Karnak Temple Complex picture
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Key Info

Karnak Temple Complex

Details

Churches/Religious Sites, Monuments and Memorials, Museums, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.5

scorecard

  • 3.5Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

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.

Past visitors noted that exploring the Karnak Temple Complex is like traveling back in time. The temples are large and offer insight into life in ancient Egypt. Keep in mind that it can get hot (especially in the summer) and no drinks are sold inside, so pack water or purchase refreshments at one of the outdoor cafes before entering. And though some travelers enjoyed the attraction's sound and light show, others said it was not worth the additional charge.

The Karnak Temple Complex is situated about 3 miles north of central Luxor along the East Bank of the Nile River. No public transportation is available nearby, but the property does have free on-site parking. The parking lot does not sit adjacent to the attraction, so handicapped visitors may want to take a taxi or bus tour to and from the temples. Egyptian tour operators that offer excursions to the Karnak Temple Complex include Memphis Tours and Love Egypt Tours. Visitors can also bike to the temples.

The sight is open every day from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. between May and September. From October through April, travelers can visit between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets cost 80 Egyptian pounds (or $9) for adults and 40 Egyptian pounds (about $5) for students with an international student ID. Additional fees apply for the evening sound and light show and food, beverages and souvenirs purchased by the entrance. An open-air museum, which is open daily from 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., is also located on the property. Admissions fees for the museum cost an extra 15 Egyptian pounds ($2) for adults and 10 Egyptian pounds ($1) for students.

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#1 Temple of Hatshepsut

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.

Although some elements of this historic structure were damaged from vandalism, many past travelers said this sight is well-preserved and worthy of a visit. To avoid the region's notoriously high temperatures, plan on arriving at opening or just before close. And remember to wear comfortable shoes and bring water since you'll be doing a lot of walking at this attraction.

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