Visiting Luxor Temple: A complete guide

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(Last updated on: 02/04/2020)

High on the list of things to see and do in Egypt is the Luxor Temple. In fact, Luxor Temple was one of my favourites temples in all of Egypt!

The city of Luxor itself is often referred to as the world’s greatest open-air museum, and with so many monuments and artefacts it’s easy to see why – the temple is just one of them, and it’s absolutely awe-inspiring. Here’s a complete guide to visiting Luxor Temple!

Where is the temple?

As the name suggests, Luxor Temple is in the city of Luxor, Egypt. The city is on the east bank of the Nile, in the south of Egypt. Luxor lies on the site of the ancient city of Thebes – this was the pharaoh’s capital, at the height of their power.

Exploring the temple complex

You can fly to Luxor from around the world, but be prepared to fly indirectly. Some direct flights are available, from Heathrow, Istanbul and a few other airports. However, most tourists choose to fly into Cairo or Hurghada. There are plenty of flights to these two airports, from various places around the world.

Getting to Luxor from Cairo or Hurghada is fairly straightforward. It is a 3 hour drive from Hurghada, and around 7.5 hours in the car from Cairo. Some public transport is available too. For more information about train travel in Egypt, click here – and to see the bus timetables for getting to and from Luxor, click here.

What is Luxor Temple?

Constructed in approximately 1400 BCE, the temple is also known as ipet resyt which translates as “The Southern Sanctuary”. Luxor Temple is dedicated to the rejuvenation of kingship – most temples are dedicated to the life and death of a specific pharaoh, but this one is said to be where many Egyptian pharaohs were crowned.

Read also: 10 fascinating Egyptian pyramid facts

The temple is built from sandstone. This specific sandstone is from the Gebel el-Silsila area in the south-west of Egypt, and is referred to as Nubian Sandstone. Most of Luxor Temple is still intact today! It is surrounded by mud-brick walls, which is symbolic of the separation between our world and the of the sacred realm of the gods.

Admiring the ancient monuments

Luxor Temple was originally built by Amenhotep III, but was added to over the years by Tutankhamun, Horemheb, and Rameses II.

Did you know: there was once a pair of 80ft obelisks at the Luxor Temple, but one was removed and now stands in Paris, France.

There are various shrines and chapels within the temple. These are dedicated to different gods and extraordinary people: Amun, Serapis, Isis, Alexander the Great. As well as these, visitors can see statues of Rameses II, the sun court of Amenhotep III, the avenue of sphinxes and more!

A short animation of the temple.

Above all, walking around Luxor Temple is breathtaking. To see the sheer size of it, and marvel at the history that has taken place there over thousands of years, is fascinating to any visitor or tourist.

Visiting the temple

Depending on what kind of holiday you are on, there are different ways in which you might visit Luxor Temple. If you are on a Nile cruise, for example, it is a given that the temple will be included on the list of sites you visit during your trip.

If you are staying in Luxor, simply walk to the temple. It costs 140EGP to enter the Luxor Temple grounds; this is less than £7 sterling, around $8.60 USD. You can hire a guide. This is recommended as the temple is so large, it helps to have someone with you who know the history of it and can point out all the important monuments and artwork that you may otherwise miss.

Exploring Luxor Temple

Top tip: there is little shade at Luxor Temple, so consider bringing a portable fan and wearing cooler clothing.

There are also many organised tours that visit Luxor and include seeing the temple. These depart from Luxor itself as well as from Cairo.

Other things to see near Luxor Temple

There are plenty of other things to see and do in the area. Some of these include:

Read also: Why you should go to Dahab for your next Egypt holiday

It’s no wonder that so many people flock to Luxor, with all of these and more within easy reach!

Feeling small at Luxor Temple!

Places to stay in Luxor

There are plenty of places to stay that offer easy access to Luxor Temple. Here are some of them…

We stayed at the Pavillon Winter Luxor, famously known as the ‘Princess Diana hotel’, because she stayed here many years ago. It is a luxury hotel with a pool, multiple restaurants and bars as well as free WiFi, the option to have breakfast in your room, and a 24-hour front desk.

It is 0.2 miles from the temple, and the decor is stunning – royal reds, palm trees outside and chandeliers everywhere. For something a bit special, this is definitely a great option (and you can get some AMAZING deals too- we stayed here for just £30 a night!!). Read about the free boat trip that we had while staying here in this post- Why Unpaid Business is Better than No Business: The Case of the Egyptian Boatman.

If you’re on a budget, there are hostels in Luxor. Bob Marley House is a firm favourite among travellers, and offers a mixture of private rooms and dormitories. Luxor Temple is 0.4 miles away, and the hostel has free WiFi and free parking available on site. There is a cash machine, 24-hour check in, a shared kitchen and BBQ facilities – plus reviews say that the staff are absolutely incredible.

For those travelling as a family, there are some apartments in Luxor too. Consider this penthouse apartment overlooking the Nile which sleeps four – you have your own kitchen, granting you the freedom to eat when you want, and there’s a hot tub as well as plenty of seating areas, stunning views and bikes available to use free of charge. There is a TV and free WiFi as well as plenty of other facilities.

For a full list of hotel availability on your travel dates use the map below.

Booking.com

So there you have it – a complete guide to visiting the Temple of Luxor and staying in the area. It is definitely one of those places not to miss on a trip to Egypt. Enjoy your trip, from the planning stages to the holiday itself! 

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Hi, am Dr Hayley Stainton

I’ve been travelling, studying and teaching travel and tourism since I was 16. Through Tourism Teacher I share my knowledge on the principles and practice of travel and tourism management from both an academic and practical perspective.

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