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Aswan is located in the south of Egypt, some 680 km (425 miles) south of Cairo, just below the Aswan Dam and Lake Nasser. Compared to Cairo and Luxor, Aswan is a far more relaxed, if smaller, alternative as a traveller's destination.


Get in

By plane

An average of six return flights a day are maintained by Egyptair between Aswan and the Egyptian capital Cairo. One morning flight also exists between Luxor and Aswan, the lower frequency reflecting the cities' greater proximity and practical alternatives like train and taxi.

By train

By car

By bus

By boat

Get around

Aswan is compact enough to negotiate primarily on foot. For weary feet or for some of the more far flung attractions (like Philae, the High Dam and the unfinished obelisks) there are other options that include taxis and horse-drawn carriages. Note that to access the sights on the river islands or on the West Bank, you will need to cross the river by motor boat or felluca.


The souqs (markets) in Aswan are refreshingly exotic without the same level of high-pressure selling found in some tourist towns further north - see below in Buy

Aswan Town and the East Bank

  • Nubian Museum, located opposite the Basma Hotel, south of the Old Cataract Hotel, at the southern edge of Aswan town on Sharia Abtal al-Tahrir - approximately a half hour walk from the city centre. Entry £20. Camera fee: £10. Open daily 0900-1300 and 1700-2100.
  • Unfinished Obelisks

The River and Islands

  • Sehel Island

West Bank

  • Tombs of the Nobles
  • Kubbet el-Hawa - on top of the hill above the Tombs of the Nobles is to be found a small shrine / tomb of a local sheikh and holy man. The climb is rewarded with amazing views of Aswan, the Nile river and the surrounding landscape, richly evoked in the translation from the Arabic of the place name, "the dome of the wind'.
  • Mausoleum of the Aga Khan
  • Monastery of St Simeon


  • Take a felucca ride on the Nile at Aswan













NB: As of August 2004, Aswan has had its telephone exchange upgraded and an additional "2" must now be added to old 6-digit telephone numbers..... The format for overseas callers, for example, should now be +20 97 2xxx xxx. Mobile phone numbers are unaffected by this change.

Stay safe


Get out

Aswan is the ideal base for trips to the nearby attractions of the Aswan High Dam and the temple of Philae. A taxi-driven tour to these sites, including a visit to the unfinished obelisks, should cost about £30-40 for a small group.

Taxi trips can also be taken to the nearby towns of Daraw and Kom Ombo further north on the Nile. Arrange this carefully as a police convoy may well be necessary.

Further afield lies Abu Simbel.

External links

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