Banī Suwayf, Egypt

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Banī Suwayf, Egypt

Region: Banī Suwayf

Geographic Coordinates: 29.066700, 31.083300
Climate: Dry and hot summers, mild winters with occasional rainfall.
Population: 193048
Language: Arabic

Banī Suwayf is a small city located in the central part of Egypt, Approximately 120 kilometers south of Cairo. It serves as the capital of the Banī Suwayf Governorate and has a population of around 200, 000 people. The city lies on the west bank of the Nile River and is surrounded by agricultural land that produces cotton, Wheat, And fruits. The history of Banī Suwayf dates back to ancient times when it was an important trading center during the Pharaonic era. It was also famous for its production of linen cloth which was highly valued by ancient Egyptians.

Visitors can still see remnants from this era such as tombs and temples scattered throughout the region. One popular attraction in Banī Suwayf is its hot springs which are believed to have therapeutic properties due to their high mineral content. These hot springs attract many visitors who come to relax and enjoy their healing properties. Additionally, There’s a park near these hot springs where families can enjoy picnics or go for walks. Another notable attraction in Banī Suwayf is Gebel Al-Tair Mountain (also known as Bird Mountain) which lies about 30 kilometers southwest from the city center.

This mountain has been designated as a nature reserve because of its unique flora and fauna including various species of birds such as eagles, Vultures, Owls, Falcons among others. For those interested in history or archaeology should visit Wadi Al-Rayan lying about 60 km southwest from Banī Suwayf City Center where they will find two lakes connected by waterfalls created during Roman times (about AD50). The area also features several caves with prehistoric rock art paintings dating back thousands of years ago.

Banī Suwayf has other attractions including various museums such as El-Ghannam Museum housing a collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts alongside other museums showcasing different aspects related to this charming city’s history. Additionally, Several mosques in Banī Suwayf such as Al-Madrasa Mosque and Al-Qadi Mosque. In terms of transportation, Banī Suwayf is well connected to other cities in Egypt by road and rail. The city also has its airport mainly serving domestic flights. Visitors can easily find affordable accommodation options ranging from budget hotels to luxury resorts.

Overall, Banī Suwayf is a charming city that offers visitors an opportunity to explore ancient Egyptian history while enjoying natural attractions such as hot springs, Mountains, And wildlife reserves. With its rich cultural heritage and beautiful landscapes, It’s definitely worth a visit for those traveling through Egypt or looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination.

Important Landmarks

  1. Beni Suef Museum: A museum that showcases the history and culture of Banī Suwayf.
  2. Al-Azhar Mosque: A historic mosque located in the heart of Banī Suwayf.
  3. Gebel Al-Tayr: A mountain range known for its natural beauty and hiking trails.
  4. Wadi Al-Rayan National Park: A protected area with waterfalls, lakes, and wildlife.
  5. Abu Sir Pyramids: Ancient pyramids located on the outskirts of Banī Suwayf.
  6. The Monastery of Saint Fana: An ancient Coptic monastery that dates back to the 4th century AD.
  7. The Hanging Church of Virgin Mary: One of the oldest churches in Egypt, known for its unique architecture and religious significance.
  8. Cleopatra’s Bath: An ancient Roman bathhouse believed to have been used by Queen Cleopatra herself.
  9. Qasr El Sagha Temple Ruins: Ancient ruins dating back to Pharaonic times that showcase intricate carvings and hieroglyphics on stone walls.
  10. The Nile River Cruise: Visitors can take a scenic boat ride along the Nile River while enjoying views of Banī Suwayf’s landscape and historical landmarks along its banks.

Primary Industries

  1. Banī Suwayf, Egypt is known for its agricultural industry, particularly cotton and sugar cane crops.
  2. Other major industries in the area include cement production, textile manufacturing, and food processing.
  3. The city also has a growing tourism industry due to its historical landmarks such as the Pyramid of Meidum and the ancient ruins of Heracleion.
  4. Additionally, small businesses such as local shops and restaurants contribute to the economy of Banī Suwayf.

Noteable History

  1. Ancient Egyptian history: Banī Suwayf was a part of the ancient Egyptian empire known for its production of limestone.
  2. Islamic history: In the early Islamic period, Banī Suwayf was an important center for Sufi mystics.
  3. Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt: During Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798, Banī Suwayf was one of the cities that he captured.
  4. Muhammad Ali Pasha: In the 19th century, Muhammad Ali Pasha established a military base in Banī Suwayf to protect his southern flank from attacks by Bedouin tribes.
  5. Naguib Mahfouz: The Nobel Prize-winning author Naguib Mahfouz spent much of his childhood in Banī Suwayf as his father worked there as a civil servant.
  6. Taha Hussein: Another famous Egyptian writer and intellectual, Taha Hussein served there as a school inspector early in his career.
  7. Ahmed Zewail: The late Ahmed Zewail, who won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1999, grew up in Desouk village near Banī Suwayf before moving to Cairo for university studies.
  8. January 25 Revolution: During the January 25 Revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak’s regime, Banisueif witnessed many protests against Mubarak regime.
  9. Suez Canal Crisis: During Suez Canal crisis between Egypt, Britain, France & Israel; Bani suief saw some major battles between Egyptians & British forces.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Banī Suwayf Museum showcases the history and culture of Banī Suwayf, featuring ancient Egyptian artifacts, traditional crafts, and local customs.
  2. Al-Fath Mosque is a beautiful mosque that showcases intricate geometric patterns and colorful tilework for those interested in Islamic architecture.
  3. Deir Abu Hinnis Temple dates back to the New Kingdom period of Egyptian history (around 1500 BCE) and is dedicated to the god Amun-Ra.
  4. Wadi El Rayan National Park is located just outside of Banī Suwayf and features two large lakes surrounded by stunning desert scenery where visitors can hike, swim or go kayaking.
  5. Beni Hassan Tombs date back to the Middle Kingdom period (around 2000 BCE) with elaborate wall paintings depicting scenes from daily life in ancient Egypt.
  6. Tahta Palace was built in the late 19th century by a wealthy local family with beautiful Ottoman-style architecture now open as a museum for visitors.
  7. El-Lahun Pyramid was built during the reign of Senusret II (around 1900 BCE) and is one of only a few surviving pyramids from that era.
  8. Qasr Qarun Temple located near Lake Qarun was built during the Greco-Roman period (around 300 BCE) featuring impressive columns adorned with intricate carvings.
  9. Fayoum Oasis lies just south of Banī Suwayf surrounded by palm groves and sand dunes making it an ideal place for hiking or relaxation amidst nature’s beauty!
  10. Medinet Madi Temple well-preserved temple dates back to Ptolemaic period (around 300 BCE), dedicated to god Horus with walls featuring colorful hieroglyphics & reliefs depicting scenes from ancient Egyptian mythology.

Cultural Events

  1. The Date Festival is an annual celebration held in September to honor the abundance of dates that grow in Banī Suwayf.
  2. Every November, the Camel Beauty Contest takes place, showcasing the strength and beauty of these magnificent animals.
  3. In March, Banī Suwayf celebrates the beginning of spring with its Spring Festival, featuring music, dance, and delicious food.
  4. On July 23rd each year, Banī Suwayf joins Egypt in celebrating National Day as a symbol of independence from British colonial rule.
  5. The Pharaonic Heritage Festival is an event that honors Egypt’s ancient Pharaonic heritage with exhibitions, performances and traditional crafts.
  6. Moulid al-Nabi is a yearly celebration on the 12th day of Rabi’ al-awwal to honor Prophet Muhammad’s birthday according to Islamic calendar.
  7. During Ramadan (the ninth month of Islamic calendar), night markets are set up across Banī Suwayf for locals to buy food and goods after breaking their fast at sunset.
  8. In January each year, Banī Suwayf’s Christian community celebrates Christmas with church services and festive gatherings during Coptic Christmas Celebrations.


  • Foul and Taameya: A street food dish made of mashed fava beans and falafel served with pita bread.
  • Koshari El Tahrir: A traditional Egyptian dish made of rice, lentils, macaroni noodles topped with a spicy tomato sauce.
  • Al-Sheikh Restaurant: A local restaurant that serves traditional Egyptian dishes such as grilled meats and seafood.
  • El-Tawfiqia Restaurant: Another local restaurant that offers a variety of Egyptian dishes including kofta (meatballs), shish tawook (grilled chicken skewers), and molokhia (stew made from jute leaves).
  • Al-Baik Bakery: A bakery known for its freshly baked bread and pastries.
  • Al-Azhar Coffee Shop: A popular coffee shop that serves traditional Arabic coffee and tea along with light snacks like sandwiches and pastries.
  • El Farah Restaurant & Cafe: Another local restaurant that offers a range of Middle Eastern cuisine including kebabs, shawarma wraps, falafel sandwiches along with fresh juices.
  • Omda Cafe & Restaurant: This cafe is famous for its shisha lounge where customers can enjoy flavored tobacco while sipping on tea or coffee accompanied by snacks like mezze platters or salads.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Al-Azhar Park: A beautiful park with gardens, fountains, and playgrounds for children.
  2. Wadi El-Rayan National Park: A protected area that features two lakes and a waterfall.
  3. Nile Corniche: A scenic walkway along the Nile River that offers stunning views of the city.
  4. Banī Suwayf Stadium: A sports complex that hosts various sporting events like football matches and athletic competitions.
  5. Al-Nassar Garden: Another public park with green spaces, playgrounds, and picnic areas.
  6. Horseback Riding Tours: Visitors can take horseback riding tours through the countryside to explore the natural beauty of the region.
  7. Fishing Trips on the Nile River: Fishing enthusiasts can take guided tours to catch fish in one of Africa’s largest rivers – The Nile.


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