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Aswan is one of the oldest cities in the world, boasting antiquities that have stood the test of time since way back in Ancient Egypt, but there's still so much to experience beyond history. Home to the sweetest southern hospitality this country ever did see, Aswan is a mishmash between history and culture, the bustle of the city and the serenity of the Nile and those who dwell around it. Plus, Aswan is where you'll find the beautiful people of Nubia whose generosity and hospitality know no limit.

Warmth in Aswan isn't limited to just the people. Unless you want to experience the phrase “hot as hell” to its fullest extent, try to avoid Aswan in summer. The best time of the year to visit Aswan to catch the weather at its kindest state is from October to March; otherwise, you’ll have a bit of a hard time withstanding the heat. Either way, whether it's sweltering or just the right level of warmth with a crisp breeze, you'll find the locals greeting you with a hearty "Welcome to Alaska!" Honestly, just roll with it. They know that Aswan is basically the polar opposite of Alaskan weather, which is likely how this humourous greeting developed. 

Hugging the Nile River on both sides, Aswan is probably one of the best places to experience the iconic body of water – clear, blue, and languorous, with countless spots along the Nile where you can rest for a quick cup of tea and enjoy the view of the blue river with the backdrop of colorful Nubian villages.

Chill, relaxed, yet still jam-packed with beautiful sights to see, Aswan is full of rich historical treasures where you could get lost in the beauty of its history; from Abu Simbel to Philae and felucca rides in the Nile, the city is small, yet very generous in its offerings.

01: Around the Neighbourhood: The People and Places of Aswan
02: How Do I Move?: Getting to and Around Aswan
03: Where Do I Stay?: Hotels, Hostels, and All The Alternatives
04: What's There to Discover?: Experiencing Aswan
05: What Do I Eat?: Local Food and Where to Find it
06: How Friendly is Aswan?: Females, Families, and Furbabies
07: SOS: Health & Safety in Aswan
08: Banking & ATMs
09: Pro Tips 

 

 

While Egyptians are generally warm, hospitable people, Aswan takes the cake for being home to the most genuine, hospitable people in all of Egypt – warm-hearted, gentle, with a slow-paced rhythm uninterrupted by the ordinary woes and sense of urgency of city life. Guess southern hospitality doesn't just belong to the American south. While in Aswan you'll encounter four major tribes – the Nubians (the aboriginals), the Ababda tribe, the Bisharin tribe, and the Gaafara tribe. There are several other tribes in the area, but chances are you won't cross paths with them as they’re not involved in tourism.

These 4 tribes have quite a distinctive culture and traditions, especially the Nubians who have maintained their traditions throughout the years in everything from food to clothing. You could get to know the locals anywhere in the villages on the west shore of the Nile, or on the islands resting on the river, such as Aswan island and Hissa island.

You won’t have a hard time communicating with the locals, since they’re well equipped to receive tourists and the main language is Arabic. There’s a good chunk of Nubians who speak the Nubian language, in case you’re looking to dig deep into the culture.

via Eric Baker

Part of what makes Aswan so warm and enjoyable is that it's a quaint little city divided into three main areas:

Downtown and the Corniche: This is the liveliest area of Aswan, with cafés, restaurants, bars, and malls, all overlooking the serenity of the Nile. This is also where you'll find banks, ATMs, and Western Union.

El-Bar El-Gharby (West Bank), Nile Islands, and Gharb Soheil: The vibrancy of Nubian culture comes alive in these pockets of Aswan that are best reached by boat, ferry, or felucca. Here you'll be in the heart of Nubian hospitality, so don't be surprised if people offer you a drink or a bite as they welcome you into their homes – and, momentarily, their lives. Accept with as much warmth as you've been offered; it's genuine. 

The Dam region and Abu Simbel: This is the area farthest from the city center and, to get there, you go through both land and water. The region offers gorgeous scenery everywhere you look and the largest collection of relics in Aswan – that's nine temples, not to mention pharaonic calligraphy. You’ll also find some small, beautiful islands in Lake Nasser.

 

 

GETTING TO ASWAN

Aswan is a must if you want to experience the Egyptian culture, hundreds of years of culture are represented in temples of the ancient city. And it’s not just for history buffs, it has charming nature if you’re looking to distress and enjoy the Nile River where it’s cleanest -- all things that make the huge distance between Aswan and Cairo worth it. The distance between Cairo and Aswan is around 853 km if you’re traveling by car or train, and it’s one road trip you won’t regret taking.via Egypt Day Tours

Plane: There are plenty of flights from Cairo to Aswan throughout the day, whether through EgyptAir, Nile Air, or Air Cairo. Prices depend on the time of year you plan to visit; if you’re traveling on a budget, prices start at 1,000 EGP but could reach over EGP 5,000.  You should keep in mind that you won’t find any buses at the airport going into the city, so most you'll likely have to get a taxi. A drive from the airport to the city will cost you around 80 EGP to 100 EGP, but negotiate the price before getting in since taxis don’t have meters.

Bus: You’ll find plenty of buses moving from Cairo to Aswan, but you can’t book them online. You have to book your place from the companies surrounding Mahatet Masr in Ramsis, Cairo. This is probably not your best option.


Car: There are two roads you can take to get from Cairo to Aswan: The first (and easiest) is by taking the new Cairo-Asyut road called the Army Road (or the Eastern Desert Road); after that, you switch over to the Western Desert Road from Asyut (the old road). The problem with the Army Road is that it’s poorly lit and you could drive miles with zero lights at night. The second road is the Western Road, which is much better serviced; you’ll find rests, gas stations, and maintenance workshops. You can take this road from Cairo to Aswan directly without having to go through the Army Road. The catch with this one is that you have to take a few turns when you get to Qena governorate, so it usually ends up taking a bit more time.

Train: The most accessible and commonly used transportation between the capital city and Aswan – although definitely not the shortest – is the train. The 800 km distance is covered in just over 13 hours, but it doesn’t have to be an uncomfortable ride. For the regular trains, there are around 10 daily trains that depart from Cairo to Aswan, with prices ranging from 70 EGP for second-class tickets to 245 EGP for first class. You can book your ticket online through the Egyptian National Railways website, but it’s also fairly easy to buy tickets at the station – it just requires a bit of patience. The Railway Station in Ramsis has several booking windows, one for each class.

If you’re looking to make the most out of your time, you could go for the sleeping train to arrive with some decent night's sleep and ready to take on Aswan. Keep in mind that the deluxe sleeper train is booked through a separate El Watania sleeper office; you could also book the sleeper train online through the Watania Sleeping Trains websitePro tip: during high seasons, pre-booking earlier on is highly recommended.

Train number 86 departs from Cairo to Aswan passing by Luxor, and seats are 400 EGP for Egyptians and $40 for foreigners. For beds, you have two options: either a single cabin or a bed in a double cabin. The single cabin costs 630 EGP for Egyptians, 1,050 EGP for Arabs, and $120 for foreigners, while a bed in a double cabin costs 400 EGP for Egyptians, 750 EGP for Arabs, and $80 for foreigners. Trains leave on a daily basis, but it’s always best to make check the website, or better yet book your tickets to and from Aswan online just to be safe.

GETTING AROUND ASWAN

If you’re arriving at the airport, it’s located 16 km southwest of the city centre and . There’s no public transportation by the airport, but you could take a taxi into town that’ll set you back about EGP 100-150. If you’re arriving by train, the railway station in Aswan is the centre of town, at the entrance of Sharia As Souq.

Taxis: The main transportation method in Aswan is taxis, and they’re everywhere. They don’t have meters, so it’s all about haggling and negotiating with the driver before getting in. Rule of thumb: start by halving the price he mentions.Via Trover

Ferries: You’ll also need to use Nile ferries at some points, you could either hop on a public boat, whose fares are as little as a couple of pounds. Otherwise – and this is an experience we recommend – you could rent a whole felucca to yourself, it could take you back and forth from a place, or you could simply ask the owner to roam around and watch the city from the Nile for some sweet views and a mindblowing sunset. Prices for renting a felucca range from 300 EGP, but you have to settle on a price with the owner before hopping on.

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Otherwise, if you’ve got the time and energy, and the weather is on your side, you could easily stroll around Aswan – the city is not that big and a walk around could easily be done. 

Aswan is home to plenty of hotels, hostels, and guest houses ranging all the way up to $300/night. Alternatively, if you're in for a bit of a longer stay, you can opt for the cheaper option to rent an apartment. They're rented by the month and cost around $90-180 a month, but most areas with rentable apartments are a bit distant from the city centre – except the Berka area parallel to the tourist souk and Atlas area. Contact with brokers is done through café workers in the city, or through signs posted by brokers with their phone number.

HOTELS: UP TO $49/NIGHT

HAPPI HOTEL 

Facebook:
Hapi Hotel
Location: Sheyakhah Thalethah, Qism Aswan.
Contact Number: 097 2455032
Average cost/night: for one person in a double room it’s around $20, depending on the season.

BASMA HOTEL ASWAN
Facebook: 
Basma Hotel Aswan
Location:
Al FStreet, in front of Nubian Museum.
Contact Number: 
097 2484001
Average cost/night:
for one person in a double room it’s around $30-40, depending on the season.
You can book here.

PYRAMISA ISIS ISLAND RESORT ASWAN
Facebook:
Isis Island Hotel
Location:
Isis Island
Contact Number: 
097 2480100
Average cost/night:
for one person in a double room it’s around $30-$40, depending on the season.
You can book here.

BABA DOOLLocation: Sheyakhah Oula, Nubian Island.
Contact Number: 
0112 431 6860
Average cost/night:
for one person in a double room it’s around $15-$30, depending on the season.
You can book here.

 

HOTELS: $50 – $99/NIGHT

KATO DOOL NUBIAN HOUSE
Facebook:
Kato Dool Nubian House.
Location:
Aswan First.
Contact Number:
+2 0101 956 6116
Average cost/night:
for one person in a double room it’s around $35-$60, depending on the season.
You can book here.

HELNAN HOTEL ASWANFacebook: Helnan Hotel.
Location:
Corniche El Nile.
Contact Number:
097 2328828 
Average cost/night:
for one person in a double room it’s around $45-$75, depending on the season.


CITYMAX HOTEL ASWAN
Facebook:
Citymax Hotel Aswan 
Location:
Corniche El Nile.
Contact Number: 
097 2492100
Average cost/night:
for one person in a double room it’s around $50, depending on the season.
You can book here.

ASHRY NARTY
Facebook:
Ashry Narty.
Location:
Aswan First.
Contact Number: 
0101 664 4528
Average cost/night:
for one person in a double room it’s around $25-$50, depending on the season.
You can book here.

 

HOTELS: $100 – $300/NIGHT

SOFITEL LEGEND OLD CATARACT ASWAN
Facebook:
Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan
Location:
Abtal el Tahrir street.
Contact Number:
+2 0102 222 9071 or 097 2391600
Average cost/night:
for one person in a double room it’s $100-$200, depending on the season.
You can book here.

MÖVENPICK RESORT ASWAN

Facebook:
Movenpick Resort Aswan.
Location: Elephantine Island.
Contact Number: 097 2454455
Average cost/night: for one person in a double room it’s around $100, depending on the season.
You can book here.

GUEST HOUSES: UP TO $49/NIGHT

EL-AMIN GUESTHOUSE

Location: 
Sheyakhah Oula.
Contact Number: 
0111 788 3369
Average cost/night:
for one person in a double room it’s around $40-$50, depending on the season.

THE MANGO GUEST HOUSEFacebook: Mango Guest House
Location:
Elephantine Island
Contact Number: 
0127 370 3493
Average cost/night:
for one person in a double room it’s around $20, depending on the season.
You can book here.

EKADOLLI NUBIAN GUESTHOUSE ASWAN 
Facebook:
Ekadolli Nubian Guesthouse
Location:
Aswan First.
Contact Number: 
0111 141 6243
Average cost/night:
for one person in a double room it’s around $35, depending on the season.
You can book here.

GUESTHOUSE BET EL KEREM
Facebook:
Bet El Kerem
Location:
Nagh El Kuba
Contact Number:
+31 6 81180400
Average cost/night:
for one person in a double room it’s around $30-$40, depending on the season.
You can book here.

HADOUTA MASREYA
Facebook:
Hadouta Masreya Nubian Guesthouse
Location:
Aswan First.
Contact Number:
0122 384 4336
Average cost/night:
for one person in a double room it’s around $50, depending on the season.
You can book here.

GUESTHOUSES: $50 – $100/NIGHT

ADAM HOME OVERLAND CAMP
Facebook:
Adam Home Overland Camp
Location:
Gazirat Bahrif.
Contact Number: 
0114 274 8889


HOSTELS

DAVID HOSTEL
Facebook:
David Hostel
Location:
Hay El Akkad
Contact Number: 
0128 360 0001
Average cost/night:
for one person it’s around $6, depending on the season.
You can book here.

 

 

 

HISTORICAL SPOTS:

The best way to explore and see Aswan’s charm is by hopping on a felucca ride in the Nile. This boat ride will give you a view of the whole ancient city from the water highway, with all its island scattered around the clear-blue water. Picturesque island views, colorful buildings, photogenic sunsets, sand dunes, and eventually a monument that’s thousands of years old casually resting on the banks of the river. These are some of the best historical spots for the full Aswan experience and some island hopping.

ABU SIMBELThis is a day trip from the city that you shouldn’t skip, and definitely worth the 300km trip. The temple, built by Ramses II, was saved from potential destruction through a whole UNESCO rescue project, making it to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It’s a majestic place, and a proof of how genius ancient Egyptian were in architecture, spirituality, and engineering. The temple now sits on the banks of Lake Nasser, and is visited by thousands of tourists every year.

PHILAE TEMPLEInitially, the temple was built to be the center of the cult worshiping Isis - goddess of healing- during the Ptolemaic Dynasty, but the walls now hold inscriptions by all the pilgrims that flocked the island. Survived through the Pharaonic era, through to the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine periods, with each ruler adding more to the value of the temple. This sacred site is always dazzling for the thousands of tourists that visit it every year, and it still preserves its spot as one of the most important monument sites in Egypt. Its amazing location makes the experience even better. After being saved from drowning post the Aswan High Dam, the temple, which is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was transferred block by block from the original place of Philae Island to Agilika Island, which is 12 km away from Aswan.

NUBIAN MUSEUMAccording to Lonely Planet, this is the best thing to do in Aswan -- this is the perfect place to explore this whole underrated culture. Whether you’re interested in the history or the Kingdom of Kush (ancient Nubia), this museum will be a sweet surprise. The museum documents the culture of the Nubian people, which was more or less washed away after the Aswan Dam was built -- flooding most of their original homes in the valley. The museum featured artifacts from ancient Nubia, a collection of original photos of the UNESCO grand project of moving Philae Temple and Abu Simble, and photographs of monuments that are now lost under the waters of the lake.

UNFINISHED OBELISKJust as the name implies, this is a giant obelisk etched into stone. For some reason, it was never completely carved out and just abandoned there. The curiosity of always thinking “how did those ancient Egyptians do it?” may be partially satisfied by seeing a work in progress. The famous Unfinished Obelisk is a 41-meter-long and 4-meter-wide chunk of stone, abandoned and never finished due to a crack in the rocks. If it has been completed, it was estimated to have weighed 1,168 tons and would have been the largest Obelisk ever built. On the rocks, you can see traces of the work of ancient Egyptian stone cutters.

TOMBS OF THE NOBLESLying on the Eastern bank of the Nile River, close to the Nubian Village, are the tombs of Egyptian Princes, dating back to the days of the Old Kingdom. These series of rock tombs were the place where governors, priests, keepers of the gates, and other dignitaries of ancient Elephantine Island were buried during the Old and Middle Kingdoms. More than 400 tombs of nobles from the 6th dynasty of the Graeco-Roman period, the nobles decorated their tombs with detailed scenes of their daily lives, in hopes of letting the good life continue after death.

EDFU'S TEMPLE OF HORUSDedicated to Horus, the son of Isis and Osiris, who was often depicted with the head of a falcon, this temple was preserved by the sand of the desert, withstanding all those years with the roof still intact. The Temple of Horus is also known as Edfu Temple, and the entryway is guarded by two granite statues of Horus as a falcon. On the eastern wall of the temple, you can see the remains of the Nilometer, which was used to measure the levels of the Nile river, helping to predict the harvest timing.

KALABSHA TEMPLESaved by the rescue project held out by the UNESCO, this group of temples have been moved to the banks of Lake Nasser. Kalabsha Temple is considered to be one of the best-preserved temples that had been moved, also the youngest dating back from the time of Roman Emperor Augustus. The temple was started in the late Ptolemaic era, and completed during the reign of Augustus somewhere between 30 BC and AD 14. Initially, the temple was dedicated to the Nubian god Merwel -or Mandulis in Greek- and later on, it was used as a church during the Byzantine era.

KOM OMBO TEMPLEApproaching the temple from the Nile River, the columns of Kombo Ombo stand above the river banks in a dramatic view — in one of Aswan’s iconic spots. Back in the day, this temple was dedicated to the gods of Sobek and Haroeris, the Gods of the River, as a reminder of the importance of this region in Ancient Egypt, being right by the Nile. Take a walk through the historical sites of Kom Ombo temple to take in the scenes of the pharaonic propaganda. The entrance to the inner temple is lined with 10 columns that are beautifully decorated and embellished with fine murals. Nearby the Kom Ombo Temple, there’s also the Temple of Hathor and Kom Ombo’s Crocodile Museum.

OLD CATARACT HOTELVia SkyscraperCity

Not quite your standard historic experience in Aswan, but the Cataract is not only the most luxurious spot in Aswan, but it also has a little bit of history. This hotel is where the royals went for their holidays, and where Agatha Christie chose to stay to write her famous novel Death on the Nile. From Agatha Christie and Winston Churchill who have their own suites inside the hotel to King Farouk and the Shah of Iran , the hotel was built in 1899 by Engineer Henri Favarger under the orders of Thomas Cook – yes, the Thomas Cook. It's gorgeous on the inside, and the Terrace is the best place to catch a sunset in Aswan.

TOURIST TRAPS

HIGH DAM

A visit to the high dam is usually included in tours, but if it's not, then you shouldn't really waste any time there – especially if you don't have have a lot of time in Aswan. There are a lot of other places that are worth your time beyond this. Yes, it's an engineering marvel, and it's a huge building that was the topic of controversial debates for a long time in Egypt, but a visit there isn't really worth it.

SOUND AND LIGHT SHOW AT PHILAE TEMPLE 

If you go to the sound and light show at night, you’ll probably miss catching the temple in the morning, which is the perfect time for admiring all the statues and relics. Plus, the sound quality is not that great since it’s an open space, so you’ll end up wasting a night that you could instead spend getting a whole other experience. The middle ground is to visit the temple before sunset, get a good look around, then stay after the sun sets for the show. 

NATURE

ELEPHANTINE ISLANDVia ByPalma

As chill as Aswan is compared to Cairo, it still gets quite busy, and you may find yourself overwhelmed. But you could always escape some of the bustle and run away from traffic to Elephantine Island. Littered with palm trees and slopes of mud-brick houses, this island is one of the major destinations in Aswan that you must not miss. On the northern part of the island, you'll find houses painted with the signature vibrant colors of Aswan and people gardening the beautiful green spaces. This island is the most delightful place to just walk around and enjoy the natural beauty – a photographer's heaven.

ASWAN BOTANICAL GARDENS/ KITCHENER'S ISLANDVia Masrawy

Known as Geziret El Nabatat, this place is a must-visit if you're a nature lover. This island has a bit of history, but not one that you'd expect in Aswan. It belonged to Lord Kitchener, who transformed it into a botanical garden full of exotic plants from all over Asia and Africa. The island is home to hundreds of species of flora, and some rare palm trees. It's a perfect spot for afternoon walks and picnics; Aswan doesn't have to be all historical visits. You could easily reach this place with a felucca from Aswan pier. There's also a small cafe with a killer view where you can stop for a quick cup of tea and chat with the locals – and possibly snag a souvenir or two.

LAKE NASSERVia Egypt Escapes

If you’re from Egypt, chances are you’ve heard about this one in your social studies classes. On this trip you’ll get to discover Lake Nasser and its inherent beauty. You take a boat from the dam marina which will take you to the lake. Over the span of 3 days, you’ll be surrounded by nothing but water, mountains, and lots of green! You can go fishing in the lake, and camp on the shore or on the island of Heissa. You could also go on a safari, and discover the temples surrounding the lake like El Dekka, El Dorr, Wadi El Seboo3, 3amda, and Kalabsha.

NILE ISLANDSVia Egyptian Streets

This group of islands is spread out from the first waterfall south of Aswan, up until the center of Aswan. The most beautiful of these islands are Shisha and Barbar island, which are the only islands you can fish and swim at, or even rent a boat to take a tour around the island. 

HEISSA ISLAND

A little piece of heaven on Earth, and another glimpse into the Nubian culture and its kind-hearted people. This is the only Nubian village that was not evacuated after the high dam was built. The island is mostly intact, and you could go camping or on a safari there, or even go fishing. You could also rent a felucca for the best sunset views in the Nile. The island is known for its natural scenery and pharaonic relics spread throughout the island; you’ll also stumble upon many rocks there with pharaonic drawings.

GHARB SOHEILVia Hotel.com

This place perfectly blends the Nubian culture and Aswan's beautiful nature. To get there, you need to hop on a 30-minute boat ride, or 20-minute car ride from Aswan's city centre. The village is over a hundred years old, and it's where the Nubians were relocated after the Aswan High Dam. With 3,000 inhabitants, this island will give you a unique experience of the Nubian culture, language, traditions, music, and art. Everybody and their mother works in tourism there, and everything is tailored in homage to Nubian heritage – the way the houses look, the gifts, the food, everything. The island is so colourful, with all the vibrant Nubian houses against a backdrop of greenery and the blueness Nile.

The best way to experience the village is by taking a boat on the Nile, at the Gizeret El Nabatat marina. The boat costs around 300 EGP for a round trip. Once you reach the village, you could rent a bike or just stroll around on foot to truly enjoy the beauty of the island. Pick a local Nubian restaurant to have traditional, reasonably-priced meal – one of the most famous places there is Beit Hassoun. Before you leave, you could buy souvenirs from the village souk – mostly handmade items made by Nubian women. 

NIGHTLIFE IN ASWAN

The city is most alive during the day, but that doesn't mean there's nothing for you to do at night. If you're looking for a bit of quiet, you could take a long stroll around the city and along the Nile Corniche and interact with some of the locals. But if you're looking for something a bit more eventful, there are a couple of places in the city where you could have a fun night with some music and maybe a couple of drinks if you want.

ROOFTOP TERRACEVia Carinio
Most hotels have got a setting where you could enjoy a drink, but not every hotel offers the views. This rooftop terrace in Basma Hotel offers a lovely setting where you could chill at the end of your day and enjoy a drink with a view of the Nile cataracts.
Location: Basma Hotel.
Contact Number: 
097-231–0901

ASWAN PLAZA MALLVia Hikersbay

With restaurants, cafés, international clothes brands, and a children’s amusement park, this mall is a great family activity for a night out of shopping and fun.
Location: Nile Corniche

EL PASHA

Via Tripwolf
Right by the Nile water, this cafe is somewhere you could grab a drink with a view. With the service, the alcoholic drinks, and the hookah, this cafe has a premium spot in Aswan and it's one of the popular spot for a chill evening in the city.
Location:
Pyramisa Isis Corniche Hotel.

MOVENPICK PANORAMA BAR AND RESTAURANTVia Movenpick
360-degree views of the Nile in the highest restaurant in Aswan. The view from up there is breathtaking, especially at night with all the twinkling city lights. It's definitely not the cheapest dinner you can buy in Aswan, but it'll be one of the most memorable. You'll need to book your place in advance though, so make sure to head to their website for their contact information. If dinner and drinks are not your thing, this place also offers high tea during the afternoon.
Location: Mövenpick Hotel, Elephantine Island.
Contact Number: +20 9724554455

OLD CATARACT TERRACE

Via Accor
A sunset cocktail on the Old Cataract terrace is a whole other experience. Even if you're not a guest in the hotel, you could still pay a visit to roam around and enjoy a drink there. The hotel sits on a prime piece of land in Aswan, and just like everything else in this city, it's got a rich history -- and the most beautiful views for a sunset drink.

 

 

The Nubian people have maintained their traditions throughout the years, and that includes their cuisine. Nubian food is quite rich and delicious, and there are some famous meals you’ll have to try if there. But where can you go on such a culinary conquest? Your best bet is Nubian House (Eskaleh) in Abu Simbel. From there, you could see Lake Nasser and the temple of Abu Simbel, and you can sit with Nubian artist Fekri El Kashef and listen to authentic Nubian tunes. Plus, this house looks like a museum from inside; you’ll see tools used by Nubians from ancient times till this very day. You can reach them at 01223680521 for reservations. Then there are all these places...

EL MASRY RESTAURANT
Location:
Airport street
Contact Number: 01068776644

EL DOKKA NUBIAN RESTAURANT
Location:
 Heissa Island
Contact Number: 0122 216 2379

MEKKA RESTAURANT
Location:
143 Abtal Tahrir street
Contact Number: 0972440232

ASWAN MOON
Location:
Nile Corniche
Contact Number: 0972454109

AL BET RESTAURANT
Location:
downtown
Contact Number: 0972271198

CHEF KHALIL
Location:
tourist souk street
Contact Number: 0972440142

NUBIAN DREAM RESTAURANT & CAFE
Location:
Elephantine island
Contact Number: 01276220488

PHARAONIC HOME RESTAURANT
Location:
Nile Corniche
Contact Number: 0972332799

CITY ABU SIMBEL
Location:
Abu Simbel City
Contact Number: 0973400087

PIZZA BEITY
Location: El Mahata

POOL RESTAURANTS
Location:
Movenpick Hotel, Nile Corniche
Contact Number: 0972314666

AHMOS
Location:
Abu El Rish Kebli
Contact Number: 0972328824

ART CAFE
Location: Nile Corniche
Contact Number: 0972317400

GRAND RESTAURANT & CAFE
Location:
Aswan Sports Club, Nile Corniche
Contact Number: 01028880790

HOSNY RESTAURANT
Location:
Aswan Mall, Nile Corniche
Contact Number: 01212987975

MOVENPICK PANORAMA BAR AND RESTAURANT
Location: Movenpick Elephantine Island
Contact Number: 097 2454455

 

 

 

FEMALES

Just like everywhere in Egypt, it's best for women to dress a bit conservatively – however, Aswan's a bit less strict than Cairo since almost everyone in Aswan works in tourism. The people of Aswan are used to receiving tourists all year round, and since the heat in Aswan could be unbearable at times, the dress code lines get blurred a bit. You should also be mindful while walking around the city alone -- especially in Souk Street. Or you could stick to the busy streets that are filled with tourists and workers who always stand up against robbery or harassment. Also, there are almost always police patrols in the main streets who will always help you.

FAMILIES

The good thing about Aswan is that 'most everything is within close proximity, so you won't be traveling incredibly long distances to get from one attraction to the next. The temples and islands have plenty of wide-open spaces for your kids to run – and you to run after them – and the views are an easy way to keep them engaged (read: distracted) as you explore. The colourful homes in the Nubian village will have little ones pretty excited, and Geziret El Nabatat (Aswan Botanial Gardens) has rare plants, restaurants, cafés, and large open spaces for kids to play. Plus, You'll find the locals a little extra friendly if you have kids in tow.

 

 

 

There are no specific health precautions you need to take before coming to Aswan, but always try not to eat at any restaurant less than 3 stars. Also, don’t go trying to drink from the Nile. In case you do, here are your emergency numbers, hospitals, and pharmacies across Aswan:

SAFETY CONTACTS

Ambulance: 123
Tourism Police: 126
fire brigade: 180
Police: 122

HOSPITALS WITH EMERGENCY SERVICES

General Hospital
Location: El Sadaka neighbourhood
Working Hours: 24/7

College Hospital:
Location: Kasr Elhagz, Al Sel Gharb
Number: 0972302419
Working Hours: 24/7

Health Insurance Hospital:
Location: Al Sadat street, El Akad neighbourhood
Number: 0972314015
Working Hours: 24/7

Al Germaniah Hospital
Location: 19 Nile Corniche
Number: 0972450166
Working Hours: 24/7

Military Hospital
Location: Al Sadat street, El Akad Neighbourhood
Working Hours: 24/7

OTHER HEALTH CARE FACILITIES

Fever Hospital
Location: Doctor Abd El Radi Hanafi
Number: 0972302523
Working Hours: 24/7

Ophthalmology Hospital
Location: Doctor Abd El Radi Hanafi
Number: 0972334081
Working Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 8 am to 2 pm

Heart Hospital
Location: El Sel El Gedid
Number: 0972391100
Working Hours: 24/7

Tumour Center
Location: Nile Corniche, Abu El Rish Kebli
Number: 0972428873

Al Helal Hospital
Location: New Street
Number: 0972448020
Working Hours: 24/7

Brook Charity Hospital
Location: Al Sadat Street, Al Akad Neighbourhood
Number: 0972450536
Working Hours: daily, 8 AM to 5 PM

Aswan Psychiatric Hospital
Location: Al Khazan Gharb
Number: 0973482652
Working Hours: daily, 8 AM to 2 PM

PHARMACIES

Al Kuds
Location: Abtal AL Tahrir Street
Working Hours: daily, 8 AM to 12 AM

Sayed Saber
Location: New Street
Working Hours: 24/7

Nile
Location: 97 Nile Corniche
Number: 0972302674

Al Mostafa
Location: New Street
Working Hours: 24/7

El Ezaby
Location: Nile Corniche
Working Hours: 24/7

El Ekhwa
Location: Saad Zaghloul Street
Number: 0972321707

Amany Nour
Location: 53 Nile Corniche Street
Number: 0972322284

Atlas
Location: Fence of Aswan Sports Club, Atlas
Number: 0972318565


 

 


ATMs are in the downtown area for the most part, so best withdraw money before going anywhere as you’ll probably not find where you’re going. There’s also a Western Union branch next to CIB, and next to it is the main post office.

Nasser Bank
Location: Nile Corniche Street
ATMs: only outside the bank premises

Banque Misr
Location: Nile Corniche Street
ATMs: downtown and its surroundings

Banque du Caire
Location: Nile Corniche Street
ATMs: only outside the bank premises

Bank of Alexandria
Location: main branch, Nile Corniche Street
Second branch: Dr. Abd El Radi Street, from Abbas Farid, parallel to the Corniche
ATMs: available in downtown, corniche, and bank locations

Housing & Development Bank
Location: 15 Nile Corniche street
Second branch: 9 Al Akad Neighborhood
ATMs: downtown and bank locations

National Bank of Egypt
Location: Nile Corniche street
ATMs: downtown and bank locations

 

INTERNATIONAL BANKS

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
Location: 74 Abtal Al Tahrir
ATMs: bank location

QNB
Location: Nile Corniche street
ATMs: downtown and bank location

Credit Agricole
Location: 1 Bahary El Lokanda street
ATMs: downtown and bank location

CIB
Location: Nile Corniche
ATMs: downtown and bank location

Faisal Islamic bank
Location: Abu El Rish Kebli
ATMs: bank location

Piraeus Bank
Location: 82 Abtal El Tahrir
ATMs: bank location

Barclays Bank
Location: Abtal El Tahrir street
ATMs: bank location

Emirates NBD
Location: 97 Nile Corniche street
ATMs: bank location

Arab African Bank
Location: main branch on Nile Corniche street
Second branch: 1 Abtal el Tahrir
ATMs: downtown and bank locations

 

 

Aswan has always been a tourist town, and they're always as welcoming as ever and ready to help you. It's home to Egypt's most laid-back hospitable people, so you'll always be met with warm greetings and tea invitations. Embrace it, it's genuine.

Directions in Aswan are given according to famous landmarks and not street names.

If you're not a fan of the bidet, you may want to carry tissues or wipes on you while you're out. Aswan, like most places in Egypt, doesn't prioritize putting toilet paper, paper towel, or even leaves in the bathroom. Tissues will also come in handy when you find yourself sweating up a storm under the southern sun.

Plan your excursions ahead of time according to distance, and try not to cram too many things into one day; just because Aswan is small doesn't make travel time obsolete, and just because it's winter doesn't mean you'll find yourself fatigued from the sun by midday.

Water. Lots of water. 

Even if you're not staying at the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan, head over there and ask for a quick tour – you'll be transported into a whole other era in the blink of an eye. For the best view from the Cataract, head to the Winston Churchill or Agatha Christie suites – it's from that very room that she penned Death on the Nile. Once you're done walking around, spend the evening watching the sunset from The Terrace; thank us profusely and tag us in all the photos.

 

 

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