Queen Hatshepsut Temple

Complete Guide to the West Bank of Luxor, Egypt

Julie Egypt Leave a Comment

The West Bank of Luxor contains one of the largest collections of archaeological treasures in the world. This is where you will find the famous Valley of the Kings, the breathtaking tomb of Queen Nefertari, the mortuary temples of ancient Egyptian pharaohs, and an astounding number of tombs.

In this article, learn about the best things to do on the West Bank of Luxor, with updated pricing for 2020, tips on how and where to buy your tickets, and advice on how to plan your time.

About Our Visit: We spent two full days on the West Bank of Luxor in December 2019. This article was written with advice from our guide, Ali Elnaggar, an Egyptologist who lives and works in Luxor.

Interesting Facts About the West Bank of Luxor

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

The East Bank is the location of Luxor town. This is where you will find Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple. It is where most Egyptians live and work and it is also where you will find the majority of hotels and restaurants.

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 the tombs and mortuary temples.

Best Things to do on the West Bank of Luxor

Here are our top ten things to do on the West Bank of Luxor, starting with the must-have experiences.

Important Note: For each site, I list where you can purchase your entrance ticket. Some sites have their own ticket booth, but there are a number of sites where you can only purchase your ticket at the Antiquities Inspectorate Ticket Office (more about this later in this article).

Valley of the Kings

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.

These tombs were constructed between 1539 and 1075 BC.

There are over 60 tombs in this small area, although only a handful are open to public.

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

To help you plan your visit to the Valley of the Kings, we have two articles that you should read:

Complete Guide to the Valley of the Kings

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

Ramses V VI Temple

Tomb of Ramesses V and VI

 Seti I Tomb West Bank of Luxor

Tomb of Seti I

 

King Tut Tomb

Tomb of King Tutankhamun

 Tomb of Ramsesses III

Tomb of Ramsesses III

Entrance Ticket: 240 EGP
Tram Ticket: 4 EGP
Total Cost with the 3 additional tombs: 1644 EGP
Photo Pass: 300 EGP (this covers all of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings with the exception of Seti I and Tutankhamun)
Where to Purchase Your Ticket: At the ticket office for the Valley of the Kings

Photography in the Valley of the Kings: Photography is allowed for free in all of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, including the extra tombs. This rule only applies to cellphones. If you want to take photos with anything other than a cellphone, or if you want to shoot video with your cellphone, you must purchase a photography pass.

Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut

This temple, with its three terraces and location in the cliffs of Deir el-Bahri, has a much different appearance than many other temples in Egypt. It is dedicated to Queen Hatshepsut, one of the most powerful female rulers of ancient Egypt.

This is one of the most popular sites to visit on the West Bank of Luxor, so except big crowds midday.

West Bank of Luxor

Hatshepsut Temple

Hatshepsut Temple Relief

Cost: 140 EGP 
Where to Purchase Your Ticket: At the ticket office for the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut

Valley of the Queens

The Valley of the Queens was the burial site of the wives of the pharaohs. The tombs that you will see here are smaller and lack some of the grandeur of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, with one big exception.

The tomb of Queen Nefertari is one of the most spectacular tombs that you can visit in Egypt. The level of detail is amazing and the colors are more vibrant that what we saw in many tombs, temples, and pyramids in Egypt. If you want to get an idea of what the tombs looked like 3,000 years ago, put the tomb of Queen Nefertari on your list.

This tomb has a big price tag, costing 1400 EGP. Worth it? We think so.

Take a look for yourself in the photos below, and take a look at our Photo Tour of the Tomb of Queen Nefertari.

Nefertari Tomb West Bank of Luxor

Inside the tomb of Nefertari

 

Nefertari Tomb

Inside the tomb of Nefertari

These are tombs that are included on the Valley of the Queens entrance ticket. 

QV55 Amen Khopshef

QV55 – Amen Khopshef

 

QV44 Khaemwaset

QV44 – Khaemwaset

Main Entrance Ticket: 100 EGP
Ticket for Tomb of Queen Nefertari: 1400 EGP
Photo Pass: 300 EGP (this does not include photography inside of the tomb of Queen Nefertari)
Where to Purchase Your Ticket: At the ticket office for the Valley of the Queens

Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu

This huge temple complex is dedicated to Ramesses III. There are several courtyards, pylons, and peristyle halls, with inscribed reliefs depicting the defeat of the Sea People during the rule of Ramesses III.

Medinet Habu

Statues Medinet Habu

Habu Temple West Bank of Luxor

Habu Statues

Column Bases

Cost: 100 EGP
Where to Purchase Your Ticket: At the Antiquities Inspectorate Ticket Office

Colossi of Memnon

The twin statues of Amenhotep III gaze east towards the Nile River. These two statues greet visitors as they arrive on the West Bank of Luxor. From the parking lot, you can hop out and take a photo, or walk down to the statues for a closer view.

Colossi of Memnon

Cost: Free

Ramesseum

This is a temple that usually does not make it on the must-visit list of the West Bank of Luxor, but maybe that is why we liked it so much. We shared this visit with just a few other people, which was wonderful.

The Ramesseum is mortuary temple dedicated to the great Ramesses II. At one time, an enormous statue of Ramesses II stood here, with a height of approximately 20 meters. However, it has fallen over and now lays on the ground, in several large pieces.

Ramesseum

Ramesseum West Bank of Luxor

Ramesseum Egypt

Cost: 80 EGP
Where to Purchase the Ticket: At the Antiquities Inspectorate Ticket Office

Deir el-Medina (Valley of the Artisans)

The artisans who worked on the tombs in the Valley of the Kings lived here, in an ancient village in Deir el-Medina. Tombs were built here for some of the most prominent workers.

Similar to the Valley of the Queens, these tombs are much smaller and less ornate that those in the Valley of the Kings, but if you have two days on the West Bank, this is still well worth your time.

Deir el Medina

Valley of the Artisans

Tomb of Nakht Amun West Bank of Luxor

Tomb of Nakht Amun

 

Pashedu

Tomb of Pashedu

 Temple of Deir el Medina

Temple of Deir el-Medina

 

With Ali Elnaggar

Inside the Temple of Deir el-Medina with Ali

The entrance ticket includes three tombs and the Temple of Deir el-Medina. For an additional 30 EGP, you can also visit the tomb of Pashedu.

Cost: 100 EGP
Additional Ticket for Pashedu Tomb: 30 EGP
Photo Pass: 300 EGP
Where to Purchase the Ticket: At the Antiquities Inspectorate Ticket Office

Tombs of the Nobles

In the Valley of the Nobles, there are numerous tombs to visit. Ali recommended the tombs of Sennofer and Rekhmire, since these are two of the best tombs in the Valley of the Nobles.

The tomb of Sennofer is also called the “Tomb of the Vineyards,” getting its name from the paintings of grape vines on the ceiling.

Tomb of Sennofer West Bank of Luxor

Rekhmire was an Egyptian noble and mayor of Thebes in the 18th dynasty. His tomb features depictions of the tasks of the workers and a chapel.

Tomb of Rekhmire

Cost: 40 EGP for the tombs of Sennefer and Rekhmire
Photo Pass: 300 EGP
Where to Purchase the Ticket: At the Antiquities Inspectorate Ticket Office

Temple of Seti I

This temple was begun by Seti I and it is dedicated to Amun-Re. After Seti I’s death, the temple was completed by Ramesses II.

Seti I Temple West Bank of Luxor

Seti I Temple

Note: This temple is different from the tomb of Seti I that you can visit in the Valley of the Kings.

Cost: 60 EGP
Where to Purchase the Ticket: At the Antiquities Inspectorate Ticket Office

Howard Carter House

Howard Carter is the British archaeologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in November 1922. He lived in a house on the West Bank of Luxor, just outside of the Valley of the Kings.

Visiting this house is like stepping back in time to 100 years ago. All of Howard Carter’s furnishings are intact, as well as his camera, personal items, and photographs. Behind the house is a replica of the tomb of Tutankhamun.

Howard Carter House

Cost: 80 EGP
Where to Purchase the Ticket: At the Antiquities Inspectorate Ticket Office

With More Time

If you have more than two days, or just want a few more suggestions for more things to do on the West Bank of Luxor, here are a few more ideas.

Hot Air Balloon Flight

For unforgettable sunrise views of the West Bank of Luxor, you can take a hot air balloon flight. Expect a very early start to the day (pick up times from your hotel can range from 3 am to 4:30 am) but it might be worth it for unique views of the tombs and temples.

West Bank of Luxor Balloons

Ancient Village of Qurna

Just across the street from the Antiquities Inspectorate ticket office is the abandoned village of Qurna. With its colorful buildings and location against the sandy mountains, it is an interesting photo spot.

Qurna

Temple of Merenptah

This temple is mostly in ruins, so it’s not all that interesting to visit, but you can get a nice view of it, and two statues of Amenhotep III, on the drive to the Valley of the Kings.

West Bank of Luxor Sunset

Imhotep Alabaster

If you want to go shopping for souvenirs, there are numerous places on the West Bank of Luxor that sell items made from alabaster.

We visited Imhotep Alabaster. After a short but entertaining lesson on how alabaster items are made, we perused the shop. It is like being inside of an art museum. The vases, carvings, and statues are beautiful and this is well worth your time if you want to bring home a piece of artwork from Egypt.

See Them All on a Map

How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each point of interest. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

West Bank of Luxor: Price List for 2020

Some sites do not have their own ticket booth. For these sites, you must purchase your tickets at the Antiquities Inspectorate Ticket Office on the West Bank of Luxor.

Here are the GPS coordinates for the ticket office: 25°43’21.947″ N 32°36’16.86″ E. It is also labeled “Antiquities Inspectorate Ticket Office” on Google Maps (and we have it labeled on our map). This is what it looks like.

West Bank of Luxor Ticket Booth

Here is the price list in December 2019.

West Bank of Luxor Price List

On this list, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10 and 15 are all tombs in the Valley of the Nobles. Ali, our guide, recommended that we visit #4, Rekhmire and Sennofer.

Here is a list of the sites (and prices for 2020) that sell their tickets from this ticket office:

  • Medinet Habu – 100 EGP
  • Deir el-Medina – 100 EGP + 30 EGP for Pashedu Tomb
  • Ramesseum – 80 EGP
  • Seti I Temple – 60 EGP
  • Valley of the Nobles – 40 EGP (Sennofer & Rekhmire)
  • Carter House Museum – 80 EGP

Note: You must purchase your tickets at this ticket office for the above sites. For example, if you arrive at Medinet Habu without a ticket, you cannot buy one directly from site. You also need to purchase your camera tickets for the Valley of the Nobles and the Valley of the Queens at this booth.

The sites below have their own ticket window, so you will not purchase these tickets at the Antiquities Inspectorate Ticket Office:

  • Valley of the Kings – 240 EGP (+ extra fees for additional tombs)
  • Valley of the Queens – 100 EGP (+1400 EGP for the tomb of Nefertari)
  • Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut – 140 EGP

Is the Luxor Pass Worth It?

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, $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, $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.

If you plan to visit Luxor for two days, with visits to everything we list here for the West Bank, as well the main sites on the East Bank, then the Luxor Pass is worth it. 

For a grand total of 1970 EGP, you will visit the East Bank sites as well as everything we list for the West Bank, excluding the tombs of Nefertari and Seti I. The price of 1970 EGP includes the additional tombs of Tutankhamun, Ramesses V and VI, and Pashedu. 1970 EGP = $125 USD as of February 2020.

If you also plan to visit both of the tombs of Seti I and Nefertari, then the Premium Pass is worth it.

Even if you don’t plan to visit everything on this list, I recommend adding up the cost that you expect to spend. If your total comes close to $100 (for example, if you think you will spend $90 USD) then it still could be worth it to purchase the Luxor Pass. In my opinion, it is worth a little extra money to purchase the Luxor Pass, in order to save yourself the time and hassle of visiting multiple ticket booths (and ATM’s).

The passes are valid for 5 days.

Where Can You Buy the Luxor Pass?

The Luxor Pass can be purchased at the main antiquities administration offices (including the Antiquities Inspectorate Ticket Office on the West Bank of Luxor) as well as the ticket booths at Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings.

You will need your passport, a photocopy of your main passport page, as well as a passport photo. Students will need a valid student identification card. To purchase the Luxor Pass, you will pay with US dollars or euros and these need to be crisp, new bills.

Hours of Operation

For the sites on the West Bank of Luxor, these are the hours of operation:

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

Sample West Bank of Luxor Itinerary

With one day, you can visit the main sites on the West Bank of Luxor. Two days gives you just enough time to visit everything that we have listed in this article.

One Day on the West Bank of Luxor Itinerary:

7:00 am: Valley of the Kings
9:30 am: Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
11:00 pm: Medinet Habu
12:30 pm: Lunch
1:30 pm: Valley of the Queens
3:00 pm: Ramesseum
4:00 pm: Colossi of Memnon

Two Days on the West Bank of Luxor Itinerary:

Day 1

8:00 am: Valley of the Kings
10:30 am: Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
Noon: Lunch
1:30 pm: Tombs of the Nobles
3:00 pm: Deir el-Medina
4:30 pm: Colossi of Memnon

Day 2

8:00 am: Medinet Habu
10:00 am: Valley of the Queens
Noon: Lunch
1:00 pm: Temple of Seti I
2:00 pm: Howard Carter House
3:00 pm: Ramesseum

West Bank of Luxor View

View of the Ramesseum from the Tombs of the Nobles

Getting Around the West Bank of Luxor

You can get around the East Bank of Luxor by taxi, by hiring a guide and driver, or by bicycle.

By Guide and Driver

We recommend getting around by private guide and driver. All of your transportation is taken care of and you get to tour all of the archaeological sites with a knowledgeable Egyptologist.

We hired Egypt Tailor Made. Ali Elnaggar was our guide not only in Luxor but also in Aswan. Ali is an Egyptologist with over 10 years of experience as a guide. He also works at Karnak Temple and lives in Luxor, so his range of knowledge is very extensive.

We were so impressed with their service that we worked out a special offer for our audience. If you book a guide and driver with Egypt Tailor Made, you will receive a 10% discount with the promo code “Earth Trekkers 10% off.” 

Ali Elnaggar

By Taxi

The average cost of a taxi is 400 EGP to take you around the sites on the West Bank of Luxor. However, this price depends on your negotiating skills. Make sure you have agreed on the price and the places you plan to visit before getting in the taxi.

By Bicycle

I have read online that you can rent bicycles from some hotels on the West Bank. However, the sites are located far apart, the area is hilly, and it can be very hot, depending on the time of year that you visit.

Where to Eat

Marsam Restaurant is a highly-rated restaurant on the West Bank of Luxor. Dine on Egyptian and Mediterranean food in their lovely courtyard.

Where to Stay

Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor. This hotel is one of the top luxury hotels in Luxor. It is centrally located in Luxor city, with views of the Nile River and within walking distance of the Luxor Temple.

Hilton Luxor Resort and Spa. This is where we stayed and it was our favorite hotel in Egypt. The views of the Nile River and the balloons that drift over the West Bank are magical. The rooms are large, clean, and quiet. There are several onsite restaurants, a pool, and a fitness room. We loved this place and I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again.

Hilton Luxor

Nile Castle. This budget hotel gets great reviews. It is located on the West Bank of the Nile River, so you will have easy access to the West Bank sites, but expect more travel time when visiting the East Bank sites and when traveling to and from the airport or train station.

Nefertiti Hotel Luxor. This hotel is located in Luxor city and overlooks the Luxor Temple. Rooms can accommodate up to four people. Breakfast is served on the rooftop terrace.

Bob Marley Peace Hostel. This highly rated, budget hostel offers air-conditioned, dormitory-style rooms. It is located in Luxor City.


If you have any questions about how to visit the West Bank of Luxor, or if you would like to share your experience, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Egypt:

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

You Might Also Like:

West Bank of Luxor Egypt Complete Guide

Note: This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these affiliate links, we get paid a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *