Aswan Port offers a unique blending of ancient Egypt and Nubian culture. It's on the site of the ancient city of Syene, and throughout history, has been used by the Egyptians, Romans, Ottomans, and Germans. It's currently the site of the Aswan dam. This Nile River location offers some of the nicest sunsets you'll ever see. It makes an excellent winter destination due to the warm, dry climate. Most of the area is easy to navigate on foot.
Aswan, like many cities in Arab countries, has an open-air market known as a souk. Souks provide a place for local crafters to sell beautiful items and this one is no exception. Some of the items you might find here include scarves, fresh spices, baskets, and perfume. The souk is located 2 blocks from the river, making it easy to find. Another good place for bargain hunters is the bazaar on Saad Zaghlool St. Tea is a very popular item here.
A great Egyptian souvenir that's sought after is a cartouche. This piece of jewelry that features the owner's name in hieroglyphics can be made just for you at Om Elnor Jewelry. The Nubian House Restaurant has a small gift shop. Souvenir stands are found along the main streets and outside the historic sites.
Things to See
The Corniche is an ideal place where you can walk around and take in the sights. An impressive number of sailboats dock here, and you're likely to see a variety of different vessels traveling back and forth. Kitchener's Island nearby has famous gardens.
If an authentic taste of local culture is what you like, you'll want to make it a point to visit the Cultural Center. A folklore troupe performs Nubian stick fight dances and live music every night. This is definitely a different nightlife experience.
A cemetery features numerous tombs from the Fatid era. Some sarcophagi dating back to Roman times have been unearthed in the area. The Tomb of Aga Khan is a simple but impressive work. The tomb of Qubbet el-Hawwa is found on cliffs above the city.
Important historical sites include the pre-Dynastic Elephantine Island, the immense Unfinished Obelisk, and a colossus. The Nubian Museum brings the history of these ancient people to life. Over 3000 artifacts are on display.
Some religious sites of note are located here. The Coptic Monastery of St. Simeone has stood since the 6th century. Several mosques are located in the city.
Restaurants and Bars
One of Aswan's unique features are the floating restaurants. These offer a one-of-a-kind experience. The local restaurants' specialties are fresh fish from the Nile and the Red Sea.
Aswan offers several fun eateries. The Old Cataract Hotel has stood since the 19th century. One of their specialities is afternoon tea served on their terrace. Essa Island, out in the middle of the Nile, has a Nubian restaurant with nightly entertainment featuring whirling dervishes. The Jasmin is a dinner cruise ship that has a multi-course buffet.
The Terrace at the Old Cataract Hotel has a colonial atmosphere. Some restaurants serve alcohol, but tea houses are more popular destinations.