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Best Places to Go Aswan
Best Places to Go Aswan

Aswan, a beautiful city located in the south of Egypt, has always been a place that has captured my imagination with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture. Nestled on the banks of the Nile River, Aswan is the perfect destination for anyone looking to explore the wonders of ancient Egypt and experience the region's unique and authentic culture. In this article, I will share with you my experiences and insights on visiting Aswan, from its historical sites to its tantalizing cuisine, and everything in between.

Aswan, often called the gateway to Africa, has long been a strategic and commercial hub since ancient times. With its proximity to the Nile River, the city was a significant center for trade and commerce, which allowed it to flourish and grow. As you walk through the streets of Aswan, you can feel the energy and history that this city holds, making it a truly unique and unforgettable experience.

In this article, I will take you through a journey of discovery as we delve into the rich history of Aswan, explore its top attractions, and immerse ourselves in its vibrant culture. So, without further ado, let's embark on this exciting adventure together and uncover Aswan's many wonders.


The rich history of Aswan


Aswan's history dates back thousands of years, to the time when it was known as Swenet, an ancient Egyptian city that played a pivotal role in the history of ancient Egypt. It was the southernmost city in the country, and as such, it was a critical defensive outpost, protecting Egypt from invasions from the south. Moreover, the town was known for its impressive quarries, which supplied the granite used to construct many of Egypt's most famous monuments, including the pyramids.

Throughout the years, Aswan has been home to various civilizations, including the Nubians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Arabs. Each culture has left its mark on the city, contributing to its rich tapestry of history and heritage. As you explore the city, you can witness the many different architectural styles and artifacts that testify to Aswan's diverse and colorful past.

In modern times, Aswan gained prominence during the construction of the Aswan High Dam, which was built to control the annual flooding of the Nile River. The dam has since become a significant tourist attraction in its own right, symbolizing the city's ongoing development and progress. As we continue our journey through Aswan, we will uncover more about its fascinating history and the many attractions that make it such a captivating destination.


Top attractions in Aswan


Aswan offers a wide variety of attractions for visitors to enjoy, ranging from ancient temples and monuments to beautiful natural landscapes. One of Aswan's most famous and iconic sites is the Abu Simbel Temples, which Pharaoh Ramesses II built to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. The temples were relocated to their current location in the 1960s to save them from being submerged by the waters of Lake Nasser, created by the construction of the Aswan High Dam.

Another must-visit attraction is the Temple of Philae, dedicated to the goddess Isis. Located on an island in the Nile River, the temple is a stunning example of ancient Egyptian architecture and is accessible by boat. A visit to the temple is a truly magical experience, as you are transported back to the era of the ancient Egyptians.

Visiting the Aswan Botanical Garden is a must for those who appreciate nature and tranquility. Located on Kitchener's Island, the garden has various exotic plants and trees worldwide. A stroll through the park is a serene and peaceful experience, allowing you to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and connect with nature.


Exploring Aswan's vibrant culture


The vibrant culture of Aswan is one of its most captivating features, offering visitors a unique and immersive experience. As a melting pot of various cultures and traditions, Aswan's cultural scene is rich and diverse, with influences from Nubian, Egyptian, and Islamic heritage.

One of the best ways to experience Aswan's culture is by visiting the Nubian villages along the Nile River. These villages, characterized by their colorful mud-brick houses, offer a glimpse into the traditional way of life of the Nubian people. You can interact with the friendly locals, learn about their customs and traditions, and enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal.

Another way to immerse yourself in the culture of Aswan is by attending a traditional music and dance performance. These performances showcase the unique blend of African and Middle Eastern influences that define Aswan's cultural identity. The lively rhythms and captivating dances will leave a lasting impression on you as you experience the true essence of Aswan's culture.


Must-visit historical sites in Aswan


Aswan is home to numerous historical sites that showcase the city's rich and diverse history. One such site is the Unfinished Obelisk, located in the ancient granite quarries of Aswan. This massive obelisk, intended to be the largest ever created, was abandoned during its construction due to a large crack in the stone. The Unfinished Obelisk provides a unique insight into the techniques used by the ancient Egyptians in their monumental construction projects.

Another must-visit historical site is the Mausoleum of Aga Khan, the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims. The mausoleum overlooks the Nile River and is an architectural marvel featuring Fatimid and Mamluk design elements. The serene atmosphere of the mausoleum makes it a perfect place for reflection and contemplation.

The Old Dam, also known as the Aswan Low Dam, is another historical site worth visiting. Constructed in the early 20th century, the dam was the first significant attempt to control the flooding of the Nile River. Although it has since been superseded by the Aswan High Dam, the Old Dam remains an essential piece of Aswan's history and a testament to the engineering prowess of the time.


The beauty of the Nile River in Aswan


The Nile River is undoubtedly one of Aswan's most enchanting features, providing the city with life, sustenance, stunning views, and unforgettable experiences. A trip along the Nile River in Aswan is a must for any visitor, as it allows you to witness the beauty of the river and the surrounding landscapes.

One popular way to explore the Nile River in Aswan is by taking a traditional felucca sailboat ride. These elegant wooden boats, used on the Nile for centuries, offer a peaceful and relaxing way to sail along the river and take in the breathtaking scenery.

For those seeking a more luxurious experience, a Nile cruise in Aswan is the perfect choice. These cruises offer a unique and opulent way to explore the Nile River, with comfortable accommodations and a range of amenities to ensure a memorable journey. As you sail along the Nile, you can admire the stunning landscapes, visit ancient temples and monuments, and enjoy traditional Egyptian entertainment on board.


Traditional cuisine in Aswan

The cuisine of Aswan is a delightful mix of flavors and ingredients that reflect the city's diverse cultural influences. Traditional Aswan dishes often feature fresh fish from the Nile River and an abundance of fruits and vegetables grown in the fertile lands surrounding the city. Some popular dishes that you should try during your visit include:

  • Taameya: A delicious falafel made from fava beans, an Egyptian cuisine staple.
  • Molokhia: A delicious soup made from the leaves of the jute plant, served with rice and bread.
  • Sayadeya: A traditional dish featuring grilled or fried fish served with rice and a tomato-based sauce.

In addition to these traditional dishes, Aswan is home to various international and fusion restaurants, offering a wide range of dining options for visitors.


Travel tips for visiting Aswan

When planning your trip to Aswan, there are several travel tips that you should keep in mind to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. Some of these tips include:

  • Dress modestly when visiting religious sites, such as mosques and temples, as a sign of respect for local customs and traditions.
  • Stay hydrated, especially during the hot summer months, as temperatures in Aswan can be pretty high.
  • Learn a few basic Arabic phrases, which can be helpful when communicating with locals and navigating the city.
  • Be prepared to haggle when shopping in local markets, as bargaining is an essential part of the shopping experience in Aswan.


The best time to visit Aswan

The best time to visit Aswan is during the cooler months of October through April, when temperatures are more comfortable for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The summer months, from May to September, can be scorching, with temperatures often exceeding 40°C (104°F), which may be uncomfortable for some visitors.

During the cooler months, the weather in Aswan is generally sunny and pleasant, with daytime temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F). This is the ideal time to explore the city's many attractions, enjoy outdoor activities, and experience the beauty of the Nile River.



Aswan is a captivating destination that offers visitors a rich and diverse experience. From its ancient history and iconic monuments to its vibrant culture and stunning landscapes, Aswan is a city that truly has something for everyone. As you explore the wonders of Aswan, you will be immersed in this enchanting city's unique and unforgettable atmosphere, creating memories that will last a lifetime.