Thursday, 23 February 2017

10 things not to do in Luxor, Egypt.

Spend Money.

Apart from your flights and hotel room, you'll be hard pressed to spend money in Luxor, unless you allow yourself to be ripped off or wish to buy pashminas and replica relics. Everyone will try to help you with everything, including pointing at something for your to photograph and then ask you for money for what they did, be firm and polite and say no.

A taxi from the airport is LE 80, around £4, ask and confirm the price before you do anything and check it's LE (Egyptian Pounds) and not $ (Dollars).

Expect to pay up to LE 700 per person for a full day tour of the West Bank, to include the Valley of the Kings, a couple of temples and the tour guides, brothers, Alabaster or Papayas shop. You will have to pay extra to visit Tutankhamen. You can however do this cheaper yourself, but I'd recommend a tour guide a) to tell you the     history b) to stop you being hassled and c) to get
                                                                                    you back to your hotel.
You have to pay your hotel bill in foreign currency, you are not allowed to pay in Egyptian Pounds, but you can withdraw local currency from the cash machines. Banks are heavily guarded, but don't let anyone try to assist you and preferably withdraw money in pairs.

No one will have change anywhere, and will delay giving you change in the hope you won't bother waiting.

Bring Kids.

Don't bring kids with you unless you are prepared to keep a very close eye on them 24/7 and entertain them yourself. While the hotels have pools, they are a long way from the rooms, terraces, life guards are rare. There are no facilities in Luxor aimed at entertaining children, whilst there is a MacDonalds, there isn't a play area, there are no swings and slides to be found or public parks and internet is scarce.

Use the Internet.

Leave that laptop at home. There is little if no wifi in public places and in the hotels, you are limited to two devices per room. Wifi is often limited each day and costs around $10 per 250mb. Your mobile phone provider will sms on arrival with cost of calls, but if you wish to buy a sim card, you can only get this at the airport.

Drink coffee.

I found one coffee shop that served anything that resembled the coffee I like to drink. Nescafe seem to have the monopoly over here and a latte is 2 powered tubes and over heated milk, not nice. Ask for a cappuccino, it's likely to be from a Nespresso machine.

Drink the water

We've travelled to many locations around the world and we often forget to check if we can drink the tap water. To date we've never been ill from drinking the water, but one of us, usually Peter, has had food poisoning. Brushing teeth is ok, but avoid ice in drinks, ask the waiter to give you the bottled water to open, so you can check the seal and personally I avoid foods with high water content such as watermelon and cucumber.


There are NO high street stores in Luxor, all you'll find are local shops, souks and markets, mainly selling souvenirs and replica, tacky and low quality, clothes and bags. You'll be hard pressed to find a supermarket, corner store, pharmacy, so bring all your toiletries and medications with you.


December and January are the height of the tourist season, but don't expect to have to wait in long queues for anywhere, there are sadly few tourists coming to Luxor since 2011, due to the current political climate.

Get tired

Luxor is a relaxing place to visit, tours start early morning, 3 days minimum stay to visit all the sights, take a trip on the nile, fit in a hot air balloon trip and enjoy leisurely drinks and meals in the hotel.

Walk anywhere

Don't expect to walk anywhere in Luxor, the second you step out your hotel you'll be inundated with requests to use taxi's and horse and carriages. If you do get a taxi, the driver will tell you he will wait for you at your destination, until you've finished, so don't pay them until you get back to your hotel.

Relax with personal safety

There are many warnings about travelling to Luxor and Egypt in general. The biggest risk is around mosques at prayer times and if you see large groups of people forming, then it is advised to leave the area and not hang around to see what is going on. Use the hotel safe for your passports, laptops, etc and only carry with you cash and cards that you think you'll need each day. Keep your bag in full sight at all times.


  1. Sounds like it's changed a lot since we went. We hired bikes and rode to the valley of the kings. And got the ferry over the river. We did lots of market shopping too. It says so friendly, shop keepers brought us free drinks, and even as 2 women alone (I went with a friend) no one hassled us. We drank lots of hot sweet black tea and hibiscus tea though, no coffee.

    1. it's since the revolution, tourists just aren't going there now and they are desperate for your business