Best 2 Day Luxor Itinerary

By on Published: June 21, 2018 | Last Updated: January 5, 2022 in Africa, Budget Travel Ideas, EGYPT with 4 Comments

The Best Luxor Itinerary on a Budget

My 4 days in Luxor were undoubtedly some of the most spellbinding I had in Egypt.

Chock full of ancient awesomeness, there’s just simply no way you can come to this country and not hit up Luxor… no matter how short your itinerary.

From Valley of the Kings to Karnak Temple, this city is a veritable treasure trove of historical highlights that you’re able to visit for some ludicrously cheap prices.

Add into that the great price of accommodation here, as well as transport and food and there’s no question this is budget traveller heaven.

So to help you get the most out of your time in this fantastically rich city, here’s the best Luxor itinerary for those of us wandering on a shoestring.

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All prices given are correct at the time of publication.

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Day 1: West Bank

Egypt, Luxor, Ramses III Temple

Separated by the river Nile, the city of Luxor is essential split into 2 parts – the West and East Bank.

I recommend starting your Luxor itinerary by visiting the West Bank, which is home to some of this city’s greatest treasures.

Tours that include all the following sights can be picked up for less than $10 and make a great way to see a lot of the history here, as well as learn about it from an experienced guide for next to nothing.

Almost any hostel in Luxor can arrange a tour for you and it’s a great way to meet other travellers too if you’re adventuring solo.

One of the best ways to discover the marvel of Luxor is to take a tour there with a local. You can find a list of guided tours (including costs and reviews) here at GetYourGuide. I love GetYourGuide because they’re easy to use and book with, and offer some of the best prices around.

The West Bank – the side the sun sets on – was designated as the land of the Dead, so it’s here you’ll find all the great tombs of the deceased pharaohs and the temples built in their honour so citizens could pay their respects.

Egypt, Luxor, Colossal of Menmon

Start your day on Luxor’s West Bank with a bang by visiting the Colossi of Memnon – 2 giant statues that mark the entrance to what was once the greatest city on earth.

Next it’s onto Medinat Habu (40 LE entrance fee), the Temple of Ramses III, which boasts some outstanding paintwork that is more than 3,000 years old, but looks like it could have been applied yesterday.

Following this, I’d suggest going to the Temple of Hatshepsut (entrance 80 LE).

With few original parts remaining, having been heavily reconstructed, this is nevertheless a great way to get an idea of the scope and grandeur of this ancient capital.

And finally, it’s time to go out with a bang by hitting up the Valley of the Kings.

With your entrance ticket here (costing 160 LE) including access to 3 tombs, having a guide is a great way to learn which ones are best visited.

The famous tomb of Tutankhamen is also situated here, although you’ll need to pay extra to visit it and I really wouldn’t bother as, despite its reputation, it’s really not worth it!

*sorry to burst your bubble*

All of these West Bank sights can actually be visited in a morning – especially if you’re seeing them as part of a tour – but given the heat and strength of the sun in Egypt, plus the lack of shade at many of these destinations, it’s likely you’ll feel pretty done-in after such a busy sightseeing morning.

Spend the rest of the day relaxing on the rooftop of your hostel with a tea in true Egyptian style!

Egypt, Luxor, Temple of Hatshepsut



#1 Egypt Lonely Planet – A great travel aide to this country with tons of historical info, the Egypt Lonely Planet will help you get the best from your time in this country.

#2 Arabic Phrasebook – Most people in Egypt who are connected with the tourism industry speak good English, but learning some Arabic never goes a miss, especially if you want to ensure you’re paying the best prices! The Egyptian Arabic Lonely Planet phrasebook is a super affordable helping hand.

#3 Good Camera – Egypt is one of those ultimate bucket list destinations and travelling here with a good camera will help you preserve the memories. I highly recommend the mirrorless Sony A6000. Light, compact and robust, it’s been perfect for my Africa travel adventures.

#4 Sun Hat – This country is hot and dry, really like hot and really dry. When you’re walking around temples and other sights you’ll be exposed to the sun for long periods of time, so making sure you pack a sunhat for adequate protection is key. I love this Hello Sunshine one.

#5 Amazon Audible – Travel in Egypt can often involve long train or bus journeys, so having something to listen to while you enjoy the scenery is a must! I love Amazon Audible, which is the best audiobook service around.


Day 2: East Bank

Egypt, Luxor, Doorway

On your second day in Luxor, it’s time to head over to the bank of the living.

The East Bank is of course where the sun rises over this city and, as such, was home to the most significant places of worship.

In the morning, head to Karnak Temple.

One of the largest in Egypt, this is a huge place you’ll need at least a few hours to explore.

The “Forest of Pillars” as it’s known here is simply breathtaking and the Sanctuary and Purification Lake are also must-sees.

Again, you can see Karnak Temple as part of a tour of the whole East Bank in Luxor, which will set you back just a few dollars and is highly worth it for the great guide knowledge you’ll receive.

After Karnak Temple, head to the excellent Luxor Museum.

Open until 2pm, when it closes for lunch, this is Egypt’s best curated museum and holds a wealth of treasures from the tombs and temples excavated in the city.

Entrance to the museum costs 120 LE and you don’t need a guide here as the exhibits are well displayed and labelled.

The Luxor Museum is small, but full of treasures and allowing 2 hours or so to wander round here is certainly a great way to spend a hot Egyptian lunchtime.

At the start, your entrance ticket also includes the viewing of a short video that does a lot to explain some of the major artefacts.

It’s worth noting you have to pay extra for a photography license to snap inside the museum.

Relax for a few hours at your accommodation, before then heading out to see the Luxor Temple in the late afternoon.

Egypt, Luxor, Luxor Temple at Night

Situated in the heart of the city, this monument is open until 9pm and being here around sunset to catch the golden fading light of the day reflect off the pillars here really is magnificent.

I found this Temple fascinating, not least because of the crossover of the Islamic and Christian artwork with the Ancient Egyptian stuff – even Alexandra the Great left his mark here!

The Avenue of Sphinxes, some of which still remain in front of Luxor Temple, used to stretch all the way to Karnak Temple and again give an amazing insight into just how grand and audacious this city was in its heyday.

Entrance to the Luxor Temple costs 100 LE.

Egypt, Luxor, Luxor Temple Christian Artwork



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Extra Time on Your Luxor Itinerary?

Egypt, Edfu Temple, Inscriptions

Consider heading to both Kom Ombo and Edfu Temples, which are south of Luxor, but can be accessed by public transport.

I actually visited both these places by way of my crazy CHEAP Nile Cruise, but if have a day spare in Luxor, heading to these splendid temples would be a great activity to undertake independently.


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Egypt, Luxor, Luxor Temple at Night and Me

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So there you have it, my top Luxor itinerary for those on a budget.

Have you visited this amazing city?

What was your favourite sight there?


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About the Author

About the Author: Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a budget travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie backpacks the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

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There Are 4 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Moheb W. says:

    what a wonderful and informative post! I really liked it especially the details. I visited Luxor last winter and had an amazing time. But to be honest, If you want to enjoy Luxor you have to be prepared for the sun! Even me, an Egyptian, couldn’t tolerate it even at winter!

    • Steph says:

      Ha ha good tip Moheb! I love the sun, so I was alright there, but it’s certainly strong everywhere in Egypt. Good to warn others that they need to be prepared though, you are right!
      Best, Steph 🙂

  2. Alissa says:

    Thanks for this helpful post! It helped me get oriented during my stay in Luxor at the beginning of a bike trip from Luxor to Khartoum in February. I visited the west bank sites by bicycle so it took me a little longer. 🙂 I ended up seeing Valley of the Queens instead of the Temple of Hatshepsut and I kind of wish I’d done it the other way around, since in hindsight Valley of the Kings is the one I remember most. It was all super impressive though. Thanks and take care!

    • Steph says:

      Hi Alissa, this is so great to hear!
      I’m delighted the post helped and you bike trip sound epic! What an adventure!
      Luxor is pretty much the meaning of the world “impressive” I reckon, there’s just so many ancient sites scattered about! I’m glad you got to see some of them. Valley of the Kings is definitely the one I remember most too!
      Hope you are now back home safe.
      Best, Steph 🙂

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