Luxor was the ancient city of Thebes. From 1570 to 1069 BCE, Thebes was the capital of Egypt. It became an important centre of worship of the god Amun. During the period of 1353 to 1336 BCE, this was the largest city in the world, with a population of 80,000 people.

The Nile River splits Luxor into two parts: the East Bank and the West Bank.

The East Bank of Luxor is the location of Luxor town. This is where most Egyptians live and work and it is also where you will find the majority of hotels and restaurants. There are just a few notable sites to visit on this side of the river, but two of these (Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple) are two of the most spectacular sites to visit in Egypt.

The West Bank of Luxor is where the ancient Egyptians buried the dead. Each night, the sun sets on the West Bank, so this became the necropolis, the area that is filled with tombs and mortuary temples, including the famous Valley of the Kings.


This list is organized by geographical location. First, we start with sites on the East Bank, of which there are only four. Then, journey across the Nile River to the West Bank and its long list of archaeological treasures.


There are four main sites to visit on the East Bank of the Nile River. Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple are amazing and well worth several hours of your time. For those who want to dive deeper into Egyptian history, add the Luxor Museum and the Mummification Museum to your to-do list.


Karnak Temple is the second largest temple complex in the world (Angkor Wat in Cambodia is the largest). For over 2,000 years, starting in 2000 BCE, temples, monuments, and buildings were added to the complex. Approximately 30 pharaohs added something to the Karnak Temple Complex.

There are four main sections to Karnak Temple: the Precinct of Amun-Ra, the Temple of Mut, the Precinct of Montu, and the Temple of Amenhotep IV. The Precinct of Amun-Ra is open to the public and you can visit the Temple of Mut with a special ticket.

Karnak Temple is the second most visited site in Egypt, coming in right behind the Pyramids of Giza. Without a doubt, this is one of the best things to do in Luxor.

Karnak Temple Complex


Karnak Obelisk

To see many more photos of Karnak Temple, take a look at our article The Complete Guide to the East Bank.

Your visit to Karnak Temple also includes the Karnak Open Air Museum. This museum contains the blocks and reconstructed shrines from other parts of the Karnak Temple Complex. You can see the White Chapel of Senusret, the Red Chapel of Hatshepsut, the calcite shrine of Amenhotep II, statues of the goddess Sekhmet, and numerous blocks covered with intricate carvings.


Luxor Temple looks and feels like a smaller version of Karnak Temple, although this temple served a different purpose than many found in and around Luxor. This temple is not dedicated to one particular god or pharaoh. Instead, it may have been where many of the kings of ancient Egypt were crowned. This temple was built in 1400 BC, mostly by Amenhotep III and Ramesses II.

Luxor Temple

Ramesses II Luxor Temple

Luxor Temple Statues


This museum opened in 1975 and it contains artefacts that were found in the Luxor area, as well as artefacts from the tomb of King Tutankhamun. A visit here typically lasts about one hour.

Tuthmosis III

Tuthmosis III


This is a small, somewhat interesting museum about the mummification process. Not only can you see mummified people but there are also mummified cats, birds, and crocodiles. A visit here typically lasts 30 minutes.

Mummy Best things to do in Luxor

For more information about the East Bank of Luxor, including detailed pricing information and hours, and how to plan your time, read our article Complete Guide to the East Bank.


The list of things to do on the West Bank is very long. The Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Hatshepsut top the list for many visitors but this side of the Nile River is literally a treasure trove of spectacular tombs and temples.


A visit to the Valley of the Kings is not only one of the best things to do in Luxor, it is one of the best places to visit in all of Egypt.

The Valley of the Kings is a royal burial ground for pharaohs from the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties (the New Kingdom of Egypt). Famous kings from this time period include Tutankhamun, Ramesses II, Tuthmosis III, and Seti I, as well as powerful nobles and the wives and children of the pharaohs.

Best things to do in Luxor Valley of the Kings

Seti I Tomb

Tomb of Seti I


Valley of the Kings

Tomb of Ramesses V and VI

Currently, eight tombs are included on the main ticket into the Valley of the Kings. Your entrance ticket will allow you to visit three of these tombs. If you want to see more than three tombs, you will have to purchase an additional ticket.There are three additional tombs that you can visit with an extra ticket. Here is the list with the additional price for each tomb.

  • KV9 – Ramesses V & VI 100 EGP per person
  • KV17 – Seti I 1,000 EGP per person
  • KV62 – Tutankhamun 300 EGP per person