Luxor Travel Guide

Travel to Luxor

Luxor has been a popular Egyptian holiday destination since the early days of tourism. Ancient Greek visitors, including Homer, knew it as the ‘City of a Hundred Gates’, and Napoleon’s troops are said to have broken into spontaneous applause when they gazed upon its ruins. Luxor is also known as the world’s greatest open-air museum, because it holds so many well-preserved ancient monuments.

Luxor lies on the east side of the Nile and boasts surroundings that are unparalleled anywhere else in the world. It rests on top of what was Thebes with the ancient city of Karnak just to the north. The necropolis of Thebes sits across from Luxor on the west bank of the Nile. During any holiday in Egypt, visitors are encouraged to see the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, two historical sites that are not to be missed.

Many modern public buildings in Luxor, including the National Bank of Egypt and the city’s railway station, are designed to appear as Pharaonic as possible. This architectural trend stemmed from the ‘Egypt mania’ that swept Europe and the West after Howard Carter’s discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen in 1922.

Today, Luxor is a city of 150,000 people and boasts many modern facilities and amenities for international visitors wishing to have a luxurious holiday in Egypt and gain insight into its past glory. Most visitors come between October and February. During this period, the weather is cooler than you might imagine and features chilly nights and early mornings. Around the end of March the temperature steadily increases, making the period from April to May the most pleasant time to travel in the area. However, from the end of May until late October the daytime temperatures can be quite hot.

Being invited to step inside every shop, taste every flavour, have all its worldly and sentimental riches are made at virtually every street corner.   For some people, that’s the essence of Egypt holidays: the cheerfully persistent sales pitches, the theatre of bargaining, hunting for real gems and a genuine taste of the Souk. Keep your cool and sense of humour and you’ll discover genuine warmth in Luxor and throughout Egypt.

There are only three main streets in Luxor:  Sharia al-Mahatta, Sharia al-Karnak and the Corniche next to the Nile.  Sharia al-Mahatta runs from the Nile to the gardens of Luxor Temple.  Sharia al-Karnak runs along the Nile from the Luxor Temple to the Temple of Karnak.  It’s also known as Sharia al-Markaz where it meets Sharia al-Mahatta and to the south around the temple it becomes Sharia al-Lokanda.  It’s here you’ll find colourful restaurants and cafes as well as bazaars with a good selection of Egyptian souvenirs.  If you tire of all these ancient wonders indulge in the facilities provided by Luxor hotels that include swimming pools and health clubs.  Further afield, there’s the Royal Valley Golf Club.  This 18-hole, Par 72 championship standard course  is open to tourist groups and is situated on the East Bank of Luxor about 13 Km from the city centre.