Aswan, the gateway to Africa and the heart of ancient Nubia, is a city of striking beauty and rich history. Located at the southern tip of Egypt, it boasts splendid Nile views, important archaeological sites, and a blend of Egyptian and Nubian cultures. This guide will take you through the distinctive food, culture, travel tips, interesting facts, and top places in Aswan.


Aswan's cuisine is a mix of traditional Egyptian and Nubian flavors. The location near the Nile River ensures that there's always fresh fish to savor.

  • Grilled Fish: Enjoy freshly caught fish from the Nile, seasoned with aromatic spices and perfectly grilled.
  • Shamsi Bread: This traditional Nubian bread is made from whole wheat and is incredibly delicious. It is often served with stews, soups, or even honey.
  • Kebabs and Kofta: Indulge in juicy grilled meat in the form of kebabs and kofta, often served with rice or bread.
  • Nubian Coffee: Experience traditional Nubian coffee's rich, spicy flavor, often brewed with ginger and other spices.


Aswan's culture is unique, heavily influenced by the ancient Egyptian civilization and Nubian heritage.

  • Nubian Villages: Nubian villages such as Gharb Soheil are colorful and vibrant, reflecting the rich heritage and traditions of the Nubian people.
  • Languages: Arabic is the official language, but many residents speak Nubian languages. English is also spoken in tourist areas.
  • Art and Music: Nubian music and art are integral to Aswan's culture. The lively sounds of Nubian music and the colorful patterns in their art are distinctive.
  • Traditional Clothing: Nubian traditional clothing is bright and colorful, reflecting the spirit of the people.

Travel Tips

When exploring the allure of Aswan, consider these travel tips to enhance your experience:

  • Currency: The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound. Keep small notes handy for transportation and tipping.
  • Transportation: Taxis and boats are the primary modes of transport. Agree on a fare before setting off in a taxi.
  • Climate: Aswan has a hot desert climate. Visit between October and February for milder weather. Pack a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses.
  • Bargaining: Haggling is expected in the markets. Feel free to negotiate prices.
  • Stay Hydrated: The heat can be intense, so drink enough water throughout the day.

Interesting Facts

  • Ancient Granite Quarries: Aswan was the source of ancient Egypt's granite for sculptures and obelisks.
  • Nubian Culture: Aswan is considered the heartland of Nubian culture, one of Africa's oldest civilizations.
  • The High Dam: The Aswan High Dam, built in the 1960s, is one of the largest dams in the world and played a significant role in Egypt's modern history.

Top Places

  • Abu Simbel Temples: Though not located in Aswan, a day trip to these breathtaking temples, built by Ramesses II, is a must.
  • The Nubian Museum: This museum is dedicated to Nubian culture and history. Its extensive collection and beautifully landscaped gardens are a delight to explore.
  • Philae Temple: Situated on an island, this ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Isis is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Elephantine Island: One of the oldest sites in Egypt, this island in the middle of the Nile is home to ancient ruins and the Aswan Museum.
  • The Botanical Garden: Located on Kitcheners Island, this garden boasts an impressive collection of plants and is a perfect place for a peaceful walk.

Aswan is not just a city but an experience that blends ancient history with vibrant culture. With its majestic Nile, ancient temples, and unique Nubian heritage, Aswan promises an unforgettable journey through time. Whether you're a history enthusiast or looking for a peaceful getaway, Aswan is a destination that should be noticed.