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Things to see in Luxor

Top 10 Things to see & do in Luxor Egypt

Things to see in Luxor: DESPITE THE LARGE NUMBERS OF TOURISTS IT ATTRACTS, Luxor is little more than a small town on the banks of the Nile. Hundreds of thousands of international visitors flock here to marvel at what the modern town was built upon, which is the spectacular ruins of Thebes, vast capital of the pharaohs during the New Kingdom (1550–1069 BC). Only two temples remain – Luxor Temple in the heart of the town and the Karnak temple complex just north of the town. Both were renowned throughout the ancient world and have attracted visitors ever since ancient Greek and Roman times. Even more extraordinary are the sites on the West Bank, which is where the pharaohs built their grand funerary temples and tombs. Cross by ferry or over the road bridge. Tickets for these monuments need to be bought in advance from a ticket office on the West Bank.

1- Karnak

The greatest of all Egypt’s ancient monuments is this vast complex of multiple temples, courts and shrines. Karnak was a political, religious and military powerbase, home to the pharaoh, the high priests and an enormous corps of administrators. Pharaohs from the 12th to the 22nd Dynasty ruled from here, including Ramses II and Tutankhamun, and most of them left their mark in some way. There is so much to see that it is worth visiting both by day and again by night for the Sound and Light Show.

2- Luxor Temple

The modern town has grown up around this temple, which occupies a prime, central spot beside the Nile. It exerts a commanding presence, acting as a constant reminder of how much in thrall to the pharaohs the modern town remains. Majestic by day, the temple takes on an unearthly quality by night when precision flood lighting adds drama to the huge stone figures and the carved reliefs that cover most surfaces.

3- Luxor Museum

Situated on the Corniche halfway between Luxor Temple and Karnak, this modern, purpose-built museum exhibits an excellent collection of statuary and artefacts, almost all of which were found in tombs and temples in the Luxor area. Unlike most other museums in Egypt, the presentation is world-class, with pieces well lit and informatively labelled in multiple languages, including English. A visit here will greatly enhance your appreciation of Luxor’s many monuments.

4- Mummification Museum

Although not large, this museum manages within a relatively compact space to explain not only the methods of mummification – occasionally in quite alarming detail – but also the reasons for it. Choice ancient artefacts illustrate the texts, including materials and tools used in the mummification process. The symbols and icons of the afterlife are also clearly explained via pictorial boards. There are also plenty of intriguing, fun exhibits, including a mummified cat and ram, a cross-section of a mummified skull stuffed with material where the brain has been removed and a piece of a mummified toe.

5- Valley of the Kings

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