Staying on the West Bank of Luxor

pyramidsLuxor is one of the major destinations of Egypt because of the concentration of archeological sites that can be visited in the area. There are the temples of Luxor and Karnak inside the city itself but there are also dozens of temples and tombs on the other side of the Nile – on the West Bank, as it is called.

For anyone primarily interested in the remains of the Pharaonic civilization, it makes a lot of sense to stay on the West Bank. If you are traveling independently and are not part of a tour, this is the place to go. It does not offer as many conveniences as being in the city (the West Bank is comprised of a few villages in the countryside) but that also means less hassle, a quieter time and some interesting budget travel options. It is easy to get to any of the temples and tombs by either getting a taxi, a shared van, renting a bicycle or walking – often, using a combination of these methods works well.

As far as accommodations are concerned, there are a few nice hotels in the area close to the general ticket office, including the famous Marsam hotel (also known as Sheikh Ali hotel). It is an heritage building and was the first hotel built in the area in the 1920s for Egyptologists. It is still popular with Egyptologists today so book ahead if you want to stay there during the winter months.

Along with the few hotels is a small selection of restaurants. Perhaps most interesting of all is Memnon restaurant which sits directly across the Colossi of Memnon, the colossal statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III on the main road going through the area. The cuisine there is homemade and very tasty. Equally important, there is no hassle at all and the familial staff is kind and fun to hang out with. As for buying food at the market, there are some shops in the area next to the Nile but hardly any options at all the further away you get from the water (expect in New Qurna).

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