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Best things to do in Luxor

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Where in the world: Africa  /  Egypt  /  Nile River Valley  /  Luxor

Top 15 things to do in Luxor

1. Temple of Karnak

Within a city of towering obelisks, sanctuaries, and squares, Temple of Karnak is part of World Heritage-listed ancient ruins, once probably one of the largest religious sites ever built. Designed to be the earthly home of local divinities, the temple complex was constructed over a period of 1,500 years and was dedicated to the Theban triad, three Egyptian gods most worshipped in the region. Though the colors on the carved artworks have long since faded and the squares are now populated by tourists from around the world, the complex still maintains that ageless charm. Its scale, in terms of the height of its towers and the way it spreads out across the land, remains gigantic by any standards--it's easy to understand why the locals believed their gods resided here.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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2. Balloon Rides

Suggested duration: 8 hours
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3. Valley of the Kings

Journey back in time by visiting Valley of the Kings, one of the world's most significant archaeological sites, dating back to the Egyptian New Kingdom. The area contains about 63 tombs and chambers, final resting places of pharaohs and nobles. A handful of tombs, including that of Tutankhamen, have been opened to the public--with its artwork and layout, it remains indicative of ancient Egyptian ingenuity.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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4. Luxor Temple

Walk in the footsteps of ancient Egyptians at Luxor Temple, a World Heritage Site constructed some time around 1400 BCE. The large sandstone temples, granite monoliths, and giant colossi were designed to celebrate the idea of pharaohs as kings and gods, rather than any particular god or individual pharaoh. As you pass through the vast site, notice the different additions made by non-Egyptian civilizations--special highlights include Roman murals and a mosque.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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5. Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahari

Set against stark cliffs, Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahari was constructed during the 15th century BCE and dedicated to Amon-Ra, the sun god. The temple's geometrical design and layout for active worship marked a turning point in ancient Egyptian architecture. Backed by a dramatic cliff face, the three terraces of the temple feature rows of colonnades, reminiscent of Classical architecture, while the interior include sculptures and reliefs narrating the story of Hatshepsut's divine birth.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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6. Medinet Habu

Stand in awe of the architecture and artistry of Medinet Habu, the well-preserved mortuary temple of Ramesses III and part of the Theban Necropolis World Heritage Site. As you walk through the temple, dedicated to the pharaoh and the local god Amun, notice the inscribed reliefs that celebrate Ramesses III defeating the Sea Peoples during his reign, and other remarkably well-intact hieroglyphs. The scale of the temple complex complements the surrounding mountainous scenery, and the relative lack of visitors to the site allows the imagination to run a little wilder than at various other Ancient Egyptian attractions.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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7. Luxor Museum

See a collection of masterpieces from Ancient Egypt at Luxor Museum, an institution bringing together antiquities discovered in the Theban temples and necropolis. Established in 1975, the two-floor museum possesses a large number of important artifacts, including items recovered from the tomb of the iconic pharaoh Tutankhamen, as well as the mummies of pharaohs Ahmose I and Ramesses I. The museum brings the story of Ancient Egypt to life through a number of carefully designed reconstructions, interactive exhibits, and audio-visual materials. Such additional features set the imaginations of younger visitors going, making each piece seem relevant and part of an orchestrated whole.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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8. Tomb of Ramses VI

One of the most intriguing sites in the Valley of the Kings, Tomb of Ramses VI is famous for its wall paintings depicting the origins of heaven and earth and the path of the soul. Originally built for Ramses V, the tomb was usurped by his uncle and successor. Pay special attention to the vaulted ceiling in the central hall, painted with the image of the sky goddess Nut. These images trace their origin to ancient Egyptian theological scriptures, such as the "Books of the Day and Night" and the "Book of Dead."
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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9. Colossi of Memnon

Gaze up at Colossi of Memnon, two huge stone structures depicting the pharaoh Amenhotep III. Originally standing at the entrance of the pharaoh's mortuary temple (now destroyed), the quartzite sandstone colossi were constructed in the 14th century BCE. They depict the pharaoh in a seated position, with his wife and mother at his feet, and the Nile god Hapy on side panels. Standing 21 m (69 ft) tall, the pair of monumental statues preside over the west bank of the Nile, becoming the source of much fascination in classical times when an earthquake shattered one of the colossi and it began to emit a mysterious sound--thought by several Roman emperors to bring good luck if you hear it.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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10. The Spa at Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa

Escape to the serenity of the lush banks of the Nile and receive Egypt's most attentive, friendly service at this idyllic Hilton Worldwide Resort. With glorious, uninterrupted views from our unique, water's edge location, the newly renovated Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa is the ideal base from which to explore the region’s rich and ancient culture.

Choose from 8 stylish bars and restaurants, indulge in a luxury holistic treatment at the tranquil Spa, bathe in the resort's two stunning infinity pools or simply relax in a shaded cabana hammock beside the Nile.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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11. ACE - Animal Care in Egypt

A UK based charity, ACE - Animal Care in Egypt provides free preventative care and veterinary treatment for the neglected and maltreated working animals. The clinic's clients include mostly carriage-pulling horses and donkeys, as well as stray dogs and cats. The clinic also organizes educational classes for local owners and children. After you finish touring the place, visit the shop and buy a souvenir--a T -shirt or a dog/cat collar--to help this noble cause.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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12. Tomb of Queen Nefertari

Suggested duration: 3 hours
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13. Avenue of Sphinxes

An ancient pathway lined with statues of the mythical beast, Avenue of Sphinxes connects the temples of Luxor and Karnak. The 2.7 km (1.7 mi) road was once flanked by around 1,350 sphinxes, with the body of a lion and the head of a man. During the annual Opet festival, worshipers would parade figures of the god Amun and his wife Mut down the avenue, celebrating their union. Ongoing excavations at the archaeological site continue to unearth the sphinxes, with some now rebuilt at each end, leading up to the two temples.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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14. Dendera Temple Complex, Dendera

Impressive stone carvings and colorful hieroglyph depictions define Dendera Temple Complex, one of the best-preserved temples in Egypt. The most stunning of the temples at Dendera on the Nile, this structure was built during the Ptolemaic period and was used until the Roman emperor Trajan at the beginning of the second millennia. See bright images of Cleopatra VI and her son but also depictions of Roman emperors alongside Egyptian gods. Once an ancient healing and fertility center, the temple was much visited then and still makes a popular tourist attraction due to its well-preserved colored reliefs.
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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15. Tomb of King Tutankhamun (Tut)

One of the most famous Ancient Egyptian sites, Tomb of King Tutankhamun (Tut) has inspired myth and legend in the modern era, and now forms part of the World Heritage-listed Theban Necropolis. The boy king's tomb was discovered in 1922 by Egyptologist Howard Carter, and its wealth of gold and riches--meant to travel with King Tut into the afterlife--are now on display in a museum in Cairo. Step into the burial chamber to examine wall decorations depicting King Tut's passage into the underworld, where he is welcomed by Osiris. Unlike many other tombs in the Valley of the Kings, this one remained largely intact, and the subsequent deaths of those who excavated it gained widespread media attention for the "curse of the pharaohs."
Suggested duration: 3 hours
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