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15 Best Places to See in Aswan, Egypt

Aswan is one of the most essential cities to visit in Egypt. It is located on the eastern bank of the Nile River.

The city has many interesting places to visit and if you are thinking of including it in your tour of Egypt, I recommend that you dedicate at least 3 days to discover the city and its surroundings.

In this post I will tell you about the 15 essential places to see in Aswan and I will add some tips so that you can find a location in the best area.

Aswan, Egipto

Aswan was known in antiquity as the city of Swenet, it belonged to the Kingdom of Nubia and was an important commercial port where some of the most precious merchandise of the time arrived, such as gold, ivory and spices.

In Aswan was one of the most important quarries in the country. From it they subtracted the granite stone that was used for the construction of the great temples and monuments of Egypt.


1. The Temple of Philae, an architectural wonder to see in Aswan

The Temple of Philae was built during the reign of Pharaoh Nectanebo I although it was later expanded on several occasions during different reigns. The temple is made up of several patios, sanctuaries, rooms... all of them decorated with reliefs and hieroglyphs. The temple, dedicated to the goddess Isis, is one of the essential places to see in Aswan.

Aswan, Egipto

The entrance stands out for its huge stone basins. Once you cross the entrance, the temple will not cease to amaze you. It is in very good condition. You will be able to see in the Temple of Isis some of the last hieroglyphs that were written in the time of the pharaohs.

On the island there are other interesting monuments to visit such as the Temple of Hathor, the Kiosk of Trajan and Hadrian's Gate.

To visit the Temple of Philae it is advisable to book a tour to see the Aswan Dam, the Temple of Filea and the Unfinished Obelisk.

Aswan, Egipto

2. The Aswan Dam

The Aswan Dam is located 20 kilometers south of the city of Aswan and is one of the greatest engineering works of the 20th century. The construction of the dam made it possible to control the constant flooding of the Nile and produce enough electricity for a large part of Egypt. The dam is enormous, measuring 111 meters high. Around the lake you can go hiking, have a picnic and enjoy some quiet time.

3. The unfinished obelisk

This impressive obelisk has been unfinished for just over 3,500 years. During its construction, it is estimated that many greeks will be formed that could not be repaired by separating it from the original rock, which ultimately caused its abandonment.

In Aswan there was an important quarry in Ancient Egypt and it is believed that it was the pharaoh queen Hatshepsut who ordered the construction of this obelisk with the intention of being the largest in Egypt with more than 40 meters high and weighing approximately 1200 tons.

To visit the unfinished obelisk, it is advisable to book a tour to see the Aswan Dam, the Temple of Filea and the Unfinished Obelisk.

4. Elephantine Island

Elephantine Island is located in front of what was the first waterfall that was used to control the ancient trade routes along the Nile River.

The Nubian community is located on this island. It has several interesting places to visit such as the ruins of the Khnum temple and the Aswan Museum.

Aswan, Egipto

5. The Nubian

Gharb Soheil, also known as the Nubian town, is a town with a lot of character and very original to see in Aswan.

Nubia was a region located between southern Egypt and northern Sudan. Today, the Nubian peoples extend along the Nile Valley and still preserve a physiognomy that makes them different. His dark skin with marked features contrasts surprisingly with his light eyes, blue in some cases.

The best way to visit the town is to take an excursion. With this excursion you will not only visit the Nubian town, but also the mausoleum of Sultan Aga Khan, the well-known Elephantine Island and the emblematic Old Cataract Hotel, known for its famous clients, among which Agatha Christie stood out, who spent long periods there working on some novels like “Death on the Nile.”

6. Wake of Hunger

The Famine Stele is a 6-meter-high natural granite stone that contains a hieroglyphic inscription explaining a famine and drought that affected Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Djoser of the third dynasty. This text inscribed on the stone is more than 2000 years old.

7. The tombs of the Nobles

The Tombs of the Nobles is one of the main places to visit in Aswan. They are a site of several tombs excavated in the rock on the banks of the Nile River. These tombs were built more than 2,500 years ago during ancient Egypt. All the tombs are decorated with wall paintings depicting scenes of daily life and religious scenes. There are around 60 tombs in total and the highlights are the Harkhuf Tombs, the tomb of Mentuhotep and the Tomb of Sabni.

Aswan, Egipto

8. Abu Simbel, the essential temples to see in Aswan

Abu Simbel is one of the essential places to see in Egypt and is a must-see from Aswan. It is an archaeological site about 230 kilometers from the city of Aswan. The site consists of two rock-cut temples built during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II, who ruled Egypt for 66 years. He was the pharaoh who ordered the construction of more temples and historical buildings in Egypt.

The main temple is dedicated to Ramses II himself, as well as other gods such as Amun, Ptah and Ra-Horakhty. The second, much smaller temple in the complex is dedicated to Ramses II's wife, Nefertari.

In ancient times, Abu Simbel was one of the most important religious temples in Egypt and was visited by pilgrims from all over the country.

The temple was buried by the desert for centuries and it was not until 1813 that a Swiss explorer discovered it. Later, in 1960, the Aswan Dam caused many floods, destroying temples and historical places, so the government was afraid that the same thing would happen to Abu Simbel and sent a large group of engineers and archaeologists to move the stone-stone temple to a furthest and highest area.

Aswan, Egipto

9. The Monastery of San Simeon

The Monastery of San Simeon is another of the essential places to see in Aswan. It was built in the 7th century AD. and is dedicated to Saint Simeon. It stands out for being built on the top of a hill, surrounded by a stone wall. The monastery is made up of different areas; the Upper Church, the Lower Church, the monastery courtyard, the refectory and the library.

10. Kom Ombo and Edfu

40 kilometers from Aswan are the impressive temples of Kom Ombo and Edfu, essential places to see in Egypt.

In the town of Kom Ombo is the site on which the Sobek temple and the Haroeris temple are located. In them you can see some carved hieroglyphics.

Just 5 minutes from the temple is the Crocodile Museum, where you can see the permanent collection where these reptiles so worshiped in Ancient Egypt are venerated.

In the town of Edfu is the temple of Horus, a falcon god, which still generates many unknowns today.

Aswan, Egipto

11. The city of Aswan

Obviously, if you travel to Aswan, you cannot miss visiting its city. Although the vast majority of temples and historically interesting places are located on the outskirts of the city, the city also offers interesting and charming places to visit.

Its souk is the nerve center of the city, full of life and an experience for all the senses.

In the city you can visit the Nubian Museum, created in association with UNESCO to learn about ancient Nubian culture and see some of the Egyptian objects and monuments rescued from the waters of the Nile after the construction of the Aswan Dam.

12. The Aga Khan Mausoleum

The Aga Khan Mausoleum houses the tomb of Sultan Mahommed Shah the Aga Khan III. It cannot be visited inside, but you can enjoy the beauty of the place from the outside, taking a boat ride on the Nile.

13. The Kalabsha Temple

The Kalabsha temple is one of the essential temples to visit in Aswan. It was built during Roman times around the year 30 BC, in homage to Mandulis, the sun god of lower Nubia. The temple is quite large, it is about 76 meters long and 22 meters wide. Like Abu Simbel, it was displaced for the construction of the Aswan High Dam.

Aswan, Egipto

14. Beit el-Wali Temple

This small temple from the time of Ramses II was carved out of the rock and is dedicated to Amun-Ra. The temple has a courtyard decorated with military scenes of Ramses II and his campaigns against the Libyans, Asians, Ethiopians and the Kush People.

15. Boat trip on the Nile, a great activity to do in Aswan

Finally, you cannot leave Aswan without taking a boat trip on the Nile. There are several multi-day cruises that will take you to other destinations. However, if you want to take a 1:30 hour walk, it will cost less than 10 euros, and it will be the perfect opportunity to appreciate the city and the temples from another perspective.

Aswan, Egipto


The city is relatively small and there are several accommodations for all budgets. You can find 3-star accommodation for 25 euros a night in rooms. Double up to about 60 euros per night in room. Double in superior accommodations. Find hotel in Aswan, Egypt.

Some great accommodation options where to stay in Aswan:


I hope you enjoy your trip to Egypt a lot and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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