Find a simplified travel guide to the best things to see and do in Luxor, a city in Upper Egypt.
Find out where the best historical sites are and what the best things to do in Luxor are.
Luxor used to be a part of the ancient city of Thebes, which was the capital of ancient Egypt for 1,350 years.
Today, Luxor is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Egypt, especially for people who are interested in ancient Egyptian history and archaeology. It has a very rich history of tombs, temples, and monuments.
Around these relics of Egypt’s famous past are signs of a thriving modern industry: tourism. Luxor is now the most popular place to visit in Egypt, so let’s take a look at the best things to do there.
West and East Bank: The Best Things to See in Luxor
Here, we’ll tell you about the best places to see in Luxor:
1- Valley of the Kings
You can’t finish your tour of Luxor without going to the Valley of the Kings. This is where the great Pharaohs of the New Kingdom were buried. The Valley began when King Thot-Mosis I separated his tomb from the normal burial temple. He also gave orders to bury his body in a secret, hard-to-reach place.
So, he told his Vizier (Inn) to dig the King’s tomb. After that, all of the Pharaohs of the New Kingdom dug their tombs in the Valley of the Kings. It has 62 tombs, the most famous of which is King Tutankhamun’s, and you can visit three of them during your trip.
2- The Madinat Habu or Temple of Habu.
This temple, which is one of the best in Egypt, still has the colors it had when it was built. The Temple of Madinat Habu is the great temple of King Ramses III, the last strong pharaoh.
It is thought to be one of the best things to do in Luxor.
The temple has 2 Pylons, which are also called the Triumph Gate because the walls have military scenes that show the Pharaoh sacrificing his enemy to the God Amun.
Then, if you go through this gate, you’ll be in an open court that was used for festivals. It has amazing inscriptions and very deep reliefs—the deepest of any Egyptian temple.
If you are in Luxor, you should go to this temple.
3- The Temple of Hatshepsut.
The temple of Queen Hatshepsut, the most powerful woman in ancient Egypt. This woman ruled Egypt for about 16 years. She took over after her brother-husband, Tot-Mosis 2nd, died.
She built this temple as a tomb, but she ruled Egypt as a man because women weren’t allowed to be kings. She married her brother to prove that she had the right to rule Egypt.
Also, queen Hatshepsut married her stepson Tutmosis the third and put him in the shadows for 16 years. When he was old enough, he killed her, became king of Egypt, and as an act of revenge, he destroyed everything that had to do with this queen, so if you go to her temple, you won’t be able to see anything related to her.
On the west bank, he took down all of her names from the walls.
The unique style of Queen Hatshepsut’s temple is made up of three floors cut into the cliffs of the Valley of the Kings mountain. Queen Hatshepsut was buried in the Valley of the Kings with the pharaohs. We found her mummy in the storage rooms of the Egyptian Museum. It is now on display in the Mummy room.
4- The West Bank is home to the Colossi of Memnon.
The famous colossi of Memnon are all that is left of the great king Amonphis the third’s tomb temple. Amonphis was the father of Ikhanaton and the grandfather of King Tutankhamun.
These 20-meter-tall statues must have stood at the entrance to the temple. (Top Things to Do in Luxor)
East Bank Temples and Museums are some of the best things to see and do in Luxor.
5- The Karnak temple is the oldest and largest temple still standing on Earth.
This temple took 2000 years to finish. It was built as a place of worship for the great god Amun. All of the Pharaohs of the new Kingdom helped build this great temple. (Top Things to Do in Luxor)
The big temple of Karnak
The Temple starts with the Avenue of Rams and the first and second Pylon. After that, you’ll find yourself in the open court, which was used for festivals. After that, you’ll find the Great Hypo-style Hall, which has 134 columns, each of which is 23 metres high. The columns still have their original colours, and only two of the temple’s seven obelisks are gone.
After that, you can see the Sacred Lake of the temple. There are many seats around this lake for the nightly sound and light show in the temple.
6- The Luxor Temple is the Amun-Ra Temple.
The only thing left of Luxor’s glorious past is the temple that the ancient Egyptians built to honour the god Amun-Ra. The temple is 260 metres long and was mostly built by Amon-Ofis III and Ramses the Great. A long stone connected the temple to the Karnak temple.
The large Pylon, which was decorated by King Ramses for his great military campaigns, stands at the entrance to the temple.
Before the Pylon, there were two Obelisks. Today, there is only one Obelisk left, which is 25 metres tall. The other was taken to Paris-Franc on October 25, 1836. The temple is marked by two statues of King Tutankhamun made of alabaster. It also has a large open court with 64 pillars that look like louts and papyrus, as well as a sanctuary.
7- The Luxor Museum
The Luxor Museum was just built, and it has a lot of interesting artefacts from ancient Thebes and Luxor. The most interesting piece is TALAT’S WALLS of king Ikhnaton, the head of HATHOR from King Tutankhamun’s treasure, and the Granite stone-head of king Amono-phis 3rd.
Top Night Activities in Luxor
Joining the Sound & Light show at Karnak temple is one of the best things to do in Luxor city at night.
Or, you can go to the Luxor temple after it gets dark and is lit up. It is open until 9:00 PM.
Or, take a horse-drawn carriage tour of Luxor at night. At night, Luxor is busy, but you should stay with your guide to avoid getting in trouble with carriage men and the Souks. Luxor is different at night.
Don’t forget to look at our Egypt vacation packages, Nile cruises, and day tours.