Saturday, March 2, 2024
Luxor Travel Guide - Travel S Helper

Luxor

travel guide

Luxor is the capital of the Luxor Governorate in Upper (southern) Egypt. The city has a population of 487,896 people (2010 estimate), and covers an area of around 416 square kilometers (161 sq mi).

Luxor has long been referred to be the “world’s biggest open-air museum” due to the presence of the remains of the Karnak and Luxor temple complexes inside the current city. Immediately opposite, across the Nile, are the West Bank Necropolis’s monuments, temples, and tombs, which include the Valley of the Kings and Queens.

Thousands of visitors from all over the globe visit these sites each year, significantly contributing to the contemporary city’s economy.

Luxor is the most popular tourist attraction in Upper Egypt (southern Egypt) and the Nile Valley. Luxor, Egypt’s dynastic and religious capital, has plenty to offer the traveler, from massive temples to old royal tombs, via breathtaking desert and river landscapes to a busy contemporary life.

Luxor is to be transformed into a gigantic open-air museum as part of a contentious tourist development proposal. The master plan calls for the construction of new roads, five-star hotels, glamorous stores, and an IMAX theater. The centerpiece is a $11 million initiative to uncover and rebuild the 2.7-kilometer-long (1.7-mile-long) Avenue of Sphinxes that originally connected Luxor and Karnak temples. The ancient processional route was constructed by Amenhotep III and completed by Nectanebo I about 400 BCE. Over a thousand sphinx sculptures lined the road that is now being dug due to silt, residences, mosques, and churches. Excavation began in 2004.

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Luxor | Introduction

Luxor – Info Card

POPULATION :  506,588
FOUNDED : 
TIME ZONE :
LANGUAGE :  Arabic (official), English and French widely understood by educated classes
RELIGION :  Muslim (mostly Sunni) 90%, Coptic 9%, other Christian 1%
AREA :  416 km2 (161 sq mi)
ELEVATION :  76 m (249 ft)
COORDINATES :  25°41′N 32°39′E
SEX RATIO :  Male: 50.22
 Female: 49.78
ETHNIC :  Egyptian 99.6%, other 0.4%
AREA CODE :
POSTAL CODE :  85511
DIALING CODE :  (+20) 95
WEBSITE :  official website

Tourism in Luxor

Luxor is the most popular tourist attraction in Upper Egypt (southern Egypt) and the Nile Valley. Luxor, Egypt’s dynastic and religious capital, has plenty to offer the traveler, from massive temples to old royal tombs, via breathtaking desert and river landscapes to a busy contemporary life.

Luxor is to be transformed into a gigantic open-air museum as part of a contentious tourist development proposal. The master plan calls for the construction of new roads, five-star hotels, glamorous stores, and an IMAX theater. The centerpiece is a $11 million initiative to uncover and rebuild the 2.7-kilometer-long (1.7-mile-long) Avenue of Sphinxes that originally connected Luxor and Karnak temples. The ancient processional route was constructed by Amenhotep III and completed by Nectanebo I about 400 BCE. Over a thousand sphinx sculptures lined the road that is now being dug due to silt, residences, mosques, and churches. Excavation began in 2004.

Climate of Luxor

Luxor, like the rest of Egypt, has a hot desert environment. Aswan and Luxor have the warmest summer days of any Egyptian city. Aswan and Luxor have a similar climate. Luxor is one of the world’s hottest, sunniest, and driest cities. During the summer (June, July, and August), average high temperatures exceed 40 °C (104 °F), while average low temperatures stay above 22 °C (72 °F). Average high temperatures stay over 22.0 °C (71.6 °F) during the coldest month of the year, while average low temperatures remain above 5 °C (41 °F).

Luxor’s climate is drier than most other sites in the Sahara, with an average annual precipitation of less than 1 mm (0.04 in). The desert city is one of the driest in the world, with rainfall occurring only on a seasonal basis. Luxor’s air is mostly dry, although significantly more humid than Aswan’s. The average relative humidity is 39.9 percent, ranging from 57 percent in the winter to 27 percent in the summer.

Luxor’s climate is very clear, bright, and sunny throughout the year, with little seasonal change and around 4,000 hours of yearly sunlight, which is quite near to the theoretical maximum.

Additionally, Luxor, Minya, Sohag, Qena, and Asyut have the largest temperature variation between day and night of any city in Egypt, at about 16 °C (29 °F).

The highest temperature ever recorded was 50 °C (122 °F) on May 15, 1991, while the lowest temperature ever recorded was 1 °C (30 °F) on February 6, 1989.

Economy of Luxor

Luxor’s economy, like many other Egyptian towns, is highly reliant on tourism. Additionally, a large number of people labor in agriculture, namely sugarcane.

The local economy was devastated by the 1997 Luxor massacre, which claimed the lives of 64 people (including 59 visiting tourists), making it Egypt’s worst terrorist act at the time (before the Sharm el-Sheikh terrorist attacks). For many years after the incident, visitor numbers declined. Following the 2011 Arab Spring, tourism to Egypt fell precipitously, hurting local tourist businesses once more.

Many produce their own food to compensate for financial gaps. The bulk of its population are familiar with goat’s cheese, pigeons, subsidized and home-baked bread, and fresh tomatoes.

Internet, Comunication in Luxor

Phone

Luxor town offers four service centers, which enables travelers to avoid the sometimes exorbitant prices paid by hotels and mobile phone providers for international phone calls.

The major telephone company is located on Sharia Karnak, just across from the souqs and practically directly across from the Emilio Hotel. It is open 24 hours a day. Another, smaller branch is located on the Corniche, beneath the grand sweeping entrance to the Old Winter Palace Hotel (open 0800-2000); a third telephone office is located at the railway station (open 0800-2000); and a fourth telephone office is located in Sheraton Street, directly across from the DHL office.

To use your mobile phone in Luxor, it is recommended that you visit the Vodafone store at the bottom of Television Street. You may get a Holiday Sim Card for 25LE and avoid any roaming expenses, including international calls. Simply top up the card as needed. If your phone has been ‘locked’ by your carrier, they will advise you on where to unlock it for a price of between 30-50LE.

Alternatively, get a local SIM card at the Orange store opposite the Pyramisa Isis Hotel; here, special tourist lines are available for a few days. Additionally, microsimcards for iPhone 4 and iPad users (prepaid) are available, allowing you to utilize 3G at local Egyptian rates throughout your vacation.

Internet

There are several locations throughout Luxor town where visitors may use the internet for email and surfing – in recent years, businesses large and small have ventured into cyberspace as a new sort of cottage industry. Compare prices; 1 LE for an hour or 0.5LE for half is often accepted.

Post

The main post office in Luxor town is located on Sharia al-Mahatta, at the junction of Sharia al-Karnak. Daily from 0830-1430.

In the Tourist Bazaar, there is a small post office.

How To Travel To Luxor

Get In - By Plane

Luxor International Airport serves as a stopover for flights to and from Europe and the Middle East, as well as the primary southern hub for domestic flights inside Egypt. Direct charters from Europe (for example, London Gatwick) are prevalent during the winter peak season.

EgyptAir operates one-hour flights from Cairo, with a roundtrip ticket costing about $120. EgyptAir organizes day excursions from Cairo, making it simple for those who can tolerate lengthy days to see Luxor’s key attractions.

Many international citizens may get visitor visas upon arrival, soon after entering the airport building. ($15 or similar, around LE 86; most major international currencies accepted.)

Luxor Airport is relatively tiny, and getting bags off the conveyor belt is difficult.

You will most likely take a shuttle provided by your hotel from the airport.

Taxis are plentiful. A cab into town should not cost more than 50 GBP. Don’t be deceived by the taxi drivers’ cartel outside the airport’s entrance. Continue going until you come across a taxi driver in his vehicle, and then bargain. Don’t spend your time bargaining with half of the folks you assume are taxi drivers. Be cautious with your baggage since many may offer assistance by lugging it forcibly to your shuttle van or cab, which is just 10–15 feet outside the airport exit and will charge you a price. Refuse gently with “laa, shukran” and tighten your grip on your bags.

Get In - By train

Train travel to Luxor is a terrific and very economical choice for individuals who do not want to buy a costly airline ticket, have more time to travel, and/or desire to visit more of the nation.

There are four alternative railway options between Cairo’s Ramesses Station, Luxor, and Aswan (some trains even start in Alexandria):

  • Daytime air-conditioned express train – Travelers visiting Luxor may select between first and second class carriages, both of which include luxurious aircraft-style seats. The drive down the Nile Valley takes 9 – 10 hours, but it is a peaceful opportunity to sit back and see Egypt’s rich agricultural environment, cities, people, and animals. Tickets from Cairo to Luxor cost LE 90/45 (December 2011) for first and second class, however tourists may be charged LE 165/90. (Dec 2011). Drinks and refreshments are provided. If available, the dining car may be less expensive. Purchase food and beverages ahead of time. Don’t be put off by folks who claim that visitors can only go by sleeper train.
  • Overnight air-conditioned express train – The night service, which begins at 10 p.m. or later, is the same as the daytime train. It saves time on touring as compared to going by day and costs less than the deluxe sleeper. For visitors, the first-class flight from Cairo to Aswan costs LE 165 (December 2011). Despite the shorter distance, Luxor is the same price.
  • Overnight deluxe sleeper – Abela Egypt operates contemporary air-conditioned sleeping-cars between Cairo and Luxor, reducing time and discomfort. Each train contains a mix of 1- and 2-berth rooms as well as a club / lounge car. The menu includes an evening supper and breakfast. Passengers traveling alone who do not choose a single-berth compartment will be placed in a 2-berth compartment with another, random traveller of the same sex. The cost of a one-way ticket from Cairo to Aswan is now $60 USD.
  • Slow trains – There are additional 2nd and 3rd class slow trains that travel between Cairo and Luxor, stopping at most stops; they are very rudimentary and are not advised for visitors, and are deliberately discouraged by the Egyptian government. You may be refused a ticket, particularly if you go alone or late at night.

Most travel agencies in your departure city may arrange tickets for you for a low commission. Alternatively, tickets may be bought immediately at Ramesses Station by navigating the turmoil to Platform 11, where signage will lead you to the ticket office. Tickets are best purchased a few days in ahead of travel, however the same day is sometimes sufficient. The only exception to this guideline is around Egyptian holidays, when it is preferable to book a ticket at least a week ahead of time. The busiest days for travel are the weekends (Thursday and Friday in Egypt).

Train tickets, printed in both English and Arabic, designate seats to a certain carriage and seat. Train travel without a reservation is feasible, but it will add LE 3 to the cost of your final ticket, and you will not be assured a seat for the lengthy ride.

Get In - By bus

Buses depart from behind the Luxor Temple on a regular basis for most major towns. The train is suggested for connections to Aswan and Cairo, but it is also a viable option for getting to Sinai (through Hurghada—Sharm el Sheik or via the Suez Canal).

Get In - By boat

Boat cruises are available from Luxor to Aswan, as well as from Lake Nasser to Abu Simbel. If you have the time and money, they are said to be the most enjoyable and intriguing method to go there. A felucca trip on the Nile is an excellent choice for individuals who have more time but less money. The train comes in second and is significantly quicker.

According to river boat captains, it is difficult to go from Luxor to Aswan in 2011. Due to the river lock, the felucca must depart from Edfu and go to Aswan. The costs are quite flexible, but you’ll be haggling down from 700 EGP, so a two-day trip may cost a few hundred or more. The train journey is said to take four hours.

How To Get Around In Luxor

Get Around - By bicycle

Luxor is teeming with bike rental outlets, and many hotels also loan out bicycles. Rental costs range from 5LE to 20LE, depending on your negotiating abilities, the relative demand for motorcycles that day, and the quality of the bike in issue. Check the tires and be cautious of last-minute inflation, since they may deflate just as quickly. It is common for customers to be requested to leave their passport, driver’s license, or student ID card as a deposit.

Bikes may be hired on both the East and West Banks of Luxor (the latter near the local ferry dock), however the selection and quality of bikes is normally greater on the East, and rates on the more secluded West can be a touch overpriced. If you are looking for high-quality bicycles, you may get Dutch bikes (gazelle/batavus) at the Dutch Rental Agency on Sheratonstreet (Eastbank) and at the Souk close outside the ferry terminal (Westbank). It should be noted that bikes may be carried on the local ferry (be respectful! ), so feel free to rent on the East and carry your bike over yourself. Before determining whether or not to ride your bike into Egyptian traffic, keep an eye out for it.

Remember that the East bank is the urban side, so while selecting whether to cycle on that side, keep traffic and people in mind. The West Bank, on the other hand, is considerably more rural, and many people choose to pedal across the fields between tourist attractions.

However, be aware that guards at the locations will attempt to persuade you not to secure your bicycle since they will be watching it. Which they will do really well—and then expect a gratuity for. To prevent this unneeded expenditure, lock your bike yourself.

Get Around - By taxi

Luxor has an abundance of taxis. They don’t have meters, but they take current prices provided you stand strong. The distance from the airport to downtown Luxor is around LE 50, while short journeys inside Luxor cost between LE 10 and LE 20. A round-trip ticket to the West Bank costs roughly LE 100.

The Sheraton Luxor Resort maintains a list of current (expensive) taxi prices from their hotel to a variety of places, which may be used as a convenient reference.

Get Around - BY Motorbikes

For the more daring, Luxor is filled with Chinese motorbikes ranging from 150cc to 200cc. With the correct negotiation abilities, you may get one for 50LE or less per hour, or less for the day or evening. Summertime on the West Bank’s highways, riding through the ruins and mountains is simple and efficient. Many are happy to loan you their own motorbike during the quiet season for the correct fee. Remember to insist on a helmet – even if nobody wears one.

Get Around - By Minibus

Minibuses are the local mode of travel in Luxor, and the cheapest mode of transit for the adventurous visitor. They all have the same form, which makes them readily identifiable. They operate on defined routes, with each route denoted by a distinct color on the minibus’s side. However, there are no maps of the routes; residents seem to memorize them. The railway station seems to be the hub for all bus services. Hail a bus by raising your arm and staring at it as it approaches. When a bus is completely packed, it will not stop (there are about 14 seats in a bus). Alternatively, you may get in and take a vacant seat, paying the driver a set rate of 0.50LE per passenger for a journey (no haggling required). If you do not pay while seated, they will presume you are unaware of the fare and will charge you 1LE when you exit. It is feasible to exit at any moment by simply requesting the driver to pull over when you are close to your destination.

Get Around - By boat

A boat is a necessary mode of transport between Luxor’s East and West banks. As you stroll beside the river, hundreds of felucca owners will offer to transport you over, and a taxi driver will usually be waiting on the other side. Of course, all of this comes at a steep price, at least 20-30LE, and that’s assuming they don’t throw in an additional trip (not necessarily what you asked for). It is significantly more convenient to ride the blue local ferry, a very basic boat that costs roughly 1LE, sometimes 0.50LE. The disadvantage is that the boat departs only when it is completely filled or when another ferry comes, which means that using the ferry is often slower – however you avoid haggling. Taxis are accessible on both sides of the ferry port, and the journey takes just a few minutes.

Get Around - By Calèches

Calèches, or horse-drawn carriages, are prevalent on the east bank and provide a unique perspective of the city, particularly at night. Prices vary depending on negotiating ability, but a rate of 20LE per hour seems to be standard.

However, some animal rights organizations have cautioned against calèches owing to the horses’ terrible care. It is very commonplace for drivers to beat their horses, and the majority of Western visitors will observe a large number of emaciated and scarred animals. This is not to say that all drivers should be avoided; some are trustworthy. When making a selection, use common sense.

Take care not to use the same driver for several days in a row. Finally, he may decide that he has undercharged you in some way for previous trips and may demand a much higher price for items that “weren’t” included in the original price, such as waiting while you visited a temple, all money paid previously went to the boss and none to your driver, and a tip for the horse. It may be advisable to employ a new driver for each journey and avoid booking a previously used driver to eliminate this possibility, even if he first seems to be more pleasant than others.

Get Around - On foot

During the colder portions of the day, it is also feasible to walk about the tourist zone on foot, assuming you have a decent sense of direction. To escape unwanted attention, you must repeatedly say “No Hassle” or “Laa Shukran,” which translates as “No Thank You” in Arabic. Additionally, be prepared to summon the Tourist Police if you are concerned about your safety. There are generally some police officers around, since they may be dressed in civilian clothing as well.

A excellent way to prevent bother is to purchase an Egyptian newspaper (in Arabic) each day and bring it with you. Locals will presume you understand Arabic (and hence their ruses) and will leave you alone. Egyptian papers are around 1LE.

Districts & Neighbourhoods In Luxor

Although Luxor is a small place by Egyptian standards, it is rather expansive. It naturally separates into sections on each side of the Nile.

East Bank

The town, the Luxor Temple, the Karnak Temple, museums, trains, hotels, and restaurants are all within walking distance.

West Bank

The major ruins, which include the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, and other significant sites; the ruins of the Western Valley; and a few hotels.

Prices In Luxor

Tourist (Backpacker) In Luxor – 34 $ per day. Estimated cost per 1 day including:meals in cheap restaurant, public transport, cheap hotel.

Tourist (regular) In Luxor – 81 $ per day. Estimated cost per 1 day including:mid-range meals and drinks,transportation, hotel.

MARKET / SUPERMARKET

Milk 1 liter $1.05
Tomatoes 1 kg $0.40
Cheese 0.5 kg $3.10
Apples 1 kg $2.00
Oranges 1 kg $0.82
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $
Bottle of Wine 1 bottle $10.00
Coca-Cola 2 liters $
Bread 1 piece $0.70
Water 1.5 l $0.37

RESTAURANTS

Dinner (Low-range) for 2 $14.00
Dinner (Mid-range) for 2 $34.00
Dinner (High-range) for 2 $
Mac Meal or similar 1 meal $4.50
Water 0.33 l $0.60
Cappuccino 1 cup $1.15
Beer (Imported) 0.33 l $
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $
Coca-Cola 0.33 l $
Coctail drink 1 drink $

ENTERTAINMENT

Cinema 2 tickets $
Gym 1 month $
Men’s Haircut 1 haircut $
Theatar 2 tickets $
Mobile (prepaid) 1 min. $0.03
Pack of Marlboro 1 pack $2.85

PERSONAL CARE

Antibiotics 1 pack $
Tampons 32 pieces $
Deodorant 50 ml. $2.70
Shampoo 400 ml. $3.30
Toilet paper 4 rolls $
Toothpaste 1 tube $

CLOTHES / SHOES

Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 1 $42.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M) 1 $
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas) 1 $66.00
Leather shoes 1 $

TRANSPORTATION

Gasoline 1 liter $0.78
Taxi Start $
Taxi 1 km $
Local Transport 1 ticket $0.32

Sights & Landmarks In Luxor

Luxor, West Bank

  • the Colossi of Memnonfree admission, view from the roadside

Medinet Habu

  • Medinet Habu (the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III), admission LE 20 – theMortuary Temple of Ramesses III

Valley of the Kings

Valley of the Queens

  • the Tomb of Nefertari
  • the Tomb of Amunhirkhepeshef

Deir el Medineh

admission LE25

  • the Workmens’ Village
    • the Tomb of Inherka
    • the Tomb of Senedjem
    • the Tomb of Peshedu
  • the Ptolemaic Temple

Gurna

  • The Ramesseum is the popular name for Ramesses II’s Mortuary Temple (the Great). The Ramesseum site features the toppled huge pharaoh statue that inspired Shelley’s sonnetOzymandias, which is currently the center of a significant repair operation. The monument, which was originally 17 meters (69 feet) tall, weighs over 1000 tons and was brought from Aswan in a one block. The temple’s pylons survive pictures of the famous Battle of Qadesh, fought by Egyptian troops led by Ramesses II against the Hittite Empire, with Qadesh, located in central Syria, serving as the disputed border between the two major ancient empires. The Second Court has a portico fronted by enormous sculptures of Ramesses II in the figure of Osiris, the god of the underworld, behind the pylons, where tourists currently enter the temple. The temple’s center is occupied by a hypostyle hall with a well-preserved and painted ceiling. The stone temple structures are encircled by the ruins of a mud-brick royal residence and storage magazines.
  • the Mortuary Temple of Merneptah,admission LE 10 – The mortuary temple of Merneptah (the 13th son and ultimate heir to the long-lived Ramesses II) was re-opened in 2002 as a new attraction after a Swiss archaeological team carefully and effectively rebuilt the temple foundations and lower courses. (The temple was initially excavated in 1904 by the great English Egyptologist Sir Flinders Petrie, who discovered the so-called Israel Stela, which has the oldest known reference to Israel in ancient texts and is currently housed in Cairo’s Egyptian Museum.) Despite lacking the written wall reliefs and towering columns seen in many Egyptian temples, the Merneptah temple today presents an unrivaled sense of a 19th dynasty funeral temple with numerous noteworthy architectural elements. A modest partly-subterranean museum is also on site, displaying many of the spectacular painted reliefs and sculpture (many of which Merneptah stole from the neighboring Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III). Despite being overlooked by many tourists to the West Bank, the site and museum are well worth a visit.
  • the Tombs of Nobles in Qurna / Gurna (Sheikh Abd el-Gurna)
    • the Tombs of Khonsu, Userhat and Benia
    • the Tombs of Menna and Nakht
    • the Tombs of Ramose, Userhat and Khaemhat
    • the Tombs of Sennefer and Rekhmire
    • the Tombs of Neferenpet, Thutmose and Neferskheru
  • Gurna Discovery

Asasif

  • the Asasif Tombs

Deir el-Bahari

  • Deir el-Bahariadmission LE 30, 15 (student) –
    • the Temple of Hatshepsut –
    • the Temple of Montuhotep II –

Dra Abu el-Naga

  • the Mortuary Temple of Seti I
  • Carter’s House – this lonely, domed dwelling on the hill above the crossroads where the main road to the Valley of the Kings meets the route to the Temple of Seti I – depicts Howard Carter’s home during the years he spent looking for Tutankhamun’s tomb.

Luxor, East Bank

  • Temple of Luxor.Open daily May–September 6AM – 8PM, October–April 6AM-9PM. As it stands now, Amenhotep III and Ramesses II the Great were mostly responsible (whose colossi and obelisk stand at the entrance). Additionally, the little “hanging” Mosque of Abu al-Haggag is visible, its location reflecting the ground level that had grown up prior to the temple precinct’s excavation. Admission LE 50, students LE 25.
  • Temple of Karnak. Open daily May–September 6AM-6PM, October–April 6AM-5PM. Another big temple complex. Entrance LE 65, LE 35 (student).
  • Karnak Open Air Museum. Open 6AM – 5:30PM daily. A branch of the Karnak temple complex, accessible immediately before the Second Pylon on the left, with an incredible assortment of statues and rebuilt temple buildings. This is not to be missed! A ticket must be purchased at the Karnak ticket office. LE 15 LE 10 (student).

Museums & Galleries In Luxor

Luxor Museum

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. from October to April, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m On the Corniche el-Nil, about midway between Luxor and Karnak temples. A tiny yet high-quality antiquity collection, mostly from the Luxor area. The majority of the extraordinary collection of pharaonic statues discovered in a subterranean cache inside Luxor Temple in 1989 is exhibited in a dedicated annex. Admission fee is 80LE.

Museum of Mummification

Mummification Museum, Corniche el-Nil. The modest but intriguing collection is focused on mummification processes, as the name indicates. Admission: 50LE and 25LE (student).

Things To Do In Luxor

  • Walk through the desert and over the cliffs from the Valley of the Queens to the Valley of the Kings.
  • Hire a bike and ride around Ancient Thebes – the journey takes less than 15 minutes.
  • A local felucca ride soon before dusk should cost about LE 30 per hour (for one person).
  • Take a two-day felucca tour on the Nile to Aswan (the reverse trip is recommended, however, due to river currents).
  • Riding a donkey, horse, or camel through Luxor’s West Bank is an option. Proceed to Pharaoh’s Stables, which is located only a short distance from the boat station. They will drive you to areas that the large buses cannot reach, allowing you to experience the authentic Egypt, with its friendly people and calm way of life. Each day is unique when you visit the West Bank by horse or donkey, and your guides will accompany you the whole journey. They offer horses suitable for riders of all abilities. The Sunset and Nile cruises are a must-do. www.pharaohstables.com call them on 010 6324961

Food & Restaurants In Luxor

Luxor is a vegetarian haven, with an abundance of fresh seasonal vegetables like as tomato and cucumber.

Pita bread and mezze like as baba ganoush or taboulé are often served to begin a meal.

Your main meal may consist of beef or poultry, as well as regional specialties like pigeon or rabbit. (You may choose to stick with the meat to prevent an upset stomach.) As with any extensively touristed location in Egypt, finding pretty well-executed Western cuisine is never difficult.

Dairy goods such as yoghurt or gibna bayda cheese (similar to feta but creamier) may be served with your main course.

Finally, there are plenty excellent vegetarian sweets available, but some may appear too sugary to western palates. (Specify mild or medium sweetness if possible.)

While the evening meal is often satisfying, it may not be sufficient to fulfill the energy needs of an active visitor. Consume a substantial breakfast, plenty of water, and regular snacks throughout the day.

Luxor, East Bank

  • Al-Sahaby Lane. The restaurant is next to the Nefertiti Hotel, on Sahaby street, amid the souk, Luxor’s vibrant Egyptian market.
  • Casablanca, El-Rodah El-Sherefa Street (100 meters down the side street from Steigenberger Hotel in Khaled Ebn El Waleed Street),  0101725821.11AM to 12PM. Elegant restaurant specializing in fish and shellfish as well as traditional Egyptian cuisine. Elegantly designed and very clean. The cuisine is presented well, and the employees and owner are friendly without being intrusive.
  • Jamboree Restaurant,  010-146 1712. Daily 10.30AM-2.30PM & 6.30-10.30PM. Within the Souk, a spotlessly clean, air-conditioned business with a roof patio serves an array of reasonably priced Egyptian and foreign meals of above-average quality, including Cajun chicken (LE 22.50), delectable jacket potatoes (LE 9-13), and a secure salad bar. Mr. Hamdy and Mr. Amer, two very nice and gorgeous Egyptians, own and operate the establishment.
  • El Kebabgy, Daily 12.00AM-12.00PM. It is located under the Corniche, near the Winter Palace Hotel, and provides spectacular views of the Nile and West Bank, as well as reasonably priced, decent-quality meals such as pasta, grills (Kofte, kebab, pigeon), mousaka, and so on; by candlelight at night.
  • El Zaeem, The main road that runs beside the market has bright lights, two floors (sitting upstairs), a ‘chain’ vibe, with staff dressed in red uniforms. Offers fresh, basic, and very affordable meals like as shwarma and hawashi for less than 5 LE. Nota bene, they have an Arabic menu with ‘proper’ pricing and an English one (or no menu at all) with fictitious foreigner prices (anything from 10-25 LE for shwarma!). As a result, reading Arabic is a requirement for the local rate!
  • The Lantern, Al Roda Al Sharifa Street, +20 95 2361451. 12am – 11pm.Excellent English-run restaurant delivering excellent English and Egyptian cuisine at a very cheap price.
  • McDonalds, located behind Luxor Temple, serves cheeseburgers and gives a safe haven from the souk.
  • Sofra, 90 Mohamed Farid St,  +20 95 235 9752. 11-midnight. Specializes on Egyptian cuisine and has a hip design of Egyptian antiquities (and antique-like furnishing). Provides a Western-style dining experience with Egyptian cuisine. Very pleasant service that is sometimes a touch sluggish. It’s pricey for Egypt, with appetizers costing between 10 and 25 LE, mains costing between 30 and 60 LE, and juices costing between 10 and 20 LE. Because it is the top selection of a well-known guidebook series, you absolutely must make a reservation or you will be turned away at the entrance.
  • A Taste Of India, St Joseph Hotel Street (100 Meters down the side street next to the St Joseph Hotel),  0193732727. Noon to 11PM. A fully licensed Indian Tandoori restaurant with a varied international menu, including steaks. Vegetarian options are plentiful. Very popular restaurant run by an English expat who has many years of experience operating Indian restaurants in Egypt. Additionally, check for the same guy’s Chinese eatery, The Fortune Cookie.18LE to 90LE.
  • The Fortune Cookie + The King And Thai, St Joseph Hotel Street & Medina Street (150 Meters down side street next to the St Joseph Hotel). noon til 11pm. A newly opened, fully licensed Chinese and Thai restaurant featuring a variety of foreign dishes as well. A new restaurant from the proprietors of the famous A Taste Of India and the newly opened Regal Lounge Bar & Grill on the second level. from 20 le.

Luxor, West Bank

Tutankhamun Restaurant200 m south of the ferry landing – Many believe this eatery to be the greatest on the West Bank. “The cuisine is wonderful – Chef Mahmoud has an uncanny ability with spices – the curry chicken with apples and bananas is sheer bliss.” Fixed menu with a seasonal selection of main courses. Prices are not the lowest in town, but they are still far less than what you would spend in a hotel.

Coffee & Drinks in Luxor

There is a social stigma associated with public inebriation. Although Egyptians sometimes opt to disregard this, a foreigner being intoxicated in public might create a negative image. The majority of local bars are testosterone-filled hard-drinking places where lone outsiders, particularly lone women, may feel unwelcome.

Having said that, there are various locations in Luxor where you may purchase alcohol. Numerous eateries, above the most basic on-street establishments, serve beer and wine. They are often identified by Stella signage outside or by the presence of people drinking inside. Two open-air cafés opposite the temple, around 200m south of the main entrance, provide Stella lager for 14LE including tax (as of September 2011) and other local beer and wine at cheap rates. Outside, the enormous Stella signs give them away. If you are unable to locate a handy establishment that serves alcohol, it may be prudent to seek instructions from the hotel staff. In Egypt, ‘cafeteria’ is a euphemism term for a bar, and pubs may be rather difficult to discover if you don’t know where to look.

There is a duty-free store at the Luxor Temple’s north end, visible slightly to the right across the busy crossroads; it has plastic see-through shutters on its windows and an outside guard. If you take your passport and leave Egypt within two days of arrival, you may get up to three bottles of well-known liquor, beer, and other beverages at significantly discounted costs per person. After two days, you can only purchase Egyptian currency. Additionally, they offer electrical equipment and are open till 10 p.m.

While drinking on the street or in parks is common among locals, it is not encouraged for outsiders since it is legally forbidden and alcohol is often reasonably priced at restaurants.

Shopping in Luxor

Luxor has at least two distinct marketplaces. One is in an air-conditioned hall with stores on each side. This market hall serves as a hub for two important thoroughfares.

The older market occupies numerous alleys in the vicinity of the Luxor temple. It’s a pleasure to stroll through, since it’s mostly pedestrian, providing a pleasant break from the horse and carriages on the major streets. This market has the atmosphere of an antique souk, transporting the visitor back in time. It is surrounded by a wooden trellis, which provides shade from the sun. Numerous businesses sell the same things, so the savvy shopper buys around for the greatest deal. Often, after visiting multiple businesses, one can haggle more effectively.

Once you’ve located a merchant you like, take a seat, have some tea, and begin the game of bargaining. It may seem as if you are becoming a member of the family. Purchasing something as basic as a cotton galabeya may take hours, as you try on almost every galabeya in the shop before moving on to other goods they believe you would like for the rest of your family.

Purchasing anything may be quite difficult if you are not used to frequent negotiating. This strategy has been shown to be effective: often, their first offer for the price is ten or even a hundred times more than a realistic price. Decide first what you are really willing to spend. Assume that it is 20LE in this instance. If you inquire about the pricing, you may get the response “120LE”. You are now offering 22LE. You could then be given anything along the lines of 110LE. Then, rather of increasing the price, you begin decreasing it; your next offer will be just 20LE (your predefined price limit). If negotiating continues, you will continue to withdraw your offer. Soon enough, he’ll see where the negotiation is going and you’ll obtain a reasonable price or – at the the least – you’ll be rid of the seller.

The hawking in Luxor’s main souq is so awful that navigating through it is an utter misery. Any urge you had to purchase anything will rapidly go as dozens of guys attempt to capture you in every way conceivable. These include statements such as “you seem fortunate,” “you appear Egyptian,” “come visit my business without any problem,” and guessing your nationality. However, if you continue straight ahead, you will reach the authentic Souq, where the residents shop – and the mood will immediately shift.

Stay Safe & Healthy In Luxor

Luxor is considered Egypt’s “trouble capital” (and therefore a good candidate for the world). Please be warned that touts may make sight viewing quite irritating for those not on properly organized excursions. (Although they seldom go inside genuine temples.) Within temples, however, visitors must fight with official tour guides. The guides are genuine government employees, but they are also highly pushy in their attempts to “assist” you and then demand a gratuity. As a general rule, anybody who shows you anything for any length of time will expect a tip. It may be beneficial to provide a little gratuity in advance when requesting a “self tour.”

It is wise to pre-book accommodations to avoid dealing with touts at the stations.

Due to the fact that tourism is the primary source of revenue in Luxor, and has been for centuries, many individuals have developed an art form of scamming. Several of the book’s older techniques include the following:

  • The “I need a letter to be translated” enticement used to entice you into a store
  • The “I need a letter writing to a friend in your country” opening (they show you an address in your nation) is used to get you into a business once again.
  • The alabaster manufacturing plant. A considerable portion of alabaster is imported and is seldom produced on-site. Other stones, such as jade, are mostly imported from China and India.
  • “The temple is closed”- Before you go, double-check the hours of operation.
  • Papyrus Museum- This is just a papyrus store; some are excellent, while others sell cheap imitations.
  • Scarf seller – a person who sells just one scarf will try to conceal their hand motions while picking pocketing you. Two attempts were reported in two days.

Determine for yourself if anything is open or closed, and whether you are traveling in the correct direction or not. Consult a resident, not a taxi or caleche driver.

Women traveling alone in Luxor should use utmost care while looking for inexpensive accomodation. Numerous complaints of sexual assault have been made after women were served tainted drinks by hotel touts and personnel.

Luxor merchants are infamous for being pushy and manipulative. If you don’t want to be pushed into purchasing anything, it’s best to reject any effort at conversation by a local, regardless of how innocuous it may seem. The phrase “No Hassle” is often used at stores and markets to minimize unwanted attention. If you want to be courteous, you may also say “Laa Shukran,” which translates as “No Thanks” in Arabic. Being nice can make life simpler for you, since people will remember you if you are impolite and may annoy you more in the future. If troubles continue, use the statement “You’re a hustler!” to threaten the tourist police.

On the street, it may be simpler to simulate ignorance of English: “Non Speakee Engleezee” and/or “Non Parlee Arabee” seem to be the most reliable ways to demonstrate your disinterest in their offerings. This strategy, however, may backfire catastrophically, since the majority of Egyptians know many languages and will often claim to speak something esoteric like Azerbaijani or Ossetic when challenged. If you do speak a rare language, such as Persian, Albanian, or an Eastern European language, be careful to initiate communication with them in that language. If you don’t, try faking it in front of them. This is the quickest and simplest method of eliminating touts.

Depending on the image your profile provides, you may be requested to buy drugs or sex as soon as you left your hotel, sometimes within minutes. Bear in mind that government officials do not take prostitution or drug usage lightly. Gay visitors should use extra caution when approached by a sex worker. Egypt has a well-documented history of gay men being duped.

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