Luxor was once the ancient city of Thebes and enjoyed the status of being the powerhouse of Upper Egypt. This ancient city has grown into a large modern city with numerous hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops. The major source of the income of the city comes from the tourism industry.
Major Tourist Attractions
The Luxor Temple, located in the center of the city, was built by New Kingdom Pharaoh Amenhotep III and Ramesses II. The temple was built to celebrate the Festival of Opet.
Luxor Museum of Mummification
Opened in May 1997, the Luxor Museum of Mummification is the first of its type dedicated to the subject of Mummification. The museum is just a one big room where the tourists are taken on a guided tour of the 56 displayed archaeological objects and story boards describing the process of mummification from the start to finish along with the religious beliefs associated with mummification and burial. This also helps in acquainting with the advancement made by the Pharaonic Civilization in the field of medicine, chemistry and anatomy.
Opened in 1975, Luxor Museum is a storehouse of the antiquities and art objects from the Predynastic Period up to the Islamic Period. The museum is housed in a modern building of two storeys where you can reach the upper floor with the help of a ramp. The objects on display are mainly found around the Theban temples and necropolis on the west bank.
Temples of Karnak
Temples of Karnak, believed to be largest surviving religious complex in the world, are located towards the north of Luxor. Karnak, during ancient times, was known as Ipet-isut meaning the 'Most Select of Places'. Built over a period of 1500 years, Karnak temple complex was the most sacred place of worship in ancient Egypt. The complex comprises of sanctuaries, kiosks, pylons and obelisks dedicated to Theban Gods and spread over an area of 1500 X 800 m. the most remarkable structures within the complex are the Hypostile Hall in the Great Temple of Amun. You can enjoy the Sound and Light Show over here during night.
Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings is the place where the pharaohs were buried after their death in hope to meet the gods in their afterlife journey. The most striking are the tombs of Tutankhamun and Ramesses II found in the 1920's.
Valley of the Queens
The Valley of the Queens is placed towards the southern end of the necropolis where the queens and their children were buried after death. At present, only four tombs are open for public view and the worth of visit is the Tomb of Queen Nefertari.
How to Reach
By Air: Luxor is connected with many national and international cities including Cairo by air route.
By Train: The Egyptian Railways operate many air-conditioned and ordinary trains to and from Luxor.
By Ship: The Ships from Aswan along the Nile is an easy mode of transportation to Luxor.
By Bus: Cairo is well connected by bus service with several neighboring cities and towns.