Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt: The Ultimate Guide

Sharm El-Sheikh is one of Egypt’s most popular tourist destinations – with good reason – offering visitors a unique combination of relaxation, adventure, and luxury. Sharm is located on the Sinai Peninsula’s southern tip, renowned for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life. The city has numerous ancient landmarks, including the 12th-century Monastery of Saint Catherine and the historic Old Town of Sharm El-Maya. 

Sharm is one of the best places to stay in Egypt if you are looking for a base from where you can easily explore the rest of Egypt. Whether you’re looking to explore Egypt’s rich history, enjoy the sun and sea, or relax in style, use this guide to plan your next Sharm El-Sheikh vacation.

Best Known For: Enjoying the Red Sea

sharm el sheikh red sea

Sharm El-Sheikh is world-renowned for its stunning coastline along the Red Sea. The warm waters of the Red Sea are home to a diverse range of marine life, including over a thousand species of fish and hundreds of coral varieties. This makes it a paradise for divers, who can explore the vibrant underwater world and see everything from tiny seahorses to massive whale sharks.

There are plenty of other ways to enjoy the Red Sea in Sharm El-Sheikh. Why not go snorkeling with our by take a glass-bottomed boat excursion, or relax on one of the many beaches, relishing the breathtaking vistas?

Sharm El-Sheikh: Essential Travel Information

MoneyThe currency of Egypt is the Egyptian pound (EGP).

ATMs are common, especially in tourist areas, so you can quickly get cash. Major hotels and businesses will usually accept payment by credit card. However, it is not uncommon for smaller hotels and businesses to expect cash payments.

Tipping or “Baksheesh” is expected in Egypt. Tips are used to show appreciation for good service and are a living, breathing part of Egyptian culture.
LanguageThe main language spoken in Egypt is Arabic.

Don’t worry, English is commonly taught in schools in Egypt with many of the population speaking at least some English.
TransportationThere are regular local buses operating throughout Sharm El-Sheikh and Egypt as a whole.

Another option is, of course, taxi travel. Taxi drivers in Egypt do not operate a standardized fare system, so you should always negotiate an upfront amount before beginning your journey.

Another great way to explore the area is with one of our amazing Sharm El-Sheikh tours. 
CultureWe have a helpful Guide to Egyptian Culture and Customs that will help you to get a handle on local culture and customs. 
ClothingAs an Islamic country, the clothing in Egypt is generally more conservative and traditional. Public modesty is valued very highly, so be sure to dress appropriately. For a more comprehensive overview, check out our Egypt clothing guide.

Interactive Map of Sharm El-Sheikh

More Things to See in Sharm El-Sheikh

mount sinai sunrise camel

What else is there to do in Sharm El-Sheikh, you ask?

Mount Sinai: Visiting Mount Sinai is an unforgettable experience that should be at the top of any traveler’s list when exploring Sharm El-Sheikh. One of the most popular ways to experience Mount Sinai is by taking a sunrise tour. This guided excursion will have you hiking to the mountain’s summit in the early morning hours, arriving just in time to witness the breathtaking sunrise over the surrounding desert landscape.

Discover the Desert: The rugged desert expanse is just waiting to be explored. We offer an unforgettable two-day camel tour and desert camping experience departing from Sharm El-Sheikh – perfect for exploring the stunning desert landscape.

Saint Catherine Monastery: This ancient relic – dating back to the 6th century – will leave you amazed. Visit the UNESCO site that draws travelers and pilgrims alike.

Where to Stay

Sharm El-Sheikh is filled with luxurious resorts boasting private beaches and top-class amenities. When considering where to stay in Sharm El-Sheikh, there are many popular areas to consider.

Old Town: Sharm El-Maya, also known as the Old Town, is perfect for travelers who want to immerse themselves in the local culture and experience the traditional way of life in the city.

Na’ama Bay: Located just 3 miles up the coast from Sharm El Maya, Na’ama Bay is known for its beautiful beach. It boasts some of the city’s best hotels, nightlife venues, and restaurants.

Shark’s Bay: Shark’s Bay is known for its many resort hotels and beautiful beaches with views of Tiran Island. Perfect for a relaxing beach vacation with plenty of amenities and activities.

If you’re still feeling spoiled for choice, our Egypt package tours offer an unforgettable experience with expert local tour guides to renowned destinations and attractions, taking care of all the details for you.

Sheikh El-Sharm’s Restaurants & Markets

sharm el sheikh food market

Sharm El-Sheikh is a culinary paradise, offering many food options and vibrant markets. The Old Market is a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts, with its narrow alleyways filled with eclectic shops and bustling stalls. Here, you can immerse yourself in the riveting culture, rub shoulders with the locals, and explore a variety of traditional Egyptian goods and wares.

The market is a treasure trove for food lovers, with enticing aromas filling the air as vendors serve mouth-watering delicacies such as morish koftas, succulent kebabs, and fresh seafood. Sharm El-Sheikh’s diverse culinary scene offers street food to sit-down restaurants, satisfying every palate.

If you want to explore more of the delicious food in Sharm, consider booking one of our Egypt Food Tours.

Our Recommendation: Things to Book Ahead 

When traveling anywhere, there is always a list of things you should book beforehand. We recommend ensuring that your accommodation and your airport transportation are arranged before you arrive in Sharm.

Sharm El-Sheikh is a popular choice for travelers looking for a base to explore the rest of Egypt. One of our most popular tours, the Cairo and Highlights of Egypt 4-Day Tour departing from Sharm, books up quickly, so we always recommend booking this one in advance. 
Our Tours Leaving from Sharm El-Sheikh are also highly recommended to check out. Additionally, this range of Package Tours is best for adventurous travelers who want to see the best of Egypt.

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