The Osireion at the Temple of Seti l.

© Ibrahim Hamroush/Getty Images/iStockphoto


Top choice in Northern Nile Valley

As the main cult centre of Osiris, god of the dead, Abydos (known as Ibdju in ancient times) was the place to be buried in ancient Egypt. The tomb of Djer, the third pharaoh of the 1st dynasty (c 3000 BC) was identified by later Egyptians as the tomb of Osiris himself. In the New Kingdom, Seti I built one of the most beautiful temples in Egypt, which remains one of the country's highlights.

Abydos was used as a necropolis from predynastic to Christian times (c 4000 BC–AD 600), more than 4500 years of constant use. Much of the site remains unexcavated.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Nile Valley attractions

1. Temple of Seti I

0.09 MILES

The first structure you’ll see at Abydos is the Great Temple of Seti I, which, after a certain amount of restoration work, is one of the most complete,…

2. Osireion

0.12 MILES

Directly behind the Temple of Seti I, the Osireion is a weird and wonderful structure, unique in Egypt and still baffling for Egyptologists. The entire…

3. Temple of Ramses II

0.18 MILES

Northwest of Seti I’s temple, this smaller, less well-preserved, roofless structure was built by his son Ramses II (1279–1213 BC). Following the…

4. Akhmim

28.67 MILES

The satellite town of Akhmim, on Sohag’s east bank, covers the ruins of the ancient Egyptian town of Ipu, itself built over an older predynastic…

5. Sohag National Museum


The recently renovated Sohag National Museum displays local antiquities, including those from ongoing excavations of the temple of Ramses II in Akhmim.

6. White Monastery

29.35 MILES

On rocky ground above the old Nile flood level, 6km northwest of Sohag, the White Monastery was founded by St Shenouda around AD 400 and dedicated to his…