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Sharm el-Sheikh is a big city, it stretches along the coast for almost 30 kilometers. Therefore, if you plan to relax not only on the territory of the hotel and on the beach, then you will most likely need transport. You can take a taxi, rent a transport, local minibuses, walk on foot, or take hotel buses. We will tell you about all the methods in more detail:
Walking in Sharm el-Sheikh
Sharm el-Sheikh is a fairly comfortable resort for hiking. There are wide roads and there are sidewalks, not very busy traffic. However, the city is very large, stretches for many kilometers along the coast, so it will not be possible to walk everywhere and not always.
For hiking, we recommend taking drinking water and sun protection, especially a headdress. For navigation, so as not to get lost, you can use the map applications in your smartphone. Personally, we prefer to use Organic maps offline maps for this application, Maps.me , OSM, Guru.maps.
Most all-inclusive hotels in Sharm el-Sheikh have their own beach. This beach may not always be within walking distance, and therefore hotels provide a free shuttle service to and from the beach by bus or minibus. Such hotel buses can run only a few times a day according to the schedule, or they can run constantly back and forth, it all depends on the hotel and even the season. Usually schedules are published at the reception or you can check them with the hotel staff. But do not forget that in Egypt everything works very slowly, and promises are not necessarily fulfilled, so even in expensive five-star hotels you can wait for the bus much longer than promised.
Some hotels located far from the center and tourist areas and the city center offer group transfers by buses or minibuses to famous places in the resort, for example in The old Town of Sharm el-Sheikh or in Soho shopping district. They are sent at a certain time, not when you want, but it's still convenient. Such a transfer usually involves one-way delivery, waiting there and delivery back.
In general, this is a good option to travel, a cheaper alternative to a taxi ride and a good replacement for minibus trips, where tourists are always trying to "warm up" for money. For example, in our experience, from a hotel on the outskirts of Sharm el-Sheikh, evening trips to the Soho area were offered for $ 2 per person with a two-hour wait there.
Taxi in Sharm El Sheikh
Egypt is considered the country with the cheapest taxi, but not for tourists. In fact, to get to the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh by taxi at a reasonable price, you need to try very hard. Taxi drivers always try to "breed" tourists for an increased fee, never turn on the meter. Taxi ordering applications Uber and others in Sharm el-Sheikh are not working as of 2023.
Here are tips on using a taxi in Sharm el-Sheikh so as not to go broke:
- Agree on the price of the trip in advance before boarding the car, discuss all the details and make sure that the driver understands you exactly. Ideally, bargain about the price on a calculator (smartphone) until the driver confirms for sure that he will take you at this price and for the whole car, and not for each person.
- Make sure that you have correctly agreed on the currency of the trip, because at the end of the trip it can easily turn from pounds to dollars. It is best to do this right in front of the driver to count out the agreed amount and get an agreement that everything suits him. But the money should be given only at the end of the trip.
- The reasonable price of a trip for tourists starts from $ 1 for a short trip of 1-2 kilometers for the whole car. Initially, you may be given a price of both $ 5 and $ 10. The official price for taxi rides, published on a large city information board for tourists in one of the resort areas in 2022, was 10 Egyptian pounds ( rubles) for boarding and 5 pounds ( rubles) for each kilometer. But, once again, it is unrealistic for tourists to get such a price, and it will be great if you can agree on at least twice the official price.
- You can pay in a taxi with both dollars and Egyptian pounds. And although locals prefer to receive dollars from tourists, in practice it is more profitable to pay in local currency in a taxi (See more about Egypt's currency and exchange rate).
- Always have a trifle, because you may not get the change.
- If you still have to pay with a large bill, before you hand over the money to the driver, tell him step by step how much you give him and how much you expect to receive change. Remember that the Egyptians easily turn on the "I don't hear anything and I don't understand anything" mode, and it takes a lot of patience to get them to surrender and pay honestly.
- Give the money only at the end of the trip and when you are sure that you have been taken to the right place.
- If at the end of the trip the taxi driver starts demanding more from you, and this happens all the time, pay as you agreed at the beginning of the trip. Even if he is very indignant, pay and get out of the car, not paying attention to his screams. For local taxi drivers, this is just part of the "concert", arranged in order to get more money from inexperienced tourists, and nothing more.
Minibuses and buses in Sharm el-Sheikh
The only type of local urban public transport runs along the main streets of the city in Sharm el-Sheikh - fixed–route taxis, there are no large or state-owned city buses here. Travel in minibuses is cheap, but it is inconvenient and not easy for tourists to use them. However, if you get used to minibuses, you can get almost anywhere for a mere penny. But let's make a reservation right away that it is almost impossible for tourists to travel at the prices at which locals travel, and they will still have to pay several times more for the fare. Let's talk about this in more detail:
Minibuses often run from early morning to late evening. Stop at any place at your request: raise your hand to stop the minibus, and say "stop" to the driver to get out. There are stops in some places, but they are mostly useless, except to help hide from the scorching sun.
Travel by minibus in 2022 officially cost from 2.5 to 5.75 Egyptian pounds (approximately- rubles) depending on the distance and route. At least, such prices were published on the city information board (see photo). Perhaps in 2023 or in the future, official prices will increase due to the constant depreciation and inflation. But despite such low official rates, drivers try to charge tourists at least $ 1 per person for any trip. It's expensive, and if you don't want to argue and haggle over the fare, then it's cheaper to take a taxi for short distances (you'll pay for the whole car from $ 1 after haggling) than to pay for everyone on a minibus.
But if you are already an experienced vacationer and are ready to bargain, then it is quite realistic to bring down the price by minibus. Only at the same time you should pay not in dollars, but in local pounds. There are two ways to do this. We have tried both of these methods ourselves, and they are quite working:
- At the entrance to the minibus, you simply pay 5 or 10 pounds per person (the money is transferred to the driver's hands or through other passengers), and upon arrival to the right place, calmly exit, not paying attention to the driver's indignation.
- Before you get on the bus, check the cost with the driver and give the money to him personally in his hands. If the price is called too high, then bargain directly with the money in your hands, i.e. show him 5 or 10 pounds, and if he agrees, then pay in hand. If you do not agree, then just stop the next minibus.
Do not worry if the driver will be indignant and shout when you get out. The bottom line is that if he agreed and took the money at the beginning of the trip, then all these screams are just a "concert" designed for inexperienced tourists.
And now as for the routes. In fact, there is only one route in Sharm el-Sheikh, passing along the main roads El-Salam and El-Shaikh Zayed through the whole city from the Old Town in the south to the Nabq Bay area in the north. But not all minibus drivers go along the entire length of the route, but do as they want. Moreover, sometimes they may decide not to go to the end of the route already during the trip, when there are too few passengers left in the car. This usually happens on the sections from Naama Bay to Nabq Bay, but between the Old Market and Naama Bay they run stably and often.
Therefore, before boarding, you should tell the driver the destination where you need to go, and if the driver confirms and accepts the money, then he must take you. If it doesn't confirm, then catch the next minibus. It is not customary to name hotels or streets as a destination here, because then the minibus driver will want to take you to the hotel as a taxi for an increased fee. It is best to name one of the city districts or famous landmarks as a destination, here are the most popular ones for tourists:
- "Old Town" or "Old Market" is a picturesque area of the Old Town in the south of Sharm el-Sheikh, a wonderful place for shopping and evening walks.
- "Naama Bay" is actually the center of the city, the most social and fun place.
- "Soho" is a modern entertainment center, a place for shopping and evening absenteeism.
- "Karefur" is the largest supermarket in the city, and from here you can walk to local attractions: Coptic Church, Catholic Church and El Mustafa Mosque.
In general, it is worth saying that if you want to use local minibuses in peace, then you need to be well-versed in the geography of the resort and it will not hurt to use map applications in your smartphone to keep track of where you need to get out while driving. Therefore, we advise you to read our review about the areas of Sharm el-Sheikh here...
And here are some more tips on using minibuses:
- Try not to get into empty minibuses. If there are locals in the minibus, the drivers will not get impudent and will not deceive and breed you too obviously, and will not take you to the right place as a taxi.
- Pay for the ride at the entrance or as soon as possible at the beginning of the movement.
- Give money without change, and pay better with local money.
In Sharm el-Sheikh, you can rent a bicycle, motorcycle or car, but the rental prices are high.
- Bike rental costs from $ 5 per hour or $ 20 per day. There are very few rentals, you'll have to look.
- A scooter or motorcycle can be rented from $ 40 per day. You will need a passport and international rights. There are very few rentals, you can't find them via the Internet, you'll have to search on the spot.
- Car rental in Sharm el-Sheikh is not very popular, prices are very high. There are rentals at the airport and already at resorts, but you can find a car in advance via the Internet. You will need a passport and international rights issued in addition to the usual national rights. In Russia, they can be obtained through the website of the State Services, in the MFC or local branches of the REO traffic police, by paying the state duty. It is not required to take an additional exam.
If you decide to rent a vehicle, then you need to be prepared for the chaos that is happening here on the roads. Drivers in Egypt are very inept, constantly cutting off and honking at each other, so you need nerves of steel and a good reaction.