Luxor travel information, how to get to the valley of kings in Luxor
The Valley of kings located near Luxor is one of the most famous and beautiful archeological sites. It also lies in an attraction rich zone and tends to be less crowded than the pyramid at Giza.
Getting to Luxor and the Valley of Kings.
While you can take a flight or bus to Luxor from Cairo, I recommend traveling by train, it's cheap, convenient, fast, and there several daily trains trips between Cairo and Luxor.
Luxor is divided into two sections by the Nile: The East and west bank.
The east bank is where Luxor city center, Luxor airport, and train station are located. Most offices are on this bank and there are only 2 tourist attraction sites on the east bank: Luxor temple and Karnak temple.
The west bank is home to the following attractions and more:
The valley of king's
The Valley of queens
Deir El Medinah
The colossi of Memnon
Tomb of nobles
More travelers now prefer finding accommodation on the west bank as opposed to the east bank since all attractions are within easy reach. It's also cheaper staying on the west bank.
To get to the west bank use the ferry. Ferries depart from the ferry jetty just behind Luxor temple once the ferry is full ( you'll wait for about 15 minutes). Tickets cost EGP 5. There's also a private ferry and charter boats that depart more often if you don't want to wait. These charge about EGP 10 per person.
It only takes 5 minutes to cross the Nile from the East to the west bank.
From the train station, the ferry jetty is within walking distance. Taxis rides to the ferry cost less than EGP 10.
Alternatively, you can also get to the west bank via the 7km road bridge. You'll have to take a taxi from the east to the west bank which is more expensive and takes more time.
Visiting valley of kings
Most tourists visit about 2 or 3 attractions per day. It's more convenient to get a taxi driver to move you around as opposed to taking several taxis to and from each site. I found a taxi for about EGP 250 to take me around for a day.
Only 150 people are allowed in each tomb in the valley of kings daily. Arriving early will give you freedom to the freedom to select whichever tomb you wish to visit.
You don't have to join a tour. At every attraction, they'll be several guides who will take you around for a little baksheesh (tip). Tips range mostly between EGP 5- 50.
Your visit to the valley of kings starts at the visitor center. It is here that you'll purchase entrance tickets, tickets for extra tombs and photography passes.
Entrance tickets cost EGP 240 per person. There are 63 tombs in the valley of kings but only 11 tombs are open to the public. 3 of these tombs are regarded as special tombs and need an extra ticket while you can visit the other 8 using your general ticket. However, you can only visit 3 out of the 8 general tombs. These are the extra 3 tombs that you can't access unless you buy additional tickets at the following costs
Tomb of Ramesses V and VI- EGP 100.
Tomb of Tutankhamun-EGP 300.
Tomb of Seti the first-EGP 1000.
Photography rules change constantly. For years photography had been banned but currently, you can take free photos using your phone only. If you'll be taking photos using something else except your phone you have to purchase the photography pass for EGP300. This pass however does not allow photography inside the 3 special tombs that need extra tickets.
Some tourists avoid purchasing the photography pass and try tipping guides inside tombs to allow them to take photos. In cases where it doesn't work, they'll charge you an EGP 2000 fine for illegal photography.
After purchasing your tickets and passes head to the tram ticket window next to the ticket window. The tram takes you from the visitor center to where the tombs are.
Tram tickets cost EGP 4.
How to save money when visiting Luxor.
If you have an international student ID card (ISIC) you'll get 50% off at most attractions. There's an ISIC office in Luxor city center that sells these cards to anyone under 30 years at EGP 140.
Luxor pass is a special pass that allows multiple entries to sites and museums open to the public in Luxor. This includes attractions in both the East and West bank. I highly recommend purchasing this pass if you'll be spending a few days in Luxor. It'll save you both money and time. Each Luxor pass is valid for 5 days.
There are two types of Luxor passes:
Standard Luxor pass.
Premium Luxor pass.
Standard Luxor pass costs $100 and includes entry to all sites and museums except the tombs of Seti I and Nefertari.
Premium Luxor pass costs $200 and will give you entry to all sites as well as the tombs of Seti I and Nefertari.
You'll buy either pass for half the price if you're under 30 and have a valid ISIC.
You can only buy the passes in cash using US dollars or Euros. Egyptian pounds and credit cards are not accepted.
Luxor passes are bought from the ministry of antiquities offices in Zamalek, Cairo, or the Public relations office in Luxor inspectorate. Luxor inspectorate offices are behind the Luxor museum.
You'll need a passport photograph, a copy of your passport, and a valid ISIC ( for students) to purchase a Luxor pass.