Things to do with your kids in Aswan

By Catarina Redisch in Aswan, Egypt

With kids in Aswan

Aswan is a city on the Nile, and very interesting, especially if you like extremes. Did you know that Aswan is one of the driest places on earth?

Aswan High Dam

Aswan dam

If you like extremes, you’ll really like the Aswan High Dam, one of the greatest engineering projects of all time. This dam created one of the largest lakes in the world, Lake Nasser.

Aswan Dam Aswan Dam

Lake Nasser

Looks pretty and peaceful, doesn’t it? But did you know this lake is full of crocodiles? And that one of those crocodiles can eat 150 kilos of fish every day?!

To create Lake Nasser, almost 100 000 people had to move. Abu Simbel had to be moved, too. That’s one of the most famous Egyptian temples. My sister got up at 3am to catch the bus from Aswan to Abu Simbel.

With kids in Aswan

I was only 6 when we were there, so mum thought it would be more fun for me to stay in Aswan. We spent the morning walking around, dodging hawkers (mum says lah, shukran in a firm voice), eating street food and just hanging around the fountains and the playgrounds.

Playground, Aswan

Railway Station, Aswan



caleche, Aswan

We also rode in a caleche, a horse-driven carriage. Mum thought they drove too fast in the crazy Egyptian traffic, but I didn’t mind.

The unfinished obelisk

Unfinished obelisk, Aswan

When the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids and temples and obelisks, they used stones from the quarries here in Aswan. The unfinished obelisk is still here. Archaeologists think this was going to be Hatshepsut’s obelisk. She was a pharaoh we heard lots about in Karnak. It wasn’t easy being a woman pharaoh in those days.

This pretty puppy slept in the shade of the unfinished obelisk:
Egyptian puppy

From the unfinished obelisk, we could see almost all of Aswan:
Aswan, seen from the unfinished obelisk

Nile boats

Nile boats at Aswan

There are so many boats sailing up and down the Nile, they sometimes double- and triple park. To get to our boat, we had to walk through two others.

On the river

Nile River, Aswan Elephantine - singing boys

We sailed in a felucca on the Nile and saw lots of people in tiny, little boats.

Nile River, Aswan

Here’s the Old Cataract hotel where we had afternoon tea.
Old Cataract Hotel, Aswan

Elephantine Island

Elephantine Market
In the Nile, there are several islands. There’s Kitchener Island with a botanical garden which is nice and cool. Then there’s Elephantine Island, where people still speak an ancient language called Nubian. On Elephantine, I saw baby crocodiles, which I loved.


Philae 3

In the evening, we took a small boat across Lake Nasser (which is full of crocodiles, remember), to Philae, where we saw a cool sound and light show about Isis and Osiris, two of the most important gods for the ancient Egyptians.

Philae at night Kiosk of Isis, Philae


So there was lots to do in Aswan and I wouldn’t mind going back now that I’m older.

unesco logo

The temples at Philae and the granite quarries at Aswan are parts of the UNESCO World Heritage site Nubian Monuments from Abu Simbel to Philae.

Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world.

About the Author:

The youngest kid in ‘travel with kids’, loves horses above all else.


  1. Andrew Graeme Gould 11 February 2013 at 0129 - Reply

    A very interesting post, Catarina. I never knew any of that — except for the moving of Abu Simbel, which I had heard about. Nice photo series, too!

  2. Izy Berry - The Wrong Way Home 11 February 2013 at 0321 - Reply

    Very good post, Catarina! 🙂 I learned many new things from your post. Keep up the good work!

  3. Italian Notes 11 February 2013 at 2027 - Reply

    What a well written guide. Such great inspiration.

  4. Katrina 11 February 2013 at 2037 - Reply

    I visited Aswan a few years ago, but my time there was very brief. Now I want to go back! Great job, Catarina. 🙂

  5. Andrea 12 February 2013 at 1649 - Reply

    What a fascinating place to explore!! Great post =)

  6. Steve 12 February 2013 at 1717 - Reply

    Great post, although I think all it would have taken to keep my girls entertained in Aswan was that adorable little puppy. Love that you’re braver than your Mom when it comes to speed in traffic.

  7. D.J. - The World of Deej 13 February 2013 at 0113 - Reply

    Looks like a fun day…never would have thought Lake Nasser is full of crocs!

  8. Cathy Sweeney 13 February 2013 at 0343 - Reply

    What a wonderful experience you had in Aswan. I’d really like to take a boat ride on the Nile. Really enjoyed your post. It’s full of great things for everyone to do see there.

  9. Nancie 14 February 2013 at 0116 - Reply

    You bring back a lot of memories for me when I was in Aswan. Like your sister, I did the 3am trip to Abu Simbel. Looks like you had a great time while you were there.

  10. [email protected] 14 February 2013 at 0200 - Reply

    You’ve done it again Catarina. Another great post in which I learnt a lot about the Aswan. I really must get to Egypt before it’s too late.

  11. Vera Marie Badertscher 14 February 2013 at 0446 - Reply

    I shared this when I first saw it a couple of days ago. Just wanted to say how much I love the bright blue “store”.

  12. budget jan 14 February 2013 at 0545 - Reply

    I liked your views on Aswan Catarina. The Philae really caught my attention and makes me really want to visit Aswan.

  13. Jackie Smith 14 February 2013 at 0551 - Reply

    I’d love to take a trip on the Nile – this post really got my travel juices flowing. (Loved the puppy photo!)

  14. Jill 14 February 2013 at 0639 - Reply

    I have never been to Egypt Catarina, so it was great to read your post and see your fabulous images. It sounds like you had a wonderful trip. Thanks for taking us along!

  15. Johanna at ZigaZag 14 February 2013 at 0815 - Reply

    A great take on Aswan, Catarina. What a fascinating place, and definitely on my bucket list.

  16. Muza-chan 14 February 2013 at 0827 - Reply

    A trip on the Nile was already high on my must see list but now its even higher!

  17. Salika Jay 14 February 2013 at 1524 - Reply

    An interesting read Catarina! 🙂 I didn’t know these facts about Aswan. That’s a cute puppy by the way. The structures look amazing.

  18. Nick Lewis 14 February 2013 at 1725 - Reply

    I had never heard of these places so really enjoyed your article Catarina. I would very much like to explore the region myself.

  19. I did not know the lake was full of crocodiles! I’ve never been to the area but would love to visit for all the history.

  20. Dick Jordan 15 February 2013 at 0047 - Reply

    Interesting. I didn’t know that there was anything there except for the dam.

  21. Shane Curtis 15 February 2013 at 0123 - Reply

    The place is so historical.
    I wanted to visit the place too. Looks fun indeed.

  22. InsideJourneys 15 February 2013 at 0308 - Reply

    Great post, Catarina. Your mom sounds like she knows exactly how to handle the hawkers.
    Thanks for this overview of Aswan.

  23. [email protected] 17 February 2013 at 0317 - Reply

    Hi Catarina! Wow, I can just imagine what great impressions that traveling in wonderful Aswan can leave in a young mind. You were lucky to have such experience. i love your narratives and thanks for making me learn more about Aswan.

  24. Natasha von Geldern 18 February 2013 at 0203 - Reply

    Good work Catarina! That puppy is just adorable. I felt sorry for the horses pulling the Caleches when I was in Luxor. We didn’t make it Aswan – So I really need to return to Egypt. WOuld love to have tea at the Old Cataract Hotel!

  25. Abby 19 February 2013 at 0441 - Reply

    Yay Catarina!! My, there is so much to take in on this post. What a trip! So much excitement, beauty and new experiences. And I love that puppy. 🙂 I have an ex-stray from Central America the same color, and we’ve taken to putting him in a little red vest when we go running in the desert, so we don’t lose him. I bet an Egyptian dog could also get lost in the desert! Maybe it was a defense mechanism at one time….

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