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Hurghada Tips For First Time Visitors

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If this is your first time visiting Hurghada then you will want to find some of the best Hurghada tips to make your vacation as smooth as possible.

Hurghada is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Egypt and we truly had an amazing time when we went.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic break away, wanting to explore more or just looking to relax, Hurghada is a wonderful destination in Egypt to visit.

There are plenty of different activities for you to enjoy in Hurghada to make it an even more memorable experience. Whilst we were there, one of our favourite day trips from Hurghada was quad biking in the desert.

Amy & Liam enjoying the Egyptian sun with palm trees behind them.

One of the biggest worries that people have when visiting different areas of Egypt often concerns safety. We have already created a complete guide on safety in Hurghada however, we have included some tips below too so that you can find them easily.

Where is Hurghada?

Hurghada is located in Egypt close to the coast and was originally a small fishing village. Over time, it has expanded and now has become a hub for tourists to enjoy relaxation during their vacation.

It is a city within the Red Sea Governorate and is unsurprisingly located right next to the Red Sea. Hurghada itself stretches around 22 miles across the coast making it a perfect retreat for sun, sea, sand and plenty of relaxation.

How Many Days in Hurghada?

How many days to spend in Hurghada really depends on what you’re planning to do whilst you’re there. There’s plenty of day trips in Hurghada for you to enjoy so if you’re planning to head over to Cairo or Luxor then you may want to spend more days in Hurghada to allow for these long day trips.

If you’re looking for just some relaxation then you may want to spend a week or two to really see the effects of this. For those that are avid sightseers we would recommend between 5 days – 1 week so then you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Amy and Liam with protectors for quad biking.

Sometimes you may just want to have a flying visit to Hurghada so that you can see everything that you’re planning to and then move on to the next destination. To take advantage of most of the main sights of Hurghada, between 2-3 days would be plenty without adding on time for relaxing, boat trips or day trips.

Things to Know Before Travelling to Egypt

Shopping

  • Haggling

It may come as no surprise but when you’re visiting Egypt, one of the most common things you need to know is that you need to haggle for prices when you’re out and about.

In Egypt, you will often be offered the tourist price which is usually much more expensive than what the item your purchasing is absolutely worth.

Don’t be afraid to say no and offer a lower price that is much more reasonable. Of course when you’re haggling, don’t go too low that the local won’t earn any money. This can be taken as an insult to them and their products.

Try to find out what the exchange rate is before visiting Hurghada and Egypt in general so that you know roughly how much you’re being asked for when it comes to products & day trips.

  • Tipping

Tipping is very common in Egyptian culture so be prepared to tip a lot. This is when knowing the conversion rate from your local currency really comes in handy.

Amy and Liam enjoying some drinks at Labranda Royal Makadi. One of the best Hurghada tips is to ensure that you know your alcohol limits.

We’ve been there before where we’ve given a tip and realised that it was much more money than we wanted to give. Do your research for your own sake as you don’t want to be tipping £50 / $50 for someone serving you drinks.

Make sure that you really know how much money you’re giving as a tip but also be generous. Often, this is a lot of money for the locals and the tip is really appreciated.

  • Carry Cash

Whilst you can use a credit card whilst you’re travelling around Egypt, not everywhere you go will accept a card so it is always worth having cash on you.

As we mentioned in the last Hurghada tips, it is really common to offer a tip for services in Egypt so it is worth carrying cash so that you can provide a tip when you’ve received good service.

Often people may be worried about carrying cash around Egypt. Whilst we’ve not had any personal issues in Hurghada so you should be fine with carrying cash but it is always worth being mindful of who is around you.

If you do feel nervous carrying around cash then there are plenty of safety tips you can implement. One of the best ways to keep your cash safe and prevent pickpockets is by using a money belt. We’ve shared one of the money belts that we use from Amazon below just to save you some time…

Food, Drinks & Restaurants

  • Use Bottled Water

It might go without saying but when you’re exploring around Egypt then where possible try to use bottled water. Whilst it isn’t very eco-friendly, the tap water will most likely make you sick so it’s best to avoid this as much as possible.

  • Know Your Limits

The alcohol is a lot stronger in Egypt so you may find that it will hit your head much sooner than it would if you were back home.

Keep your wits about you especially so you can keep safe if you’re solo travelling. Take your time and if you’re drinking alcohol get used to the alcohol in Egypt and know your limits.

Liam enjoying some shisha at one of the perfume shops at Labranda Royal Makadi.
  • Don’t Drink Alcohol in Public

Whilst there are plenty of places that will serve alcohol within Hurghada, it is prohibited to drink alcohol in public places.

If you’re looking to enjoy a few alcohol beverages then head to a bar, restaurant, club or your resort.

Relationships

  • Avoid Public Displays of Affection

If you’ve never travelled to Egypt before then you may be unaware that showing signs of public affection in certain places can be considered disrespectful.

Some areas within Hurghada are absolutely fine with this because it is a more touristy destination within Egypt. However, the best thing to do is try not to be over the top and draw attention to yourselves.

This does come back to our tip about being respectful of other cultures. However, there are plenty of romantic things to do together in Hurghada but just keep the PDA to a minimum.

  • Unmarried Couples
The bed at Labranda Royal Makadi.

Depending on where you’re staying in Hurghada, there are some hotels in Egypt that will not let unmarried couples share a room and you may find that your booking is cancelled.

In touristy areas such as Hurghada, this doesn’t happen too frequently but it may be worth enquiring prior to booking to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you.

When we stayed in Hurghada, we got to stay at Labranda Royal Makadi Hotel which is an amazing hotel in Makadi Bay.

At the time we were unmarried and we never had any issues with this and the staff did not mention it to us at any point. As we say, you may not have any issues but it is something worth bearing in mind when planning a trip to Egypt.

General

  • Bring Your Own Toilet Paper

When you’re leaving your resort or going on a day trip in Hurghada, you may want to take your own toilet paper with you just to be on the safe side.

There may be quite a few toilets that you use throughout your time in Egypt that are not quite what you’re used to. Often they may not have many facilities such as toilet roll so it’s worth having some handy just to be sure.

  • Don’t Drink the Tap Water

We mentioned in a previous tip that when you’re eating out and about to try and use bottled water. This is the same for wherever you’re travelling to in Egypt.

The tap water can make you sick so it is best to avoid drinking the water. Try to use bottled water wherever you can or you may find that some hotels have filtered water systems but it is always worth checking.

Amy & Liam quad biking through the desert.

Safety

  • Watch Your Drink For Spiking

In complete honesty, we would advise this tip for any country that you’re visiting. Especially over the last few years, drink spiking seems to have increased significantly.

Whilst it can happen to anyone, this is in particular important for any females that are travelling whether it is alone or with a group of people.

There are plenty of different products that you can purchase which can deter people spiking your drink or alerting you that your drink has been tampered with.

These are really helpful tools to have with you whilst you’re travelling no matter your gender or the country you’re travelling in. We’ve added a few recommendations below from Amazon that may help you in these circumstances.

  • Security checks

When you’re travelling around Hurghada and Egypt in general, you will see a lot of security checks. There will be barriers in your hotel, police and military personnel patrolling around public areas.

This can be a bit frightening the first time you see all these security checks but it is very normal and absolutely nothing to worry about.

If anything, we actually find this much more reassuring than frightening. This is because we know that security is taken seriously and it is monitored who is coming in and out of the hotels and local attractions.

What to Wear in Hurghada

As Hurghada has become quite a touristy destination, it can be a lot more relaxed in terms of what is appropriate to wear than other parts of Egypt.

We’ve shared some tips for Hurghada below so that you know what to wear whilst you’re travelling to Hurghada. This should hopefully answer any questions or doubts that you may have when choosing what to pack for Hurghada.

Amy & Liam in front of the Christmas tree at Labranda Royal Makadi Hotel.
  • If in doubt, cover it up – you may be feeling nervous wondering what is acceptable and respectable to wear in certain places in Hurghada. We would recommend checking the attractions website before visiting to see if there is any information on what you should wear. If it’s not clear or you’re not certain, just cover up anyway. Avoid displaying your navel, shoulders, ankles etc and cover these up if you’re uncertain.
  • Cover yourself when visiting mosques or religious places. Similar to the last point, when you are visiting mosques or any other religious places, it is respect to dress conservatively and try to cover up ankles, shoulders, navel etc. No matter where you’re traveling to in Egypt, this is the custom and it is seen as disrespectful if you don’t follow these rules. Before entering any sites like this, you can check online to ensure that you are following this or there are often signs prior to entry which clarify what is allowed and not allowed.
  • Be respectful – no matter what country you’re in, we think that it is so important to be respectful whilst you’re visiting. This includes being respectful of the locals beliefs, culture and country in general. Try to do some research before visiting Hurghada so that you really understand the Egyptian culture and customs.
  • Cool clothing – Especially if you’re visiting mosques or any religious sites, you will be dressed in long sleeves and long trousers. You want to ensure that you take clothing that is quite cool to wear for the warm weather in Hurghada. There are some times of the year that is much cooler but it is still too warm to be fully clothed especially if you’re not used to that weather.
  • Use a scarf or shawl – This is a great Hurghada tip for women that are wanting to dress conservatively but are also staying in resorts that accept less conservative wear.
Amy & Liam enjoying the speedboats in Hurghada with the town behind them.

Is Hurghada Expensive?

As a rule, we wouldn’t say that Hurghada is expensive but this really can vary throughout the year.

During peak seasons, you will find that everything is a little more expensive than you would generally expect than say during the winter.

Amy & Liam enjoying some Egyptian tea with the sand people in the desert.

However, we found that there are a lot of tours for the whole day that only cost between £5 – £10 and in this instance, they are actually very affordable.

We did find that the hotels can be a little more expensive than what we are used to in other areas of the world. However, there are still plenty of affordable options available for anyone that is planning to travel to Hurghada on a budget.

Generally speaking, Hurghada is a really affordable place to travel as long as you do your research in advance and shop around for prices. Haggling is also a really important factor to make sure that you get the best price for the things you’re purchasing.

Do I Need a Visa to Visit Hurghada Egypt?

When you’re visiting Hurghada, Egypt, a visa is required by all visitors entering. You will also need a visa if you’re planning to visit Luxor or Marsa Alam too.

You can get your visa for Hurghada when you arrive in Egypt and it usually costs around £25 / $32. It can be paid in GBP, Euros or USD.

Alternatively, you can get this booked online in advance which is the option that we chose. We found that this was a much easier way to do it and the visa was confirmed very quickly too.

Quad bikes on a private beach just outside of the desert.

Enjoy Your Time in Hurghada

Most of the time when you’re researching about visiting Hurghada or Egypt in general, you will hear a lot of horror stories and warnings especially when it comes to safety in Hurghada.

Do not believe everything you read, Hurghada is a really safe location and there are plenty of fun things to do whilst you’re visiting too.

Sign for paradise beach.

There are so many amazing things to do whilst you’re in Hurghada so make sure to enjoy every minute. Whether you’re parasailing over the Red Sea, quad biking through the desert or visiting the infamous Paradise Island. You’ll have an amazing time in Hurghada so be sure to savour every moment.

Use these tips so that you have an even better time in Hurghada and travel savvy. Make sure to check out our other Hurghada resources below to find more information.

Hurghada Resources

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