Luxor or Thebes, the city of god Amon and the capital of Egypt during the Middle & New Kingdoms, is the world's greatest open-air museum and the top most attraction to all nationalities from all over the world. It is situated to the south of Cairo where it is separated to the east and west bank by the Nile river.
Huge number of ancient Egyptian monuments, temples and museums are found in Luxor. The famous Karnak and Luxor temples on the eastern bank of the Nile are a must-see when you visit Luxor. In addition, you can take a nice felucca to the western bank of the Nile to see the treasures of the Valley of the Kings and Queens such as the famous Egyptian king Tutankhamen and Queen Hatshepsut.
Ancient Thebes with its necropolis was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1979. One can say that nothing in the whole world comes near describing the exceptional monuments that have survived in Luxor!
Sports and Nature
Taking a boat at the Nile and enjoying the calm weather is common in Luxor. One can also enjoy hot air balloon flight to see the beauty of the Egyptian temples and the Nile from above the sky!
The Sound and Light show inside Karnak temple is captivating. It is offered in more than one language. The show begins in front of the temple passing by all the great statues and halls of Karnak, until you reach the sacred lake area where you can set and see a description of the temple and a glimpse of the ancient Egyptian history.
Located on the east bank of the River Nile, Temple of Karnak is considered the largest cult temple ever built in Ancient Egypt; it was dedicated to the Theban triad Amun, Mut and Khonsou. It is a city of temples, chapels and pylons built upon a combined effort of many great kings and queens throughout the Egyptian history. It is said that around thirty different pharaohs contributed in its construction. Inside the temple, you will witness variety of monuments, the most charming of which is the Hypostyle hall! The 134 columns hall built on 54,000 feet is considered the largest religious hall in the world. You should definitely catch a glimpse to the glory of Ancient Egypt represented in the Temple of Karnak!
It is built by the two great pharaohs Amenhotep III and Ramases II during the New Kingdom. The temple is easily recognized by a huge obelisk and two colossal statues flanking the entrance. On one hand, Luxor temple was dedicated to the cult of god Amun Ra, the sun god in Ancient Egypt, on the other hand the temple was used during the Christian era during which the temple's hypostyle hall was converted into a Christian church. After that and for thousands of years, the temple was buried beneath the streets and houses of Luxor. The mosque of Abu Al-Hajjaj was built over it and was carefully preserved during the uncovering process of the temple. It is definitely among the top attractions in Luxor's east bank.
The temple was built by Queen Hatshepsut and Tuthmosis III dedicating it to god Amon-Ra. The temple embraces the best well-preserved wall carvings and hieroglyphics from Ancient Egypt. At its golden age, Madinet Habu contained temples, administrative structures, workshops, accommodation of priests & officials and the royal palace. For centuries, Madinet Habu was considered the center of the economic life in Thebes; certainly it is worth the visit!
Built by king Ramases II, the Ramesseum is a funerary temple dedicated to the sun god Ra. It took Ramases II 20 years to complete building this temple and it is an indication to the wealth and prosperity Egypt once had during his reign. The most significant aspect of the Ramesseum is the gigantic statues of Ramases II and the Osirid columns.
Stands on Luxor's corniche overlooking the Nile River, the Museum of Luxor includes one of the best displays of antiquities in Egypt. It was opened on 1975 and it comprises marvelous masterpieces such as: statues, stelae, jewelry, pottery and furniture dating back to the Middle and the New Kingdom.
Located on the western bank of the Nile River, the Valley of the Kings used to be the burial place of the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasty kings. The area encompasses 63 magnificent royal tombs and was once called the place of truth. The necropolis is the same place where the famous Howard Carter made his greatest discovery of Tutankhamen's sealed tomb in KV62 (King's Valley no.62). The site's Visitors Center and Ticket Booth includes a well-designed model of the valley and a movie about the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb.
Dier El-Bahari Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut is located on the western bank of the Nile River. It owns a dramatic location where the temple is beautifully blended with the cliffs from which it was partially cut. The temple is a representation of the New Kingdom's funerary architectural intelligence, which was designed by the courtier Senenmut who is said to be Hatshepsut's lover as well. Throughout centuries, the temple was damaged intentionally by Tuthmosis III who wanted to remove Queen Hatshepsut's name from the history, King Akhenaton also removed all references to the sun god Amun, and finally the temple was turned into a monastery during the Christian era and the pagan reliefs were defaced! Despite the actions of vandalism, the temple of Queen Hatshepsut is, however, a masterpiece of architecture and certainly a must-see attraction in Luxor.
The Colossi of Memnon are the first monuments tourists see when they arrive to the West bank of Luxor. The huge statues are the only standing remains of Amenhotep III's temple in the west bank of Thebes. Soon after its construction, Amenhotep III's temple was destroyed by an earthquake and was later partly-reconstructed by the Romans. Nowadays massive excavation projects are done to discover the whole temple and it can be easily seen behind the Colossi of Memnon.
It is an ancient village purposely built for the artisans to stay while they work on the tombs in the Valley of the Kings and Queens during the 18th to 20th dynasties of the New Kingdom. Unlike the rest of villages, which were built on the fertile and agricultural eastern side of the Nile, Deir El-Medina was built on the west, and was located in the middle of a barren desert. Deep within a valley and not visible from most key vantage points in the area, the relatively isolated location allowed the site remains to stay remarkably well preserved. The thousands of ostraca and papyri documents found at Deir el-Medina provide rich records of the daily life in ancient Egypt, including the social relations and family life of the villagers, the ancient economy and sales transactions, bureaucratic hierarchy, legal regulations, religious beliefs, and many fine examples of the most famous works of ancient Egyptian literature. In short, Deir el-Medina is a must-visit attraction as it shows interesting aspects of life which cannot be found anywhere else in Egypt simply because all the other records were totally destroyed.
This temple belongs to Hathor, goddess of love, joy and motherhood. It is situated 2.5 kilometers south-east of Dendera to the north of Luxor. Temple of Dendera is one of the best-preserved temple complexes in Egypt. It has stunning structures such as the grand entrance, detailed carvings, hieroglyphs, and decorated colored ceilings.