This study investigates the physical and rheological properties of asphalt binders modified by nano aluminum oxide (AL2O3). Several conventional tests were conducted, including penetration, softening point and ductility, rotational viscosity and dynamic shear rheometer (DSR). Based on the results of the tests, it was found that the hardness of modified asphalt binders increased with the addition of nano AL2O3 up to 5%. As a result of the increased hardness, the softening point of modified asphalt improved compared with base asphalt binders. The rheological property of modified binders was enhanced at low and high temperatures. The results of a DSR test revealed that the G* were improved, whereas the δ decreased slightly. The addition of a different percentage of AL2O3 to base binder had a remarkable influence on resistance to permanent deformation (high temperature rutting and low temperature fatigue). Results recognize 5 wt.% as the optimum content of the modifier. Therefore, nano AL2O3 can be considered as a proper alternative additive to modify the properties of asphalt cement. © 2016 Penerbit UTM Press. All rights reserved.