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Egypt

Luxor, a city located on the right bank of the Nile, with a history dating back more than 4000 years, is full of monuments to discover. Famous for the Valley of the Kings, this is not the only place to visit during your visit. Discover in this article how to organize your stay in Luxor:

How to come to Luxor?

- From another country it is possible to land directly in Luxor.

-From Cairo, by train for a journey of about 10 hours.There is a night train for tourists which is excessively expensive. While a day trip in 1st class is very comfortable for 150EGP (7.47€)

-During of a cruise on the Nile, with all the sightseeing stops.

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Where to stay in Luxor?

It is possible to stay on both sides of the Nile. On the side of the temples, the "city center" side where most of the accommodations are, but also the most lively and noisy side.

For my part, I wanted to stay in quieter place and therefore chose the other bank, side of the Valley of the Kings.

 

I found a great cozy little hotel at a very affordable price.

This hotel is : Sunflower Guesthouse West Bank. For a large room with private bathroom, the 3 nights costed me 485 EGP or 24€.

It is close to restaurants et especially the ferry that shuttles between the 2 shores ! Extremely well placed! 

The price of the ferry for the crossing is 5 EGP for tourists or 0.25€. There are very often, and 24/7. 

Of course there are plenty of other accommodations for all budgets, it's up to you to find what suits you.

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What to do in Luxor?

Luxor is home to many important points to visit during your stay in Egypt. From the valley of the kings, to the temple of Karnak discover here the places not to be missed.

- The Valley of the Kings

The Valley of the Kings is known to house the tombs of the pharaohs.

 

They are dug into the rock, underground, which makes the work impressive for the period. Knowing that there was no electricity, the Egyptians used stratagems to reflect the outside light to the bottom of the hole. 

Some tombs are very long and settle deep under the mountain. An ingenuity that can only be congratulated so that the cellars have not collapsed for so many years. It must be said that the first tombs date from -1539 BC!!

Not all tombs are accessible to the public. Some have still not been cleared of the rubble blocking the entrance, others are being restored or others are still reserved for specialists. 

The entrance ticket gives you the right to visit 3 tombs out of a dozen accessible to the public. The price is 240 EGP or €11.90.It's up to you to make your choice!

 

For my part, I had done research on the internet for graves that were worth seeing. That of Tutankhamun is to be paid separately from the ticket giving access to 3 tombs. The price: 300 EGP or €15.63. I decided not to do it, even if the wall decorations look incredible, since the tomb has been emptied and the solid gold sarcophagus is on display in the Cairo museum, which I had visited at the start of my stay. . For my part, the wall decorations were splendid in the other tombs too, hence my choice.

So I chose and recommend these 3 tombs: 

-KV16Ramesses I

-KV11Ramesses III

-KV14Tausert and Setnakht

Tips: they sell shuttle tickets between the entrance ticket office and the entrance to the site. Absolutely everyone takes the shuttle even though there is only .. 5 minutes walk! So I was the only one to walk to save money and I was stared at to arrive 5 minutes after the group!

It's very hot, think of a bottle of water, sunglasses .. Especially if you go there during the summer!

The visit to the site is still done quickly, I would say that for the 3 tombsyou will spend 1h30 to 2h maximum there. It's up to you to decide if you want to pay an extra guide to have the explanations. 

-- For the Valley of the Queens, same principle although a little less known and less visited.

The ticket gives access to 3 tombs. The price: 100 EGP or €4.95.

To visit the tomb of the famous Nefertari you will even need your hand in your wallet!! 1400 EGP more or 73€!   Suffice to say that I did not do it even if it must be incredible considering the price.

 

For the 3 graves that I made, (Khaemwaset, Amunherkhepshef and Titi) it was nice but nothing more. So I would say that after seeing the Valley of the Kings, it is not necessarily necessary to do the Valley of the Queens, because the tombs are less pretty and much smaller. Unless you want to do Nefertari's of course.  

 

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-- Pour la vallée des reines, même principe bien qu'un peu moins connu et moins visité.

Le ticket donne accès à 3 tombes. Le prix : 100 EGP soit 4,95€.

Pour visiter la tombe de la célèbre Nefertari il faudra même la main au portefeuille !! 1400 EGP en plus soit 73€ !  Autant dire que je ne l'ai pas faites même si elle doit être incroyable vu le prix.

 

Pour les 3 tombes que j'ai faites, ( Khaemwaset, Amunherkhepshef et Titi) c'était sympa mais sans plus. Je dirais donc qu'après avoir vu la vallée des rois, ce n'est pas forcément nécessaire de faire la vallée des reines, car les tombes sont moins jolies et beaucoup plus petites. Hormis si tu tiens à faire celle de Nefertari bien évidemment.  

- The Temple of Hatshepsut

The temple of Hatshepsut has the distinction of being the temple of the only woman who was pharaoh. First great woman to have reigned and to be respected. Her Mortuary Temple is a little outside the Valley of the Kings, and it is simply amazing. Its size, its architecture, and the fact that it is dug out of the rock with this mountain in the background, makes the scene grandiose.

Try to get there early so as not to have a crowd of tourists, which makes the place even more magical.

Ticket price: 140 EGP or €6.95

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- Colossi of Memnon

The Colossi of Memnon is made up of 2 gigantic statues representing Amenhotep III. They sit in front of his mortuary temple which is unfortunately in ruins after an earthquake. The entrance to the site is free in itself, there are only the statues to see, many are just passing by to take pictures of the statues and admire their size.

I personally took advantage of the little shop opposite to take a bike break and drink a cold soda while chatting with the young man who runs the shop.
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- Ramesseum

The Ramesseum is a memorial temple for Ramses II. It is in ruins and I didn't stop to visit it, I only saw it from the road, so I can't say too much about it. 

Price: 80 EGP or €4.17

- Medinet Habou

Medinet Habou was a city near Luxor. It is known today for the temple of Ramses III. I personally have not visited it.

Price: 100 EGP or €5.21

Karnak Temple

My biggest favorite of Egypt ! This huge temple is just crazy !The architecture, its grandeur, the ornaments and details. Everything is impressive, and we spend our time wondering how they were able to do it at the time. To lift obelisks weighing tons for example... 

The Karnak complex was built and rebuilt over the reigns of successive pharaohs for 2000 years. It is the largest religious complex of all Antiquity. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Admission price: 200 EGP or €9.82 

A word of advice, go there at opening time !Yes it's early but you will escape the heat and especially the crowd !

I was behind a couple of tourists and we shared the 2km2 of the temple to ourselves for 1h30 it was MAGIC. The calm and the temple just for yourself gives a feeling of grandeur, you can really look at the details and it is much more appreciable. From 9:30 a.m. when I left the site, a bug crowd was already taking place at the entrance. 

 

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- Luxor temple 

Luxor Temple is dedicated to the cult of Amun. It is preceded by an alley of impressive sphinxes. There are until loss of sight ! And for good reason, at the time, this alley of 700 sphinxes linked the temple of Luxor to the temple of Karnak, located 2km from each other ! This brings an even more imposing dimension to the building. 

I couldn't go early and went for the sunset, the light was beautiful but unfortunately the site was full of people and therefore very noisy and I did not enjoy my visit at all in the same way . Try to go there when it opens ! 

Price: 160 EGP or €7.86

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Take a hot air balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings 

It is possible to take a hot air balloon ride at sunrise over the Valley of the Kings. I haven't done it personally but it can be a great memory.  

Price: account a hundred euros

- Stroll on the promenade along the Nile on the east bank side (Louxor temple side)

At sunset it is super pleasant to walk along the Nile and admire the murals along the promenade. 

Please don't use the horse drawn carriages !!! They will come and offer you a cheap ride every two minutes, but the poor horses aren't treated well and spend their days on the burning asphalt of the road in the middle of the cars. Don't support this.

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How to get to the sites?

All the locals will want to sell you a tour. It's up to you to decide if you want to take a tour organized by an agency, go by taxi or .. rent a bike ! And yes it's not the first thing you think of and yet. I rented a bike right next to my hotel for 50 EGP per day, i.e. €2.50.

 

I left very early in the morning to avoid the heat as much as possible, and the crowds at the sites.

I went first to the Valley of the Kings, then to the Temple of Hatshepsut then to the Colossi of Memnon then to the Valley of the Queens. 

 

The bike ride was great pleasant despite the not necessarily easy climb to go to the valley of the kings. The bike shop had provided me with a lock and I had no trouble hanging my bike close to the parking guards every time. 

It is therefore an idea to remember to combine visit with pleasure ! Not to mention the savings and the freedom of your own schedule. The locals not being used to it, especially for a solo woman, greeted me with big smiles when I passed. 

I hope this article on things to do in Luxor has helped you organize your visit so you don't miss a thing!

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