5 reasons you have to go to Luxor, Egypt at least once

LUXOR, EGYPT - SEPTEMBER 28: The body of King Tutankhamun is displayed in a glass case inside his small tomb in the Valley of the Kings at Luxor, Egypt on September 28, 2014. (Photo by David Degner/Getty Images)
LUXOR, EGYPT - SEPTEMBER 28: The body of King Tutankhamun is displayed in a glass case inside his small tomb in the Valley of the Kings at Luxor, Egypt on September 28, 2014. (Photo by David Degner/Getty Images) /

As one of the most populous cities in Egypt, Luxor holds an incredibly important place in a country virtually overflowing with history. It grew from the Ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, which was established in approximately 3200 BC.

Modern Luxor often doesn’t get the love it deserves from travelers in opposition to other major cities like Cairo, Alexandria and Giza. But anyone traveling to Egypt would be well advised to not sleep on this amazing place, and plan to spend some real time there.

Get seriously archaeological

LUXOR, EGYPT – APRIL 10: Workers at the site of a 3000 year-old lost city on April 10, 2021 in Luxor, Egypt. Egyptian archaeologists have discovered Aten or “the lost golden city” which is believed to be the largest ancient city ever discovered in Egypt and one of the most important finds since the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. The 3000 year-old city which dates back to the reign of Amenhotep III was discovered near Luxor. After seven months of excavations the team unearthed several neighborhoods which included, a bakery and administrative and residential districts. Jewelry, pottery vessels, scarab beetle amulets, and rooms filled with tools of daily life were also found giving archaeologists a rare glimpse into ancient Egyptian life.(Photo by Mahmoud Khaled/Getty Images) /

This isn’t a bold statement to say the least, but Luxor is in the center of history. There are hundreds of books and documentaries about the various incredible archaeological sites that are around this city, and even within its borders.

The Temple of Karnak. The Valley of the Kings. The Colossi of Memnon. The Temple of Deir al-Bahri. This is just a sampling of all of the incredible pieces of history at your disposal. See as many of them as you possibly can. You won’t be disappointed.

The Luxor Museum

Standing on the West Bank of the famous Nile River is the Luxor Museum. Opening its doors in 1975, this has become a key place in the region to explore and interpret the meanings behind all of the major sites that surround the city.

Some visitors have complained that there are less artifacts at this museum than comparable ones in Cairo. This was reputedly intentional. The focus is on quality artifacts housed in incredible displays, and that intent is apparent in the execution.

Head to Banana Island

If you’re looking for a more relaxing experience after taking in so much history in the region around Luxor, then it’s time to plan a trip to Banana Island. The first step is enjoying a relaxing felucca ride on the Nile River, which is a great way to spend time all on its own.

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Then, it’s time to wander around the banana plantations of the Banana Island area. Spending the day like this is an marvelous incredible way to check out wildlife in the region, too. And finish the trip off with a meal at an outstanding restaurant.

Luxor Market

LUXOR, EGYPT – OCTOBER 23: A felluca, a traditional Egyptian sail boat, sails with a small group of tourists aboard along the Nile River on October 23, 2013 in Luxor, Egypt. Luxor, one of Egypt’s major tourist hot-spots, has struggled to attract visitors since a popular uprising overthrew former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in early 2011. The dip in tourist numbers is contributing directly to a rise in unemployment in the southern Egyptian city. The tourist industry has further dwindled since Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi was overthrown by the Egyptian Military in July, 2013. Major hotels in Luxor are reporting occupancy rates as low as 8% in recent months and many airlines have halted direct flights from cities in Europe to Luxor, further discouraging tourism to the Egyptian city famous for its archaeological sites. (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images) /

Every major center in Egypt has its own markets, and Luxor is no exception. The Luxor Market is filled with wide range of goods, locally sourced and otherwise. This is a prime spot to hunt down a truly special memento of your trip to Luxor.

What’s interesting about this specific market is the vibe is relatively chill compared to similar ones. Some tourists who have been to comparable markets in Cairo have said the Luxor Market was a much more enjoyable experience. True or not, this market is still worth checking out.

Mummification Museum

Going to Egypt means encountering mummies, though fortunately not in the way Brendan Fraser is used to. That is a whole different travel package. But the topic of mummies is going to come up frequently and you will inevitably have questions.

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That’s where the Mummification Museum comes in. It is entirely devoted to the ancient art of Egyptian mummification, and explaining it to visitors from around the world. Don’t worry as the tour isn’t interactive and they aren’t looking for demonstration volunteers.