Aswān: The Complete Guide

Located on the east bank of the Nile River just below the First Cataract, Aswān (also spelled Assuan or Assouan) is the capital of Aswān muḥāfaẓah (governorate) in Egypt. It was the southernmost boundary of pharaonic Egypt and the site of the ancient city of Swen, which was also known as “the Mart” in ancient Egyptian and is the origin of the city’s name. Aswān served as a Roman, Turkish, and British frontier garrison post. The local quarries are still active and supplied granite for many ancient Egyptian monuments.

Nowadays, Aswān is an administrative, industrial, and commercial center that receives trade from Sudan. It is also a popular winter resort with many hotels and an international airport. Industries in the city include a copper- and steel-producing complex, a chemicals plant, a cement plant, a sugar refinery, and quarries producing granite and marble. The city is also home to the Higher Industrial Institute and a school for fisheries training. The old Aswān Dam and the Aswan High Dam, which is about 7 miles (11 km) south of the city, are important structures in the city’s landscape. A museum on the island of Elephantine contains antiquities from the governorate. In 2006, the population of Aswān was 266,013.

Visiting Aswān for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Aswān on the first visit. Top help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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2 Best places to See in Aswān

This complete guide to Aswān not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Aswān and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

Philae - Temple of Isis

Temple Of Isis At Philae
CC BY-SA 3.0 / GayleKaren
The Temple of Isis at Philae, built in Egypt’s Greco-Roman Period under the reign of Ptolemy II, honors the goddess Isis, as well as Osiris and Horus. The walls of the temple showcase scenes from Egyptian mythology, including Isis reviving Osiris, giving birth to Horus, and mummifying Osiris after his death. The island of Philae […]
Location: Philae Temple, Aswan 1, Egypt | Hours: 7am-4pm Oct-May, to 5pm Jun-Sep | Price: adult/child LE100/50 | Distance: 7.20km
Visiting Philae - Temple of Isis

Abu Simbel temples

Abu Simbel Temples
CC BY-SA 3.0 / youssef_alam
Abu Simbel, located in Aswān muḥāfaẓah (governorate), southern Egypt, is home to two temples constructed by the pharaoh Ramses II (reigned 1279–13 BCE). The area was once the southern frontier of pharaonic Egypt, facing Nubia. The four colossal statues of Ramses in front of the main temple are remarkable examples of ancient Egyptian art. In […]
Location: Abu Simbel Temples, Abu Simbel, Egypt | Hours: 6am-5pm Oct-Apr, to 6pm May-Sep | Price: adult/student incl guide LE160/80 | Distance: 234.30km
Visiting Abu Simbel temples

Tours and Activities from Aswān

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