Eco-friendly travel guide to Luxor advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Luxor, Egypt.
- Air quality: 3 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 2.5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3/ 5
- Public transportation: 4.5 / 5
- Parks: 2 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
- Locals' English level: 1.5 / 5
- Safety: 3.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$10 - $400
- Budget per day: US$30 - 700
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Luxor is a city on the east bank of the Nile River in southern Egypt that is on the site of ancient Thebes, the pharaohs’ capital at the height of their power. The city is known for its oldest and most Ancient Egyptian sites, and it surrounds two huge, surviving ancient monuments, namely Luxor Temple and Karnak Temple. Thousands of tourists from all around the world arrive annually to visit these monuments, and this contributes significantly to the economy of the modern city. There are numerous sites to see and many rich cultures to experience in Luxor, making it a must-visit. There are several ways to ensure responsible travel in Luxor, with some being:
- Support local businesses
- Use public transport
- Buy local
- Avoid unnecessary packaging, especially plastic.
Air Quality and Pollution
The air quality in Luxor is moderate. There are the usual air pollutants in the air, which include the various industries, vehicles, and someday to day activities. The tiny particles of some of the contaminants irritate the eyes, nose, and respiratory system. Long-term exposure aggravates heart and lung disease.
There are several factories and industries in the city, with one of the largest being an alabaster factory, and these are responsible for most of the pollution, mostly water. These factories and industries deposit a large fraction of their waste in water sources leading to water pollution.
Noise pollution is the city is relatively high and includes a lot of activities from blaring car horns to wedding parties, and it leads to health problems. Living in the city centre where noise levels reach high levels is like spending all day inside a factory. Noise pollution can contribute to many health problems.
Respect the Culture
There are many other cultural expectations that you could research before visiting the city. The majority of Egyptians are Muslim, and Islam's tenets guide Egyptian politics, economic activity and social life. An Egyptian's loyalty to his family is paramount, with his ties to immediate and extended family trumping all other bonds and obligations. Also, Egyptians remove their shoes before entering a home and complimenting the host on his residence is considered common courtesy. Lastly, a gift of flowers is a faux pas, as they are reserved for weddings and people suffering illness.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Luxor is an exciting tourist attraction that is visited by many people each year. There are numerous historic sites across the city that people can check out as they explore and experience Egyptian tradition and culture. It is impossible to select where you should go and what to ignore as the city is in a word, magnificent. Below is a list of the top ten places to visit:
- The Valley of the Kings: It is a valley in Egypt where, for nearly 500 years, rock-cut tombs were excavated for the pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom. The valley is on the west bank of the Nile. The valley was the principal burial place of the prominent royal figures of the Egyptian New Kingdom, as well as many privileged nobles and it is known to contain 64 tombs and chambers. The royal tombs are decorated with scenes from Egyptian mythology. The valley of the King's has always been popular with many photographs of it. Still, it became wildly popular due to the discovery of the tomb of the young Pharaoh Tutankhamen. Floods, earthquakes and tomb raiders have ravaged most of the graves over the centuries, but there is still a lot to see since they were underground and thus saved from the effects of natural elements. The entry tickets get you access to three tombs, out of the few that are open on that particular day. Some graves, like King Tut's and a few others, have an extra entry fee that you need to pay for, along with your basic ticket. It is scorching and humid usually, so do wear comfortable clothes and carry water. Also, you should be prepared to walk a lot.
- The Karnak Temple Complex: Commonly known as Karnak, comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings near Luxor. The area around Karnak was the principal place of worship of the Eighteenth Dynasty and is part of the monumental city of Thebes. This fantastic place is evidence of proficiency of ancient Egypt, and, incredibly, such high construction was constructed 30-40 centuries ago. The Temple has stunning drawings and sculptures with striking colours that are still clear after 7000 years. There are friendly and reliable tour-guides. The complex is huge, so you need to set aside enough time if you want to explore thoroughly. The Temple is also wheelchair friendly, making it inclusive.
- Luxor Temple: It is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the Nile River and was constructed approximately 1400 BCE. Four of the major mortuary temples include the Temple of Seti I at Gurnah, the Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahri, the Temple of Ramesses II, and the Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu. Unlike the other temples in Thebes, Luxor temple is not dedicated to a cult god or a deified version of the Pharaoh in death, but the rejuvenation of kingship as it may have been where many of the pharaohs of Egypt were crowned. At the back of the Temple, there are several chapels. There is a lot to see besides the architecture. You can see thousands of years of history and the influence of different religions over the years. The sunset view inside the Temple is stunning. To be able to understand the monument in detail, you should hire a tour guide.
- The Colossi of Memnon: They are two massive stone statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who reigned in Egypt during the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt that has been standing since 1350 BCE. The tour is better with a guide as they will give you a greater understanding of the history of this place. The statues are impressive, and are carved out of a single block of stone are said to weigh about 1000 tonnes each. They have been defaced over time due to erosion by the elements. This is the first site on entering the West Bank, and there are usually busloads of tourists there. There are also many kiosks selling cheesy souvenirs. Entry is free.
- The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut: It is a mortuary temple that was built for Pharaoh Hatshepsut. The Temple is considered one of the "incomparable monuments of ancient Egypt." This is one of the most amazing Temple in Egypt. It is a small temple but with a grand entrance, great architecture in the heart of the mountain.
- Tomb of Tut Ankh Amun KV62: It is the standard Egyptological designation for the tomb of young Pharaoh Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings. The tomb is well-known for the wealth of valuable antiquities that it contained. The contents that were found in the tomb were all transported to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The tomb is a fantastic monument, and is one of the most important in Valley of the Kings, even though it is the smallest one. You need to pay extra to visit the tomb, also taking photos is forbidden. The tomb is unfinished because King Tut died young and they had not yet finished it. The tomb is impressive, and everything inside it is made of gold. You can only see the chamber; the mummy of the Pharaoh is in another room, that people cannot enter.
- Deir el-Medina, or Dayr al-Madīnah: It is an ancient Egyptian village which was home to the artisans who worked on the tombs in the Valley of the Kings during the 18th to 20th Dynasties. The site is located on the west bank of the Nile, across the river from modern-day Luxor. The tour of the site is a breathtaking experience, as the vibrant colours are still visible, and the hieroglyphs and stories are still evident. This fantastic village had the luxury of building their tombs in their spare time, and you can see some of them while touring. The wall paintings adorning the tombs vividly depict daily Egyptian life.
- Karnak Open Air Museum: It is an archaeological museum that contains many reconstructed ancient Egyptian buildings and temples. In ancient times, a new pharaoh would often dismantle previous constructions and then use the stone blocks for new buildings or they were left as rubble. During later excavations, these stones formed parts of pylons, underneath paving or merely lying around and were pieced back together. There are always new projects happening at the museum as historians try to reconstruct newly found items, and this makes it a dynamic and intriguing site.
- Sacred lake Temple: It is in the backside of Karnak, and the Priests of Karnak used to take purification baths before entering the Temple in this lake. The lake is beautiful, and there is a cafeteria where you can get some cold drinks or ice cream in the hot weather and sit and relax next to it before finishing the long tour in Karnak. The sacred lake is large and is lined with a stone wall and has stairways descending into the water. The priests used the lake for ritual washing and ritual navigation. The lake was also home to a variety of aquatic birds, including the sacred geese of Amun. It is surrounded by what used to be storerooms and living quarters for the priests.
- El Qorn: It is the highest point in the Theban Hills, that has an almost pyramidal shape when viewed from the entrance to the Valley of the Kings. The area was associated with the goddess Hathor and also the cobra goddess Meretseger. Near the highest point is a plate-shaped rock formation projecting a few meters from the side of the hill. The peak can be reached on foot from two directions, and the climbing takes an hour to an hour and a half and the same time to get back. The Deir El Medina route is easier as most of it is laid with concrete stairs.
Luxor is a world-famous city that is known to be home of the well-maintained and still intact ancient Egyptian temples that date back almost 4,000 years. The city has a lot of historical value as it even appears in the Bible, like Thebes, which was its name at that time. The city alone is home to about one-third of the world's ancient monuments such as the Karnak Temple, Luxor Temple, Valley of Kings, Valley of the Queens, and the Temple of Deir al-Bahri. There are a large number of ancient monasteries, graves, ancient Egyptian temples, and numerous monuments that attract tourists from all around the world to Luxor. Luxor is affectionately known as the world's greatest open-air museum, as the ruins of the temple complexes at Karnak and Luxor stand within the modern city. As you keep reading this article, you will find out more about the fantastic tourist destination that is Luxor.
- Banana Island Wonderful: It is a quiet secluded location where traditional centuries-old technologies are used to grow bananas and other tropical fruits. The place is quite beautiful and educational, and you can personally see a vast flower of a banana, real Egyptian red oranges and much more.
- Luxor Temple Garden: It is a beautiful park surrounding the Luxor Temple. The garden has a lot of shade available and is a great place to sit and relax after exploring the Temple. The park is relatively popular, and some people go there for walks, exercise and even romantic picnics.
There are no national parks inside the city.
There are no beaches in the city. The closest beaches are Safaga and Hurghada, which are roughly 3.5 hours and four hours’ drive from Luxor respectively.
- The Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III: It is a mortuary temple on the Western bank of the Nile River, across from the Eastern bank city of Luxor. During its time, the Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III was the largest funerary complex in Thebes. Only parts of the mortuary Temple's layout remains, as well as the Colossi of Memnon, which are two massive stone statues placed at the entrance measuring 18 meters high. The mortuary Temple decayed bit quickly over time because of the annual flooding as it was close to the river. Entry is free, as is the parking, but the funerary complex is off-limits for visitors.
- The Great Hypostyle Hall : It is located within the Karnak temple complex and is one of the most visited monuments of Ancient Egypt. The structure was built around the 19th Egyptian Dynasty, and it is gigantic, and there are 134 pillars, each carved in elaborate detail. The paintings on the inner walls were for the priests and members of the Royal Family and have religious significance. It is scorching in Karnak, so it would be wise to carry water, wear lots of sunscreen and wear a hat. Also, it would be wise to avoid bringing children as the conditions could make them miserable.
- The Theban Necropolis: It is a cemetery on the west bank of the Nile, that opposite was used for ritual burials for much of the Pharanoiac period, especially during the New Kingdom. All the tombs are impressive and carry historical value. The Temple at the back of this place is one of the most beautiful in all Luxor.
- Karnak Open Air Museum: It is an archaeological museum that contains many reconstructed ancient Egyptian buildings and temples. In ancient times, a new pharaoh would often dismantle previous constructions and then use the stone blocks to set-up new buildings or they were left as rubble infill. During later excavations, these stone slabs formed parts of pylons, underneath paving and were pieced back together. The fruits of these archaeological jigsaw puzzles can be seen at this museum. There are always new projects happening at the museum as historians try to reconstruct newly found items, and this makes it a dynamic and intriguing site.
- Luxor Museum: It is an archaeological museum that overlooks the west bank of the River Nile. This museum is impressive and is home to the mummies of a couple of Egyptian pharaohs and some genuinely exquisite artefacts, statues and works of art. The items are presented beautifully, and the layout is wonderful. The exhibits are high-quality exhibits and include articles 376 pieces of rare holdings of several Pharaonic families, all of which were displayed accurately and in chronological order. This museum is much less crowded than the Antiquities Museum in Cairo.
- The Mummification Museum: It is an archaeological museum that is dedicated to the art of Ancient Egyptian mummification. The Mummification Museum is one of the most important museums in the city, and it receives a large number of Egyptians and foreigners in general. Most people come to visit as they are intrigued by the art of mummification. There are mummies of both humans and animals which give hints of what life was like in that era.
There are several traditional Egyptian foods found in Luxor. Egyptian food is not yet that popular across the world, so you might not come across it in other countries. This simply means that you must try as many dishes as you can while in Luxor. Trying various local dishes is one of the best things about being a tourist as you get to experience multiple dishes that you probably could never come across anywhere else. Several restaurants and street vendors sell different dishes that you could try, whether it is out of curiosity or so that you can have a story to tell later.
Traditional Local Restaurants
One of the best things about travelling worldwide is trying the various local cuisines available in that area. In most cases, traditional restaurants are the best place to experience local foods' taste, and maybe even a bit of the culture behind said dishes. There are many Egyptian restaurants in Luxor that you should try. Below is a list of the most famous traditional local restaurants in the city.
- The Salahadeen: It is the restaurant of Mara House, a hotel in Luxor where guests can enjoy authentic food and generous breakfast. The service and food are quite exceptional. The restaurant has a fantastic chef who is a personal chef of some Egyptian leaders and has worked in 5-star hotels. The restaurant offers a set menu, ‘Salahadeen Feast', which includes three courses with 15 dishes of fresh home-cooked Egyptian food to share. Most dishes consist of vegetables, and the vegetarian options are not cooked in a meat broth as in so many other places. The food is served as if it were an Egyptian home. There are knives and forks, but guests are encouraged to eat in the Egyptian way by dipping bread in the various dishes. Dinner starts promptly at 7 pm, but the bar opens for pre-dinner drinks at 6 pm; alcohol is also available in the restaurant.
- Sofra: It is one of the most loved restaurants in Luxor. The restaurant is as Egyptian as can be, in menu and decor, and even in price. The ground floor has three private dining rooms and a salon, giving the feeling of being in someone's home. There is also a wonderful rooftop terrace, which is also a cafe where you sit and enjoy a drink. The menu is extensive, featuring all the traditional Egyptian dishes such as stuffed pigeon and excellent duck. They do not serve alcoholic beverages, but they have a wide selection of delicious fresh juices on offer. Also, there is live entertainment in the form of a traditional show that has lots of music and Egyptian dancers.
- The Jewel of the Nile restaurant: It is an authentic Egyptian vegetarian and vegan cuisine that also serves fancy continental dishes that include filet steaks, duck, shrimp, veal, pasta and the famous Sunday roast as well as fresh fruit juices and sodas. The restaurant is in a quiet little street in Luxor and has excellent quality service. The food is always great and cooked with care and attention. The restaurant is immaculate, and the food is delicious. There is a very varied menu, and all the food is freshly prepared and reasonably priced. They do not sell alcoholic beverages, but you can bring your own.
Vegetarian and Vegan
- Wannas Art Café: It is a friendly, welcoming, colourful restaurant that doubles as an art gallery. The restaurant offers a variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes based on Egyptian cuisine. They have a large variety of traditional Egyptian food and drinks, some of which is vegan and others that could be made vegan upon request. Their major customers are tourists, so they use tourist pricing, which is higher than local pricing.
- Al Sahaby Lane: It has many vegan, and vegetarian choices and their cuisine is mainly Egyptian based. Their most popular dishes include falafel, tahini, hummus, baba ghanoush, vine leaves, in addition to lentil, tomato and vegetable soups. Some of the vegetarian dishes can be made vegan, mostly in a stew or curry style. They offer delivery and take-out options, and their prices are relatively high.
- Snobs restaurant: It is a cosy and friendly restaurant and is one of the few restaurants that serve beer and wine. They also have take-out options for those who do not want to dine in. The restaurant as a vegetarian menu which includes many vegan items, and you must specify personal preferences such as; no dairy, eggs etc.
Street food is quite popular in Luxor. Vendors sell most of the street food in the city, and in most cases, they sell food that is popular in the city at a slightly lower price than restaurants. In most cases, the street food was much better than the restaurant food. There are also some restaurants whose menu is made up solely of street food options. Some examples of the many street food dishes include:
- Tahini: It makes an incredible dip or sauce for Arabic bread and on top of sandwiches.
- Mahshi Peppers: It is stuffed with delicious spiced rice.
- Egyptian Style Shawarma: It is made up of layers of meat, thicker than Elephant legs, slow roast before the cooked outer layer is shaved off and thrown into Arabic bread or rolls to make a fantastic sandwich!
- Kofta kebabs: which are made of minced lamb that is mixed with spices and pressed onto metal skewers before hitting the coals.
Egypt is in the heart of a desert region; therefore, the weather is exceptionally high at most times. The high temperatures will have a certain amount of influence on the type of beverage that an individual might choose on a specific day. Water is without the most consumed liquid at any given time as people need to cool themselves down and avoid dehydration. Besides water, there is an endless variety of non-alcoholic drinks to choose from in the city. Most people love tea, and in most cases, they drink it even on a hot day. Other choice beverages include soft drinks, lemonade, milkshake, vegan shakes, and even iced tea or coffee. On the colder days, especially during winter, the beverages of choice are usually hot, with things like tea, coffee, and warm milk being the most sought after drinks.
Egypt is an Arabic country, but despite religious restrictions and conflicting views on alcohol, the consumption is not affected, and beer remains the most popular alcoholic beverage in the country by far. Alcohol consumption is relatively high in Luxor as alcohol is a source of entertainment or a way of cooling down after a long and hard day at work. There are several bars and pubs where people can go for a relaxing drink and hang out with friends, while some people prefer to drink in the comfort of their own home. The local brew of alcohol is known as Bouza Luxor Weizen, Luxor Classic Lager, and Luxor Nubia, to name a few. Several other alcoholic drinks are enjoyed by people depending on their taste in alcohol. These include wine, gin, vodka, and cocktails, to name a few.
Drinking water from the tap in Luxor is not recommended. The water is not always safe and can cause serious health risks. Therefore, it is advisable to purchase bottled water or drink treated or purified water. A 1.5-litre container of bottled water costs 0.20USD in the city.
Organic foods are foods that are grown without artificial nutrients, pesticides, or other chemicals. Eating organic has become a widespread trend where people are very selective about what they put in their bodies. Several organic cafes attract patrons of all ages who are careful about nutrition. There are many cafes in the city that cater specifically to this group of people. Below is a list of some of the organic cafes in the city:
- Café no fur
- Pressed Juicery
The brewing industry in Luxor is quite active as the locals prefer to drink local beer above imported brews. Numerous breweries are responsible for making different types of local liquor. These breweries are responsible for supplying a majority of the bars and pubs in the city, and therefore, have large amounts of orders to deliver. The most popular breweries in the city include:
- Trustworthy Brewing
- Sin city brewing
- Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
Numerous activities can be done as you explore Luxor. The city has one of the richest histories in the world and is visited by both local and international tourists alike. As such, numerous activities are ensuring that tourists are entertained. The activities are designed to ensure that no one is left out, and people of different interests can still enjoy and have a great time. Some of the most popular activities include museum tours, visits to the many religious sites, numerous tombs and memorial sites, to name a few. Some of the activities are in the city centre while others are just on the outskirts. It is essential to carefully plan your itinerary to ensure that you get the best out of what the city has to offer.
Yoga and Retreats
Yoga is traditionally a Hindu discipline that focuses on physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines. It has become quite famous globally, and there are yoga studios in almost every country in the world. There are several yoga studios in Luxor, although, as is normal, some are more popular than others for various reasons. Some of the most popular yoga studios in the city include:
- Yoga with Ali in Luxor
- Hotel Nile Valley
One of the most important things to consider as you plan any journey is where you will stay for the entire duration of the trip. The type of accommodation that you select is based on several factors, with budget, taste, and sense of adventure is at the top of the list. There are many different accommodation options in Luxor which are tailored to meet the diverse needs of people. This section will look into some of the accommodation options that are available for tourists to select from.
There are several eco-friendly hotels in the city. They have the same aim of sustainability of the environment. These hotels tend to offer safe, non-toxic, and energy-efficient accommodation. Other characteristics include using renewable energy, organic soaps, energy-efficient light fixtures, and recycling programs. Two of the most popular ones are:
- Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor
- Rezeiky hotel and camp Luxor
Hostels and Guest Houses
- The New Everest Hostel: It is a conveniently located guest house that is a minute's walk from the train station, two-minute walk to the ancient and famous Luxor temple. They have very friendly and knowledgeable staff will greet you and make your stay memorable. They have both dorm-rooms and private-rooms, and you can choose the one that suits your budget. The hostel has clean, comfortable rooms with most rooms offering an en-suite bathroom with hot and cold water and a balcony. All rooms have a ceiling fan, and some have air conditioning. There is a fantastic rooftop terrace with a gorgeous view of Luxor's skyline that is perfect for relaxing. There is free tea and coffee is available any time of day, and high-speed Wi-Fi is also available. Meals are available on request throughout the day, as there is an on-site restaurant that serves authentic Arabic food, traditional Egyptian or continental breakfast. For those who want a more authentic Egyptian cultural experience, there are free Arabic language lessons with
professional teachers on their staff.
- Venus Hostel: It is a great and relaxing place that has service-minded staff that will give you all the necessary information and overall support during your stay. There is free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, and free pick up from train or bus station to the hostel are all included in the reservation price. There is a gorgeous Retro-Roof top terrace where guests can sit, relax and shares stories of their day. There is a 24-hour reception, Air-conditioned rooms, rooms with fan, rooms with shared bathrooms, and rooms with private bathrooms. The property offers self-catering facilities, a BBQ, free parking, linens, and towels which are included in the booking price.
For those who intend to stay in Luxor for a long time and those travelling in groups, staying in hotels might prove to be a bit too expensive. Several apartments are hired out for a minimum of one month, and these are more budget-friendly as they reduce costs on several levels. For one, apartments allow for self-catering, which means that you get to save instead of having to buy all meals at hotels. If you stay as a group of friends or family, you can share the cost, unlike hotels that charge per head. The rent charges vary from the type of apartment you prefer, with a one-bedroom apartment in the city s centre going for USD 152, while a three-bedroom apartment goes for USD 260
Couch surfing refers to staying with a host family that rents out a part of their house to tourists. This is a trend that is gaining popularity in Luxor. This sort of accommodation option allows tourists to live in a typical Egyptian home and is immersed in traditional Egyptian life, and it is also a great way for them to grasp local language and culture quickly. There are several websites where people who are willing can put their homes on offer, and tourists can book the most interesting or convenient one. One such website is simply called couch surfing.
There are numerous campsites across Luxor for those tourists who want to rough it by living outside during their vacation. Camping offers a sense of adventure as it allows people to get the full outdoor experience and can be quite affordable. Camping provides a great experience, including the fresh night air as well as the magnificent night skies. The most popular camping area in the city is Rezeiky Hotel and Campsite
How to Get There
Several modes of transport can be used to travel to Luxor, with the most convenient for you being dictated by where you are coming from, be it a local or international area. People from surrounding cities usually travel to the city by bus or train. While those coming from further away commonly use aeroplanes.
Luxor International Airport (LXR) is located 3.7 miles outside of Luxor city centre, and it receives flights from Cairo as well. There are taxis in abundance everywhere around the airport for local transportation at a reasonable price. Many touts are pretending to be taxi drivers inside the airport, so ignore them and so walk outside the gates and find a taxi on the streets.
Minibuses are the transportation of the locals in Luxor, and the cheapest way to get around for the adventurous tourist. They all have the same shape, so they are easily recognized. They have fixed routes, with different routes marked by a different colour on the side of the minibus. To hail a bus, you need to look at it while it is approaching and raise your arm. If the bus is full it will not stop, if it stops, you can jump in, take an empty seat, and pass money to the driver, a flat fee with no haggling required. Getting off is possible anytime, and is done by simply asking the driver to stop when you are near your destination.
Travelling by train is probably the most common way to get to Luxor from Cairo. There are two types of trains, the government train and a private sleeper train. The government train is incredibly cheap, and as a foreigner, you should be sure to select first-class tickets. Tickets are purchased online at least 12 hours in advance. The overnight sleeper train is privately run and thus more expensive than the government train. Tickets are purchased directly on their website.
Hitchhiking to Luxor is relatively easy. Hitchhiking opportunities might be a bit limited if you do not speak Arabic, as most people in Egypt do not speak English. The people that do speak English often are not as excited by the prospect of giving a ride to a foreigner. Many people might expect money from you in exchange for them, giving you a ride, especially if you look like a foreigner. If you do not have money, then you should let the driver know before leaving or the amount that you can afford, people may refuse to give you a ride if they do not like the amount you are offering.
There are cruise boats that shuttle between Luxor and Aswan and are a relatively common mode of transport. Cruises last from 3 days to a week and frequently run between the two cities. The northbound and southbound cruises are mirror images of each other, so take advantage of whichever one suits your needs.
Luxor is a rather large city with many things to do and places to explore. Moving around the city is relatively easy regardless of the mode of transport that you use. You need to select the way of travelling that you are most comfortable with, and you will be fine. There are several ways to move around within the city, as will be shown below.
It's possible to walk around Luxor, but it's not very pleasant as the tout hassle is some of the worst in Egypt. Also, as you get away from the river, the view becomes unappealing, and the traffic gets worse. The only areas where walking is worth it are the immediate vicinity of the Luxor Temple and the souk, and between the ferry landing and the hotels on the West Bank. If you decide to walk, watch for cars and firmly decline unwanted services.
When touring around West bank bicycles are a great option. However, the weather in Luxor can regularly be upwards of 100 degrees F (or 40 degrees C), so you should check the weather before deciding the sightsee with a bike. Bicycles are a great way to get around the city if you can keep your nerve in the traffic. They can be hired from the numerous kiosks as well as most Hotels.
Electronic vehicles, bicycles and motorcycles are growing popularity in Luxor. There are several vehicles charging stations across both the East and West bank.
Minibuses are the cheapest and most common way to travel around the city, with most terminating at the train station. They are very affordable, and the fare is paid directly to the driver as you enter the bus.
Tram, Train and Subway
Trains are a convenient and affordable mode of transport within the city although most people prefer to use buses as they are faster. Tickets can be purchased at the train station, which is behind the Luxor Temple.
There are many shopping centres in the city whereby tourists and locals alike can go shopping. It is more sustainable to shop in local shops and ensure that you do not only stick to one shop but try to spread the wealth by visiting different shops
Several markets across Luxor are dedicated to selling fresh food. They sell both local and international food, processed or unprocessed. Some of these markets include:
- Luxor Market
- Omar Market
- Hamada Market
There are several flea markets across Luxor with both an exciting shopping experience and a chance to mingle with the locals. Most of them sell various things at reasonable prices, some of which are found in local shops. However, they tend to double the price when selling to tourists. Some of these flea markets are:
- Luxor Market
- Souq Luxor
- Golden Ray Bazar
Second Hand Stores
The trend of second-hand stores has caught the world by storm; numerous stores have opened where people can buy things they wouldn't usually afford for less than half the price. The most common ones in Luxor are:
- ACE Charity Shop
- Aladdin's Hule
- Ata Bazar
People have become more cautious about how their actions and choices affect the environment and have started doing things to reduce their carbon footprint. The leading eco-fashion house in Luxor is Vatrina.
The recycling industry of Luxor consists of traditional “Zabalin" garbage collectors who collect garbage from household units and some commercial establishments and transfer it to their communities (zabalin villages) for sorting and recycling.
Municipalities or cleaning authorities collect and transfer wastes from the streets, bins, public containers, and supervises public dumpsites and the operation of composting plants either directly or through the private sector.
Work and Study Abroad
You can work in Luxor as a foreign national as long as you have a work permit. You just need to get a tourist visa upon entering the country, and from there you can apply for the work permit. Job hunting from abroad is always tricky; however, with the help of the internet, finding a job in Egypt isn't impossible even if you lack extensive experience. There are several universities in Luxor, and they are open to international students. The main language of instruction in public universities is Arabic and English in private universities.
There are several programs for exchange students in Luxor, and the most popular is the IFMSA-Egypt Exchange consists of Professional Exchange and Research Exchange. Through the IFMSA network, IFMSA-Egypt Exchange operates between Egyptian Medical students and IFMSA members around the world.
An au pair is a young foreign person who helps with housework or childcare in exchange for food, a room, and pocket money. The concept of Au pairs is relatively popular in Luxor and is a great way to get a job for those intending to move to the city. Several agencies and websites connect potential Au pairs with families that need them. One of these websites is "great au pair."
Several voluntary organizations across Luxor are always looking for volunteers. You can volunteer to work with animals, children, and older people, among other things. Voluntary programs tend to run for anything between one week going up. Also, if you are interested in volunteering while you visit the city, several places are open to the idea.