Aswan Transportation

  • hah...my felucca captain relaxing.
    hah...my felucca captain relaxing.
    by June.b
  • felucca captain preparing for sail
    felucca captain preparing for sail
    by June.b
  • Transportation
    by June.b

Most Recent Transportation in Aswan

  • RavensWing's Profile Photo

    All Aboard the Sloooow Train to Aswan

    by RavensWing Updated Oct 15, 2013

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    Here Comes the Train
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    I have never been on a train – other than the little kiddie train in the Galaxyland Amusement Park in Edmonton with my children so I was pretty excited that I would be going on a real train ride that just happened to be going from Cairo to Aswan. If I thought all train rides were like this one I would most certainly NEVER get on another one again.

    Thankfully our tour leader, Carole, (Canadian like the rest of us) had been arranging tours for years and knew the best time for us to leave the Khan el-Kahlili Souk to be at the Ramses Train Station for our sleeper train to Aswan. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait too long for the train to show up. The station itself is hot and stuffy. During my time in Cairo I had seen the police in white uniforms holding their rifles as they sat on the camels in the distance, knew there were undercover police watching all the tourists BUT it didn’t click in that there may be some sort of danger until the train pulled into the station and the army and police were sitting in the windows with their rifles at the ready. Realized it might be a little dangerous. I had been told as a tourist that the only option for getting to Aswan on the train was to take the sleeper train. The Egyptians were allowed to take the day trains, the speedy trains, the air-conditioned trains but we had to take the sleeper train. I think it was a good option since it was an overnight train ride to Aswan. A man came to show us where our rooms were and they would follow behind with our luggage. I honestly had no idea where he was taking us. We were all grouped together but there is no number on the door, nor a car number. So how would you know where to come back to should you use the washroom (don’t worry I’ll get to those)

    Each cabin starts the journey with a sofa for two persons. A steward brings you your dinner which consisted of the following: a choice of either Fish or Fillet Steak with Potato, Chicken and Veggies, rice, green salad and yogurt and bread and butter. You may have a drink with your dinner; an employee comes to take your order and returns it to your room. This is not included and so you have to pay for it once they return with it.

    After having dinner, the car steward turns the sofa into two beds and upper and a lower bunk. The cabin has a basin with hot & cold water, a razor shaving, two towels, buttons for controlling heating, music & lights, 2 coat hangers, individual reading lights and 2 dining tables. The washrooms are situated at the end of the compartment, 2 per compartment. I sadly couldn't avoid going to the washroom for the entire trip, but if I could have I would have. They were absolutely disgusting. I am certain there was more urine on the floor than had actual made it into the toilet bowl. They were dirty, smelly, just disgusting. Hold your breath going in, do your business as fast as you can and get out. Save washing your hands for when you return to your sleeper. It’s cleaner in there.

    The remainder of this story is continued on my The Slooow Train to Aswan Travelogue page.

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    Caleche

    by June.b Updated Jun 15, 2011
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    I don't know if you would want to take it as it's of course slower than any other means of transport around the city but if you're in the mood for a leisure trip, you can take the caleche (horse-drawn carriage).

    Like the taxi, some of them are tourist trap -- don't get caught ending up in a souvenir shop if you're not into it, or getting overcharged. As with taxi, again, agree on a price before jumping in. It's actually a nice way of seeing the city, just be sure to haggle. Cost may vary from EGP5 onwards.

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  • June.b's Profile Photo

    Public minibises or vans

    by June.b Updated Jun 15, 2011
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    I don't know if it's fun but definitely for tourists, it won't be fun taking the public buses or vans, especially if you're new in Aswan. There are lots and lots of minibuses and vans in different designs -- no standard bus (see pic). And I won't advise it unless you're over-the-top adventurous (which I'm not, just adventurous). Or unless you speak arabic (I do a little but I never dared), you might enjoy it albeit sometimes crowded and most are non-airconditioned.

    I think fare is EGP0.50 - 1, and it's the locals popular means of transport around the city. I don't even know where they're going, and some of them have signs, some don't and only being shouted by the guy hanging on the entrance.

    Either stick to walking if it's within the centrum or flag a taxi along the street and pre-negotiate the fare before jumpin' in.

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  • June.b's Profile Photo

    Felucca to the westbank tour

    by June.b Written Jun 15, 2011
    on the felucca
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    You can actually take a felucca boat either to just laze along the Nile River or take a full day's tour of the sights at the westbank or the Kitchener's island or the Elephantine island.

    Hire one directly or from your hotel, I would suggest from the hotel. Memnon Hotel is offering it at EGP75 for I think 3 or 4 hurs of a trip to the sights in westbank, the felucca will wait for you at the wharf while your sightseeing.

    The felucca is a nice way to sightsee -- you hit 2 birds in one stone, you'll get to sail along the Nile and take you to see the sights in the west bank of the islands.

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  • June.b's Profile Photo

    Train from Aswan to Luxor

    by June.b Updated Jun 15, 2011
    inside the 2nd class carriage
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    My air ticket is open-jaw from Cairo-Aswan, then Luxor-Cairo, so I have to take a train in-between the two cities.

    It was hot in Aswan (am I repeatedly complaining about the heat in Aswan in most of my tips...or haven't you noticed that yet?) well good thing when I mentioned to one of the guys at the hotel that I'll be going to Luxor after Aswan and taking the train, he immediately volunteered to buy for me the ticket and I was asking for the first class seat but he highly recommended to take the 2nd which is cheaper and not much difference from the 1st in seat configuration or comfort...and he's right!

    I gave him EGP30 for the one way ticket to Luxor. I know it's EGP25 but c'mon 5 egyptian pounds for the effort -- the train station is far from the hotel, a return taxi fare is 10 pounds. You may say, I could buy it from the station on the day of departure, well, how can I be so sure that I could still get a seat at the 2nd class, or that I would really be allowed (I know but...) to take the 2nd class as a tourist.

    So if you're heading to Luxor from Aswan, take the 2nd class carriage of the train at EGP25 if you're gonna buy it at the station.

    Very comfortable seat, spacious (see pic), supposed to be airconditioned but I think the AC is low or can't make the whole carriage really cold. There are staff selling food on board, and sometimes there are people who gets in and hand you a paper -- don't take it unless you're prepared to dole out few pounds for charity, don't know if it's genuine. Toilet at the end of the carriage. The train stops at several stations and the trip is about 3 hours or so passing along beautiful green countryside, nubian villages (or not), and mostly along the Nile river and some irrigations. You'll get a moving view of rural life along the way.

    It's enjoyable, so don't sleep.

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  • June.b's Profile Photo

    Taxi

    by June.b Written Jun 15, 2011
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    The taxi in Aswan has different colors than the ones you'll see in Cairo. The taxis here are mostly of old model (in Cairo as well), no aircon, painted in white with orange stripe in the middle, some in light blue, some black, not uniform actually, and there are few which have also an airconditioning (in the most-of-the-time unbearable heat of the city, it was the noontime I left!).

    Choose the driver, either get an old man driver or someone who looks pitiful (really?), that's how it work, cuz many drivers tend to overcharge even if you already have pre-agreed the fare. The second taxi (and the last) that I took on my way to the train station who looks pitiful charges me only EGP5. (t'works right?)

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  • June.b's Profile Photo

    Cairo to Aswan

    by June.b Written Jun 15, 2011
    Arriving in Aswan I saw this changing colour tower
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    I took the Egypt Air (express?) from Cairo to Aswan. I bought an open-jaw (return ticket) Cairo to Aswan / Luxor to Cairo which costs me EGP628 booked and paid for online.

    The problem with Egyptair is - and in my case - they cancelled flights twice and changed booked it onto to the next available flight on the same day too. The first one was an advantage on my side because they cancelled my Cairo-Aswan flight from 11:15pm cheapest fare but I was moved to an earlier schedule at 8:45 then to 5:45pm, nice right.

    Then again, they cancelled the 7:30am Luxor to Cairo so there was no other option but to get me into the earlier one, which on the other hand isn't nice, cuz I have to wake up earlier than planned.

    Same thing happened with my Cairo to Istanbul, from 1:40pm to 12:40pm, no big deal here.

    I arrive at around 7:30pm or so at the small airport of Aswan, easy to get out as the baggage claim is fast.

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  • saraheg77's Profile Photo

    Aswan Airport

    by saraheg77 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Aswan International Airport!

    We flew from Cairo to Aswan on an EARLY flight! Had to get up at 4:30!! The Aswan airport seemed like a pretty good place... several places to buy souvenirs... Also, make sure to have your tip money handy if you need to go to the restroom! They do have restroom attendants!! I couldn't find many websites on the airport - this is the best one I could find.

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  • saraheg77's Profile Photo

    The Jasmin Treated us Well!

    by saraheg77 Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Our Cruise Ship!

    We began our Nile cruise in Aswan on the Jasmin, operated by the Wings Group. We found her to be a wonderful ship with a very friendly crew! The only complaint I had was all the smoking around my cabin and the dining room. Other than that, it was great! Our room was nice (although the TV didn't work) and we had a nice view if there wasn't another cruise ship parked next to us. :) High Tea on the ship was fun and the buffet dinners were tasty... the staff there was wonderful, too.

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  • milliturtle's Profile Photo

    Overnight felucca trip

    by milliturtle Written Jul 9, 2010
    (Our other) Felucca on the Nile
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    We left Aswan for our next destination in a felucca. Being raised in a city and never big into camping, naturally my friend and I are a bit skeptical about the overnight trip in the traditional Egyptian sailboat. So, to prepare for sleeping outdoors, we both packed our 0 degree sleeping bags, travel pillow, extra fleece blanket, fleece jacket, 2 bottles of deet, and a charged ipod. It was a bit challenging when there's a weight limit on our luggage! Turns out this was one of the best (and comfiest) parts of our trip. Never mind that we wimped out and picked the tour that provide a motorized support boat to accompany our feluccas.

    For the most part, we spent a relaxing day on a mattress-covered felucca sailing down the Nile. The trip was definitely "comfort" - we were even served mint tea while on board! We were initially worried about overheating, but because the felucca itself was wind-powered, we were pretty much guaranteed a breeze as we went downstream. (Actually, I think it maybe upstream...)

    At lunch, we disembarked from the feluccas on somewhat rickety planks to meet the support boat. The lunch was pretty simple, but they sell many types of drinks on board. The winds were much stronger after lunch, so we had to basically zigzag across the river to avoid being capsized, so we ended up stopping for about 2 hours to wait out the wind. We ended up "parking" on the shores of a nearby village as the sun was about to set.

    With a bit of sunlight left, our guide took us exploring and we even got to watch a little soccer / football action. We then headed back to the boats and to get ready for the night. As we busily unpack our sleeping gear, we watched several Nile cruise ships past by and we waved enthusiastically at our fellow tourists. Clearly intrigued, many of them took out their cameras to snap photos of us! We had dinner on the deck, and watched the sun set along the Nile. After that, our crew broke out the "candlelight" (i.e. burning candle in a slightly deformed coke bottle) as we all just lay on the top deck and gazed at the stars, making up names and origins of the constellations.

    It was a much cooler in the evening, so luckily we brought our fleece and sleeping bag (even though it was the end of May). There were also a lot of mosquitoes in the area, so the deet was also a good call. The next morning, the cows (yes, cows) woke us up with their strange call, and we got to watch the sun rise against the backdrop of the Nile. It was just perfect (after 2 cups of coffee).

    Despite our initial skepticism, the whole trip felt safe and confortable, even though we were sleeping out in the open. In my opinion, this is definitely the best way to cruise along the Nile.

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  • sachara's Profile Photo

    Felucca

    by sachara Updated Feb 19, 2008

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    Mustapha with his felucca
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    If you have time and like to visit places at the islands or the riverbanks, you can hire a felucca, the traditinal sailing boat. It's fun and relaxing.

    You can hire a felucca for just being on the water. Tolook from the water at the shores is even more relaxing. If you want only to visit Elephantine Island, Kitchener Island or the westbank you can take the ferry as well.

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Aswan Railway station

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Oct 8, 2007

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    Aswan Railway station
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    We left Aswan to reach Cairo by night train. The railway station is in the city center on Sharia as-Souq. The architecture of the building is usual. 11 trains a day depart to Cairo. Time in a way is 12 hours. 12 trains a day depart to Luxor. Time in a way is 3,5 hours.
    The appearance of carriages isn't attractive. It seemed to me that these carriages were used since times of English colonial sovereignty!

    However there was clean enough and decently inside of the carriage. I have paid a place in a sleeper (in addition $60 including supper). Therefore I had a good rest at night unlike other tourists, who preferred to save money and used the sedentary carriage.

    You may watch my VIDEO-Clip from my personal YouTube channel: 6 min 04 sec Egypt Aswan-Cairo by Train 2007

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Cruise Boat

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Updated Oct 8, 2007

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    Aswan - Cruise Boat
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    We reached Aswan after two-days cruise over the Nile from Luxor. The boats have five tourist stars. I do not have wide experience of river and sea cruises. However it seemed to me, that the boats on the Nile are comfortable and convenient enough. This is the best option for you to see all possible sights on one route in Luxor, Edfu, Kom-Ombo and Aswan.

    Accommodation aboard the cruise boat is on full board basis. In other words all meals included buffet style. Your cabin will be fitted with air-condition and a TV set. Every day there is an entertainment program; these up of such program vary from one boat the other. In each major cruise stop you will be given a boarding pass to be able to identify your ship upon your return. So you won’t mix your boat!

    You may see my VIDEO-Clip from my personal YouTube channel: 2 min 04 sec Egypt Nile Cruise Boat 2007

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  • atufft's Profile Photo

    Ferries Across the Nile at Aswan

    by atufft Written Aug 18, 2007

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    Transit Service Across the Nile at Aswan

    Aswan has a large lower class residential section slightly downstream and across the river from the main city embarcadero area. Also across the Nile are the tombs of the nobles and the departure point for an excellent camel ride out to the early Christian monastery ruins. For all of these, the local ferry is the way to cross the river. The price is about $1-, and the ride takes very little time despite the leisure pace of the passenger ferry boat. Watching the locals in transit is always a favorite form of entertainment, and when couple with the beauty of the Nile River; what more could anyone ask?

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  • atufft's Profile Photo

    Ferries on Lake Nasser

    by atufft Updated Aug 18, 2007

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    Ferry Landing at High Dam on Lake Nasser
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    At Lake Nasser, ferries transport people to a number of islands and villages. Some ferries are mostly filled with tourists and others are filled with mostly locals. We didn't see any price difference here, in contrast to Luxor (see transportation tip for Luxor), and in any case prices were surprisingly low. We prefer to join the locals when we can. Although private tour boats and vans can fill the need for this transportation, the transit ferries are pleasant way to get around. Skip the tour van and stick to public transportation in Aswan is what I normally recommend; however, I also understand that on Lake Nasser a tourist oriented hydrofoil may now be an option, probably a much faster but also much more expensive option.

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