Welcome to the colorful Nubian Village located in the Deep South of Egypt. The Nubian Village in Aswan is known for its colorful buildings made from clay mud. It rarely rains and when it does the houses can be damaged since they are made from clay. So you’ll find many crumbled buildings around as you wander the village.
In this village, you’ll find some of the kindest and most hospitable people. They have their own language and really pride themselves in their heritage.
The creative nature of this place is unreal – all over there will be handmade goods with many colors to mirror the colors of the vibrant town.
Singing and dancing are common in the culture and there as it’s a way to signify happiness. There are many crocodiles both alive and drawn around the town. The crocodile is a symbol to protect their people from the evil eye.
A photographer’s paradise, bring your camera and get ready to capture one of the most instagrammable colorful places in the world.
👉 Check out this Instagram video of the Nubian Village so you can really get a flavor of how it looks!
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My Egypt Instagram story highlights are located here!
How to get to the Nubian Village
To get to the Nubian Village in Aswan you’ll need to fly into the Aswan Airport. Then after making it into Aswan from the airport, you’ll need to take a boat ride to the Nubian Village or drive there. It is only a 20-minute ride from Aswan’s city center. You can pick up the boat ride from the ferry port in front of the Mcdonald’s (exact location here). The boat ride is more convenient but driving is also possible. However, the streets are not paved and many people and camels walk through the streets so as you get closer, it is a bit difficult to drive through.
If you do take a boat ride, be sure to negotiate ahead so you don’t get overcharged. You shouldn’t be paying more than 300-400 Egyptian Pounds so be sure to negotiate appropriately. You can take a motorboat or a felucca boat ride, which is slower but relaxing to take too! Some Nile River cruises like this one actually take you to the Nubian Village too!
Be sure to check out my post on the best Nile River Cruises if you have plans to sail around Egypt!
The best things to do in the Nubian Village of Aswan, Egypt
1. Stay overnight in the Nubian Village
You really have to stay in the Nubian Village for one night or more to experience the culture and true Nubian experience! You’ll see what I mean when you stay and after feel sad to be parting with the place.
No joke, when I arrived at the Nubian Village I wondered what was so special about this place? It looks a bit run down and crumbled. My mom was actually scared and demanded we not stay. However, she emerged from her room where we were staying at the Anakato Hotel. She started talking with the locals and enjoying herself very much. Enjoying how kind the Nubian people really were.
By the time we left after 2 nights in this village, we were both sad. We wanted to go back as we made friends with the people in the village and the wonderful owners and workers at the Anakato Hotel. If we had just stayed for a couple of hours like most of the people who day trip here, we may not have had the same impression of this wonderful place!
You can see from the pictures below me with some of the Anakato staff and my mom being silly wearing the lid they put to cover the food on her head like a hat!
It is not a scary place, it is a place full of the nicest people who love life, who sing and dance, create from their hands, and are free-spirited. In fact, Egypt in general is one of the most amazing countries I’ve ever visited, and I hate that it has gained a reputation of being unsafe. Never have I felt unsafe and have always encountered warm people.
My whole family was actually born in Egypt except for myself. I really loved connecting to my roots and coming to Egypt. Believe it or not, I was once ashamed of who I was. Growing up, school kids would ask me “What are you.” I didn’t want to tell them as I was afraid of being different. Now, I am proud of who I am and should feel ashamed for not knowing that growing up.
I definitely recommend staying here and I loved my stay at the Anakato Hotel which by the way is all over Instagram for its famous colorful building like mine above. To get this shot, you have to have a photographer go next door to the rooftop and take the picture from above. Be sure to go at sunset or early morning to avoid the harsh light.
2. Enjoy a traditional Egyptian breakfast
I enjoyed this breakfast at Anakato Hotel and it was so delicious.
What is in a traditional Egyptian breakfast you may wonder?
- Falafel believe it or not is eaten for breakfast but here in the UK or US we love it at lunch time.
- Foul is basically mashed fava beans
- Fetter served with tahini and molasses
- Pita Bread
3. Wander the colorful streets
One of the reasons I wanted to visit the Nubian Village was because of all the vibrant colors. I am a total color lover and really was happy to walk around and take picture after picture. I even wore this blue dress (similar here if sold out) to blend in with the many blue painted buildings all around. The photos I took above were at the Kato Waidi Nubian House (which used to be known as the Kato Dool Resort).
There are many camels running crazily through the streets and tourists tend to ride them. I didn’t do this but do watch out as they might inadvertently run into you!
4. Shop the Souks
The creativity of the people in the Nubian Village is one of the reasons I was so attracted to the place. As a jewelry designer myself (shop my designs here!), I loved seeing the beautiful pieces of jewelry, the handicrafts spanning from colorful keychains to cute rugs and scarves. There were also many spices you could buy and so many unique items. I myself bought a couple of things to support the locals. I loved seeing their faces after I made a purchase and I really felt like I made a difference in supporting them. Not only that, I love the keychain, scarf, necklace, and rug I got. Every time I see these things it reminds me of the special time I had in this cheerful village.
5. Get a Henna Tattoo
The locals love to give henna tattoos. Henna is a dye made from Lawsonia inermis and is basically a temporary tattoo after the dye dries on you. You can pick any symbol and it is drawn on you. This is great, especially for kids! It is also a good way to support the Nubian people too.
6. Look for the crocodiles
There are many crocodiles around the Nubian Village. The crocodile is a symbol to protect their people from the evil eye. So you’ll find the symbol used as decoration throughout the town. There are even ones that are alive that you can hold and pick up if you’re brave enough!
7. Hang out in a cafe
This colorful cafe is part of a guest house called La Wanda and it was really photogenic. Somewhere I could really relax and hang out enjoying coffee and snacks. There are many other places like this in the Nubian Village like the Kato Dool Nubian Resort too!
8. See the sunset over the Nile River
The sunset in front of the Nile river and taking a felucca boat ride is a must! I took a normal boat ride and tour of the Nubian Village similar to this one here. However, a felucca boat ride is different. It is a traditionally wooden boat with no motor so you very slowly sail down the river. Super cool!
9. Eat dinner with a local family
One of the most amazing activities you can do in the Nubian Village is to eat dinner with a local family. Here you will be welcomed to the home of one of the locals and be immersed in the culture. It is a fantastic experience. You can book this local family dinner experience here or here.
Where to stay in the Nubian Village
Anakato Hotel: As mentioned above, I stayed at Anakato Hotel and absolutely loved how welcome I felt. The food was superior and I really felt at home here. The rooms were super colorful and in Nubian style! My room was all pastel blue with cute draperies and embellishments on the wall. It had a balcony and overlooked the Nile River. They have a huge New Year’s Eve celebration which I sadly missed but if you ever go during the New Year, be sure to stay here!
Kato Waidi Nubian House (which used to be known as the Kato Dool Nubian Resort). You’ll see my pictures towards the top of this post of this place. It is super cool looking with all the colors. You can also stop by for lunch or dinner if you don’t stay here.
La Wanda; Another super photogenic and yet extremely affordable hotel option at just £25 a night! They have an amazingly decorated cafe too.
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