Egypt
- Aqua Park
- Cheeky Monkeys Playground And Amusement Center
The country has always been famous for its beautiful and graceful natural resources, and so that this city has a beautiful collection of national parks and zoos. While most of them are spread across the country's length and breadth, many are also located in the Hurghada. We are listing down a few of them that may not exactly be found in and around the city but are not very far from the city.
- Carless Reef
- Abu Tig Marina
- Giftun Islands
- Hurghada Marina
- Hurghada Questrian
Hurghada is famous for its beautiful and stunning beaches. There are dozens of big and tiny beaches, and it may not be possible to list down every one of them. Some of the beautiful and best beaches in the city are listed below:
- Public Beach
- Dream Beach
- Mahamya Beach
- Old Vic Beach
- Sahl Hasheesh Beach
- Soma Bay
The city of Hurghada also has its share of memorable landmarks and monuments. You must try and visit as many as you possibly can. While the list is quite long, we mention a few of them for our readers' benefit.
- Sliders Cable Park-El Gouna, Egypt
- Al Mas Palace Restaurant
- Kiteboarding Club Rl Gouna (Kbc El Gouna)
- Arrival Piazza
- Sackalla Square
- Royal Safari Hurghada Excursion
Hurghada is a city with a story and a lot of historical value. Below is a list of some of the most prominent museums in the city.
- Hurghada Museum
- Selkhet Papyrus
- Sand City Hurghada Museum
- Mini Egypt
- Hurghada Marine Museum
- Hurghada National Museum
Egyptian food is not yet that popular globally, so you might not come across it in other countries. This means that you must try as many dishes as you can while in the city of Hurghada. Trying various local dishes is one of the best things about being a tourist as you get to experience multiple words that you probably could never come across anywhere else. Several restaurants and street vendors sell different dishes that you could try, whether it is out of curiosity or so that you can have a story to tell later.
Traditional Local Restaurants
In most cases, traditional restaurants are the best place to experience local foods' taste, and maybe even a bit of the culture behind said dishes. There are many Egyptian restaurants in the city of Hurghada that you should try. Below is a list of the most famous traditional local restaurants in the city.
- Nubian Egyptian Restaurant & Café
- Starfish Seafood Restaurant
- The Lodge Restaurant & Bar
- Gad Restaurants
- C El Sayed Restaurant
- El Fayrouz
Vegetarian and Vegan
Though not very popular among locals, there are many vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Hurghada. If you are a vegetarian, you do not need to worry when you are in this city as there are many restaurants to attend to your needs. With these places, you will get to enjoy traditional meals properly with your regular choices. Here are a few of them.
- Bliss Veganly Nourished Restaurant
- Chuchichaschtli- Swiss House
- Stone Restaurant And Bar
- The Snack Shack
- Malu's Deli
- Syake Sushi Hurghada
Hurghada's street food is a must-try one while exploring the city. The many street food vendors serve mouth-watering dishes that will make your taste buds dance with its flavor. These local street food dishes are the best places to indulge in authentic Egyptian tastes. These dishes are not only affordable but also hold a lot of cultural and historical significance to them. Most of the following street food dishes are easily found at any square, street, and city center in Hurghada. Here are some must-try street food dishes in Hurghada;
- Kofta Kebabs
- Mahshi Peppers
There is no ban on alcoholic drinks in the city of Hurghada. You have dozens of big, small, and medium-sized bars to choose from. You can enjoy almost all types of glasses that you get in any good western restaurant and bar. You also will be able to come across many fruit juice stalls where you can enjoy almost all types of fruits that keep your body cool and in good health. If you are a teetotaller and would like to restrict yourself to only soft drinks, Hurghada's city offers options for the best of coffee, tea, and other beverages apart from branded soft drinks.
Unlike many Western countries, tap water may not be safe to drink, but the locals drink after boiling it. Even the water that is available in hotels and street-side food joints may be unsafe to drink. Hence, carrying bottled water is a good suggestion. The water supply quality is usually inconsistent, with the rainy season having the most contaminated water. Water and Sanitation in the city of Hurghada face a common problem in a developing country that proliferates. The water supply is unable to meet fast-rising demand. Water is unstable even to the small majority who have a direct connection to tapped water. Different areas of the city receive water on specific days of the week, some for a few days and others for just a few hours.
Organic foods are foods that are grown without artificial nutrients, pesticides, or other chemicals. Eating organic has become a widespread trend where people are very selective about what they put in their bodies. Several organic cafes attract patrons of all ages who are careful about nutrition. There are many cafes in the city that cater specifically to this group of people. Below is a list of some of the organic restaurants in the city:
- Granada Restaurant And Pub Hurghada
- Kafficho Coffee
- Costa Coffee
- For Your Café
- Amaya Restaurant Madinat Makadi
- Greek Bar And Restaurant
- Hard Rock Cafe
The brewing industry in Hurghada is quite active as the locals prefer to drink local beer above imported brews. Numerous breweries are responsible for making different types of local liquor. These breweries are responsible for supplying a majority of the bars and pubs in the city, and therefore, have large amounts of orders to deliver. The most popular breweries in the city include:
- Drinkies Hurghada
Hurghada is a lively and active city, and the day starts quite early in the morning and continues till late at night. Hence, you have quite a few things to do during the day. You could move out and get to know more about this old and historic city. You could hire a bicycle and combine body exercise with a chance to identify some of the most memorable and unique places of tourist interest. It could be the National Monument in central or the various parks and gardens spread around the city. While some are near the town, others are located a few hundred kilometers. You could also indulge in some crazy shopping in the local shopping markets and even the big malls. Food is another big pastime that you could surrender, and there are endless options to cater to the taste buds of different types and classes of people.
Yoga and Retreats
A wave is sweeping across Egypt, and its name is yoga. Yoga retreats, studios, and pop-ups are appearing all over the country. The teachers are experienced, the styles are diverse, and the locations are, of course, stunning. Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Yoga is one of the six Āstika schools of Hindu philosophical traditions. There are few better ways to rest, relax, and reinvigorate than to get back to nature for a dose of the inimitable joys the great outdoors offers. And among the best ways to do this is camping. Hurghada's main island and many offshore islands possess all requisite ingredients for high-quality experiences, a moderate climate, natural splendors in singular abundance, and diversity considering the city's comparatively small size, which amazes many international visitors get out of the cities and easy access to quality sites.
Some of the Yoga Retreats in the city are:
- Planet Spa At Sunrise Crystal Bay Resort
- Planet Spa At Sheraton Miramar
- Planet Spa At Labranda Club Paradisio
- Horas Spa
Providing accommodation for such a floating population is a must. Hence, the hotel and hospitality industry is quite well developed in Hurghada. Customers have many options to choose from. They could select some of the best 5-star hotels for accommodation. On the other hand, there are budget hotels that are quite decent. Students could also opt for guest houses and other such places where the rates are quite affordable. To avoid being scammed, do not pay anything before you arrive in Egypt. Unless you are using a well-known large realtor, do not pay landlords you find on social site or online as it's likely going to be a scam, and you'll never see that money or imaginary flat that looked so good in the photos. It is probably a scam if the landlord is pressing you for payments before viewing the property.
It lives the promise of offering the best of green staying arrangements. You have many places of tourist interest within a stone's throw away, and therefore you will like it as a foreign tourist. To do your part to promote sustainability during your visit, patronize hotels committed to responsible waste management, the use of solar and wind energy, water conservation, and cooperation with local communities.
- Steigenberger Aldau Beach Hotel
- Baron Palace Sahl Hasheesh
- Sunrise Royal Makadi Resort
- Desert Rose Resort
- Hurghada Mariott Beach Resort
- Movenpick Resort And Spa El Gouna
- Steigenberger Pure Lifestyle Hotel
Hostels and Guest Houses
Hostels and paying guests are relatively cheap than hotels. They provide all the facilities. It is best for the students and the tourists coming from different cities and countries as well. Here are some guest houses for guests and tourists.
- Marina Square Hostel
- Hurghada Hostel City Center
- Sea Waves Hostel
- Sweat Home Hostel
- Sunshine Hostel Apartment Hurghada
If you plan to live in Hurghada for a reasonably long period and would like to save on hotel accommodation, you could choose private apartments. You will have many such options available to you. However, not all apartment owners may feel comfortable renting out their properties to foreigners, but things are changing. They would like to earn some passive income from their apartments that otherwise would have remained vacant. You can choose different sizes of flats depending on your budget and requirements.
Couch surfing refers to staying with a host family that rents out a part of their house to tourists. This trend is not that common in the city of Hurghada. This accommodation option allows tourists to live in a typical Egyptian home. It is immersed in traditional Egyptian life, and it is also an excellent way for them to quickly grasp the local language and culture. There are several websites where people who are willing can put their homes on offer, and tourists can book the most interesting or convenient one. One such website is called couch surfing.
One of the most enjoyable outdoor activities that you can get into that would involve everybody is camping. Hurghada has many picturesque locations where you can go camping and enjoy great outdoor fun. Here are some of the unique camping spots in Hurghada.
- Carpe Diem Village-El Gouna
- Oriental Safari Hurghada
- El Gouna Park
- Dive Makers Camp
- White Beach Resort
- Labranda Royal Makadi
How to Get There
Several modes of transport can be used to travel to the city of Hurghada, with the most convenient for you being dictated by where you are coming from, be it a local or international area. People from surrounding cities usually travel to the city by bus or train. While those coming from further away commonly use airplanes.
Hurghada International Airport is located 3.1 miles outside of Hurghada city center, and it receives flights from Cairo as well. There are taxis in abundance everywhere around the airport for local transportation at a reasonable price. Many touts are pretending to be taxi drivers inside the airport, so ignore them and walk outside the gates and find a taxi on the streets.
Minibusses are the locals' transportation in Hurghada and the cheapest way to get around for the adventurous tourist. They all have the same shape, so they are easily recognized. They have fixed routes, with different routes marked by a different color on the minibus's side. To hail a bus, you need to look at it while approaching and raising your arm. If the bus is full, it will not stop; if it stops, you can jump in, take an empty seat, and pass money to the driver, a flat fee with no haggling required. Getting off is possible anytime and is done by simply asking the driver to stop when you are near your destination.
Traveling by train is probably the most common way to get to Hurghada from Cairo. There are two types of trains, the government train, and a private sleeper train. The government train is incredibly cheap, and as a foreigner, you should be sure to select first-class tickets. Tickets are purchased online at least 12 hours in advance. The overnight sleeper train is privately run and thus more expensive than the government train.
Hitchhiking to Hurghada is relatively easy. Hitchhiking opportunities might be a bit limited if you do not speak Arabic, as most people in Egypt do not speak English. The people that do talk in English often are not as excited by the prospect of giving a ride to a foreigner. Many people might expect money from you in exchange for them, giving you a ride, especially if you look like a foreigner. If you do not have money, you should let the driver know before leaving or the amount you can afford. People may refuse to give you a ride if they do not like the amount you are offering.
Other modes of transportation are different from these primary ones that can be used but aren't convenient and cheap. These transports include rental car services, taxis, boats, etc. These are not at all cheap and are quite harmful to the environment. While exploring the city, try to avoid such vehicles as the drivers often take advantage of tourists by overcharging them.
If you wish to travel, then the best option at your disposal is public transports such as subway trains, available buses, and electronic vehicles. Walking is an alternative mode of moving around but is the healthiest and cheapest mode. These modes of transportations are efficient in helping you move around the city and discover the city's hidden gems.
Walking is the most eco-friendly means of transport but also because of the traffic jam. As the city has rapidly grown, Hurghada's city has become known for its unending traffic jams. Despite numerous attempts to decongest the town, including increasing the city's parking cost and banning public service vehicles from accessing certain parts of the town center, the streets have continued congested. Away from the city and into the residential suburbs boasts of many trees along many avenues that provide shade and fresh air as you stroll along.
If you are visiting crowded markets, parks, and monuments, you have no option but to walk. Walking during the summer could be tiring. Since this group cannot afford public transport every day to and from work, many use bicycles to move around. The last few months have seen a campaign dubbed Critical Mass initiated to encourage the city's residents. If you cannot travel long distances by walking, you can use an electronic or mechanical bicycle to cover up distances faster. Bicycles are friendly to the environment and your travel budget. You can easily find bike renting stores in almost every district of Hurghada.
Electronic vehicles have started to gain a lot of popularity with high pollution rates amongst locals and tourists. You will find that electric bikes, cars, and bicycles are available in all parts of the city. You can rent one out and explore the city in an eco-friendly way. To promote such vehicles, the Egyptian government has launched many charging stations for users of electronic cars. These users can also avail of specific amenities for using electronic vehicles.
There are a variety of local bus services and minibusses. The routes tend to be somewhat confusing for those who haven't lived in Hurghada for a while. Minibusses are easily recognizable and will stop when you wave and stop where you need to get off. The drivers rarely speak English, so you should know the Arabic name of your destination. These buses are a standard mode of transportation for the locals and are entirely safe for tourists. You can use public buses to travel to different city areas and gain useful information from the locals on the bus. They are an eco-friendly option and very inexpensive as well.
Tram, Train and Subway
Hurghada has an old, slow, but very cheap tram system, the oldest one still running in Africa. The route map is remarkably confusing and changes regularly. They have a flat fare of 2 Egyptian pounds, and tickets can be bought on board. The team has three cars, and the first car in the blue trams is reserved for women only.
Sustainable shopping is a popular trend in the fashion industry as people realize the importance and need for changing their ways and opting for eco-friendly measures. Now a smattering of independent, eclectic stores provides a platform for the country's talented designers and artisans to sell items that truly represent and reflect its creative energy. These items are sourced from locally available resources and consider all environmental aspects to avoid any negative impact. These places are the local food markets, flea markets, second-hand stores, and eco-fashion stores.
These markets serve as the primary source of fresh and quality food products. These markets are better options as they are relatively cheaper and better sources than the frozen and preserved food in the supermarkets and departmental stores. The city has many food markets that serve an array of local dishes as well as exotic foods. Some markets are as follows:
- Hurghada Fish Market
- Metro Market
- Abu Ashara Market
- Market Aswak El Khair
- Spinneys Hurghada
- City Market
Some of these markets have specific days when traders display their merchandise, while others run throughout the week. These markets consist of local businesses and people that sell second-hand products that are reusable. You can find these markets fill with handmade products and represent the local culture and people. Some markets are as follows:
- Marina El Gouna
- Hurghada Marina
- Old Town Sahl Hasheesh
- Luxor Market
Second Hand Stores
The trend of second-hand stores has caught the world by storm; numerous stores have opened where people can buy things they wouldn't usually afford for less than half the price. These stores sell second-hand products that possess the potential for reuse. The trade of second-hand items in the country, especially clothes, has weathered my opposition forms as it is blamed for the collapse of the country's manufacturing industry. Some of the second-hand stores are given below:
- Hurghada Furniture Stores
- Cairo Furniture
- Easy Way Automotive
- Rushden Automotive
- Ram Store Egypt
You will find that eco-fashion is a viral trend among these people. Many models and brands serve such clothing items, so it is gaining a lot of popularity. The country is famous for handicrafts and other homemade items that are green, organic, and eco-friendly. People have become more cautious about how their actions and choices affect the environment and have started doing things to reduce their carbon footprint—the leading eco-fashion house in Hurghada.
The city's local government and municipalities have adopted recycling measures to reduce the city's pollution level. You will find that there are many strict rules regarding the recycling and proper disposal of waste that must be followed by both locals and tourists. Any individual, who fails to follow these rules, is fined. You can find many recycling stores in the city that offer to recycle your waste and efficiently dispose of reusable and recyclable items.
You will find many recycling stores in various districts where you can take your recyclable waste and get it appropriately recycled. It is not a perfect system, but improvements and the dialogue about this mean there is hope. Changing the behavioral habits of these groups will be instrumental in the success of recycling efforts. Residents pay handsomely without really knowing where the waste will end up. While exploring and traveling, make sure to use these containers and vehicles to dispose of the trash properly, or you can get into trouble for violating the laws and environment.
Maintaining its reputation and make the city livable for locals and tourists, the local government and municipalities take specific measures for proper disposal of waste from all Hurghada areas. There are many waste disposal containers located in every street or district to promote and make the people aware of the need for proper waste distribution.
Improper solid waste management to the environment, recycling has not caught on, particularly in middle- and high-income areas where recycled products generate income proportionately too minimal to consider pursuing seriously. The reuse and recycling levels ranged at about one percent for organics, eight percent for paper waste, five percent of plastic waste, 100 percent of reusable metal scrap, and an unknown part of glass recycled. Uncollected solid waste is one of Hurghada's most visible environmental problems.
Work and Study Abroad
You can work in the city as long as you have a work permit. Hurghada's city has a tiny industrial section centered on the natural gas industry that hires a few expatriates. Also, most International schools employ expatriate teachers, mainly language schools. The city has got quite a large number of language schools. There are numerous schools from primary education onwards that accept international students, and instruction languages include English, French, and German.
The student exchange program is an international program that allows students from different countries to study in a foreign country. There are many universities and colleges in the city that are part of the student exchange program. You can enroll yourself in the program and get the opportunity to study in Hurghada. Students have the opportunity to look for one or two semesters abroad as an "exchange student" with a credit transfer system. The most common partner countries are France and Canada.
An au pair is a young foreign person who helps with housework or childcare in exchange for food, a room, and pocket money. The concept of Au pairs is relatively popular in the city and is a great way to get a job for those intending to move to the city. Several agencies and websites connect potential Au pairs with families that need them. One of these websites is "great au pair."
The best chance to stay with some is if they like your company as a foreigner and let you in. The couple helps the family members in education and career to help them build a better life with lots of potentials. You will hardly find an Au Pair or a family participating in such activities as they are accustomed to managing by themselves or with the help of their close relatives or neighbors.
Many volunteering programs in Hurghada focus on solving the city's paramount issues such as animal protection, humanitarian help, protection of the environment, etc. Volunteering activities play an essential role in helping the town resolve significant issues and maintain its heritage and beauty. You can participate in such volunteering activities and programs to broaden your knowledge about the local culture and people. Several voluntary organizations across the city are always looking for volunteers. You can volunteer to work with animals, children, and older people, among other things.