We only had two nights in Luxor Egypt and there is so much to do. This is how we squeezed a lot in.
After our visit to Giza and the Pyramids, our flight arrived in Luxor at 5:50 p.m. and we took a taxi for 120 EGP (another one of the scams that I don’t want to talk about now) to the Eatabe Luxor Hotel . The hotel is in a great location near the Nile and 800 meters from the Luxor Temple.
Fortunately the Luxor Temple is open until 9:00 p.m. so we dropped our bags in our room and immediately headed out. We decided to walk the 10 minutes to Luxor Temple, but that may have been a mistake as we were constantly hounded by people trying to sell us stuff or tours. We finally arrived and paid our 140 EGP admission fee and entered.
I needed to go to the bathroom and followed the obvious signs. A guy saw me heading that way and started pointing the way. He followed me all the way to the urinal, pestering me for a tip for helping me find the bathroom.
Anyway, I loved walking around the Luxor Temple at night.
At one time this temple was converted to a Christian church and you can still see remnants of those times.
Our full day in Luxor
I tried to figure out how to get to Valley of the Kings via public transportation but there didn’t seem to be a way to do it. You will probably need to hire someone to take you there.
We hired a driver who took us to the Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Hatshepsut, the Colossi of Memnon, and finally the Karnak Temple. He was one of the people who kept pestering me as we walked along the Nile the night before. We had wanted to go to Valley of the Kings anyway, and weren’t sure how we were going to get there, so I decided to engage him. We eventually negotiated a price of 500 EGP “for the day” to take us to all these sights.
Wait. I take that back. We agreed on 350 EGP. Then when we got to Karnak, the driver said the price he quoted me did not include Karnak and the cost was 500 EGP including Karnak.
On the way to Valley of the Kings, you pass by the Colossi of Memnon, so you may as well ask your driver to pull over for a quick photo op. There is not a lot to see other than the two 60 foot (18m) tall, heavily weathered statues from the 18th Dynasty. There is no admission fee; we were done in less than 5 minutes.
Valley of the Kings
Admission to the Valley of the Kings was 200 EGP, which grants you admission to the site and entrance to three of the tombs which happen to be open at the time. Check the window at the ticket booth to see which ones are open that day (there were eight open on the day we went). If you want to see more tombs, you have to buy another ticket. Note that seeing King Tutankhamen’s tomb (KV 62) is not included in the admission price. It costs an additional 250 EGP. To see the tomb of Seti I, expect to pay an additional 1,000 EGP (we did not).
Once you exit the building you will need to take a tram into the Valley of the Kings (an extra cost of 8 EGP).
It doesn’t look very exciting when you get dropped off.
And not much better when you get inside the complex.
But, hey, we came here to see the INSIDES of tombs. This is where I made a mistake. You can purchase a photo pass for 300 EGP. I did not and I regret it. Spend the extra money and get the photo pass (though you still are not allowed to photograph Tut’s tomb). And don’t try to sneak pictures without the pass. The guards check everyone with a camera. I even saw a guard screaming at someone.
The first tomb we came to was Ramses IV (KV2), so we eagerly entered.
We were blown away. It was so colorful. And it was hard to believe that it was painted over 3,000 years ago.
We travelled deeper into the Valley of the Kings and visited Ramses III (KV11) and Ramses IX (KV6). Admittedly each one was less and less impressive. Maybe we just coincidentally picked them in descending order of beauty, or maybe the others were anticlimactic after our amazement in Ramses IV, seeing the inside of an Egyptian tomb for the first time. To be safe, I would suggest seeing Ramses IV as the last of your three tombs.
The Temple of Tutankhamen is much smaller and much less elaborate than the other tombs, but most people feel obligated to see it since he has been popularized in the media.
Temple of Hatshepsut
You can walk or take a tram for a few pounds.
The Temple of Hatshepsut is in great shape; it looks like it was recently built. Well, though it was built over 2,000 years ago, I learned that it has been extensively renovated recently. Either way, it was impressive.
Admission 100 EGP
After our morning tour, we had lunch and then went to the Karnak Temple before the 5:00 closing time.
There are parts that boggle the mind. These columns are huge. It feels like they were built for giants.
Speaking of giant, the complex is huge. One could spend hours here.
Admission to Karnak was 150 EGP.
We ate dinner at our hotel, largely because we didn’t want to be hounded as we walked somewhere to find a restaurant, and then went to bed as we had to get up early to catch a 5:50 flight the next morning.
Total Costs in Luxor
- $120.92 – flight from Cairo to Luxor per person
- $7.25 – taxi from Luxor airport (120 EGP)
- $71.55 – two nights at Eatable Luxor hotel, breakfast included
- $30.25 – driver for our second day (500 EGP)
- $8.50 – Admission to Luxor Temple per person (140 EGP)
- $6.00 – Admission to Temple of Hatshepsut per person (100 EGP)
- $12.00 – Admission to Valley of the Kings per person (200 EGP)
- $9.00 – Admission to Karnak Temple per person (150 EGP)
- $10.00 – food; I don’t remember the exact amount but we ate a big breakfast and dinner was pretty cheap each day
TOTAL: $441.90; $220.95 per person
Summary of our time in Luxor Egypt
We saw the main things we came to see, but would have liked to spend another day so we could spend more time at each site and see more temples and tombs.
I highly recommend visiting the temple of Luxor at night. It appears much more impressive. And the price is the same no matter what time you go. Karnak has a similar event, but you have to pay extra to get in after dark.
It can be very annoying walking around Luxor and the tourist sites. There are so many annoying things that I wrote about a separate post about it. However the sights are so impressive that it is worth it.