8 Must-visit sights in Luxor, Egypt

There’s plenty to choose from when visiting Luxor, a city easily accessible by the convenient Luxor airport shuttle.

Across from either side of the Nile River offers amazing and breathtaking views of this open-air museum. The West Bank of Luxor is where the Egyptians buried the dead, chosen because the sun sets on this bank. The area gradually became known as the necropolis, the area filled with mortuary temples and tombs.

With so much to do, narrowing down the must-sees in the short time you likely have is hard. Here are 8 of the absolutely essential sights to visit in Luxor.

Photo by Diego F. Parra

1) Temple of Karnak (East Bank)

The Temple of Karnak is an extraordinary complex of obelisks, pylons, and sanctuaries that will leave you breathless. Approximately thirty pharaohs contributed to the construction of this complex, dominated by the great Temple of Amun-Ra. This is one of the world’s largest religious complexes and includes the famous hypostyle hall.

2) Luxor Temple (East Bank)

Luxor Temple is also located on the popular East Bank of the Nile River, undergoing construction around 1400 BCE. This is one of two primary temples along the East Bank (the other is the temple of Karnak).

This temple was dedicated to the rejuvenation of kingship and may have been where many of the pharaohs of Egypt were crowned in reality. The temple was built by Amenhotep III, Tutankhamun, and Ramses II during the Roman era.

3) Luxor Museum (East Bank)

The Luxor Museum is a fantastic museum that has plenty of incredible antiques dating from the end of the Old Kingdom through the Mamluk period.

Most of the artefacts on display were found beneath the Luxor Temple and from the tomb of King Tut. One of the main attractions at this museum is the mummy that is believed to be Ramses I, father of Seti I. 

Luxor egypt Valley of the Kings

Valley of the Kings – Image by Lídia Craveiro from Pixabay

4) Valley of the Kings (West Bank)

You can’t visit Egypt and not have this on your list of things to see. The Valley of the Kings has over 60 magnificent tombs that have suffered everything from weather, floods, treasure hunters, and even tourist activity.

Those outside influences do not take away from the amazing sights once you enter the tombs. Be sure to check out the tombs of Seti I, Ramses VI, and Ay, as they’re known for their vibrant colours and fabulous images.

5) Temple of Hatshepsut (West Bank)

One of the most famous temples is the Temple of Hatshepsut. Blending in perfectly with the cliff sitting behind it, this magnificent structure has three terraces where you can visit and admire the architecture and artwork. The purpose of this memorial was to serve the royal mortuary cults of Hatshepsut and Thutmose I.

6) Colossi of Memnon (West Bank)

The Colossi of Memnon is one of the first things you will see when visiting the West Bank because of its giant-sized monuments. Each of these two statues is made from a single block of stone weighing over 1000 tons, representing the Pharaoh Amenhotep III. The statues sit in front of the main entrance to one of Egypt’s largest funerary temples.

7) Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Luxor at Sunrise

As if it weren’t amazing enough to see the incredible sights of Luxor from the ground, try seeing it from above at sunrise. This activity will take you on a 45-minute journey where you’ll be able to see the Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, Colossi of Memnon, farmland, and the Nile River.

8) Avenue of the Sphinxes

Also known as Rams Road, this long avenue is over 1.5 miles long and connects the Karnak Temple to the Luxor Temple. Of 1057 statues along this road, 807 are sphinx-shaped, and the other 250 have ram-shaped heads.

 

When visiting Luxor, make sure you spend some quality time at these places without being rushed. Don’t try to cram the sights in if you only plan a short trip; you could spend weeks here and not get to everything Luxor offers.

 

Whether you spend time at any or all of these destinations, one thing is for sure: Egypt is a trip you will never forget.

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