During the past 30-years, the city of Hurghada has grown to become one of the most popular holiday cities in Egypt and the Red Sea area. Each month hundreds of thousands of tourists from Egypt and abroad visit the city of Hurghada.
Here is all you need to know about the city Hurghada and its neighbourhoods.
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People all over the world travel to Hurghada to enjoy crystal clear waters of the Red Sea and the unique atmosphere of the city. There is no place like Hurghada.
Hurghada is best known because of its crystal clear waters and climate. The weather is good all year round. Together, these two make Hurghada one of the best holiday destinations for both sun-seekers and sea lovers. Whether you are travelling with your family, friends or partner, there is something for everyone.
Egypt is a holiday destination, where you can spend a whole week inside a luxury resort without leaving the hotel area at all. I don’t recommend this, but it’s possible.
Leave your hotel resort and go to explore the city of Hurghada, there is a lot to see and experience. Everything in Hurghada is possible. So welcome to explore Hurghada!
As a city, Hurghada is not very big. According to Wikipedia, there are only 260 000 inhabitants in Hurghada. In contrast, 9,1 million people living are in Cairo (population of Egypt is about 95 million.). So, when compared with Cairo, Hurghada is a very small city.
A city of Hurghada has three main areas called: Sakkala, El Dahar and El Mamsha.
What comes to the names of these areas, there are lots of different versions and spellings for each neighbourhood. I assume that the reason for this are the translation made from the Arabic language. For example, Sakala can be also Sakkala, Sakalla, Saqqala or Saqala. Don’t get confused, if I use different spelling (I’m also very confused myself).
Next: Hurghada neighbourhoods
Most of the citizens in Hurghada have moved there from the other cities in Egypt for work. There are also lots of foreigners who are working in the tourism industry. Actually, it is quite hard to find anyone, whose family is originated from Hurghada.
At 80s Hurghada was a small fish village. Now it has spread for over 20 kilometres along by the Red Sea coastline. Who would have believed this 30-years ago?
El Mamsha, Sakkala and El Dahar in Hurghada
Like said earlier, there are three main areas in the city of Hurghada. You should visit all these areas on your holiday to Hurghada. All the areas are different from each other and they have their own special features. This is one of the reasons why I love Hurghada.
These three areas are:
El Mamsha promenade (Village roads), Sakkala (Sheraton Street/Road) and El Dahar (Downtown).
The distance between these areas is from between five to ten kilometres. El Mamsha (Mc Donald’s) and Saqqala (Sheraton Street) are about five kilometres away from each other. And the distance from Saqqala/Sheraton Street to El Dahar is also about five kilometres.
Five kilometres taxi ride should cost about 20 Egyptian pounds. So, when you travel from El Mamsha to Sakkala or from Sakkala to El Dahar 20 Egyptian pounds is a fair price.
A distance between El Dahar and El Mamsha is about 10 kilometres. It will then cost a maximum of 40 Egyptian pounds to drive from El Dahar to El Mamsha or otherwise.
El Mamsha (also called Village Roads, New Hurghada, Promenade)
El Mamsha is the newest area of Hurghada. it’s also called Village Roads, New Hurghada and Promenade. It is the newest area in Hurghada, mostly built for tourists.
Many of the popular hotels are located along by El Mamsha: Siva Grand Beach, Grand Hotel, Sindbad, White Beach, Steigenberger Al Dau and so on.
El Mamsha is a four-kilometres long walking district, where you can shop, drink, eat, play or just relax. The busiest and the most crowded parts of El Mamsha are at the end and beginning of it. It’s a perfect place for a stroll and even for exercising.
There are shops for that sell souvenirs, clothes, shoes and so on along by El Mamsha. It’s not the cheapest area to shop, mostly because it’s close to the hotels and tourists. Rents are in this area are higher, and tourists have their own special prices.
If you get hungry, you find international and local fast-food restaurants (MC Donald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, GAD) from Mamsha. There are also lots of other good restaurants, especially in Esplanada mall, for example, Esplanada Sphinx and Magalena.
One of the most popular nightclubs in Hurghada called Little Buddha locates at the beginning of promenade. At the end of the promenade, there is another popular bar called Papas. Papas Bar is not far away from the Hard Rock Cafe. If you are looking for a proper nightclub/bar these are worth visiting.
Also, many Egyptians spend their free time in El Mamsha. At last, Mamsha is for everyone, not just for tourists. If you want to go for a walk, to shop or eat, El Mamsha is perfect a place for it. There are no cars driving around therefore it’s safe and easy to go even with kids and strollers.
For me, Mamsha is too hot in the daytime, but in the evenings it’s a perfect place to go for a walk and relax. If you want to feel hot and get tanned on a cold winter day head to El Mamsha. It is hot out there. Whether you choose to go day or night, it is a place worth visiting. Depending on your location, you get there easily by taxi, bus or feet.
The area called El Kawther next to El Mamsha is also worth visiting.
Sakkala (Sheraton Street/Road)
Sheraton Street or Sheraton Road (Sakkala, Sakala, Saqqala) is one of my favourite area in Hurghada. It’s a long road filled with shops and restaurants side by side.
It’s also a busy and noisy area, where crossing a road is an experience itself. But I love it. If El Mamsha is for tourists and El Dahar for locals, Sheraton area is a mixture of both of them.
If you want to have a cheap beer and do some shopping Sheraton Road/Sakkala is excellent for it. There are lots of souvenir shops and everything that a tourist may possibly need.
Street vendors may be a little bit too eager sometimes (most of the time), but try to remember that money does not come easy, and the competition between the shops and workers is really hard. Remembering this may help you not to lose your mind after a few minutes walking on Sheraton Street.
If you are not interested in buying anything, say -La Shukran, which means no thanks in Arabic and keep walking. It may feel impolite, but if you start to chat with everyone, you’ll eventually visit every shop in Sheraton.
If it gets too stressful, you can always calm yourself down with a cold beer or hot coffee, whatever you prefer. There are also few side streets by Sheraton road which are worth visiting. One of them is Sherry Street. Sheraton is not far away from Marina, where you should absolutely visit.
Seagull, Minamark, Bella Vista, El Pacha and Regina Royal resorts are the hotels located on the Sheraton Street.
Next: El Dahar
El Dahar-the old Hurghada
El Dahar is the oldest part of the city of Hurghada. If you want to explore “the real Egypt” you must visit El Dahar. Take a taxi to El Dahar square and start exploring the area.
From these three areas, El Dahar is the cheapest one. If you want to find something cheap, then it’s El Dahar where you should head at. There is the bazaar (souk) area in Dahar, where things can go wild. But don’t worry, the only thing goes wild are the prices. Just remember don’t pay the first price asked.
In El Dahar, you are allowed and expected to haggle, unless it’s a shop with fixed prices. Have fun!
Quality and price do go hand in hand, which means that you find lots of cheaply made in China stuff there, but also lots of good authentic Egyptian products.
Last time, when I needed to buy a new dress, I went to El Dahar for shopping. Finally, I found a really nice dress for 280 Egyptian pounds (LE.). I am sure the same dress in Mamsha would have been at least 500 Egyptian pounds. So, it was absolutely worth going. You never know what you find!
If it gets too hot and you want to shop in the shops with fixed prices. Go to visit Hurghada city centre shopping mall, which is a walking distance away from El Dahar square.
Use a taxi or microbus, leave your hotel and go to explore the city of Hurghada. Pack your bag with a good mood and smile! You’ll be surprised, what you are going to find. Hurghada has lots to offer. Enjoy!
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