Luxor City has long been one of Egypt’s most popular tourist sites. When you think about Luxor, you undoubtedly think of the city’s many temples and tombs (from the tomb of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings and the spectacular sunset views at Karnak and Luxor’s spectacular temple complexes to the thrilling and enjoyable Nile cruises).
If you’re looking for a nice spot to visit with your family, go no further than Luxor. Due to the various tourist attractions that provide an incredible experience, this open-air museum is a fantastic destination to visit. It offers historical pyramids and ancient ruins, as well as historical museums, sandy beaches, magnificent temples, excellent hotels, and mouthwatering restaurants and cafés.
So, let’s dive into our comprehensive travel guide and discover all of Luxor’s magnificent beauty and the greatest things to do while there.
Luxor, located on the Nile River nearly 312 miles (500 kilometers) south of Cairo, served as Egypt’s capital and became one of the country’s greatest metropolitan regions. In ancient Egypt, it was known as “Thebes,” but was eventually renamed Luxor. Luxor takes its name from the Arabic al-uksur, which means “fortifications” and was derived from the Latin “castrum,” which refers to a Roman fort built in the region.
According to studies, the Luxor region shows evidence of human existence dating back 250,000 years. They also point out that during the Old Kingdom period (approximately 2650–2150 B.C.), when the Great Pyramids of Giza were constructed, Luxor was a regional administrative center.
While the city did serve as Egypt’s capital for a time during the New Kingdom, its use as a place for royal tombs and big temples appears to have been primarily for religious purposes. The majority of the kings and queens who ruled during this period chose to be buried in the nearby Valley of the Kings.
Luxor flourished from a modest town to a wealthy metropolis during the 11th dynasty, recognized for its superior social status, luxury, and as a center for art, wisdom, and political and religious hierarchy. In a short period of time, the city rose to prominence not just in Egypt but across the world.
Luxor, known as the world’s greatest open-air museum, is the premier tourist attraction in Upper Egypt and the Nile Valley (which splits the city into 2 sections, the East Bank and the West Bank).
Luxor has too much to offer for all tourists, from massive temples and old royal tombs to the stunning desert, river landscapes, and bustling urban life.
To better understand the main attractions of this wonderful city, it’s best to group the significant attractions on their respective banks of the Nile River.
The town, the Temple of Karnak, the Luxor Temple, the Museum, hotels, restaurants, trains, and tourist stores are all located on the East Bank. The West Bank, on the other hand, is home to large remains such as the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, the Western Valley ruins, other significant monuments, and a few hotels.
The tour bus and bike are the most practical ways to get around Luxor. Driving in the city may be a bit hectic, and taxis are known to overcharge tourists who do not bargain well. Both, however, are excellent choices for getting to and from Luxor International Airport (LXR), which is located around 7 miles east of the city center.
Ferries and minibuses are popular means of transportation for residents, but they only run at certain hours and in certain places. There are also calèches, or horse-drawn carriages. While walking around Luxor may seem like a good way to save money, the city’s high temperature and famously aggressive street vendors can make it more of a burden than a convenience.
Luxor is best visited during the months of March and April, as well as October and November. These brief shoulder periods provide good weather, fewer crowds, and lower hotel costs. Winter brings the coldest weather to Luxor, but it also brings the most people and the highest rates. And, while summertime brings amazing hotel deals, excessively hot temperatures make exploring Luxor’s sites between May and September uncomfortable.
Because of Luxor’s North African location and popularity among travelers, you’ll find everything from authentic Egyptian eateries to European-inspired restaurants and Western fast food joints. However, the majority of the greatest restaurants in the region specialize in Egyptian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Whatever cuisine you like, the majority of Luxor’s restaurants are located within a few meters of the Nile’s East Bank.
Though you may be unfamiliar with Egyptian food, many Egyptian recipes incorporate Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors. Most Egyptian meals, for example, include bread, rice, and vegetables such as beans, lentils, and onions. Due to the city’s closeness to the Nile, fish is also available on many restaurant menus.
These restaurants provide a range of classic Egyptian dishes. Aish baladi (Egypt’s version of pita bread), hamam mahshi (stuffed pigeon with rice or wheat), mouloukhiya (a stew composed of rabbit or chicken, garlic, and mallow—a leafy green vegetable), and ful medammes are all must-tries.
International food is also offered in Luxor. A Taste of Indian, Asian & International Restaurant Lounge Bar serves Indian and Asian dishes such as butter chicken and Thai red curry. Several popular restaurants provide British and Italian-influenced meals. Grilled lobster, pressed duck, and risotto are seasonal delights. American fast food businesses such as KFC and McDonald’s are also available
A journey to Luxor is all about immersing yourself in the city’s rich history. The Luxor Museum is a good place to start learning about Egyptian history before touring the ruins of Luxor. After exploring the museum’s mummies and antiquities, proceed to the city’s outstanding temples and tombs. Must-see attractions include the Karnak Temple Complex, the Valley of the Kings, and the Temple of Hatshepsut, but you’ll want to give yourself enough time to visit them all.
Time to spend : 2-10 hrs.
The Valley of the Kings, as the name implies, is where hundreds of pharaohs were buried. In reality, there are 63 royal tombs here, including those of prominent pharaohs such as Tutankhamun (or King Tut), Ay, and Ramses VI.
Recent visitors say that going to the Valley of the Kings is a must. Previous visitors advised avoiding the region throughout the summer, when temperatures can reach the 100s. If you must withstand the heat between June and August, make sure to bring lots of water and sunscreen.
Though you’ll be tempted to take pictures while visiting the tombs, photography and filming are not permitted. Remember that tombs are closed for repairs on a regular basis, so the tombs available to the public will change depending on when you visit.
There is free parking for people that drive. Tickets are available at the entrance’s visitor center for 100 Egyptian pounds (about $11) for adults and 50 Egyptian pounds (around $6) for students.
Time to spend : 1-2 hrs.
The Temple of Hatshepsut, built to commemorate Amon-Re (ancient Egypt’s sun god) and the female pharaoh Hatshepsut (who was said to be descended from Amon-Re), stands out for its enormous architecture and jaw-dropping scenery.
Although certain sections of this ancient monument have been vandalized, many previous visitors say it is well-preserved and worth the visit.
Plan to arrive at the opening or shortly before closing to avoid the region’s usually intense temperatures. Remember to wear comfy shoes and take water because this attraction requires a lot of walking.
The Temple of Hatshepsut offers free parking, and a bazaar (or marketplace with a variety of items) is located just outside the property’s entrance.
Time to spend : 2h to half day
Look no further than the Karnak Temple Complex for Luxor’s greatest (and most stunning) collection of temple ruins. The Karnak Temple Complex, about 2 miles northeast of the Temple of Luxor, contains many temples, two obelisks, hieroglyphs, and a sacred lake used for special rites. The Avenue of Sphinxes connects the site to the Temple of Luxor and leads up to the property’s entrance.
Visitors have said that visiting the Karnak Temple Complex is like going back in time. The temples are massive and provide an insight into ancient Egyptian society. Remember that it can get really hot (especially in the summer). There are no drinks served inside, so bring water or buy refreshments at one of the outdoor shops before entering.
There is no public transportation nearby, however there is free on-site parking.
Time to spend : 1-2 hrs.
Though several of Egypt’s pharaohs added improvements to the Temple of Luxor (Tutankhamun, Horemheb, and Hatshepsut, to name a few), the majority of this ancient monument was built in the 14th century B.C. between Amenhotep III’s and Ramses II’s reigns.. An obelisk, hieroglyphs, and an avenue flanked by sphinxes are among the striking features of this historic landmark. A second obelisk from the temple presently stands at the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
According to recent visitors, the Temple of Luxor is one of the city’s must-see landmarks. Visitors say the temple is stunning, even though parts of it are closed for restoration. Travelers recommend seeing the Temple of Luxor before visiting the Karnak Temple Complex, as the latter is said to be larger and more significant. Bring lots of water with you if you visit during the summertime. The temple is also open at night. A music and light show are available for an extra cost at the site, however numerous visitors advised avoiding it in favor of enjoying the lights for free from the nearby streets.
Visitors can get to the temple via bike, car, or taxi. Adults pay 60 Egyptian pounds (about $7) to enter the temple, while students with an international student ID pay 30 Egyptian pounds ($3).
Time to spend : 1-2 hrs.
The Luxor Museum offers a view of Old and New Kingdom artifacts discovered in and around Luxor. This museum holds historic artifacts such as a Tuthmosis III statue from the Karnak Temple Complex, objects buried with Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings, a collection of statues discovered beneath the Temple of Luxor, and two royal mummies. There are additional videos that show how to make papyrus sheets and how to write hieroglyphs.
The Luxor Museum’s remarkable collection of Egyptian antiquities will appeal to both art and history enthusiasts. Several recent visitors complimented on the museum’s easy-to-navigate layout and educational displays (in English and Arabic), however others thought the entry costs were excessive given the property’s size. Keep in mind that photography and recording are prohibited inside.
There is no parking lot, however visitors may access the museum by bicycle or cab. The Luxor Museum is not included on bus trips. Tickets are required and cost 100 Egyptian pounds ($11) for adults and 50 Egyptian pounds ($6 for students). The admission charge includes access to all of the museum’s exhibits, as well as a gift shop and restrooms.
Time to spend : 1 hr.
Make a stop at the Colossi of Memnon on your way to well-known sights like the Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Hatshepsut. This pair of 59-foot-tall sculptures depicting King Amenhotep III originally guarded the king’s temple. Though the faces of both statues have been severely damaged, and nothing of King Amenhotep III’s temple survives, the sculptures’ stunning size and the absence of an entry fee make this sight well worth a visit.
According to previous tourists, the Colossi of Memnon is one of Luxor’s top photo sites, despite its relatively odd position. If you’d want to understand more about the monuments’ history, try taking a local bus tour.
This free site, which is open 24 hours a day, is within walking distance of some hotels, but most visitors will need to hire a vehicle, hail a cab, rent a bike, or join a bus tour to get there and back. There is free parking, and merchants in the parking lot and stores across the street sell souvenirs and food. There are no restrooms on-site.
Time to spend : 2 hrs. – half day
Though not as glamorous as the Valleys of the Kings and Queens, the Valley of the Artisans—known locally as Deir el-Medina—provides an insight into the lives of the workers who built the area’s iconic royal burials. On the site, there is a modest temple dedicated to the Egyptian goddesses of love and truth, as well as town ruins and many graves. Three tombs are publicly exposed: Inherka’s , Sennedjem’s, and Peshedu’s.
Visit the Valley of the Artisans if you want to view some of Luxor’s outstanding tombs and artwork. Many previous tourists have stated that these tombs are greater than those found in the Valley of the Kings and of the Queens. You won’t have to wait in huge lines to visit these well-preserved crypts because this site isn’t as popular as others in the vicinity.
Visitors can bike, drive, or take a cab to the site. There is free parking, but there are no facilities, a gift store, or snack sellers on-site. Tickets may be purchased at the attraction’s ticket office for 40 Egyptian pounds (less than $5) for adults and 20 Egyptian pounds (ap8. proximately $2) for students.
Time to spend : 2 hrs – half day
More than 75 royal tombs may be found in the Valley of the Queens. This valley is home to a number of queens, princesses, and princes, as well as one of Egypt’s most impressive tombs, the tomb of Nefertari. Though most of the tombs have been looted throughout time, several still have vivid artwork on their walls.
Although some past tourists claimed this area is worth skipping if you’re short on time, many praised the tombs’ decor as a reason to visit. Photography is prohibited in the area, as it is in other Egyptian tombs. Also, keep in mind that the iconic Nefertari tomb is not available to the public.
The attraction may be reached by car, cab, or bicycle. Private tours of the site (including entry to Nefertari’s tomb) can also be arranged for an additional fee.
On-site facilities include restrooms and a free parking area with a small marketplace. Adult tickets cost 50 Egyptian pounds (about $6), while students pay 25 Egyptian pounds ($3). All tickets include entrance to three tombs: Amunherkhepshef’s, Khaemwaset’s, and Titi’s.
Time to spend : 2 hrs. – half day
Though not as famous as the Temple of Luxor, the Karnak Temple Complex, or the Temple of Hatshepsut, Medinet Habu stands out due to its vast funerary temple. The property’s greatest temple, built by Pharaoh Ramses III to commemorate Amon-Re, one of Egypt’s most prominent gods, has reliefs depicting the king’s winning numerous conflicts. Within Medinet Habu’s walls are also a smaller temple, a chapel, and the two-story Syrian Gate.
Past visitors recommend Medinet Habu if you want to soak up the local history but don’t want to cope with crowds of tourists. This lesser-known temple complex has more breathing room, which means you won’t have to rub elbows with other visitors to see the site’s hieroglyphs. Several visitors also commented on how well-maintained this property is in comparison to others in the region.
Visitors can arrive at Medinet Habu by bicycle, car, taxi, or tour bus. On-site parking is free, as are many other things to do in Luxor. Restaurants, stores, and restrooms are also accessible near the parking lot. Visitors must purchase tickets to enter. Adult entry is 40 Egyptian pounds (about $5), while student admission costs 20 Egyptian pounds (approximately $2)
Luxor tourism sites give some insight into the ancient Egyptian civilization’s glory and brilliance. This outstanding city has too much to offer for all visitors, from massive temples and ancient royal tombs to the stunning desert, river landscapes, and bustling urban life.
Explore this magnificent historical legacy and mesmerizing beauty by booking a trip to Luxor via Egyptatours and ensuring the best deal for yourself!
Copyright © 2022 . All rights reserved.