Luxor located in the Nile River about 500 kilometers (312 miles) south of Cairo. Luxor and its neighborhoods have a population of more than 450,000 people. Luxor lies on top of an ancient city that the Greeks named “Thebes” and the ancient Egyptians called “Waset.” The ancient city of Luxor served at times as Egypt’s capital and became one of its largest urban centers. Luxor is divided into the East Bank and the West Bank. I will touch on a few of the places we visited.
We decided to purchase the premium Luxor Pass which includes all of the archaeological sites on the East and West banks, as well as the tombs of Seti and Nefertari. The pass cost us $200 USD and we could use it for five days. We discovered that purchasing the Luxor pass for $200 was the way to go. If you are going to Cairo too, we recommend you check out the Cairo-Luxor pass. These passes give you such flexibility and the opportunity to visit many if not all places you wish to visit.
We stayed on the east bank during our 4-week stay. Our reason was the access to high-speed internet; as many of you know, we work on our laptops for hours as digital nomads as we share LingoHut. Luxor is a great place to work. It is a peaceful and quiet place to work.
The east bank is where you will find shopping, a large selection of stores, horse carriages, several small museums, and two of Egypt’s most important sites, the Luxor Temple and the sprawling Karnak Temple.
You can visit fascinating historic places on your own or go with a qualified Egyptologists guide on a private tour. If you are planning a trip to Luxor reach out to us. We have the best tour company who will treat you like royalty “Luxor Valley Tours.” We highly recommend getting a tour guide to really understand the history of Egypt.
Luxor Temple is huge in scale. It once housed a village within its walls. The temple is situated in the heart of Luxor and is a magnificent example of Egypt’s ancient structural and architectural temple art. The temple is dedicated to Amun, a creator God often fused with the Sun God Ra into Amun-Ra. The core of the temple was built by Amenhotep III in the 14th century BCE. A major expansion effort took place under Ramses II (1279 – 1212), some 100 years after the first stones were put in place. Today they are building a path between Luxor Temple and Karnak Temple to make it more accessible to tourists visiting these two sites.
Karnak is the biggest temple complex in the world, covering an area of 100 hectares. The huge temple complex was built over 2000 years. Around 30 successive pharaohs added their own touches to the complex: a new temple, shrine, or pylon and carved detailed hieroglyphic inscriptions. There are over 25 temples and chapels in the complex, including separate shrines for the three boats that took the statues of the gods on their annual trip on the flooding Nile.
Ancient Egyptian temples were considered to be the residence of the god. So, the impressive Karnak Temple was the dwelling place of the Theban triad of Amun, his wife Mut and their son Khonsu. Each of them had an area in the temple complex, the greatest and largest belonging to Amun. There was also a precinct for Monthu, the falcon-headed local god of Thebe. This is an impresive temple and it will take you a few hours to walk through the complex.
The Mummification Museum has everything you have ever wanted to know about mummies and the process of mummification. The modern purpose-built museum consists of only one room and still provides you with an overall picture of the mummification procedure and the rituals connected to it. The purpose of mummification in ancient Egypt was to preserve the body of the deceased so that they could dwell in the afterlife, in the realm of the gods.
We were lucky to encounter a family on the west bank who opened up their heart and home to us. They knew we wanted to see the sites that tourists like to go to but we also wanted to experience their culture. We were invited to their home a number of times to share meals with them. I got to make bread and learn how to make some of their local dishes. On a Sunday morning, they took us to local schools to see firsthand how children are educated in their village. LingoHut was blessed to have this opportunity to hand out school supplies to children we encountered.
They arranged a camel ride through their village so we could see their surroundings from a different angle. One of my husband’s favorite experiences was eating sugar cane right in the fields as we watch workers harvest the sugar cane and load it into the container for export. They took us to their local market to see how their daily lives ran, a small coffee shop where we enjoyed local tea and sheesha. We made lifetime friends in this beautiful village.
The west bank of Luxor also is the site of royal burial sites. This area is filled with tombs and mortuary temples. We were able to visit the Valley of the Kings (6 different tombs), Valley of the Queens, Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu, Colossi of Memnon, Ramesseum, Deir El-Medina is also known as Valley of the Artisans, Tombs of the Nobles, Temple of Seti I, Howard Carter’s House, Ancient village of Qurna, Temple of Merenptah and Imhotep Alabaster during our stay in Luxor.
I am going to highlight the Valley of the Kings and Queens but as you can see above we visited every site possible in Luxor, Egypt.
The Valley of the Kings was the burial place for most of the New Kingdom rulers. The Valley of the Kings “was chosen as the burial place for most of Egypt’s New Kingdom rulers. The local limestone, cut millions of years ago by torrential rains to form the Valley, is of good quality. And towering above the Valley is a mountain, al Qurn (‘the horn’ in Arabic), whose shape may have reminded the ancient Egyptians of a pyramid and is dedicated to the goddess Meretseger.”
All the royal tombs appear to have been looted to some degree with the most spectacularly well-preserved being that of King Tutankhamun, discovered by Howard Carter’s team in 1922. New tombs are still being discovered today.
Currently, eight tombs are included on the main ticket into the Valley of the Kings. A regular entrance ticket will allow you to visit three of these tombs. If you want to see more than three tombs, you will have to purchase an additional ticket. This can become very costly.
Here are the eight tombs that are available to visit with the main entrance ticket:
KV1 – Ramesses VII
KV2 – Ramesses IV
KV6 – Ramesses IX
KV8 – Merenptah
KV11 – Ramesses III
KV14 – Tausert-Setnakht
KV15 – Seti II
KV47 – Siptah
There are three additional tombs that you can visit with an extra ticket.
KV9 – Ramesses V & VI
KV17 – Seti I
KV62 – Tutankhamun
The Valley of the Queens located near the Valley of the Kings. The more spectacular tomb is that of Nefertari, the wife of Ramesses II. Nefertari means ‘beautiful companion’. She is one of the best-known Egyptian queens, among such women as cleopatra and Hatshesput. She was highly educated and able to both read and write hieroglyphs, an exceedingly rare skill at the time. Her tomb is magnificent with hieroglyphs and designs that take your breath away. Nefertari’s tomb is similar in structure to those of the pharaohs that have been excavated in the Valley of the Kings.
In addition to Nefertari tomb the royal rulers built great mortuary temple, the most well-known of these mortuary temples was built at Deir al-Bahri by the female pharaoh Hatshepsut, which lead to a sanctuary.
We enjoyed Luxor so much the first two weeks we came back for two more weeks after a few days in Cairo. There were fascinating places to visit in Luxor, great food to eat, and wonderful people to encounter. We highly recommend you get the Luxor pass which will make your experience magical, allowing you to enter all the places mentioned above. You will never have to stand in line or wait to enter the tombs.
We were there during Covid-19 so we had no crowds to contend with and it was magnificent, I hope our videos inspire you to put Luxor Egypt on your bucket list. Every night we would both admire the sunset on the west bank, it was always breathtaking to watch from the east bank. LingoHut was loved by the Egyptian people, we have thousands of users now from this beautiful land.