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Is Abu Simbel worth it?

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Is Abu Simbel worth it?

1. Posted by vickim (Full Member 125 posts) 9y

I will be travelling to Egypt and visiting Sinai, Luxor, Aswan and Cairo. If I do not go to Abu Simbel I will have 1 1/2 days in Cairo. If I do visit Abu Simbel I will only have one full day in Cairo. Abu Simbel is an expensive day trip from Aswan.

Is the cost of Abu Simbel worth it? Will I be seeing similar structures to what I will see in Cairo and Luxor? Is Abu Simbel worth missing out on some sights in Cairo?

During my trip to Greece and Turkey I saw so many ruins, I had my fill by the time I got to Ephesus and didn't appreciate as much as I would have liked. I don't want to spend $150 USD to see Abu Simbel if it is not worth it.

2. Posted by QCLisa (Budding Member 40 posts) 9y

I have spent a few months travelling around Egypt over the years and would live there if I could. That being said, I think it depends on your interest. Clearly, you are not a huge Egyptologist or you would not ask this question. If that is the case, you may well find that after the third or fourth one, every one starts looking the same. I found Abu Simbel very different than temples in Luxor. Both temples are very close to Lake Nasser, which gives it a very different feel. There is a different scale to them than the temples in Luxor with the exception of the Ramasseum. We went and stayed overnight and we were a definate minority. I had a great time interacting with the locals. We went to the temples at about 2pm. It was blazing hot. All the package tours had left. It was so hot, the guards left. We were ALONE!!! It was bar none the most spiritual experience I have had in a temple in Egypt.

Your time is very limited in general. I suggest you really look into and do some research about the various places you are going. It will make you enjoy your trip a lot more. Good luck!

3. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 9y

I took a day trip from Aswan to Abu Simbel and it was definitely worth it. Cost was only 70 LE, a little bit more than 10 USD, so it was not that expensive. I booked the long trip (including all sights that can be seen along the way going back) through my hotel and what I liked especially was Philae Island. I found it to be a much more interesting site than Abu Simbel, mainly because I was surprised at its beauty and size.

If you are leaving from Aswan to Abu Simbel by bus, they'll wake you up at 3 am at the hotel and you'll be back at around 3 or 5 p.m., depending which trip you take. Be prepared for that.

4. Posted by Woostar (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

I would highly recommend visiting Abu Simbel,

I would also say to take the air excursion opposed to the road excursion

Yes defo do it..

5. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 9y

I'd also definitely go and see it. The 3am cram van ride there is a bit torturous, but it is worth the rib pain, sore legs and sore arms that come from having way too many people in a van.

In my personal opinion Cairo isn't that exciting anyway after you see the Pyramids at Giza and also take in the step pyramid which was all done in a day trip organized through the hostel I was staying at. If you really rushed it you could possibly even fit the Egyptian museum in, but that'd be rushing the museum and the sites a lot (if it isn't already rushed a lot!).

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 31, 2007, at 4:54 AM by aharrold45 ]

6. Posted by DocNY (Respected Member 403 posts) 9y

Yes.. it was in my opinion better than the tourist mobbed pyramids at Giza.. I would say it was a highlight.

7. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 9y

I vote for it too, one of the best sites in Egypt.

8. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive 1447 posts) 9y

Did the road excursion back in 2003 and it was one of the highlights of our Egyptian trip.
Philae is also a must for anyone in Aswan, and we had the whole island to ourselves for the 2 hours we were there.
A magical place.

9. Posted by baluba (Respected Member 407 posts) 9y

I concur. Abu Simbel is amazing, especially when you know that the whole thing has been moved, brick, by brick from its original location and you would nevr know. The interior paintings are spectacular. The interior of a pyramid is just smelly. Go!