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Best Things To Do in Luxor

A trip to Luxor is all about soaking up the city's rich past. For a crash course in Egyptian history before exploring Luxor's ruins, check out the Luxor Museum. Once you've seen the museum's mummies and artifacts, make your way to the city's famous temples and tombs. Though you'll want to plan enough time to see them all, must-see sights include the Karnak Temple Complex, the Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Hatshepsut.

How we rank Things to Do

Updated March 9, 2018

  • #1
    Temple of Hatshepsut
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    #1 in Luxor
    Churches/Religious Sites, Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Built to honor Amon-Re (ancient Egypt's sun god) and the female pharaoh Hatshepsut (who was believed to have descended from Amon-Re), the Temple of Hatshepsut stands out for its grand architecture and jaw-dropping landscape. Situated at the base of limestone cliffs in Deir el-Bahri, this funerary temple features three tiers of porticos with statues, pillars and hieroglyphs. You'll also find two chapels inside, plus two ramps that connect the lower terrace to the upper terrace.

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  • #2
    Valley of the Kings
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    #2 in Luxor
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    As its name suggests, the Valley of the Kings is where dozens of pharaohs were laid to rest. In fact, you'll find 63 royal tombs here, including notable pharaohs like Tutankhamun (or King Tut), Ay and Ramses VI. The tombs are spread across two areas: the East Valley, where the bulk of the tombs lie, and the West Valley, which features steep cliffs and three royal tombs. Both sections sit within view of Al-Qurn, a large pyramid-shaped mountain peak.

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  • #3
    Karnak Temple Complex
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    #3 in Luxor
    Churches/Religious Sites, Monuments and Memorials, Museums, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Monuments and Memorials, Museums, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you're in search of Luxor's largest (and most impressive) collection of temple ruins, look no further than the Karnak Temple Complex. Located about 2 miles northeast of the Temple of Luxor, the Karnak Temple Complex features multiple temples, two obelisks, hieroglyphs and a sacred lake that was used for special rituals. Leading up to the property's entrance is the Avenue of Sphinxes, which connects the site to the Temple of Luxor.

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  • #4
    Temple of Luxor
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    #4 in Luxor
    Churches/Religious Sites, Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Though additions to the Temple of Luxor were made by many of Egypt's pharaohs (Tutankhamun, Horemheb and Hatshepsut, to name a few), the bulk of this ancient structure was created in the 14th century B.C. during the reigns of Amenhotep III and Ramses II. Notable features of this historic structure include an obelisk, hieroglyphs and an avenue lined with sphinxes. A second obelisk originally from the temple now resides in Paris at the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées.

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  • #5
    Colossi of Memnon
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    #5 in Luxor
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    Before heading to popular attractions like the Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Hatshepsut, stop at the Colossi of Memnon. This pair of statues, which stand about 59 feet tall and depict King Amenhotep III, once guarded the king's temple. Though both statues' faces have suffered significant damage and little remains of King Amenhotep III's temple, the statues' impressive size and the lack of an entrance fee make this site well worth a visit.

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  • #6
    Medinet Habu
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    #6 in Luxor
    Churches/Religious Sites, Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Churches/Religious Sites, Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Though this collection of temples isn't as well known as the Temple of Luxor, the Karnak Temple Complex and the Temple of Hatshepsut, Medinet Habu stands out because of its massive funerary temple. Built by King Ramses III to honor Amon-Re, one of Egypt's most popular gods, the property's largest temple features reliefs that depict the king winning various wars. A smaller temple, a chapel and the two-story Syrian Gate are also housed within Medinet Habu's walls.

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  • #7
    Valley of the Artisans (Deir el-Medina)
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    #7 in Luxor
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Though not as glamorous as the Valley of the Kings or the Valley of the Queens, the Valley of the Artisans – known locally as Deir el-Medina – offers a glimpse into the lives of the workers who constructed the area's famous royal graves. A small temple dedicated to the Egyptian goddesses of love and truth can be found on the site, as well as village remains and several tombs. Three tombs are open to the public: Inherka's tomb (No. 359), Sennedjem's tomb (No. 1) and Peshedu's tomb (No. 3).

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  • #8
    Valley of the Queens
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    #8 in Luxor
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The Valley of the Queens is home to more than 75 royal tombs. You'll find an array of queens, princesses and princes buried here, and one of Egypt's most elaborate tombs – the tomb of Nefertari (No. 66) – resides within this valley. Though most of the tombs have been ransacked throughout the years, many still feature bright paintings on their walls.

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  • #9
    Luxor Museum
    View all Photos
    #9 in Luxor
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    For a glimpse at Old and New Kingdom artifacts found in and around Luxor, check out the Luxor Museum. Historic treasures housed in this museum include a statue of Tuthmosis III from the Karnak Temple Complex; items buried with Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings; a collection of statues found beneath the Temple of Luxor; and two royal mummies. You'll also find videos that demonstrate the process of making papyrus sheets and how to write hieroglyphs.

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Explore More of Luxor

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