The city of Luxor has been one of the world’s prime tourist locations since before there was tourism. In antiquity, the Romans used to come to the city known as Thebes to gaze at the breathtaking Egyptian buildings and artefacts, or to marvel at Karnak Temple. The city of the God Amon Ra, Thebes was the centre of Egyptian religious life, until Alexander the Great came. The stunning array of temples is testament to this.
Today Luxor is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Egypt, with a wealth of historic monuments and buildings bringing Egypt’s fabled past to life. Luxor has been called the world’s greatest open air museum, and for good reason.
The city known as Luxor actually covers three settlements. Luxor City Centre is a lively, bustling area, with a range of cafes, bars and restaurants. As well as the ancient monuments nearby, more recent buildings have been constructed in the grand Pharaonic manner, such as the National Bank of Egypt and the railway station. The retro Egyptian look of modern Luxor came about in the wake of the excitement around Howard Carter's discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun.
Luxor Museum’s collection is focussed on quality, not quantity, with major exhibits on Tutankhamun, including a cow-goddess head from his tomb on the first floor and his funerary boats on the second floor. Other major pieces include a statue of Tuthmosis III (circa 1436 BC) on the first floor, and 283 sandstone blocks arranged as a wall from the ninth pylon of the Karnak Temple. The collection has been expertly curated and laid out by the Brooklyn Museum of New York.
A Souk is an Arabic market place, where you can pick up anything from food to footwear. El Souk in Luxor is open all day, every day, and is an experience in its own right, even if you don’t buy anything. But you probably will.Be prepared to haggle!