Julie Egypt 31 Comments

The Valley of the Kings is one of Egypt’s most spectacular destinations. Located on the west bank of the Nile River near Luxor, this small area contains a staggering amount of exquisitely decorated tombs of Egypt’s ancient kings.

When planning our visit, we found it very difficult to find any reliable information online. Mislabeled photos, out of date pricing, and a lack of information regarding the best tombs to visit dominated a lot of the information that we read online. This is partially because the rules for visiting these tombs changes frequently.

In order to provide you with the information you need to know to plan your visit, we visited the Valley of the Kings twice. We visited nine tombs on two separate days, including the three tombs that have extra tickets. Plus, we timed our visit so we were in the Valley of the Kings in the morning and the afternoon, so we could check out crowd levels at these two different times.

We have a lot of information to share with you. I hope this article answers any questions you might have when planning your trip to the Valley of the Kings. 

Important Note: Pricing, the opening of tombs, and rules for photography always seem to be changing. I will be updating this article frequently. If you learn anything new that you would like to share, in order to help future readers, please let us know in the comments below.

What is the Valley of the Kings?

The Valley of the Kings is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world.

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, Ramses II, Tuthmosis III, and Seti I, as well as powerful nobles and the wives and children of the pharaohs.

These tombs were constructed between 1539 and 1075 BC.

The hills on the west bank of the Nile River are dominated by the peak of al-Qurn, a pyramidal shaped mountain that echoes the appearance of the ancient pyramids of Giza. In these limestone hills, more than 60 tombs were excavated and decorated with intricate reliefs and images.


Valley of the Kings with al-Qurn in the background

It is believed that this area was chosen as a burial ground in order to avoid the tomb robbing that was occurring at the Pyramids of Giza and the Nile Delta. By carving these tombs deep within the earth, pharaohs believed that their tombs and treasures would be safe from robbers.

These tombs were sealed with the mummy of the king as well as shrines, treasures, and funerary artifacts to help the king in the afterlife.

The tombs are labeled with the abbreviation “KV,” which stands for Kings Valley. The labeling starts with KV1 (Ramses VII) and goes up to KV65. However, this will change if another tomb is discovered (which is very likely).

The Valley of the Kings consists of two valleys, the East Valley and the West Valley. The majority of the tombs are located in the East Valley. Currently, there is only one tomb that you can visit in the smaller West Valley, the tomb of Ay.

In 1979, the Valley of the Kings became a World Heritage Site.

How to Get to the Valley of the Kings

On a Tour

There are several companies that offer day tours to the west bank from Luxor.

We used Egypt Tailor Made and highly recommend them. For our group of six (our mothers visited Egypt with us), we had a driver, an Egyptologist, and a private van. Typically, we do not hire guides or drivers, preferring to travel independently. But for Egypt, we wanted to do things differently. We wanted to tour the sites with an Egyptologist, so we could learn and understand what we were seeing. And by having a driver, we could sit back and relax, without the hassle of finding a taxi and negotiating prices.

Click here to visit the Egypt Tailor Made website to see their tours and pricing.

By Taxi

If you are an independent traveler, you can get to the Valley of the Kings by taxi.

You can hire a taxi in Luxor and take this to the west bank. This drive takes 45 minutes, since you have to cross the Luxor Bridge, which is located south of the Valley of the Kings and Luxor. Hire the taxi for the day (sorry, I don’t have a price estimate for this) to visit the Valley of the Kings and other sites on the west bank.

It is also possible to take a ferry across the Nile River and hire a taxi once you are on the west bank. Ferries leave every ten to fifteen minutes and cost several Egyptian pounds.

How to Get Around the Valley of the Kings

Your visit starts at the Visitor Center. This is where you will purchase your entrance ticket and photography passes or entrance tickets for the extra tombs.

To get to the tombs of the Valley of the Kings, you will ride a three-minute tram. The tram costs 4 EGP per person (about 25 cents in USD) for a round trip ride.

From the tram, it’s a relatively short, uphill walk to get to the entrances of the tombs.

Valley of the Kings Tram

Which Tombs are Open in the Valley of the Kings?

There are over 65 tombs in the Valley of the Kings. However, not all of them are open to the public. Many tombs are closed either for restoration work or to minimize the traffic of tourists in the tombs.

Here is the list of open tombs that are included on your entrance ticket into the Valley of the Kings. Of these eight tombs, you can visit three with your entrance ticket.

KV1 – Ramesses VII
KV2 – Ramesses IV
KV6 – Ramesses IX
KV8 – Merenptah
KV11 – Ramesses III
KV14 – Tausert-Setnakht
KV15 – Seti II
KV47 – Siptah

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

Note: The tombs listed above are the same tombs that were open during our visit in 2019. According to our tour company, these tombs are still currently open. However, if you visit Egypt and notice something different, please let us know in the comment section below. It’s a big help to future readers. Thanks!

Click here to read our article about the best tombs in the Valley of the Kings. This article includes lots of photos, information about each tomb, and suggestions on how to choose which tombs to visit.

How Much Does It Cost to Visit the Valley of the Kings?

When you visit the Valley of the Kings, you will need to purchase two tickets: an entrance ticket and a tram ticket.

Entrance Ticket

The entrance ticket is the main entry ticket into the Valley of the Kings. With this entrance ticket, you get to choose three tombs from the list of open tombs (listed above). If you want to see more than three tombs, you need to purchase an additional ticket.

The entrance ticket costs 240 EGP per person.

About Discounts with Children and Students: If you are traveling with children, they might qualify for a discount ticket. One of our guides told us that at most tourist sites (museums, temples, tombs, pyramids, etc.), kids 5 years and younger can get free entry. Ages 6 years to 12 years get a 50% discount. And those aged 12 to 30 can qualify for a student discount (50% discount) if they have a valid International Student Identification Card (learn more here). You must bring the plastic card with you because a copy or a photo of the card is not typically accepted. We did not know about this Identification Card before our visit. Tyler and Kara were 16 and 15 years old during our visit. Sometimes, the attendant would accept their passport as identification, but it didn’t always work so sometimes we had to pay full price. 

Valley of the Kings Ticket

Tram Ticket

The tram ticket costs 4 EGP per person. You will purchase this next to the ticket window for the main entrance tickets.

Tickets for the Extra Tombs

There are three additional tombs that you can add on to your visit. Each of these tombs has an extra fee. These are absolutely worth it, which you can see below and in our photography post about the Valley of the Kings.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: If you only want to visit the extra tombs (Tutankhamun, Seti I, and Ramesses V and VI), you will still have to purchase the main entry ticket into the Valley of the Kings.

Here are the prices for the three extra tombs:

KV9 – Ramesses V & VI 100 EGP per person (50 EGP for students)
KV17 – Seti the First 1,000 EGP per person (1000 EGP for students; no discount)
KV62 – Tutankhamun 300 EGP per person (150 EGP for students)

Valley of the Kings Price List 2020

Luxor Pass

The Luxor Pass is a single ticket that includes all of the archaeological sites on the West Bank and East Bank of Luxor. There are two versions of this pass.

The standard Luxor Pass includes all of the sites on the East and West Bank, with the exception of the tombs of Seti I and Nefertari. The Luxor Pass costs $100 USD for adults and $50 USD for people under 30 years with a valid student ID card. In euros, the fee is €90 for adults and €45 for students.

The Premium Luxor Pass includes all of the archaeological sites on the East and West Banks, as well as the tombs of Seti I and Nefertari. The Luxor Premium Pass costs $200 USD for adults and $100 USD for people under 30 years with a valid student ID card. In euros, the fee is €180 for adults and €90 for students.

The passes are valid for 5 days.

If you plan to visit Luxor for two days, with visits to multiple sites on the West Bank of Luxor, as well the main sites on the East Bank, then the Luxor Pass is worth it. If you also plan to visit both of the tombs of Seti I and Nefertari, then the Premium Pass is worth it.

Photography Pass

The rules for this are changing constantly. During our visit, photography was allowed for free in all of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, including the extra tombs. This rule applies only to cellphones. 

If you want to take a photo with something other than a cellphone (a DSLR, Go Pro, camcorder, point and shoot camera, etc) you will need to purchase a photo pass. This photo pass is priced per device and costs 300 EGP. It covers all of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, with the exception of Seti I and Tutankhamun.

If you plan to shoot video with your cellphone, you will also need to purchase a photo pass.

If you want to take photos of Seti I or Tutankhamum with a camera, you need to purchase a commercial pass. I do not know the exact cost of this ticket, but I have heard that it can cost up to 5000 EGP, which is an enormous price to pay.

We were able to get amazing photos with our iPhones, so I don’t think it is necessary to purchase the photo pass. I recommend upgrading your phone before your trip to Egypt, in order to get high quality photos. This photography rule also goes for the Pyramids in Giza, the other archaeological sites near Luxor, and some sites in Aswan.

If you do not have a photo pass, you do not have to turn in your camera, as you might have read on other posts. Just don’t take it out of your bag.

The rules are changing frequently, which is another reason to hire a guide to help you keep all of the rules straight.

Adding It Up

If you simply want to visit three tombs, your total cost is 244 EGP per person (the entrance ticket plus the tram). This is roughly $15 USD.

If you want to visit three tombs plus the three extra tombs, your total cost is 1644 EGP per person (about $100 USD). Adding on a photography pass costs an additional 300 EGP.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: Add up your total cost before your visit and take out enough Egyptian pounds to pay for your tickets. During our visit, the credit card machine was not working at the visitor center, so we had to pay for everything in cash.

PRO TRAVEL TIP #2: You will need to withdraw your cash while in Luxor. We did not see any ATM’s while on the east bank or at the visitor center.

Inside Ramesses III

Inside the tomb of Ramesses III

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

Of the 11 tombs that were open to the public during our visit, we visited nine of them. Six are on the included entrance ticket and three are tombs with an extra ticket.

Of the eight available tombs to visit on the main entry ticket, our three favorites were Ramesses IV, Ramesses III, and Tausert and Seknakht. The tomb of Ramesses IX is also very nice.

The tombs that require an extra ticket are amazing, each for a slightly different reason. Since you pay extra to visit these tombs, they tend to be less crowded than the included tombs. Plus, the artwork on the walls and ceiling are dazzling, with vibrant colors, intricate carvings, and well-preserved artwork.

The tomb of Seti I is one of the most beautiful temples in the Valley of the Kings. The walls of the passageways and the pillared rooms are decorated high and low reliefs. The massive burial chamber is adorned with colorful scenes on the walls and an astronomical scene on the ceiling. The cover photo for this post was taken inside the tomb of Seti I. 

How to Visit Valley of the Kings


The tomb of Tutankhamun is one of the smallest and least decorated tombs in the Valley of the Kings, but the highlight here is seeing the mummy of King Tut.

King Tut Tomb


The tomb of Ramesses V and VI was my personal favorite in the Valley of the Kings. The pillared hallway, at about the midpoint of this tomb, is breathtaking. The burial chamber is enormous and the astronomical ceiling is decorated with the book of the Heavens, showing the daily regeneration of the solar disc.

Tomb of Ramesses V and VI

For many more photos of these tombs, with suggestions on how to narrow down the long list of tombs that are available to visit, take a look at our article Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings.

The Tomb of Ay in the West Valley

All of the tombs listed above are located in the East Valley of the Valley of the Kings. There are several tombs in the West Valley. Of these tombs, only the tomb of Ay is open to the public.

To enter this tomb, you will need to purchase a separate entrance ticket. You can purchase this ticket at the visitor center for the Valley of the Kings. The ticket costs 60 EGP.

To get to the tomb of Ay, it is a long, hilly walk from the parking lot of the visitor center of the Valley of the Kings. Since it is a hike to get here, this tomb tends to have very low crowds. If you like the idea of hiking to a quiet tomb, this could be worth adding on to your tour of the Valley of the Kings.

Do You Need a Guide?

You do not need a guide to visit the Valley of the Kings, but I think that it is worth it to have one. This is an amazing historical site and to get the most out of your visit, I think it is worth it to hire an Egyptologist.

With that being said, guides are not permitted inside of the tombs. Your guide will give you an overview at the start of your visit, with tips for what to look for in each of the tombs, and then you will tour the tombs on your own.

However, if you just want to snap a few photos, a guide is not necessary.

What to Expect on Your Visit

You will arrive at the Visitor Center. In the center of the room is a large 3D map of the Valley of the Kings, with each tomb labeled. If you look under this map, you can see the long tunnels that lead to each tomb.

Valley of the Kings 3D Map

Valley of the Kings Tombs Map

There are restrooms here and these are a lot cleaner than the restrooms located within the Valley of the Kings.

Walk through the building. Once outside, you will see the road and the trams taking visitors to the Valley of the Kings. Turn right to purchase your tickets at the ticket booth and to purchase your tram tickets.

Valley of the Kings Ticket Booth

PRO TRAVEL TIP: You can only purchase tickets at the visitor center. Once you ride the tram to the Valley of the Kings, you can no longer purchase tickets. If you change your mind and want to add on an extra tomb, you will need to ride the tram back to the visitor center to purchase your ticket.

A 3-minute ride on the tram takes you to the Valley of the Kings. A guard will check your ticket here and allow you through the entrance gate.

Tram to Valley of the Kings

Just past this entrance is a covered area with seating. To the right there is also a small trailer with restrooms. From the entrance, it takes about 10 minutes to walk to the farthest tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

Valley of the Kings Overview

A view of the Valley of the Kings from the second level of the cafe

If you are traveling independently, take a photo of the map of the Valley of the Kings (these maps are posted at several locations), so you know the location of each tomb. If you have a guide, they can point you in the right direction to the tombs you plan to visit.

Valley of the Kings Map

Each tomb has a sign labeled with the tomb name and a map of the interior of the tomb.

Sety I Map Valley of the Kings

At the entrance to each tomb, the attendant will check your ticket and punch a hole in it. Once you have three holes in your main entrance ticket, you have used up your three tomb visits. If you have a photo pass, show that as well, since they will also punch a hole in this.

Each tomb features an entrance hallway that ends in a larger chamber. Some hallways are very long and covered with intricate artwork while other tombs may have short hallways or almost barren walls. You will walk downhill and on series of staircases to get to each tomb, so expect an uphill walk to get back out of the tomb.

The tombs tend to be hot. The farther you go, the warmer it gets. We were here in December and even then, some of the tombs felt very warm inside.

There are attendants walking through the tombs, keeping an eye on visitors, keeping noise levels down, and checking photo passes, for those people who are shooting photos with something other than a cellphone.

Sometimes, the attendants will offer to take your photo or show you small room or sanctuary located off of the main hallway. If you do this, you will be expected to pay a small tip for the service. If you don’t want a photo, simply say la shukran, which means “no thank you” in Arabic.

The tombs that require an extra ticket tend to have low crowds. There could be a long line for some of the popular tombs on the included entrance ticket. To get to the tomb of Ramesses IX, we waited almost 10 minutes in line.

Ramesses IV Tomb

Inside the tomb of Ramesses IV

We typically spent 10 minutes inside each tomb. We spent longer in Seti I and Ramesses V and VI simply because they were spectacular.

If you get hungry or thirsty, there is a small café centrally located in the Valley of the Kings.

Once you are finished, walk back to the entrance and ride to the tram to the visitor center. To get back to the parking lot, you will walk through a large gift shop. The salesman can be aggressive in trying to get you to purchase their items. Simply keep walking and so “no thank you” or “la shukran.”

How Long Does It Take to Visit the Valley of the Kings?

If you are a speed demon and simply want to snap a few photos in three tombs, you can visit the Valley of the Kings in about an hour to an hour and a half.

For a more leisurely experience, or if you have a guide, plan on spending two hours here, with a visit to three tombs.

If you add on the three additional tombs (for a total of six tombs), a visit to the Valley of the Kings can last a total of three hours.

Valley of the Kings Ramesses V and VI

Inside the tomb of Ramses V and VI

Best Time to Visit the Valley of the Kings

Here are the hours of operation for the Valley of the Kings:

Winter: 6 am to 4 pm
Summer: 6 am to 5 pm

The most crowded time to visit the Valley of the Kings is between 10 am and 2 pm.

If you arrive by 8 am, your visit should be relatively uncrowded. I recommend visiting the tombs on the included ticket first, and ending with the tombs that require an extra ticket, if you plan to visit these. Not only will this help you avoid the crowds, but you are saving the best tombs for the end of your visit.

One to two hours before closing is also a great time to visit the Valley of the Kings.

We visited the Valley of the Kings at two different times. The first day we arrived at 9 am. Crowds were relatively low, but they did pick up a lot by 10 am, and our visits to the included tombs were packed with other visitors. On our second day, we arrived at 2:30 pm. Crowds were low and we shared the tombs with just a handful of other people.

So, my advice is to go early or go late if you want to have low crowds.

Inside Seti I

Inside the tomb of Seti I

Practical Tips

Bring enough cash to cover your entrance tickets to the tombs. You will need additional money if you plan to purchase snacks or drinks at the café. You will also need small change to give the bathroom attendant.

Bring sunscreen and water. You will be outside in the sun quite a bit as you walk from tomb to tomb.

The closest bathroom is at the entrance near the tram stop. From the tombs, it is a five to ten-minute walk to the restroom.

Make sure you purchase all of the tickets you will need (including the photo pass) at the visitor center. Once you enter the Valley of the Kings, you cannot purchase tickets. If you need an additional ticket, you will need to ride the tram back to the visitor center.

If you missed it, here is the link to the best tombs to visit in the Valley of the Kings. This article includes lots of photos and handy information to help you pick out which tombs to visit.

If you have any questions about how to visit the Valley of the Kings, if you want to share your experience, or if you have any tips that you think would help our readers, comment below.

More Information about Egypt:

Read all of our articles about Egypt in our Egypt Travel Guide.

You Might Also Like:

Valley of the Kings Luxor Egypt


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Comments 31

  1. All your articles about Egypt are amazing. My wife, our 11 year old and I will be visiting Egypt in February 2022 (in about 3 weeks from today), and your articles are really the ones with the best information. I have read almost all the Egypt articles. They are not confusing as many others.

    I have two questions. 1.Do you know an official Egypt website where I can find the Covid 19 requirements (we leave from USA). 2. Where can I change currency in Aswan and Luxor?

    Thank you,

    1. Post

      I don’t know the official Egypt website to point you to for Covid info, unfortunately. As far as changing currency, you can do so at a bank or maybe major hotels. I think I remember seeing that there was a currency exchange in the Luxor Hilton but I am not 100% positive about this. You could call the hotels in advance to see if they offer a currency exchange. Have a great time in Egypt! Cheers, Julie

  2. Hello! Thank you for this amazingly detailed blogpost. We are planning a short trip to Egypt for a Friday-Monday; do you think it’s “too much” to do Luxor and Cairo during that time? We know it won’t be a comprehensive trip but want to see the highlights (Valley of the Kings, Giza Pyramids, etc.). Also, did you do the Full Day Tour to the West Bank & East Bank with Egypt Tailor Made Tours, or did you do a custom tour? And why did you purchase the Luxor pass if you used the tour company? I thought the tickets would be included in the price. Thanks in advance!!

    1. Post

      When we did this, we spent one day on the East Bank (but were finished by 2 pm) and two full days on the West Bank (so we did a custom tour). We did not have the Luxor Pass for our trip because we learned about it once we were already in Egypt. If you have 4 full days, it’s possible to see both Giza and Luxor. Spend your first day in Giza, visiting the pyramids in the morning, and in the evening fly to Luxor. Spend one day on the West Bank and one day on the East Bank. Your final day can be used for more time in Luxor or to get back to Cairo and do some Cairo sightseeing in the afternoon. With a quick visit like this, the Luxor Pass might not be worth it for you. You can take a look at our Guide to the Luxor Pass to see if it’s worth it…I give a cost breakdown and what you would need to do in Luxor to make it worth getting the pass. Cheers, Julie

      1. Thanks so much for your reply. I have another question. I know it is very customary to negotiate prices in Egypt. Did you negotiate your tour price with Egypt Tailor Made Tours? I would like to contact them for our upcoming tirp

        1. Post
  3. Just found your website and loving the detailed answers and explanations of everything so THANK YOU for all this!

    Question I have is you mentioned above that you only get 3 holes punched in your entrance ticket, and then you’re done. Does that mean out of the 50+ tombs, you can only visit 3 with the main ticket?

    1. Post

      Yes, there are 50+ tombs in the Valley of the Kings, however, only 8 of them are open. With your entrance ticket, you can visit 3 of these. If you want to see more than 3 “regular” tombs, you will need to buy 2 entrance tickets (for a grand total of 6 tombs). There are 3 additional tombs (which I will call “special tombs”), not included on the main entrance ticket, that you can spend extra for. In my opinion, picking 3 “regular” tombs and spending extra for the “special tombs” is a better value for your money and time. I hope this helps! Cheers, Julie

  4. Hi Julie, do you have the latest tomb open information of 2021? I am planning to visit King Valley soon. So I would like to know such information in advance. Thank you!

    1. Post

      From what I know, the information on this post is up-to-date, from speaking to our tour operator within the past week. However, we were told that which tombs are open can change at any time, and you don’t really know until you arrive at the Valley of the Kings. Cheers, Julie

  5. I just started researching info for a trip to Egypt for the fall of 2022 and came across your sight. Excellent find for my first day of reading. Hopefully, Covid is over by then. My question will likely seem odd. What tombs in the Valley of Kings are the easiest to access? Which tombs are deep underground? Can you walk upright or do you have to stoop for all of them? I’m 5’ 3”, not overweight, reasonably fit. I’m not normally claustrophobic but want to be prepared psychologically. Thank-you in advance.

    1. Post

      All of the tombs are easy to access. There is very little stooping involved. Mostly, it is long corridors with high ceilings. There will be ramps and steps and the occasional place where you will briefly have to duck your head underneath a beam, but for the most part, you will be upright in the tombs. You can get a better idea in our photos on our Best Tombs post. Some tombs are longer and deeper than others. Ramses V and VI is one of the longest tombs but it is also one of the most spectacular. Ramses III is quite long and Tausert is the longest. Tutankhamen is the shortest. If you are fit you will have no issues visiting these tombs, even the longer ones. However, if you visit the Red Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid in Dahshur (near Giza) there is a lot of crouching involved. Cheers, Julie

  6. Hi Julie, great info and content! Funny to see pictures of the signs with the maps and tomb drawings – I designed them 20 years ago when I was working in Cairo and Luxor. I’m glad to see they’re still holding up, stainless steel and made in Switzerland! We took our kids in 2018, they got a kick of seeing where their dad worked.

    1. Post
  7. Hello Julie, thank you for all this useful info. We visited in January 2020 and everything is as you described it. The list of open tombs was the same as the one you have listed above. We heard that they rotate every year. Do you think you can find out in early January which tombs will be open in 2021? I am thinking of a second visit 🙂 Thank you!

    1. Post

      Yes, I can look into that. Prices did not increase in 2021 so there is a chance that the tombs in the Valley of the Kings are the same, too. I’ll look into it. Cheers, Julie

  8. Dear Julie and your Family,

    I was planning my January Trip to Barcelona in December, and loved your tips and tricks for Barcelona, and Montserrat. While looking at it, I was hoping, “If only the had information for my Feburary trip to Egypt!”
    And today I see you have just been there! LOL. Perfect timing!
    Thank you very much for your post, and will be going through all of them this week, as i am going to cairo this friday and then luxor the week after.

    One of my main concerns right now is Money, (EGP). I will be bringing money, USD, Crisp new bills in all demoninations. I am trying to figure out what is the best way to exchange ther currency, and more importantly, not be left with EGP once done.
    I will start in cairo, and going to exchange a little money $100 at the airport.

    1. Should I try and get a Cairo pass? if yes, and i will NOT need EGP, and if no, then I will for the sites.
    2. I am currently planning on going to Karnak Temple, first thing in luxor at 6 AM on a saturday, Would the office for the luxor pass be open on a Saturday? Is is true you get the pass for 50% off if you have the cairo pass?
    3. If you have the Luxor pass, do you get to go into all the Valley of kings tombs (I mean all 8 with are included in the ticket you buy for 3?) (Hopefully that statement makes sense)
    4. What would be the best recommendation on getting EGP in luxor? I have heard the have ATM machines which do currency exchanges? (Being from US/CT I have never seen these). I read that you used ATM for cash withdrawals in your post. Did you use a debit card? Since credit card would be considered a cash advance on the spot. What charges did you incur with the debit card?

    I am just trying to end up with the right amount aka 0 EGP when I fly out of Luxor and there seems to be too many variables (buy luxor pass but thats in dollars/VOK credit card machine may or may not work)

    Thank you so much for your posts, and thank you for your help!

    1. Post

      Hello, I am going to answer some of your questions now, and get back to you on the ones that I am not sure of. I don’t know anything about the Cairo Pass (we didn’t have one…and as you know, there is very little information online about these types of things in Egypt…so let me ask our guide and get back to you). Our guide says that you can purchase the Luxor Pass at Karnak Temple. Since they open at 6 am, I assume you can buy it right there. I will try to confirm that today. That’s a very good question about getting into all 8 tombs with the Luxor Pass. I have heard that you can use the Pass multiple times per site, but on different days. I wonder if you can only visit 3 included tombs per day. Let me confirm this too. Check back within the next 24 hours…hopefully I will get some info in that time and will leave another answer on this comment thread.

      As for money, we had a debit bank card. We used this almost every day to withdraw Egyptian pounds. Our hotel in Luxor (the Hilton) had an ATM. Our guide would also take us to an ATM if we needed one. There is also an ATM in the airport right before passport control (this is where we withdrew our first local currency, but there is also an Exchange booth in this same area of the airport). Tim would add up what we planned to spend for the day and then he withdrew that sum of money. We have a Chase Bank card, and I believe that we don’t have to pay a foreign transaction fee. In Luxor, there are several banks, I can’t remember the names, but they are near Luxor Temple. Our guide took us to the ATM in Luxor (and other cities). I don’t know how you plan to get around, but if you don’t have a guide and driver, your taxi driver should be able to you to an ATM in Luxor. The problem with the ATM is the limit on how much you can withdraw. Since we were a group of 6 people, always paying cash, we would make multiple withdrawals with multiple cards. Don’t take out any more than the max that is listed on the screen, because you risk having the machine take your card (this happened to us in Botswana years ago).

      On the last morning, before we fly home, we pay the hotel bill with whatever local currency we have remaining and then pay the remainder of the bill with our credit card (so that uses up the last of the Egyptian pounds).

      I plan to write a post about things to do on the West Bank of Luxor next, so that should be helpful for you. Let me see if I can get answers to your questions and get back to you.

      Cheers, Julie

      1. Thank you very much for checking on the questions. Yes, as you say, it is very hard to find actual information on planning the trip to egypt. Makes my travel planning soley on bloggers like yourself. So i truely appriciate your help in these matters.Even the Cairo museum official website is very dated/down!

        As for the cash, paying the hotel with EGP and remaining on credit card, I have already paid for the hotel via travelocity so that’s not possible.
        I think what I am going to be using is more of a foreign exchange, and take cold hard cash (dollars) and change to egp. I see that in cairo there are all over the place, and i assume luxor is similar.

        Thank you once again for your help in these matters. Esp giving recommendations on which tombs to visit, along with pics, which make it much easier to decide. I used your guide in Barcelona as a bible, and i intend to do the same in Egypt.

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          I just spoke with our guide in Luxor and have some more information for you. He did not know a whole lot about the Cairo Pass, but from what he knows, the Cairo Pass is only worth it if you plan to spend a lot of time in Cairo and visit all of the sites. Basically, the Cairo Pass is not worth it for most visitors. He has not heard about the 50% discount for the Luxor Pass (but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist). Our guide says that with the Luxor Pass, you can go into the 8 tombs in the Valley of the Kings in one day. You will need the Premium Pass for the tombs of Nefertari and Seti I. He thinks you should be able to get the pass at 6 am Saturday at Karnak. The ticket booth is open at 6 am, so you should be able to purchase it at this time. If you have any other questions, let us know.

          If you learn anything new on your trip, or anything you think would be worthwhile for our readers to know, we would really appreciate a quick comment to update these posts. Especially about purchasing the Pass at 6 am at Karnak. That’s a great thing to do to get a head start on the crowds. I hope you have a great trip to Egypt! Cheers, Julie

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          2. Dear Julie and Family,

            I just got back from Egypt, and I would like to you thank you for your posting blog, which helped me out a lot during my trip. As per my questions, here are some answers which I learned:

            Currency Exchange : I went to National bank of Egypt and they have ATM which will do currency exchange. Insert US bills and get out EGP. Extremely great rates, no exchange fees. it was only 2 cents less of the Google (unreal) rate. Amazing.

            Cairo and Luxor Pass:
            After much research, I saw you can buy the Cairo pass at the Museum and Pyramids of Giza. From other people, it seems it was a hit or miss, and also at these locations you can NOT buy the luxor pass at all. You would have to do that at Karnak temple. (Did not check if you can there)

            What I did, however, is to go to the official Ministry of Antiquities government office which is located in Cairo, at
            2 El-Malek El-Fadl, Abu Al Feda, Zamalek, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
            After Official e-mail correspondence with the department:
            1.they are open from 9-3 PM Sunday to Thursday
            2.Buying the Cairo Pass at full price you get Luxor pass for 50%
            3.You can set the start date for the passes whenever you like
            4.Bring 2 passport photos (recent) and B/W photocopies of passport, along with actual passport
            5.Payment is with Brand new, New face, Crisp like chips, $100 Bills. (I am talking right out of the mint new, they check like crazy)

            I got of the office at 9 AM, told me to come back at 10, and I got the pass for both Cairo and Luxor in about 30 minutes. The Cairo and Luxor pass works for everything, (except for the light shows at Pyramids and Karnak to my understanding)
            With the 50% off, It was a deal. I ended up going to pyramids entrance twice, Museum and mummy room in day and night, All 11 tombs of the Valley of kings, all noble tombs, all Valley of queens tombs.

            I would download and keep this with you. The pass is still new, and some people at the gate are not sure about it, esp the cairo pass, and therefore you can show it to them that this site is included in the pass.

            Hopefully this helps your readers.
            Thanks again for this blog!

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            This is incredible!!! Thank you so much for this valuable info and it will definitely help our readers (and myself…on my next trip to Egypt). That’s a really great deal to get 50% off the Luxor Pass. You got to see and do so many things…it sounds like it was a great experience. Thanks again and happy travels to wherever you go next!! Cheers, Julie

  9. Thank you so much for the very useful information. I’m from Cairo and will be visiting Luxor soon and have been doing some research about sightseeing there. Your guide on the VotK is definitely the most insightful and comprehensive I’ve come across. It has been very useful in helping me plan my trip. Thank you!

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  10. Dear Julie, I have been reading your blog for a while but only now could write. Thank you so much for the informative posts! I am planning a trip to Luxor and it comes very timely. We are a family of 3, very active in travelling and exploring the world: -)
    I wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous New year!

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      You are very welcome!! Luxor is amazing, my favorite part of Egypt. We have a lot more articles to write about Egypt so stay tuned. I wish you and your family a very happy 2020 that is filled with adventure! Cheers, Julie

  11. Thank you for taking the effort to give us updated and accurate information. I have bookmarked this article for when I go to Egypt to visit this famous place!

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