Valley of the Kings#2 in Best Things To Do in Luxor
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.
According to recent travelers, visiting the Valley of the Kings is a must. Past visitors recommended avoiding the area during the summer, since temperatures rise into the 100s. If you do decide to brave the heat between June and August, pack plenty of water and sunscreen. Though you'll be tempted to snap some photos while exploring the tombs, photography and videography are not allowed on-site. And remember, tombs are periodically closed for renovations, so tombs open to the public will vary depending on when you visit.
You'll find the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank of the Nile River and about 18 miles northwest of central Luxor. The sight sits less than 5 miles away from other top attractions, such as the Colossi of Memnon, the Valley of the Artisans, the Temple of Hatshepsut and Medinet Habu. For visitors who drive, free parking is available. Travelers can also get to the Valley of the Kings – which is open year-round from 6 a.m. to 4 or 5 p.m. – by bike, taxi or tour bus. Tickets, which cost 100 Egyptian pounds (approximately $11) for adults and 50 Egyptian pounds (or $6) for students, can be purchased at the entrance's visitors center. All tickets include access to three tombs, but additional fees apply to visit the tombs of Tutankhamun, Ay and Ramses VI. Before entering the tombs, visitors can check out the property's bazaar (or marketplace) for souvenirs. Restrooms are available in the visitors center, and a shuttle operates between the visitors center and the entrance of the tombs. Rides on the shuttle cost 4 Egyptian pounds (about $0.50) per person.
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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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