Getting Around Luxor
The most convenient ways to get around Luxor are by tour bus and bike. Driving can be a bit chaotic in the city, and taxis are likely to overcharge tourists who don't negotiate fares. Both, however, are great options for traveling to and from Luxor International Airport (LXR), which sits about 7 miles east of the city center.
Ferries and minibuses are common ways for locals to get around but only operate at select times and in limited areas. Calèches, or horse-drawn carriages, are also available, though calèche drivers are regularly criticized by animal rights groups for mistreating their horses. And while you may be tempted to save some money by getting around on foot, Luxor's high temperatures and notoriously aggressive street hawkers can make walking around the city more of a hassle than a convenience.
Though you'll have to stick to a set schedule, tour buses are a great way to get to and from Luxor's attractions. In addition to bypassing Luxor's transit headaches like traffic, congested parking lots and complicated route maps, you'll avoid price negotiations and uncomfortable encounters with aggressive street hawkers. You'll also gain a knowledgeable guide who will provide context for sights like the Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Luxor. When booking a bus tour, keep in mind that tour prices – which range between $65 and $175 per tour depending on the duration of the tour and the sites visited – cannot be negotiated (like other forms of transit in the area).
|Bike||Bicycles are another convenient way to get around the city. Many Luxor hotels will rent bicycles for a fee, or you can hire a bike at a variety of bike shops on the East and West Bank. Bike rental fees range between 5 and 20 Egyptian pounds (or $0.50 to $2) depending on the age of the bike and the quality of the shop. Some bike shops will offer day rentals, while others charge by the hour, so it's best to clarify rental periods before paying. And remember to negotiate bike prices to ensure a good rate. You'll also want to check your tire pressure and brakes and make sure you have a bike lock – most hotels and shops will provide them for free – to avoid any issues while riding around Luxor.|
|Car||Drivers in Luxor are aggressive. In fact, the number of road fatalities in Egypt are some of the highest in the world (about 12,000 people per year die in vehicle crashes). As a result, the U.S. State Department strongly advises against driving here. But if you're willing to brave Luxor's roads, you'll find it a convenient way to get to most of the city's attractions. Rental cars can be reserved at Luxor International Airport after showing an international driving permit, a credit card and your passport.|
|Taxi||If you remember to negotiate your fare before entering the vehicle, traveling by taxi can be a convenient way to get around Luxor. Most drivers will try to overcharge tourists, so it's important to agree on a route and a price in Egyptian pounds at the start of your trip. There are no standard meter rates for cabs in Luxor, but most rides will cost between 5 and 150 Egyptian pounds (roughly $0.50 to $17) depending on your negotiating skills. Ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber do not operate in Luxor.|
|Ferry||A public ferry, which departs from a pier near the Temple of Luxor and drops passengers off by the West Bank's Al Qarna Road, travels daily across the Nile River to bring travelers between the East and West Banks. Although affordable (a one-way fare will cost about 1 Egyptian pound, or less than a dollar), public ferries do not depart until mostly or completely full, so you may be stuck waiting awhile to make the short trip across. You may also be approached by locals to travel by felucca (a privately operated sailboat), but keep in mind that these boats cost about 20 to 40 Egyptian pounds ($2 to $5) per ride after negotiations.|
|Minibus||Minibuses – also known as service taxis – are a popular way for locals to get around Luxor. However, no route maps are available, making it difficult to determine where a minibus stops. Additionally, minibuses have limited seating, so groups with more than 10 people may find it difficult to share a bus. Each ride will cost less than a dollar per person; minibuses can be flagged down by looking at the driver while raising your arm.|
||These horse-drawn carriages – which are also called hantours – are known for having high prices and handlers who treat their horses poorly. However, they can offer a nice way to see the city. If you decide to travel by calèche, use your best judgment when choosing a carriage and avoid using the same driver multiple days in a row since drivers tend to ask for more money from passengers they recognize. You'll also want to bargain for a fair price; aim to pay around 5 Egyptian pounds (about $0.50) for trips that are less than a mile and 20 to 100 Egyptian pounds ($2 to $11) per hour for longer rides.|
|On Foot||Walking is the cheapest way to get around Luxor but comes at a price: You'll face long distances between attractions, high temperatures and relentless hawkers. However, using your own two feet may be your best bet if your hotel sits within walking distance of various attractions. If you decide to walk, watch for cars and firmly decline unwanted services.|
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