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The 7 best things to do in Aswan

Located along the banks of the Nile, a visit to Aswan will take you back thousands
of years. Famous for its quarries of granite for the creation of obelisks and
statues, it was also a hub of trade and commerce even in these remote fringes of
southern Egypt.

  • Unfinished Obelisk

    1. Unfinished Obelisk

    Had it not been for a crack to appear during construction, this granite monument
    would have stood 120 feet high. The site also shows the ancient use of stone
    carving techniques.

  • Nubian Museum

    2. Nubian Museum

    The museum showcases a panorama of local history, with exhibits that include
    6,000-year-old pottery and horse armoury found in tombs from the 5th and 7th

  • Elephantine Island

    3. Elephantine Island

    The ancient town of Abu, located at the southern end of the island, was once a
    trading and economic center. The island's name also reflects its former role in
    ivory trade.

  • Sehel Island

    4. Sehel Island

    Many travelers, who arrived here in ancient times, left inscriptions in stones to
    record historical events. The Famine Stela tells of a seven-year drought and

  • Abu Simbel Temples

    5. Abu Simbel Temples

    Two temples - the Great Temple and the Small Temple - comprise the complex on
    the banks of the Nile. Construction took 20 years to complete during the reign of
    Ramesses II.

  • Temple of Isis at Philae

    6. Temple of Isis at Philae

    Though the original site lays under Lake Nasser, the ancient temple on a small
    island reflects the popularity of the Cult of Isis that was favored throughout the
    Roman Empire.

  • Temple of Kom Ombo

    7. Temple of Kom Ombo

    Built during the Ptolemaic Dynasty, this 'double temple' has duplicated rooms, such
    as halls and courts, for two different gods: the crocodile god Sobek and the falcon
    god Horus.

Frequently asked questions about Aswan

What top attractions are a must-see in Aswan?

Planning Your Visit

  • How many days to spend in Aswan?

    You can spend four days visiting the attractions of Aswan, but add another day if
    you plan to travel to the Abu Simbel Temples.

  • Getting around

    For the adventurous type, there are minibuses and vans to travel through the city.
    If you ever take a taxi, always set the price before getting in. You can take a felucca,
    a typical boat on the Nile, to reach Elephantine Island and other sites on the
    western bank of the river. The Temple of Kom Ombo is 28 miles from Aswan, and
    you can reach it by taxi or on an organized tour.

  • Getting to Abu Simbel

    When traveling independently, it's best to arrange transportation by coach to the site, which is about 3.5 hours south of Aswan. Keep in mind that the journey begins very early in the morning. Alternatively, you can fly on EgyptAir. Some people decide to stay the night in order to see the sound and light show.

  • Where to stay in Aswan

    Many visitors stay on Nile cruise boats that arrive in Aswan. However, you'll find
    large hotels along the river, with a couple on the little islands. There are smaller
    accommodations in and around the city center, also known as the Corniche.

Good to know

  • Language
    Modern Standard Arabic
  • Currency
    Egyptian Pound EGP (£)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
  • Best time to visit
    From October to May, the temperatures will dip down to manageable heat, unlike the summer months that can be unforgivingly hot. The closer to Christmas and New Year's, the higher the prices and greater the crowds, so plan accordingly.

Other Sightseeing Options in Aswan

Want to discover all there is to do in Aswan? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Aswan

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 45 reviews

It was a more than wonderful trip, and their appointments at all stations of the trip were set and they were always present before the time, and this made me very happy. All those I dealt with on my itinerary were wonderful and cooperative, whether they were drivers or tour guides. I do not forget to mention Sister Silvana, who was responsible for coordinating and following up the stages The course of my trip was professional, elegant and very cooperative, and also her response to my inquiries throughout the day was very fast and adequate, which made me feel safe in the way of her constant interest and classy dealings. I advise and from my experience to deal with them

Amazing tour must Do! What can I say, we did a wonderful Nile Cruise with Ocean air Tours , we have to say that the company made a marvelous tour also wonderful Experience , it was a great service at the boat we enjoy it so much. thanks so much for this wonderful service Our OceanAir guide was very friendly and kind. He helped us through the tour and has been always available for us , the room were clean and the food was top notch I would definitely do it again in the future I would like to extend my special thanks to *Rania Al-Afifi* the reservation officer, who contacted us throughout our stay and cared for us.

We took a 4 night cruise with Blue Shadow cruise boat from Luxor to Aswan. We were amazed by incredible sceenery seen from the boat and unique historical sites along the route. It is the best way to explore southern Egypt. Our guide Ahmed made sure we had an unforgettable experience. Visits to all sites were well organized by transport from the boat. We didn't wait anywhere in line to enter any site, which was a delight. All meals were included in this trip and food on the boat was very good with good variaty each day. We would highly recommend Nile cruise to anyone visiting Egypt.

Our guide Ramzy was very knowledgeable, we learnt a lot about Egyptian history with him. He was always there for us and made sure that we didn’t have any problems. I would totally recommend him to our family and friends. Just be aware that you have to do a lot of tipping, it seems is the way it works here. But apart from that the quality of the tour is excellent.

At Blue Shadow, very friendly staff who warm welcomes you and greets you everytime. Everybody paying attention to every detail to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Really felt at home. Our guide Ahmed has always keen to give detailed information and aswers every question. Really enjoyed it!