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Things to do in Aswan

Things to do in  Aswan

Welcome to Aswan

Egypt’s southernmost (and perhaps prettiest) city is often overlooked as a destination in its own right. Most visitors pile off Luxor-Aswan Nile cruises for a day’s whistle-stop sightseeing, skimming its surface before returning to their air-conditioned boats. Yet, much like the Nile’s gushing waters, Aswan overflows with things to do. Marvel at the Philae Temple, Unfinished Obelisk, and High Dam; ride a white-sailed felucca boat on the lapping river; and explore Nubian villages, museums, and souks. UNESCO-listed Abu Simbel also beckons—its colossal Lake Nasser–side temples make an easy day trip.

Top 15 attractions in Aswan

#1
Philae Temple (Temple of Isis)

Philae Temple (Temple of Isis)

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Perched on an island in the Nile River, Philae Temple is ancient history that’s been saved stone by stone. A relocation effort moved Philae Temple to Agilkia Island when the UNESCO World Heritage Site was threatened. Now, hieroglyphic reliefs abut soaring columns, with sanctuaries dedicated to the ancient gods Horus, Isis, and Hathor.More
#2
Nile River

Nile River

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Measuring a mighty 4,150 miles (6,680 kilometers) from end to end, the Nile is the world’s longest river. It’s also the lifeblood of Egypt, flowing through the heart of the Sahara desert, and passing through cities, including Khartoum, Aswan, Luxor, and Cairo, before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea at Alexandria.More
#3
Abu Simbel Temples

Abu Simbel Temples

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Built as royal tombs, the Great Temple of Ramses II and the Temple of Hathor are some of Egypt’s best known archeological sites. Step past the enormous sandstone statues carved into the temple facades, and explore the interiors, which are decorated with art and hieroglyphics.More
#4
Aswan High Dam

Aswan High Dam

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Built to control the Nile River’s annual floods, the Aswan High Dam transformed Egypt’s Nile Valley and created the vast Lake Nasser. The sheer scale of the dam is impressive, and at the top, you’ll find sweeping views of the lake and surrounding desert.More
#5
Kom Ombo Temple

Kom Ombo Temple

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A pair of mirror-image sanctuaries dedicated to the gods Sobek and Horus, Kom Ombo Temple dominates a gorgeous site at the edge of the Nile River. Inside the temple itself, a pair of hypostyle halls are decked in long lines of hieroglyphics, leading to more antechambers, ritual spaces, and even a secret passageway used by ancient priests.More
#6
Temple of Horus (at Edfu)

Temple of Horus (at Edfu)

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Vast and beautifully preserved, complete with its original roof, the Temple of Horus (Edfu Temple still dominates the little Nile-side town of Edfu. Completed by Cleopatra’s father in the first century BC, it’s dedicated to the falcon-headed god Horus and is one of Egypt’s largest ancient temples.More
#7
Unfinished Obelisk

Unfinished Obelisk

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Aswan’s granite quarries supplied raw materials for some of ancient Egypt’s greatest monuments, and the partially excavated Unfinished Obelisk is a rare chance to see that work in progress. Mysteries surround the monolith in Aswan’s Northern Quarries. At the site, you’ll also find ancient rock paintings left behind by stone workers.More
#8
Nubian Villages (Siou and Koti)

Nubian Villages (Siou and Koti)

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Narrow lanes are lined with gardens and brightly painted houses in the Elephantine Island villages of Siou and Koti. Trails link the two communities, where Arabic blends with the sounds of the Nubian language. In between the colorful homes, find locals offering souvenirs, henna tattoos, mint tea, and photo ops with captive crocodiles.More
#9
Nubian Museum

Nubian Museum

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Established in association with UNESCO to preserve the ancient Nubian culture, which was devastated when the Nile was dammed in 1970, the Nubia Museum is one of Aswan’s most fascinating and least-visited attractions. Exhibits run from 6,500 years ago to the present day, from the Kingdom of Kush to contemporary folk culture.More
#10
Aswan Botanical Garden

Aswan Botanical Garden

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Created by World War I Field Marshal Lord Kitchener while he was Governor of Egypt, the Aswan Botanical Garden is a tranquil tropical oasis on a Nile island that still bears Kitchener’s name. Birds sing and insects hum among a wealth of palms and plants sourced from Asia, Africa, and beyond.More
#11
Lake Nasser (Lake Nubia)

Lake Nasser (Lake Nubia)

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One of the world’s largest artificial lakes, Lake Nasser was formed when the Aswan High Dam successfully controlled the Nile, flooding around 2,027 square miles (5,250 square kilometers) of desert. The majority of Lake Nasser is in Egypt; the rest extends across the border into Sudan, where it’s commonly known as Lake Nubia.More
#12
Elephantine Island

Elephantine Island

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Set in the middle of the Nile River at Aswan, Elephantine Island is home to Nubian villages, a handful of tourist sites, and a landmark hotel. Gorgeous views across the water make this a favorite destination for both sunset sails and strolls, while other visitors make laid-back Elephantine Island a home base for exploring Aswan.More
#13
Temple of Kalabsha

Temple of Kalabsha

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On an island in Lake Nasser, near the Aswan High Dam, the Temple of Kalabsha is an imposing sandstone structure. Built—like Philae Temple—in Roman times, it’s also known as the Temple of Mandulis as a tribute to the god once honored here. Follow the majestic stone causeway from the lake for an idea of what ancient worshippers must have felt.More
#14
St. Simeon Monastery

St. Simeon Monastery

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On the west bank of the Nile, facing Aswan, 7th-century St. Simeon Monastery looks more like a fortress than a place of worship. Also known as Anba Hatre, the brick-and-stone structure has been abandoned since the 13th century. From the church to the monks’ cells, it paints an atmospheric picture of monastic life in the ancient world.More
#15
Aga Khan Mausoleum (Tomb of Muhammad Shah Aga Khan)

Aga Khan Mausoleum (Tomb of Muhammad Shah Aga Khan)

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A simple, austere structure with a dome topping crenellated walls, the Aga Khan Mausoleum (Tomb of Muhammad Shah Aga Khan) sits atop a hill on the outskirts of Aswan, overlooking the Nile. Built in rose granite, with the tomb itself in white Carrara marble, the mausoleum is a fitting monument to the man who was once supreme leader of the Shia Muslim Ismaili sect.More

Top activities in Aswan

Abusimbel&3 Nights Nile Cruise

Abusimbel&3 Nights Nile Cruise

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59
From
US$450.00
3 Nights Cruise Aswan to Luxor including Abu Simbel, Nubian Village&Air Balloon

Special Offer

4-Day 3-Night Nile Cruise from Aswan to Luxor With Balloon and Abu Simbel

Special Offer

4-Day 3-Night Nile Cruise from Aswan to Luxor With Balloon and Abu Simbel

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From
US$274.55
US$289.00  US$14.45 savings
Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

All about Aswan

Currency
Egyptian Pound (EGP)
Time Zone
EET (UTC +2)
Country Code
+20
Language(s)
Arabic
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