General Information About Luxor
Imagine a very large and natural outdoor museum, and Luxor will more than measure up to the vision. Built on the 4,000-year old site of ancient Thebes, once ruled by great pharaohs such as Ramses II, this fascinating city stands on the east bank of the Nile and quite literally, resonates with history. As well as incredible backdrops against its busy center, the flat plains around it offer endless treasures. Yet for all these ancient relics, Luxor remains a lively modern city, pulsing with colorful life, bazaars and 4 and 5 star hotels which provide visitors with placid retreats from their action-packed itineraries.
Your first must-see here is the incredible Temple of Luxor in the heart of the modern town. Gaze wide-eyed at the incredible Obelisks built by Ramses II and wonder at an unimaginably long-gone world, and then finish up with a tour of the Mummified Museum . Luxor’s two other highpoints lie outside the city. Head north to gaze at the Temple of Karnak , a jaw-dropping series of vast shrines and pillars. Across the Nile the legendary Valley of the Kings , with its 62 hill-carved tombs, including those of Tutankhamun and Ramses II, awaits your presence. Descend into the eerie hieroglyphic-inscribed burial chambers and you’ll feel totally humbled. When you can lift your jaw off the floor – don’t forget the haunting Valleys of the Nobles and Queens also on the West Bank – head back to your hotel or cruise ship to cool off in the pool or at the bar, the latter providing the nightlife of choice for most visitors here. You’ll need time to recharge your batteries for the next days’ time traveling, after all.
Shopping and Leisure in Luxor
Tourism is the mainstay of the economy of Luxor. Estimates vary, but some claim that as much as 85% of Luxor’s livelihood depends on visitors and their hard cash. So you should be prepared to enjoy (if that’s the right word!) being invited to step inside every shop, rent every caliche, or have offers to shine your shoes made at virtually every street corner. For some people, that’s the essence of Egypt holidays: the cheerfully persistent sales pitches, the theatre of bargaining, hunting for real gems and a genuine taste of the Souk. Others can feel hassled at every turn and find the relentlessly aggressive selling unpleasant. It depends on your approach and attitude. Keep your cool and sense of humour and you’ll discover genuine warmth in Luxor and throughout Egypt.
There are only three main streets in Luxor: Sharia al-Mahatta, Sharia al-Karnak and the Corniche next to the Nile. Sharia al-Mahatta runs from the Nile to the gardens of Luxor Temple. Sharia al-Karnak runs along the Nile from the Luxor Temple to the Temple of Karnak. It’s also known as Sharia al-Markaz where it meets Sharia al-Mahatta and to the south around the temple it becomes Sharia al-Lokanda. It’s here you’ll find colorful restaurants and cafes as well as bazaars with a good selection of Egyptian souvenirs. If you tire of all these ancient wonders indulge in the facilities provided by Luxor hotels that include swimming pools and health clubs. Further afield, there’s the Royal Valley Golf Club. This 18-hole, Par 72 championship standard course is open to tourist groups and is situated on the East Bank of Luxor about 13 Km from the city Centre.