Luxor

Living history in the world's largest open-air museum.

Discover Luxor's ancient history and culture with its temples, tombs and local life along the Nile's banks.

4.3
out of 5

Luxor, often referred to as the world's greatest open-air museum, stands on the site of ancient Thebes, the once-resplendent capital of Egypt's New Kingdom. The city's vast temple complexes, Karnak and Luxor, and the array of tombs including the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, tell tales of a time when pharaohs ruled and grandeur was crafted in stone. Modern Luxor, divided into the East and West Banks of the Nile, offers a gateway to explore Egypt's ancient history while also providing a lively local scene with markets and restaurants.

Historical Significance

In Luxor, history is evident at every turn, with ancient monuments standing testament to a bygone era of pharaonic grandeur. Among the not-to-miss sites is the Karnak Temple Complex, arguably the largest religious building ever constructed, and home to a vast array of temples, chapels, and other buildings. The Luxor Temple, connected to Karnak via the Avenue of Sphinxes, provides a remarkable look into the religious life of the ancient Egyptians.

Valley of the Kings and Queens

The West Bank of Luxor holds the iconic Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, both burial grounds for pharaohs and high nobles. Here you'll find the tomb of Tutankhamun and the resting places of other kings whose mummified remains tell us much about the rituals and beliefs surrounding death and the afterlife in ancient Egypt. Remember that photography inside the tombs is restricted, so be sure to soak in the details firsthand.

Traditional Egyptian Cuisine

Culinary enthusiasts will enjoy traditional Egyptian dishes in Luxor. Local restaurants and street vendors offer staples like koshari, a mix of pasta, rice, lentils, and fried onions topped with a spicy tomato sauce; and molokhia, a green leafy vegetable soup. For an authentic experience, look for places filled with locals or ask for recommendations to find the best-hidden gems.

Exploring the Nile's Natural Beauty

A felucca ride on the Nile at sunset offers a tranquil perspective of Luxor's natural beauty. These traditional sailboats provide a quiet retreat from the city's activity and allow visitors to observe life along the riverbanks as it has been for centuries.

Everyday Life in Luxor

To see what life is like for locals in Luxor, one must simply take a walk through its streets. The East Bank is lively in the evenings when residents fill cafes to socialize over tea and shisha. The souk here is a vibrant place where you can experience daily life among stalls selling spices, produce, and textiles.

Getting Around Luxor

Most major sites in Luxor are accessible by taxi or bike rental. Many travelers hire a bicycle for ease of movement around the East Bank. To visit sites on the West Bank, consider renting a guided calèche (horse-drawn carriage) or arranging a taxi through your accommodation. Boats and ferries also offer crossings between banks, giving passengers a scenic route between locations.

Average temperatures during the day in Luxor.

What people say about Luxor

4.3
People
4
Food
4
Spaces
5
Value
4
Safety
3
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