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Luxor Information, Cheap deals to Luxor

Information on Luxor

If you like history then Luxor is definitely the place for you. With its monuments, such as the Tomb of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, Karnak Temple, The Luxor Temple and the workers village at Deir El-Medina, Luxor can easily be described as  the world's greatest open air museum. It has been estimated that Luxor contains about a third of the most valuable monuments and antiquities in the whole world, which makes it one of this planet’s most important tourism sites. This peaceful yet amazing town of Luxor can facinate you for weeks on end.

General Luxor Holiday Tips

Visas: All Britsh passport holders need a visa for Luxor and can get this on arrival in Luxor airport. There will be several desks open and you just pay them approx £15 british pounds for your passport to be stamped. You also have to fill in an entry form for Egypt (these will be handed out during the flight on your trip) so best to have a pen handy, otherwise you may be looking for one at Luxor airport for a long time. At the airport when you leave you have to fill in another simple form as well - mostly all these forms require are names and addresses plus passport numbers.
Currency: The Egyptian Pound is indicated as LE - the exchange rate in 2011 was around 9 Egyptian Pounds to one English Pound. In Luxor, money exchange facilities are available at most hotels and all banks. The shops do accept British pounds, Euros and US dollars, but their exchange rate will be lower than the banks. It is very useful to have a good supply of one American dollar notes, since tipping is expected especially around the various archaeological sites and tipping with one US dollars is far cheaper than giving them £5.00 - but don't have them all together since if the recipient sees a bundle of notes they will be pestering to have them all.

Transport: Luxor has many taxis so there will be no problem stopping one plus the drivers will often slow down and ask you if you want to go anywhere. It is very important that you agree the fare before getting in the taxi and make sure you clarify to the driver that the fare given to you is in Egyptian pounds and for all the passengers traveling in the taxi. In Luxor a taxi fare to anywhere should cos you no more than 20LE (i.e. £2.00). On the West Bank you can get a taxi out to the Valley of the Queens or Tomb of the Kings from around 20-30LE.
There is also a local bus service or arabaya as they are called- these are in fact like transit vans and everyone just packs into the back on wooden seats or even hang off the back. They are mostly used by the locals to get around and will stop anytime for you - cost usually just 2 or 3 LE.

Crossing the Nile is simple - there is a Tourist Ferry operating but try using the Local's Ferry - the price should be 4LE return for 2 people - this Local Ferry runs 24 hours a day and they cross about every 10 minutes or so. If you walk down to the Local Ferry you will often be approached by owners of small boats suggesting they will take you across cheaper than the Local's Ferry - approx 10LE so hardly cheaper, but they are worth trying out just for the different experience. Almost certainly if you use them they will also offer you a taxi ride up to the tombs or anywhere else you want to go - but be certain to agree the price.

Finally in Luxor you can go on the horse drawn carriages or caleches - these take you around for usually about 5LE but sometimes will offer a 30 minute ride for even less if things are quiet. They drive amongst the traffic with the taxies and coaches etc. If you are walking along the paved area alongside the Nile, You may find that the drivers will often pester you to hire them. Do not feel pressured or intimidated as this is the way of life for the Egyptians and a firm NO will eventually do the trick.
Tips, Force Sales and Baksheesh: In Egypt, as in many other Non-European countries, you will find that people ask you for tips (or baksheesh) In Luxor you will find that people may approach you begging for money, trying to get you to change money, selling various trinkets etc. - it can be annoying when all you want to do is have a quiet wander around. Walk into any of the Bazaars and forget having a browse in the shop windows - show the slightest interest in anything and the shop owners are onto you like flies and will follow you along for a while trying to get you to go into their shops.
At Karnak Temple we were asked several times by the Tourist Police for baksheesh - unbelievable. Actually the whole thing starts and ends at Luxor airport - when you arrive someone will try and take your case to put it onto the transit coach - this is often only a few yards but they will want or try to get 20LE or so from you. At Luxor airport when we got to the check-in desk to leave the guy who puts the labels onto the cases insisted on being payed to simply lift them onto the conveyer belt - most of us simply refused of course.
Food: You can eat in any of the hotels - most of them have various themed restaurants i.e. Egyptian, Thai, Italian or Indian etc. - we used three independent restaurants namely the Eclipse (steaks and chicken and also has a bar), Snobs (great steaks and chicken plus the presentation was excellent) and the Lantern (English type food like pies but also steaks etc.) - with Snobs perhaps our favourite. You get a nice big plateful and I especially liked the steaks which were big and cooked beautifully. A starter, main course and sweet plus a cup of coffee for two people was typically costing around 180LE. The wine we found to be not that good and it was very expensive. These restaurants are located towards the Sheraton Hotel end of Luxor but the taxi drivers know them by name so all you have to do is grab a cab and pay your 10LE to find them if you don't fancy walking.