Luxor, Egypt: The Ultimate Guide

Luxor – Ancient Egypt’s Thebes – is a city located in Central-Southern Egypt, on the West Bank of the Nile River. It’s often referred to as the “world’s greatest open-air museum”, as it’s teeming with archeological treasures and ancient ruins throughout the city. Thebes was once known as one of the richest and most powerful cities in the world. Read on to find out why Luxor is a must-see destination everyone should visit.

Best Known For: Valley of the Kings

valley of the kings luxor

The Valley of the Kings is an ancient burial site where powerful pharaohs like Tutankhamun, Ramses II, and other rulers from the 18th-20th dynasties were laid to rest. Wander the tombs of these royals and learn about their reigns in Ancient Egypt. See great sarcophaguses and well-preserved hieroglyphics dating back to 16th century BCE. With our Luxor Day Tour, you’ll not only get to explore this world-famous treasure, but you’ll also visit surrounding attractions like Hatshepsut Temple and Twin Colossi of Memnon.

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Luxor: Essential Travel Information

MoneyEgypt’s currency is the EGP – Egyptian Pound. (1 USD is roughly equivalent to 30 EGP). It’s relatively affordable to visit Luxor and see all it has to offer while still saving money. Though credit cards are accepted in most establishments, it’s wise to have cash available just in case.
Tipping is encouraged.
LanguageArabic may be the spoken language of Egypt, but English is understood and used often, especially in the tourisy areas. You likely won’t have a hard time communicating in Luxor.
WeatherThe weather in Luxor ranges from mild winters to very hot summers. Temperatures in January begin at 79°F (26°C) and crawl up to 106°F (41°C) in June-July. As most of Luxor’s attractions are outdoors, staying hydrated and in shaded areas when possible will guarantee an enjoyable visit.
TransportationHave a look on how to Get from Cairo to Luxor to better plan your trip.
Once in Luxor, however, getting around can be tricky without a guided tour, though it’s certainly doable. Taxis are the most popular mode of transportation, but you can also rent a car for long excursions or get a bike/scooter for shorter distances. Be sure to familiarize yourself with local traffic laws and exercise caution everywhere.
You can always opt for a felucca ride – a sailing boat ride traditionally used in Egypt for thousands of years. Felucca rides glide along the Nile River throughout the day and offer stops at landmarks along the way.
CultureLuxor is a largely Muslim city and is home to many religious sites, so dressing and acting modestly is encouraged. Have a look at our Guide to Egyptian Culture and Customs for more information. We also recommend checking out our comprehensive Egypt clothing guide.
PopulationThe Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has recorded that in recent years, around 5 million visitors have flocked to Luxor. Overall, the city isn’t overpopulated with just 500,000 residents. Peak tourist season (winter months) is when it’ll be most crowded.

Interactive Map of Luxor

More Things to See in Luxor

Luxor karnak temples complex

Karnack Temples: Spreading over 200 acres, the Karnak Temples are a historic haven of carvings, tombs, and hieroglyphics, making it one of the largest temple complexes the world has ever seen.

Nile Cruise: A cruise along the Nile River can be a fun solo excursion or enjoyable with friends and family. Sail down to Aswan to see Elephantine Island or better yet, join our Luxor and Cairo 2 Day Tour, which combines Aswan and Luxor into 2 exhilarating days of adventuring. 

Have a look at these Best Travel Experiences in Egypt or 7 Day Egypt Itinerary to better plan your next trip.

Where to Stay

Luxor’s East Bank is where most hotels and restaurants are located. It provides easy access to popular sites like Luxor Temple. It’s also advisable to stay near the Nile River, which offers tourists a more relaxed environment to retire at the end of a long day of sightseeing.

Our package tours like 7 Day Cairo, Aswan and Luxor Package and Cairo and Highlights of Egypt 4 Day Tour are great options for tourists planning on visiting Luxor. Hotel stays, transportation, and fun experiences are included throughout our tours, leaving the hassle of planning a long and complicated trip to us.

Luxor’s Restaurants & Markets

luxor market

There are a plethora of places to eat and shop in Luxor. Some of the best restaurants are located near Luxor Temple, close to hotels. There are excellent coffee houses and even some eateries named after pharaohs. Delight your taste buds by trying new Egyptian food and head to the vibrant Luxor Bazaar – one of the best outdoor markets in Egypt – to buy crafts, souvenirs, spices, and local specialties. There’s also Soul al-Sagha, which is primarily known for its gold market, and don’t forget Luxor Mall for a more typical shopping experience.

Our Recommendations: Things to Book Ahead

We highly recommend you book your ticket to all museums and temples ahead of time. Valley of the Kings is an especially popular tourist destination and tickets go fast. Also note: Not all Valley of the Kings tickets are created equally; book wisely as basic entry won’t guarantee you access to the entire complex.

Once you’re in Luxor, you can come along on our Luxor Day Tour for an unforgettable experience. This tour includes a visit to Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple, Twin Colossi of Memnon, and so much more.

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