Home » 11 Fun Things To Do in Aswan, Egypt With Kids

11 Fun Things To Do in Aswan, Egypt With Kids

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Last Updated on June 20, 2024 by Leslie Stroud

You’ve taken the plunge and are headed to Egypt.  I’m so excited for you!  We all loved our trip to Egypt, even our picky teenagers.  That is high praise!

As we planned our Egypt adventure, my husband insisted on visiting Abu Simbel. Most people spend a night in Aswan before or after a visit to Abu Simbel.  However, Aswan offers much more to visiting families than simply a night’s sleep.

Taking the boat to Philae Temple is a highlight in Aswan.

*Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Opinions shared are my own, and I only endorse products or activities I support. By clicking on any of the links below, I may get a small commission if you purchase at absolutely no additional charge to you. I appreciate your support.*

What To Know About Aswan Before Visiting

Aswan’s gorgeous section of the Nile River runs right down the center, dividing the city into two parts. The East Bank has more establishments and hotels and will likely be where you stay. For a more authentic experience or fewer crowds, head to the West Bank.

Much of the material for Ancient Egypt’s statues and temples was mined from the quarries around Aswan.  While far from Luxor and Cairo, Aswan was a critical location in Ancient Egypt.  

Aswan holds the record as one of the sunniest places on earth! Rain is rare, and high temperatures are the norm. As rainfall is extremely rare, you don’t need an umbrella. Pack the sunscreen instead.  

Aswan is a bit off the beaten tourist path and can give you a break from the intense crowds in other hot spots in Egypt. We enjoyed taking a long swim in our hotel pool on the bank of the Nile. During our April visit, we were only accompanied by one other family in the hotel pool. We also swam IN the Nile, which was super fun!

Many Nile River cruises either stop in Aswan or pass through. If you’re planning a river cruise, you can easily add on some time here.

Cataract Hotel,Egypt. This famous luxury hotel has hosted guests such as ANgela Landsbury and more.

How To Get to Aswan, Egypt

We arrived in Aswan on one of the many regular flights from Cairo daily.  It’s a quick flight, one-hour or less. We recommend EgyptAir

Other transportation to Aswan includes trains, buses, and Nile River cruises.

By train, you can take Egypt’s national railway, which provides several options:

  • Day Trains: These trains offer a comfortable and economical way to travel while enjoying the view of the Nile and the Egyptian countryside.
  • Night Trains: Overnight sleeper trains are available for those who prefer to save on accommodation costs. 

Traveling by bus is a long-distance ride between Cairo and Aswan. While this option is generally the least comfortable due to the long travel time (approximately 12-15 hours), it can be a budget-friendly alternative for travelers.

The Nile River Cruise is one of the most unique and picturesque ways to reach Aswan by taking a Nile River cruise. Cruises typically start from Luxor and travel southward to Aswan over several days. This option is ideal for those looking to combine transportation with sightseeing and relaxation.

Nile River, Egypt. You can find many great hotels on the banks of the Nile. Source Unsplash

Top 11 Things To Do in Aswan With Kids

1. Abu Simbel ranks highest on most tourist lists when researching Aswan.  Visiting this massive temple of Ramses II and a smaller temple for his wife, Nefertari, takes about eight hours of driving roundtrip by private car from Aswan.  Note that we share many tips for visiting Abu Simbel in our post here, such as how the highways are closed at night until 5 am due to safety reasons. 

2. Nubian Village or Nubian Museum Visit.  Aswan sits close to the Egyptian border with Nubia.  Nubian culture influences Aswan and can be fun to learn about.  With our tour guide, we took a small boat on the Nile to a Nubian Village.  While a bit of a tourist trap, it was a highlight for our kids.  We swam in the Nile during our journey, which is most welcome with the high temps in this area, and landed in a village area.  

We visited a local home set up for such visits. We enjoyed holding their pet crocodiles, seeing their larger crocodiles in their home, drinking some hibiscus tea (a favorite of ours in Egypt), doing henna, and enjoying the sweeping Nile views.

Nile River, Nubian Village, Aswan, Egypt. Source Unsplash
Hennah fun during our Nubian Village visit.

Afterward, we had one of our best meals in Egypt at a nearby restaurant.  The food was so fresh and delicious!

3. Philae Temple.  Perhaps the most romantic temple in all of Egypt, Philae brings to mind fantasies of what it would be like to visit this temple in the days of ancient Egypt.  Coined the “Temple of Love,” it’s easy to imagine an illicit meeting at this temple back in the day.  

Accessed by boat, the gorgeous temple sits on an island and must have been quite the sight back in the day. It’s still impressive to modern visitors.  

Today, visitors are awestruck by the intricate hieroglyphics, views of the Nile, and rich history.  You can find the last known hieroglyphics to be inscribed, as well as the famous Philae Temple Cats (with their own Facebook page). 

Similarly to Abu Simbel, Philae Temple was relocated due to the potential flooding after the damming of the Nile River.  UNESCO led the change to surround the island and move the temple brick by brick to Agilkia Island.  This massive project moved over 45,000 blocks of rock.

Temple tickets run around 150 EGP.  Be sure to check out the Sound and Light Show if you are in Aswan for the evening.

Philae Temple, Aswan, Egypt. This island temple was moved from another location to avoid flooding. We loved all the island cats.

Pro Tip: When visiting Philae Temple, you can climb one of the pylons for an additional cost. If you are interested in this add-on and the great views, ask at the ticket office. We did not attempt this with our young kids, but it sounds great!

4. Nile Boat Ride.  Extend your Philae Temple trip or hire a private boat, readily available in Aswan, for a cruise up and down the Nile.  You’ll see plenty of wildlife and sand dunes, and you can stop for a quick swim.

5. Sunset Felucca Sail. Although these traditional boats are not powered to go very fast, they are stunning to look at and photograph. If there is a breeze, hop on and enjoy a ride! If you are a good negotiator, you can rent a private one for only about $15-20 USD. Don’t be afraid to ask several about their prices for a private ride and barter.

A felucca sailboat on the River Nile reflected in the water.

6. West Bank Tombs.  Also called the Tombs of the Nobles or the Price’s Tombs, these tombs lie on the west bank of the Nile.  Carved out of the rock itself, the tombs sit above the river.  Be prepared to hike up 90 steps or so from the ticket office.  You can get a ferry across the river near the train station in Aswan.  The views are stunning.  Note that donkey, horse, and camel rides are also available up the mountain, but negotiate hard on this as it is an easy way to be scammed.  There are also concerns about the treatment of the animals themselves.

7. Aswan Market.  Visit this spice market in Aswan and breathe in the scents of Egypt itself.  This market is about two kilometers from the train station in Aswan and has some roofing to beat the intense heat.

Market at Aswan, Egypt

8. Feryal Garden. For a nominal price, enjoy this garden near the famous Cataract Hotel.  Relax away from the other tourists and enjoy some Nile views.

9. Kitchner’s Island/Botanical Garden.  Enjoy exploring by boat and take the kids to this island garden away from the city.  Its Garden of Eden vibe can calm parents’ nerves while kids enjoy the outside.  Unless you want to pay for a tour, let the gardeners know you want to see the gardens on your own.

10. Aswan High Dam.  A visit to a dam doesn’t usually top our lists with kids, but we did swing by to see this impressive project in person on our way into Aswan from Abu Simbel.  Combining national budgets, loans, and donations from around the world, this massive project cost over $1 billion!  Sadly, it also evicted nearly 100,000 Nubian people living near the Nile.

However, our guide explained that the inconsistency of the Nile flooding before the dam was becoming catastrophic. Since the dam was implemented, the Nile no longer has crocodiles! Lake Nassar has over 40,000 crocodiles, but we never saw any. This is horrible for the crocodile ecosystem, but it is a bit safer for those of us taking a swim.

Lake Nassar is the result of the Aswan High Dam.  The views from the top are beautiful, and our boys enjoyed both the engineering lesson and the stray dogs, to which we fed some leftovers.  Our visit here only lasted a few minutes.

11. Unfinished Obelisk.  We crossed this site off our visit at the last minute due to time constraints, but seeing this massive structure in person delights many visitors.  This obelisk remains to be seen today simply because it cracked near its completion and was abandoned.  It would have been the world’s largest obelisk at almost 140 feet (42.5 m).  

Karnak Temple in Luxor holds a contemporary obelisk.  A visit here can shed some light on how the ancient Egyptians cut their stone.

Where To Stay in Aswan With Kids

Aswan – Cataract Hotel has stunning views of the river and impeccable service. It’s a favorite among travelers seeking a touch of elegance during their stay in Aswan. Enjoy spacious rooms, delectable cuisine, and a serene ambiance that perfectly complements your exploration of the region’s ancient wonders.

Cataract Hotel. Source Booking

Movenpick Resort Aswan, set on its own island, offers 404 rooms and suites, six restaurants and bars, two pools, and lush gardens with stunning Nile views. The resort emphasizes sustainable hospitality, featuring an organic farm, birdwatching station, and a deer farm, with over 90% local staff from Aswan.

Pyramisa Island Hotel Aswan is an exotic resort on a Nile island near central Aswan that features 450 rooms and suites with panoramic views of the Nile, mountains, and gardens. The hotel offers modern amenities, a spa, and airport pick-up service.

Day Trips From Aswan

Going into Nubia is not recommended for tourists at the moment, but there are a few day trips from Aswan if you have some time in the area.

Edfu and Kom Ombo Temples are typical stops on a journey from Aswan to Luxor and can be day trips from Aswan. 

Kom Ombo temple is a double temple thought to be dedicated to two sets of Gods. Everything is perfectly symmetrical along the main axis of the temple, making it unusual. Kids will also enjoy the 300+ crocodiles in the Crocodile Museum.

Alligator hat is a real thrill! Nubian families have strong relationships with these creatures.
Nubian families often keep alligators as pets. You can visit a home and interact with one.
We loved seeing the adult alligators in the Nubian home.

Edfu Temple is closer to Luxor and is dedicated to Horus.  It is one of the best-preserved shrines in Egypt and a good stop for temple lovers.  Kids may not be interested, but sometimes we need to insert our own wishes and visit anyway!  With lighting added in 2006, night visits are sometimes available as well, but opening hours always need to be verified at the time of your visit.

Abu Simbel, as mentioned above, is the most common day trip from Aswan.  There isn’t much to see on the journey there and back, but the temples are very cool, even for kids.

Other Tips for Visiting Aswan With Kids

  • Note that Uber is not available in Aswan.  If you have a private tour guide, this won’t matter, but if you are making your way around Egypt on your own, you’ll want to use taxi drivers in Aswan.
  • Remember that Aswan is much further south than Cairo; it’s hot!  Bring swimsuits and summer clothing.
  • Avoid going during July and August, which can be the hottest months, with temperatures between 40 and 50 degrees Celsius.

Additional Reading

Visiting the Great Pyramids in Egypt With Kids

Visiting Abu Simbel Temple in Egypt With Kids

30 Must-Have Tips for Flying With a Toddler

Planning for your next trip to Egypt?

Catch great fare deals from Booking.com, Skyscanner, Kiwi.com, or Expedia

Find a nice hotel near the Great Pyramid from

Aswan – Cataract Hotel , Movenpick Resort Aswan , Pyramisa Island Hotel Aswan

Discover more of Egypt while having fun through exciting activities from GetYourGuide,

West Bank Tombs , Sunset Felucca Sail , Nile Boat Ride , Sound and Light Show , Philae Temple , Nubian Museum Visit

Need to rent a car to navigate the city?

Visit Rentalcars.com.Get insured while traveling with World Nomads.

Want to have a photo shoot while traveling? Check out flytographer!

Capture your best memories in Great Pyramid as we do with a Insta360 , Go Pro Mini , Sony A7iii

Check out your travel necessities from a comprehensive list of all the 7Wayfinders Travel Must-Haves. Click Here!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *