Sharm el-Sheikh travel guide

Sharm el-Sheikh Tourism | Sharm el-Sheikh Guide

You're Going to Love Sharm el-Sheikh

Excellent beaches, beautiful coral reefs, and some of the best dive spots in the world, Sharm El Sheikh may just be the perfect beach vacation destination. Plus, its prime location at the southern tip of the Sinai peninsula and its proximity to the desert give the city an air of mystery and romance.

Also known as the City of Peace due to the many international peace talks that have been held here, Sharm El Sheikh is perfect for a relaxing getaway or a fun-filled adventure. Sunbathe and swim at the beach, explore the Old Town, or visit the region's famous historical sites.

Less than half a century ago, Sharm El Sheikh was a small Bedouin village. Today, it's a world-famous resort that appeals to all ages. Whether you're 8, 18, or 80, there are lots of great reasons to take a closer look at Sharm El Sheikh.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Sharm el-Sheikh

1. It's One of the World's Best Diving Destinations

The Ras Mohammed and Tiran Island reefs are renowned, and you can expect to encounter huge schools of moray, shark, or barracuda on any given day. Take a diving safari to reach less well-known reefs, explore the Blue Hole, or try one of the best wreck dive sites in the world, the SS Thistlegorm.

2. Camel Trekking

Book a guided trek and discover the magical Sinai desert by camel. Both day and night excursions are available and most include a traditional Bedouin meal cooked over an open fire or the chance to climb Mount Matamir or trek to the ancient Nawamis tombs.

3. Saint Catherine's Monastery

Take a day tour from Sharm El Sheikh to Saint Catherine's Monastery, which was carved from the rock at the base of Mount Sinai between 548 and 565 AD. It's one of the world's oldest Christian monasteries and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mount Sinai is considered a sacred site in its own right and believed to be where Moses was given the 10 commandments.

4. It's Egypt's Premiere Red Sea Resort

Year-round sunshine, clean, sandy beaches, and the clear waters of the Red Sea. Na'ama Bay is the city's tourist hub, and you can relax and top up your tan, try some of the beach activities available, or linger over a cool drink at one of the many cafes and restaurants nearby.

5. Try Go Karting

Spend the day at Ghibli Raceway and you'll feel like a Formula One driver. Ghibli is just one of four A Grade-licensed go karting tracks in the world, and it's suitable for kids as well as adults. All equipment is provided and you can choose from four different routes ranging from 750 to 2,808 feet in length. Family and friends can watch from the Lounge Zone.

What to do in Sharm el-Sheikh

1. Ras Mohammed National Park: Feast Your Eyes

At the tip of the Sinai Peninsula, this gem of a national park awaits. It is the country's finest park and known worldwide as an incomparable diving zone. The Red Sea and Gulf of Suez are filled with rich coral reefs teeming with diverse species that create a kaleidoscope of colors. The Yolanda and Shark Reefs are the most popular, and further from shore, you may even catch dolphins frolicking through the water too! Meanwhile, on land, the park is also the perfect place for a picnic and a swim.

2. Naama Bay: Beach Town Galore

Tourism here is based around this sparkling bay; its beach calls out to one and all as the ultimate recreation zone. On land, the surrounding resorts provide the comfort of beach chairs and umbrellas so that the sands are populated all day long by visitors basking in the sun. Out at sea a steady stream of boats is always coming and going against the blue horizon, a picturesque sight. And with everything available to rent you can join in too! Whichever way you choose to enjoy this beach is up to you.

3. Saint Catherine's Monastery: Holy Ground

Notable biblical events are believed to have taken place on this Peninsula, so it makes sense that one of the oldest active monasteries in the world still stands here today. Also known as the Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai, this holy location was built beside the peak where Moses reputedly received the Ten Commandments from God. Its expansive library of ancient manuscripts is second only to the Vatican's, the contents humbling to behold. From the ancient art to time-worn documents, this place is a historical gem.

4. Tiran Island: The Ultimate Day Trip

This island sits in the Straits of Tiran at the point where the Red Sea becomes the Gulf of Aqaba. Cruise through these marine crossroads to reach this unique wonderland - a paradise for scuba diving. The boat ride alone is worth the experience, and upon arrival, pristine beaches and crystal blue waters abound. Beneath the surface a whole other world awaits, brimming with exotic creatures. Well-preserved Jackson Reef is a dynamic ecosystem, home to inhabitants like the manta ray and barracuda!

5. Sharm Old Market: Souvenir Time!

For a genuinely local experience, take a break from the resorts and beaches and head to this Old Market in the south of Sharm El-Sheikh. An open air mall, rows of shops line the streets. Shoes, handicrafts, artwork, jewelry - you name it, this is the place to find it. Window shopping is just as fun as choosing an item and haggling for it. Either way, a stroll through this market is memorable.

1. Ras Mohammed National Park: Feast Your Eyes

At the tip of the Sinai Peninsula, this gem of a national park awaits. It is the country's finest park and known worldwide as an incomparable diving zone. The Red Sea and Gulf of Suez are filled with rich coral reefs teeming with diverse species that create a kaleidoscope of colors. The Yolanda and Shark Reefs are the most popular, and further from shore, you may even catch dolphins frolicking through the water too! Meanwhile, on land, the park is also the perfect place for a picnic and a swim.

2. Naama Bay: Beach Town Galore

Tourism here is based around this sparkling bay; its beach calls out to one and all as the ultimate recreation zone. On land, the surrounding resorts provide the comfort of beach chairs and umbrellas so that the sands are populated all day long by visitors basking in the sun. Out at sea a steady stream of boats is always coming and going against the blue horizon, a picturesque sight. And with everything available to rent you can join in too! Whichever way you choose to enjoy this beach is up to you.

3. Saint Catherine's Monastery: Holy Ground

Notable biblical events are believed to have taken place on this Peninsula, so it makes sense that one of the oldest active monasteries in the world still stands here today. Also known as the Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai, this holy location was built beside the peak where Moses reputedly received the Ten Commandments from God. Its expansive library of ancient manuscripts is second only to the Vatican's, the contents humbling to behold. From the ancient art to time-worn documents, this place is a historical gem.

4. Tiran Island: The Ultimate Day Trip

This island sits in the Straits of Tiran at the point where the Red Sea becomes the Gulf of Aqaba. Cruise through these marine crossroads to reach this unique wonderland - a paradise for scuba diving. The boat ride alone is worth the experience, and upon arrival, pristine beaches and crystal blue waters abound. Beneath the surface a whole other world awaits, brimming with exotic creatures. Well-preserved Jackson Reef is a dynamic ecosystem, home to inhabitants like the manta ray and barracuda!

5. Sharm Old Market: Souvenir Time!

For a genuinely local experience, take a break from the resorts and beaches and head to this Old Market in the south of Sharm El-Sheikh. An open air mall, rows of shops line the streets. Shoes, handicrafts, artwork, jewelry - you name it, this is the place to find it. Window shopping is just as fun as choosing an item and haggling for it. Either way, a stroll through this market is memorable.

Where to Eat in Sharm el-Sheikh

Try Egyptian barbecue dishes like kofta, kebab, and stuffed duck at El Masrien Grill (Qesm Sharm Ash Sheikh), or dine on tasty Middle Eastern cuisine at Beirut Bay Restaurant in Na'ama Bay. Alternatively, book a table at the Reef Grill at the Four Seasons Resort for the best in al fresco dining. You'll pay from E£175 for a simple meal to E£396 for dinner in an upmarket restaurant.

When to visit Sharm el-Sheikh

Sharm el-Sheikh in April
Estimated hotel price
C$ 84
1 night at 3-star hotel
Sharm el-Sheikh in April
Estimated hotel price
C$ 84
1 night at 3-star hotel

Temperatures in Sharm El Sheikh can reach 92 degrees Fahrenheit during the hottest months of June, July, and August. Go from April to May and September to October when the heat is less intense and it's not as busy at the Ras Mohammed National Park, Ras Um Sid, and Tiran Island diving sites. Winter, from November to April is considered the best time to plan a stay in Sharm El Sheikh. It's warm and sunny and average temperatures of 72 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for outdoor activities like camel riding and desert excursions.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Sharm el-Sheikh

Plane

The city is served by Sharm El Sheikh International Airport (SSH), which is 11 miles northeast of the city. Many of the city's leading hotels offer shuttle buses from the airport. Taxis are also available and the fare from the airport to Nabq is E£150-400.

Boat

A boat service operated by International Fast Ferries carries passengers to Sharm El Sheikh from Hurghada four times a week. Tickets cost E£250 (one way) and E£450 (return).

Car

The city can be reached easily by car. Drive down the western coast of the Sinai Peninsula if you're coming from Cairo or down the east coast from Eilat in Israel or Nuweiba and Dahab in Egypt.

Bus

East Delta Travel Company buses from Cairo and Superjet buses from Dahab and Nuweiba arrive at the Sharm El Sheikh bus station, which is 0.62 miles from the Peace Road. The fare from Cairo is E£80. Once you arrive at the bus station, you'll be able to catch a taxi to your hotel.

Airports near Sharm el-Sheikh

Airlines serving Sharm el-Sheikh

Lufthansa
Good (2,146 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,323 reviews)
SWISS
Good (454 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,406 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (278 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (307 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (100 reviews)
Finnair
Good (694 reviews)
Egypt Air
Good (126 reviews)
Air India
Okay (1,054 reviews)
easyJet
Good (564 reviews)
Pegasus Airlines
Good (224 reviews)
Oman Air
Excellent (5 reviews)
SAUDIA
Good (156 reviews)
Wizz Air
Good (373 reviews)
Eurowings
Good (92 reviews)
Royal Jordanian
Good (142 reviews)
FlexFlight
Excellent (1 reviews)
Transavia France
Good (96 reviews)
Luxair
Good (13 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Sharm el-Sheikh

Sharm El Maya - Sharm El Maya, also known as the Old Town, is the downtown district. It's where you'll find the marina, the port, and the Old Market, where you can buy souvenirs, crafts, and even snorkeling gear.

Popular Neighborhoods in Sharm El Sheikh

Na'ama Bay - just 3 miles up the coast from Sharm El Maya, Na'ama Bay is the city's glittering tourist hub. Known for its beautiful beach, the neighborhood also boasts some of the best hotels, nightlife venues, and restaurants.

Shark's Bay - the Shark's Bay area is 4.9 miles north of Na'ama Bay and is known for its many resort hotels and the beautiful beach with views of Tiran Island.

Where to stay in popular areas of Sharm el-Sheikh

Most booked hotels in Sharm el-Sheikh

Rixos Sharm El Sheikh Adult Friendly
Excellent (9.3, Excellent reviews)
C$ 359+
Sunrise Arabian Beach Resort
Excellent (9.1, Excellent reviews)
C$ 159+
Rixos Premium Seagate
Excellent (9.1, Excellent reviews)
C$ 388+
Sultan Gardens Resort
Excellent (8.8, Excellent reviews)
C$ 123+
Tropitel Naama Bay Hotel
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
C$ 93+
Savoy Sharm El Sheikh
Excellent (8.3, Excellent reviews)
C$ 88+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Sharm el-Sheikh

Public Transportation

You'll see blue and white minibuses taking locals to destinations all over the city but it's against the law for them to carry tourists. If you're traveling with a group you may want to rent your own private minibus. Prices start from E£597 per day.

Taxi

Taxis are a convenient way of getting around the city, if somewhat expensive. Many drivers won't use a meter so be sure to agree on a price before boarding. A typical 5-mile trip is E£65-80.

Car

Sharm El Sheik stretches from the Old Town to Shark's Bay and beyond. Rent a car from leading providers like Hertz and Sixt for E£128 per day and see the city at your own pace.

The Cost of Living in Sharm el-Sheikh

Shopping Streets

Buy leather goods at 50 percent less than US prices in the city's markets or visit malls like SOHO Square Sharm El Sheikh and Il Mercato for your favorite brands and designers. Try specialist stores like Beyond Limits on the upper floor of the Na'ama Center or Sharm Scuba Service at Shark's Bay for diving gear and equipment.

Groceries and Other

Stock up on food and essentials in local supermarkets like Carrefour, 24/7, and Metro. Prices are E£19 for 12 large eggs and E£13 for a quart of milk. Be sure to pack sunscreen before leaving home as it can be expensive to buy in Sharm El Sheikh.

Cheap meal
C$ 3.71
A pair of jeans
C$ 24.67
Single public transport ticket
C$ 0.21
Cappuccino
C$ 1.45
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