Aswan Things To Do

Top Aswan Things To Do

Nestled along the timeless Nile River, Aswan beckons adventurers with a captivating blend of ancient charm and modern allure. As a Southern Egyptian city immersed in a rich tapestry of history and natural beauty. Aswan invites you to uncover its unique array of activities. Join us as we reveal an assortment of “Aswan things to do,” promising an exceptional adventure that seamlessly weaves together cultural immersion, historical exploration, and the enchanting landscapes that define this captivating destination.

This city’s appeal extends beyond its historical significance, permeating the very essence of its streets. Within the labyrinth of Aswan, the echoes of bygone eras harmonize with the vibrant rhythm of contemporary life. Architectural wonders, steeped in the city’s storied past, coexist seamlessly with lively markets and charming cafes. The warm conversations of the locals, creating a captivating fusion of antiquity and modernity.

Egypt Best Vacations invites you to an exploration of “Aswan things to do” that transcends the ordinary, where each activity serves as a portal to the city’s rich heritage.

Aswan Things to do:

1- Philae Temple

Philae Temple is always rated number one thing of the top Aswan things to do. Philae Temple or the Temple of Isis at Philae Island in Aswan is one of the most beautiful temples in Egypt. It is known as the “Pearl of Egypt”. The temple is located on an island, so it requires a short boat ride. The boat is taken from the Shallal boatyard south of Aswan, where you can also buy tickets to the temple.

Aswan Things To Do
Philae Temple

The name Philae is derived from the ancient name of the island ‘pilak’ or ‘philak’ which means “remote place” or the “end”. According to the myth of Isis and Osiris, the heart of Osiris was buried on Philae. While his left leg was buried at the nearby island of Bigah.

Bigah Island was viewed by the ancient Egyptians as the source of the Nile. Bigah was the first tip of land to appear out of the primeval waters. It was so sacred that only the priesthood had access to it. At Philae Island, the popular cult of Isis developed. The image of Isis was ferried over to Bigah every ten days so that the goddess could be reunited symbolically with her husband Osiris.

Related tour: Tour to Philae Temple, High Dam and Unfinished Obelisk

2. Abu Simbel Temples

The temples of Abu Simbel are considered among the most celebrated achievements of ancient Egypt. The two temples were cut in the cliffs about 310 Km south of Aswan. The Great Temple was built for Ramses II (1279-1213 BC), while the Small Temple was built for his beloved wife, Queen Nefertari.

Aswan Things To Do
Abu Simbel Temple

It is a strange fact that Abu Simbel, one of the most famous monuments of Egypt and one of the great Aswan things to do, was almost totally unknown even as late as the 19th century. On 23 March 1813 Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, a Swiss historian, accompanied by the local guide to visit the temple of Nefertari. He saw a part of the head of one of the colossal statues of the façade when the temple was totally covered with sand. Just four years later, on 1 August 1817, Giovanni Battista Belzoni managed to remove the sand and discover the entrance. Because of the rising water of Aswan High Dam, the temples had to be saved and rescued in a magnificent world rescue operation of temples in Lower Nubia.

Related tour: Tour to Abu Simbel temples by road

3. The Nubian Museum

Nestled along the Nile’s tranquil shores, the Nubian Museum in Aswan unveils the captivating story of the Nubian people. More than just an exhibition space, this cultural haven offers a concise yet immersive journey through the diverse heritage of a resilient community.

Aswan Things To Do
Nubian Museum

Discover centuries of Nubian culture through thoughtfully curated exhibits, showcasing both ancient artifacts and contemporary expressions. The museum itself is a visual delight, seamlessly blending traditional Nubian elements with earthy tones, creating an immersive atmosphere.

Explore a treasure trove of artifacts, from intricate jewelry to ancient hieroglyphics, offering insights into the daily life and customs of the Nubian people. Go beyond history as the Nubian Museum celebrates the contemporary spirit of the community through modern art installations, providing a glimpse into the evolving cultural identity of the Nubian people.

More than a museum, it serves as a bridge connecting visitors with the living heritage of the Nubian people, fostering engagement and understanding.

Related tour: Tour to the Nubian Museum & Kalabsha Temple

4. Kalabsha Temple

Nestled on the shores of Lake Nasser, Kalabsha Temple emerges as a timeless marvel, preserving the grace of ancient Egyptian architecture amidst the tranquility of Nubia. Built during the Roman era and later relocated, Kalabsha Temple stands as a testament to the enduring craftsmanship of ancient architects. Colossal sandstone structures adorned with intricate carvings beckon visitors to witness the grandeur of a bygone era.

Aswan Things To Do
Kalabsha Temple

Step into a world of precision and skill as detailed reliefs depict gods, pharaohs, and celestial scenes. Kalabsha Temple is a visual symphony, showcasing the architectural opulence that defined ancient Egyptian temples. Dedicated to the Nubian god Mandulis, the temple carries the echoes of ancient worship. Explore its sacred halls and courtyards, connecting with the spiritual significance that permeates the ancient stones.

Surrounded by the serene waters of Lake Nasser and framed by the Nubian desert, Kalabsha Temple offers a breathtaking setting. The blend of ancient ruins against the tranquil landscape creates a captivating panorama for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike.

Related tour: Tour to Kalabsha Temple & Nubian Museum

5. The Unfinished Obelisk

Among the remains of the great ancient civilizations, the obelisks of Egypt are undoubtedly more often seen and better known than any other monuments. Obelisks are impressive not only for their lofty size and graceful form but for their high polish and beautiful decoration. One cannot but marvel at the skill of the ancient Egyptians in producing such wonders with relatively primitive techniques.

Aswan Things To Do
Unfinished Obelisk

Some of the smaller obelisks and fragments of larger ones are familiar to the numerous visitors of museums in various countries. Larger ones that are still on their original sites are admired by the millions of people who visit Egypt each year.

Still, others are seen by the crowds who pass through London, Paris, New York, Istanbul, and especially Rome, where there are more obelisks than in any other place, even Egypt, the original home of the obelisks in the world.

Related tour: Tour to Philae Temple & the Unfinished Obelisk

6. Felucca Ride in Aswan

For us in Egypt Best Vacations, felucca sailboat ride is one of highly recommended of the Aswan things to do. Embark on a poetic journey through the heart of Aswan with a felucca ride along the Nile. As the sun sets, step onto these timeless sailboats for an authentic experience that captures the essence of this Egyptian gem.

Aswan Things To Do
Felucca Cruise

Feel the gentle sway of the felucca and the rhythmic sounds of the Nile, creating a tranquil ambiance as you take in Aswan’s historic temples, lively markets, and the enduring beauty of the desert landscape. Guided by knowledgeable local captains, your ride becomes a personalized exploration of Aswan’s rich history.

More than a mere scenic tour, a felucca adventure is an immersion into the woven fabric of Aswan. Whether under the Egyptian sun or against the canvas of a mesmerizing sunset, let the wind guide you through the city’s past and present. Surrender to the tranquility and uncover Aswan’s magic on a traditional felucca – where every ripple narrates a story of time.

Related tour: Felucca ride in Aswan

Read more: Felucca cruises

7. Aswan High Dam

The High Dam in Aswan, Egypt, is regarded as one of the most significant engineering feats of the twentieth century. Aswan High Dam was built to save water and protect Egypt from the Nile’s high and low floods. Since ancient times, the Nile has been the source of life and civilization in Egypt. Every year, the Nile flooded for at least four months. Floods could be devastating at times, or low floods result in famine. Controlling the Nile flood is thus an old idea dating back to the time of the pharaohs.

Aswan Things To Do
Aswan High Dam

Adrian Daninos, a Greek-Egyptian engineer, was the creator of the Aswan High Dam concept. His idea was rejected by Egypt’s kings but accepted by Egypt’s first president, Gamal Abdel-Nasser. Several studies were conducted, and two German firms provided a design for the High Dam. In 1954, Egypt requested that the World Bank finance a portion of the Dam. The bank agreed, but then backed down due to American pressure. America attempted to exert pressure on Egypt as a result of its recognition of China, the Communists, and the weapons deal with Czechoslovakia.

In 1958, a contract was signed with the Soviet Union to finance and assist in the construction of the High Dam. The dam’s construction began in January 1960 and was completed in July 1970. The dam cost 450 million pounds to build.

Related tour: Tour to the High Dam & Philae Temple

8. Aswan Botanical Island

In the heart of Aswan lies a hidden treasure often missed by many – the Botanical Island. This tranquil haven, a distinctive entry in the array of Aswan things to do, offers a refreshing deviation from the city’s usual attractions.

Aswan Things To Do
Aswan Botanical Island

Nestled along the Nile, the Botanical Island is a lush escape, showcasing a diverse collection of plant life from across the globe. Step onto the island, and you’ll be greeted by a symphony of colors and the soothing sounds of nature, providing a serene contrast to the city’s hustle. Exploring the island is more than just a walk; it’s a journey through meticulously curated ecosystems. Knowledgeable guides narrate the stories behind each plant, adding depth to your botanical exploration.

For those seeking respite, the shaded pathways and scenic benches offer the perfect setting to unwind. Take in the breathtaking views of the Nile and distant hills, creating a tranquil atmosphere that invites you to pause and appreciate the moment.

A visit to Aswan’s Botanical Island transcends being a mere thing to do; it’s an immersive experience that invites you to connect with nature and gain a fresh perspective on the city’s charm. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, photographer, or someone in search of a peaceful escape, this botanical gem deserves a spot on your Aswan itinerary.

Related tour: Felucca Ride & Botanical Island

9. Elephantine Island

Aswan’s allure extends beyond its famed landmarks to the often-overlooked Elephantine Island. Amidst the Nile’s embrace, this historical gem offers a unique addition to your Aswan itinerary.

Aswan Things To Do
Elephantine Island

Explore ruins dating back to pre-dynastic times, including the Temple of Khnum. Elephantine Island unveils the echoes of Aswan’s rich history etched into its landscapes. Immerse yourself in vibrant Nubian culture, engage with locals, and savor authentic cuisine. It’s a perfect blend of historical exploration and genuine cultural experiences.

Enjoy panoramic views of the Nile and surrounding landscapes. Whether strolling along the shores or finding a quiet spot, the island offers a scenic backdrop to your Aswan adventure. Enhance your experience with a peaceful boat ride on the Nile. Feel the gentle breezes and appreciate the island’s beauty from a unique vantage point.

Related tour: Tour to Elephantine Island & Kalabsha Temple

11. Tombs of Nobles in Aswan

In the heart of Aswan lies a hidden treasure, often overshadowed by grander landmarks—the Tombs of Nobles. Nestled along the Nile, these ancient chambers offer a unique and intimate glimpse into the lives of Aswan’s elite.

Aswan Things To Do
Tombs of Nobles in Aswan

Step into a world where history is etched in stone. The Tombs of Nobles boast intricate hieroglyphics and vivid reliefs, narrating stories of power and ancestry. Each tomb is a silent witness to the nobility that once graced these hallowed grounds.

Marvel at the enduring architectural splendor that stands as a testament to ancient craftsmanship. These tombs showcase vibrant colors and artistic expression, creating a visual feast for those who appreciate the intersection of history and art.

Escape the city’s hustle and bustle and find tranquility among the Tombs of Nobles. Beyond the crowds, immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere, forging a personal connection with the history embedded in these sacred spaces.

For enthusiasts of archaeology and Egyptology, the tombs provide a treasure trove of insights. Explore ancient burial practices, decipher hieroglyphic tales, and unravel the cultural nuances that define this fascinating period in Egypt’s history.

Related tour: Tour to the Tombs of Nobles in Aswan

12. Monastery of St. Simeon

Nestled on the Nile’s tranquil banks, the Monastery of St. Simeon in Aswan is a serene retreat echoing ancient Coptic history. Dating back to the 7th century, this architectural marvel reveals the monastic life of early Christians in Egypt.

Aswan Things To Do
St. Simeon Monastery

Discover the well-preserved ruins showcasing a fusion of Nubian, Roman, and Byzantine influences. The monastery’s intricate details offer a visual spectacle that transports visitors to a bygone era. Step into a sacred realm as you explore the tranquil courtyard and chapels. The monastery’s ambiance invites contemplation, providing a glimpse into the spiritual devotion that once filled this secluded retreat.

Perched on the west bank of the Nile, the monastery treats visitors to breathtaking views of the river and the surrounding desert landscape. It’s not just a historical site; it’s a vantage point to witness the timeless beauty of Aswan.

For history enthusiasts and those seeking a spiritual connection, the Monastery of St. Simeon promises a captivating journey through time. Each corridor and chamber tells a story, allowing visitors to envision the lives of the monks who sought solace in this sacred haven.

Related tour: Tour to St. Simeon Monastery & Tombs of Nobles 

Related topic: Christianity in Egypt

13. Sehel Island

Nestled along the Nile, Sehel Island is Aswan’s serene escape, where ancient inscriptions, lush greenery, and spiritual history converge. Adorned with Pharaonic carvings, Sehel Island unfolds tales of a distant past, creating a tangible link to Egypt’s rich history.

Aswan Things To Do
Famine Stela at Sehel Island

Home to the revered “Famine Stela,” the island provides a peaceful retreat, allowing visitors to connect with history and spirituality. Beyond its historical allure, Sehel Island offers a haven of lush greenery and tranquil shores—a perfect escape from the city’s hustle. Embark on a felucca ride to Sehel Island, letting the gentle currents of the Nile guide you to this peaceful oasis.

More than a destination, Sehel Island invites cultural immersion. Engage with locals, gaining insights into their traditions and daily life.

Related tour: Tour to Sehel Island & Elephantine Island

14. Nubian Village Tour

Enjoy a lovely tour to Nubian Village in Aswan. Welcome to an extraordinary journey through time and culture as we embark on a captivating tour to the Nubian Village in Aswan. This hidden gem, situated along the majestic banks of the Nile River, promises an enchanting experience that celebrates the vibrant traditions, rich heritage, and warm hospitality of the Nubian people.

Aswan Things To Do
Nubian Village in Aswan

Welcome to an extraordinary journey through time and culture as you embark on a captivating tour to Nubian Village in Aswan. This hidden gem, situated along the majestic banks of the Nile River, promises an enchanting experience that celebrates the vibrant traditions, rich heritage, and warm hospitality of the Nubian people.

Related tour: Tour to the Nubian Village in Aswan

In Aswan, the “things to do” are more than a checklist; they are a journey through time, a cultural odyssey, and an invitation to commune with the soul of Egypt. As we embark on this exceptional adventure together, let the allure of Aswan’s unique activities resonate within you, each moment a testament to the enduring spirit of a city that beckons you to experience its wonders.

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