2-Day Aswan Experience: Hidden Gems, Food, Wine & Shopping

Aswan, Egypt

2 days

Sahara desert and the Nile
Temple of Philae and the adjascent Greco-Roman buildings
The front side of the Abu Simbel temple
Colorful Nubian village
Felucca boat on the Nile with lit up background

About Aswan, Egypt

Experience the magic of Aswan, Egypt, a city of timeless beauty and ancient history. Nestled on the banks of the Nile, Aswan offers a rich cultural experience with its stunning temples, including the iconic Philae Temple and the double temple of Kom Ombo. Explore the Nubian villages, colorful markets, and the Aswan Dam, a marvel of modern engineering. Enjoy a serene felucca ride on the Nile at sunset or visit the Elephantine Island, a tranquil retreat away from the city's hustle. Aswan also serves as a gateway to the Abu Simbel temples, a UNESCO World Heritage site. With its warm hospitality, Aswan promises an unforgettable journey into Egypt's glorious past.

2-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Ancient History and Local Culture

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the Unfinished Obelisk, a significant archaeological site that offers a glimpse into ancient stone-working techniques. It's a peaceful spot, away from the usual tourist crowds.

Lunch

Enjoy a traditional Egyptian lunch at a local eatery. Try dishes like ful medames, koshari, and molokhia, paired with a refreshing hibiscus tea.

Afternoon

After lunch, head to the Nubian Museum, a hidden gem that houses a vast collection of artifacts from Nubia's rich history. The museum's garden is a tranquil spot to relax.

Dinner

For dinner, savor a meal at a riverside restaurant. Enjoy the local cuisine while taking in the beautiful views of the Nile River.

Evening

End your day with a stroll through the Aswan Souk, a bustling market where you can shop for spices, textiles, and traditional crafts. It's a great place to experience local life and culture.

Morning

Begin your second day with a visit to the Monastery of St. Simeon, a well-preserved 7th-century Coptic Christian monastery. The journey to the monastery, either by boat or camel, is an adventure in itself.

Lunch

Have lunch at a local restaurant serving fresh fish from the Nile. Pair your meal with a glass of local wine.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon exploring Elephantine Island. Visit the Aswan Museum, the ruins of ancient temples, and the colorful Nubian villages. The island offers a unique blend of history and local culture.

Dinner

Dine at a rooftop restaurant with panoramic views of Aswan. Try a traditional Egyptian dessert like Om Ali or basbousa.

Evening

Conclude your trip with a relaxing felucca ride on the Nile. As the sun sets, enjoy the serene beauty of the river and its surroundings.

Attractions in Itinerary (6)

Unfinished Obelisk

1
Unfinished Obelisk

An ancient Egyptian obelisk in the northern region of the stone quarries of ancient Egypt in Aswan.

Attractions
Monuments
Landmarks
Nubian Museum

2
Nubian Museum

A museum showcasing the history, art, and culture of the Nubian people.

Museums
Cultural Experiences
Aswan Souk

3
Aswan Souk

Aswan Souk is a bustling market where locals and tourists alike can buy a wide range of goods. It's a great place to shop for spices, scarves, jewelry, and traditional Nubian artifacts.

Shopping
Monastery of St. Simeon

4
Monastery of St. Simeon

This 7th-century monastery is one of the largest Coptic monasteries in Egypt, offering a glimpse into the country's Christian history. It's located on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Elephantine Island.

Attractions
Religious Sites
Elephantine Island

5
Elephantine Island

An island in the Nile River in central Aswan known for its archaeological sites.

Attractions
Cultural Experiences
Aswan Museum

6
Aswan Museum

Located on Elephantine Island, the Aswan Museum houses a collection of artifacts from the Aswan area and Nubia. It includes items from the prehistoric period to the Roman era.

Museums

Local Food and Drinks (12)

Ful Medames

Ful Medames

A popular Egyptian dish made from fava beans, olive oil, parsley, onion, garlic, and lemon. It is a staple food in Aswan and is often eaten for breakfast.

Koshari

Koshari

A traditional Egyptian dish made from rice, macaroni, and lentils mixed together, topped with a spiced tomato sauce, and garlic vinegar, garnished with chickpeas and crispy fried onions. It's a must-try in Aswan.

Molokhia

Molokhia

A traditional Egyptian soup made from the leaves of the jute plant, chicken broth, garlic, and coriander. It is a common dish in Aswan and is often served with bread or rice.

Shawarma

Shawarma

A popular street food in Aswan, made from thinly sliced cuts of meat, like chicken, beef, or lamb, rolled into a large piece of flatbread or pita that has been steamed or heated.

Tahini Sauce

Tahini Sauce

A traditional Egyptian side dish made from tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and parsley. It is often served as a starter dish in Aswan.

Baba Ghanoush

Baba Ghanoush

A popular appetizer in Aswan, made from mashed cooked eggplant mixed with tahini, olive oil, and various seasonings.

Mahshi

Mahshi

A traditional Egyptian dish made from vegetables like peppers, cabbage, tomatoes, and vine leaves stuffed with a rice mixture and cooked in tomato sauce. It's a common dish in Aswan.

Om Ali

Om Ali

A traditional Egyptian dessert made from puff pastry, milk, and nuts. It is a popular sweet treat in Aswan.

Shai

Shai

A traditional Egyptian tea often served with mint or milk. It is a common drink in Aswan and is often enjoyed throughout the day.

Sugarcane Juice

Sugarcane Juice

A popular drink in Aswan, made from the juice of sugarcane. It is often enjoyed as a refreshing drink on hot days.

Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus Tea

A traditional Egyptian drink made from dried hibiscus flowers. It is a common drink in Aswan and is often served hot or cold.

Salep

Salep

A traditional Egyptian drink made from the tubers of the orchid genus Orchis. It is a popular winter beverage in Aswan.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Aswan, Egypt is during the winter months, from October to April. During this period, the weather is cooler and more comfortable for sightseeing and exploring the city's ancient monuments and attractions. The temperatures during these months typically range from 15°C to 28°C, making it ideal for outdoor activities. However, it's worth noting that this is also the peak tourist season, so popular sites may be crowded.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 7

Sun

Coptic Christmas Day

January 25

Thu

Revolution Day January 25

April 10

Wed

Eid el Fitr

April 11

Thu

Eid el Fitr Holiday

April 12

Fri

Eid el Fitr Holiday

April 25

Thu

Sinai Liberation Day

May 1

Wed

Labor Day

May 6

Mon

Spring Festival

June 16

Sun

Arafat Day

June 17

Mon

Eid al-Adha

June 18

Tue

Eid al-Adha Holiday

June 19

Wed

Eid al-Adha Holiday

June 30

Sun

June 30 Revolution

July 4

Thu

Day off for June 30 Revolution

July 8

Mon

Muharram

July 23

Tue

Revolution Day July 23

July 25

Thu

Day off for Revolution Day July 23

September 16

Mon

Prophet Mohamed's Birthday

October 6

Sun

Armed Forces Day

October 10

Thu

Day off for Armed Forces Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Private cars are a popular mode of transportation in Aswan. You can hire a car with a driver for the day to take you around the city. This is a convenient option as the driver can also act as a guide, providing valuable information about the various attractions.

Taxis are readily available in Aswan. They are a convenient way to get around, especially if you're not familiar with the city. Always agree on a fare before starting your journey to avoid any misunderstandings.

Public buses are a cheap and efficient way to get around Aswan. They cover most parts of the city and run frequently. However, they can get quite crowded during peak hours.

Ferries are a popular mode of transportation in Aswan, especially for crossing the Nile River. They offer a unique and scenic way to travel around the city.

The train station in Aswan is well-connected to other major cities in Egypt. Trains are a comfortable and efficient way to travel long distances.

Ridesharing services, such as Uber, are available in Aswan. They offer a convenient and often cheaper alternative to traditional taxis. You can book a ride using the app on your smartphone.

Motorboats are commonly used for short trips across the Nile or to nearby islands. They offer a unique and enjoyable way to see the city from the water.

Bicycles can be rented from various locations in Aswan. They are a cheap and eco-friendly way to get around, especially for short distances.

A felucca is a traditional wooden sailing boat used in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially along the Nile in Egypt. It's a popular way to enjoy a leisurely sail along the river, offering stunning views of the city and its surroundings.

Camel rides are a popular tourist activity in Aswan. They offer a unique and fun way to explore the desert areas around the city.

Many of Aswan's attractions are located close to each other, making it possible to explore the city on foot. Walking also allows you to take in the city's atmosphere at your own pace.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency£ EGP

Time zoneUTC+2

Driving sideRight

Emergency phoneAmbulance: 123; Fire: 180; Police: 122

Drinking waterOpt for bottled water

Power sockets

Power socket type CPower socket type F

Voltage220 V

Things to know about Aswan, Egypt as a first time visitor

1

Aswan is located in the south of Egypt and is known for its hot desert climate. Summers can be extremely hot with temperatures reaching up to 110°F (43°C), while winters are milder with temperatures ranging from 55°F to 75°F (13°C to 24°C).

2

The official language is Arabic. However, English is widely spoken in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants.

3

The official currency is the Egyptian Pound (EGP). Credit cards are accepted in most places but it's advisable to carry some cash for smaller vendors.

4

Tipping, or 'baksheesh', is a common practice in Egypt. It's customary to tip waitstaff, hotel staff, taxi drivers, and tour guides.

5

Egypt is a predominantly Muslim country. Therefore, it's important to respect local customs and dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites.

6

Aswan is generally safe for tourists. However, like any other city, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings secure.

7

Public transportation options include taxis, microbuses, and ferries. However, taxis are the most convenient for tourists.

8

Aswan is known for its vibrant markets. The Aswan Souk is a popular market where you can buy spices, perfumes, traditional clothing, and souvenirs.

9

Egyptian cuisine is diverse and delicious. Don't miss out on trying local dishes like falafel, koshary, and molokhia.

10

Drinking tap water is not recommended. It's advisable to drink bottled water.

11

It's advisable to get travel insurance that covers medical expenses, as healthcare can be expensive.

12

Egypt operates on Eastern European Time (EET), which is 2 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+2).

13

Egypt uses the type C and F plug sockets. The standard voltage is 220 V, and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.

14

Egypt requires a visa for most foreign visitors. It's advisable to check the visa requirements before your trip.

15

The sun can be intense in Aswan. Don't forget to pack sunblock, sunglasses, and a hat.

16

Aswan is known for its beautiful sunsets. A sunset cruise on the Nile is a must-do activity.

17

Haggling is a common practice in Egyptian markets. Don't be afraid to negotiate prices.

18

The best time to visit Aswan is during the winter months (October to April) when the weather is milder.

19

Aswan is home to many Nubian villages. Visiting these villages is a great way to learn about the Nubian culture and history.

20

If you're planning to take a felucca ride on the Nile, it's advisable to negotiate the price before you board.

Basic Arabic to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase

Pronunciation

When to use it

Hello

مرحبا

Marhaba

Greeting someone

Goodbye

مع السلامة

Ma'a as-salama

Leaving or saying goodbye

Please

من فضلك

Min fadlak

Making a request

Thank you

شكرا

Shukran

Expressing gratitude

Yes

نعم

Na'am

Agreeing or confirming

No

لا

La

Disagreeing or denying

Excuse me

عفوا

Afuwan

Getting attention or apologizing

I don't understand

أنا لا أفهم

Ana la afham

When you don't understand what was said

Do you speak English?

هل تتحدث الإنجليزية؟

Hal tatahadath al-ingliziya?

Trying to find someone who speaks English

I'm sorry

أنا آسف

Ana asef

Apologizing

Where is...?

أين هو...؟

Ayna hu...?

Asking for a location

Bathroom

الحمام

Al-hammam

Looking for a bathroom

Help

مساعدة

Musa'ada

In case of emergency

Food

طعام

Ta'am

Looking for a place to eat

Water

ماء

Ma'a

Asking for water

Hotel

فندق

Fanduq

Looking for a place to stay

Taxi

تاكسي

Taksi

Looking for transportation

How much does it cost?

بكم هذا؟

Bikam hadha?

Asking for the price

I am lost

أنا ضائع

Ana daa'i

When you are lost

Can you help me?

هل يمكنك مساعدتي؟

Hal yumkinuk musa'adati?

When you need help

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Swimsuit

  • Sunglasses

  • Hat for sun protection

  • Light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings

  • Toiletries

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Sunscreen

  • Lip balm with SPF

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Prescription medications

  • First-aid kit

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license or ID card

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash and coins

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and tour reservation confirmations

  • Emergency contacts and important addresses

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Headphones

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Travel adapter for Egyptian outlets

  • Portable power bank

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Travel pillow

  • Earplugs and eye mask

  • Snacks

  • Water bottle

  • Books or e-books for leisure reading

  • Travel guidebook for Aswan

  • Notebook and pen

  • Reusable shopping bag

  • Tissues or wet wipes

Weather Conditions

Aswan, Egypt is known for its hot desert climate, so it's essential to prepare for high temperatures, especially if you're planning to visit between May and September when the mercury can soar above 104°F (40°C). During these months, it's advisable to stay hydrated, wear light, breathable clothing, and use sun protection like hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen. The winter months, from November to February, are more comfortable with daytime temperatures typically ranging from 68°F to 79°F (20°C to 26°C). However, nights can be quite cool, dropping to around 50°F (10°C), so it's a good idea to pack some warmer clothing for the evenings. Despite its desert location, Aswan can occasionally experience rain, although it's rare and usually occurs during the winter months. It's always a good idea to check the forecast before your trip to be prepared for any unexpected weather changes. Remember, the sun in Aswan can be intense, so it's important to take regular breaks from the heat, especially during the peak hours of 12 pm to 3 pm. Many local businesses close during this time to avoid the hottest part of the day, so plan your activities accordingly. Lastly, don't forget to enjoy the beautiful clear skies that Aswan offers, especially at night. The lack of light pollution makes stargazing a truly magical experience. Enjoy your trip to Aswan, and stay safe in the heat!

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview

January

28° / 8°

January is the coldest month in Aswan, but it's still relatively warm with temperatures ranging from 8 to 28 degrees Celsius.

February

31° / 9°

In February, the weather starts to warm up a bit, with temperatures ranging from 9 to 31 degrees Celsius.

March

35° / 13°

March sees a significant increase in temperature, making it a great time to visit if you enjoy warmer weather.

April

40° / 18°

April is quite hot in Aswan, with temperatures reaching up to 40 degrees Celsius, so make sure to stay hydrated.

May

44° / 22°

May is one of the hottest months in Aswan, with temperatures often exceeding 40 degrees Celsius.

June

46° / 24°

June is the peak of summer in Aswan, with temperatures reaching up to 46 degrees Celsius.

July

46° / 24°

July is equally hot as June, with temperatures ranging from 24 to 46 degrees Celsius.

August

46° / 24°

August continues the trend of hot summer months, with temperatures remaining high.

September

44° / 22°

September sees a slight decrease in temperature, but it's still quite hot in Aswan.

October

40° / 18°

October is a bit cooler, making it a more comfortable time for sightseeing.

November

35° / 13°

In November, the weather starts to cool down a bit, making it a great time to visit Aswan.

December

31° / 9°

December is one of the cooler months in Aswan, with temperatures ranging from 9 to 31 degrees Celsius.

Did you know?

Did you know that Aswan is the third largest city in Egypt and is located in the south of the country?

1 of 10

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