Luxor is the city in Egypt where you will find more remains of the ancient Egyptian civilization. And it is that Luxor stands on what was the ancient capital of the New Kingdom, the great Thebes. Therefore, both in the city itself and in the surrounding area there are numerous temples and places of interest.
It is possible to visit Luxor in 1 day, although if you have 2, much better, since in addition to what we tell you here you have many other places. Of course, it is quite hot, and it is that the surroundings of Luxor, as soon as you move away from the Nile River and its vegetation, are a complete desert.
Luxor is a must stop if you take a cruise on the Nile. Its monuments are part of the World Heritage Site named Ancient Thebes and its necropolis.
What to see in Luxor
The Karnak Temple
Without a doubt, the Karnak Temple is the most spectacular and grandiose temple that you will find in Egypt. Its enclosure is immense and its visit is essential since you cannot leave Egypt without visiting the Temple of Karnak.
Actually there are several temples, as it is dedicated to several gods, the most important being the one dedicated to Amón-Ra, in which we find the most spectacular part of the temple, the Hypostyle Hall with gigantic columns 23 meters high that give you an idea of the majesty of the enclosure.
From the Karnak Temple we must also highlight its obelisks, the sanctuary and the impressive pylons, from where the famous Avenue of the Sphinxes starts.
This Avenue of the Sphinxes was originally more than 2 kilometers long and linked the Karnak Temple with the Luxor Temple, the other great point of interest to visit inside the city of Luxor.
Luxor Temple is less extensive than Karnak but no less impressive, built by two pharaohs, Amenhotep III and Ramses II. One of the most remarkable things to see in the Luxor Temple is the dromos, its two obelisks and the impressive statues of Ramses II.
We also recommend you visit the Luxor Temple at night as its lighting is very well done and it even seems like a different place.
The Valley of the Kings
A few kilometers from the center of Luxor, in the middle of the desert, we find the Valley of the Kings, another of the magical places that you can visit in Egypt.
The Valley of the Kings is a necropolis where we can find most of the tombs of the pharaohs of the New Kingdom, each one being different and with its own special charm. Among the tombs is that of Tutankhamun, possibly the most famous pharaoh.
With your ticket you can visit 3 tombs, which are rotated. As a curiosity, to say that the tombs began to be excavated with the coming to power of the pharaoh and did not end until he died. Therefore, the size of the tomb is proportional to the time he reigned. Tutankhamun died at the age of 19, after only 9 years reigning, which is why his tomb is very small.
The Temple of Hatshepsut is possibly one of the most mysterious in Egypt, not only because it is very different from the rest of the temples that we can find in the country, with a unique architecture, but also because it is dedicated to the woman who reigned the longest in Egypt.
But the Egyptians who had her as queen did not know that she was a woman since she was always represented as a man, since women were assigned other roles in Ancient Egypt.
The Temple of Hatshepsut is located in the complex of Deir el Bahari where we can also find the Temple of Mentuhotep II, of which very little remains.
Other important places to visit in Luxor and its surroundings
The above monuments are essential to visit in Luxor, but they are not the only ones, since the archaeological wealth of this area is infinite. Other places you can visit are the following:
- Colossi of Memnon. These are two gigantic statues, representing Amenhotep III and that were part of the temple dedicated to this pharaoh. The statues are practically the only thing that remains of said temple.
- Valley of the Queens. If the pharaohs were buried in the Valley of the Kings, queens and princesses were buried in the neighboring Valley of the Queens, including Nefertari, the wife of Ramses II, whose tomb is the most famous.
- Ramesseum. It is a temple located in front of the city of Luxor that was ordered to be built by Ramses II. Unfortunately it was not built with the best materials and a small part of what it was was remains.