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***Update: Assiut International Airport is closed due to maintenance from 01 June 00:01 2014 until 31 May 23:59 2015***

Assiut is the capital city of Assiut governorate. Its name is derived from an ancient Egyptian word meaning “The Guardian”. The city held considerable strategic value due to its location between Upper and Lower Egypt, having been the starting point for camel caravans that traveled up the 40 Day Road to Darfur in Sudan, and the largest slave market in Egypt until the 19th century.

Home to the 7000 years old Badari civilization where the earliest evidence of agriculture in Upper Egypt was found, and home to various remains of widely known civilizations ascribed to the Pharoanic, Roman , Coptic and Islamic eras, thus making Assiut a worthy tourist attraction.

It's now a major educational and commercial center in Upper Egypt, having many universities and good infrastructure.

Being a genuine Upper Egyptian city, Assiut offers the chance of tasting many traditional southern foods and drinks such as sugar cane juice, sugar cane syrup, Fayesh, Gallab, Keshk, aged cheese, Weka and the traditional shamsy bread.

See & Do

There are plenty of ancient places and monuments to see in Assiut. Al-Salam School Museum in downtown showcases a wide range of monuments from the pre-dynastic era till the Islamic era of Egypt, in addition to some Sudanese and Ethiopian monuments.

Assiut's western mountain holding Virgin Mary Monastery, 100 meters high, and 10km from the city center. It has a very ancient cave that dates back to the Pharaohs era 2500 B.C., this is from where the Holy Family started their journey back to Palestine.

Besides the monastery, there are 17 ancient tombs on the mountain representing some of the most rich and beautiful tombs in Middle Egypt, dating back to the 20th century B.C.

In Quseya, 65 km far from Assiut, Meir monumental tombs lie carved in the mountain, with beautiful drawings showing the ordinary life of the Egyptian worker and paintings showcasing sports, festivals, competitions and funerals of ancient Egypt recorded accurately on the tombs walls.

Also in Quseya you can find Al-Muharraq Monastery, the Holy Family stayed there for a whole 6 month period. The Monastery has one of the oldest churches in the world and is surrounded by a 12 meters high fence built in the 4th century.

Besides the not-so-old Ottoman commercial agencies and Thabet bath, Assiut Barrage is a modern attraction site you can see in the city, it’s a dam built on the Nile between 1898 and 1903 to control irrigation and preserve water.

Nature and wildlife enthusiasts may like to visit Wadi Al-Assiuti Natural Reserve that has many rare species of animals and reptiles such as the Nubian Ibex, the Desert Lynx, the Saharan Racer, and the Spiny Agama.

Need to Know

  • Time Zone: UTC+2. Daylight saving time is UTC+3 starts in April, ends in September.
  • Railway Station: +20-88-2335623.
  • Police Rescue: 122.

Assuit International Airport - ATZ

Assiut International Airport's new building was opened in 2011 serving domestic and international flights through its single hall. Being located 35 km to the west of the city, you'll take about 30 minutes to reach downtown depending on the traffic.

There are various Duty-Free Shops and a mosque at the airport plus the following facilities:

  • Food and beverage: There is a restaurant and a cafeteria.
  • Currency Exchange: Available at the airport.
  • Lost Luggage: Lost luggage should be handled by your individual airline’s help desk. There are many security offices at the airport where you can report your case.
  • Destinations: From Assuit you can fly to: Cairo, Jeddah, Kuwait, Tripoli, Amman, Riyadh, Sharjah and Sharm El-Sheikh.
  • Car hire: None at the airport. Regular taxis are available. Car hire is available downtown.
  • Airport Hotels: None on site. Nearby: Assiut University Hotel, Assiutel, Reem and Badr hotels.
  • Airport Hub: Assiut International Airport (code ATZ) is a focal airport for Air Cairo, Fly Nas, EgyptAir and Jazeera Airways.
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