Dangers & Annoyances

  • Business has been so slow recently that Luxor's once notorious hasslers seem to have lost heart, though you will still be offered feluccas and motorboats on the corniche and a range of tat as you walk through the souq and the entrance to the Valley of the Kings.
  • Some calèche (horse-drawn carriage) drivers can be persistent, pushed by the need to feed their horses, many quite malnourished.
  • You may also be propositioned or offered sex – offers you should ignore. All this hassle is a sign of the desperate financial situation that Egypt, and particularly Luxor, is in.

Emergency & Important Numbers

Ambulance123
Police122
Luxor Medical Center095-228-4092
Tourist Police095-237-6820

Entry & Exit Formalities

If you need to extend your visa, the Passport Office is on the east bank, opposite the Sonesta St George Hotel. You will need two passport photos and two photocopies of the photo page and visa page from your passport. It is best to go first thing in the morning and be prepared to wait, although they sometimes turn things around quickly.

LGBT Travellers

As elsewhere in Egypt, gay and lesbian travellers should be discreet in their behaviour and avoid any public displays.

Internet Access

There's good 3G coverage throughout Luxor and free wi-fi in many cafes, restaurants and hotels.

Money

Most major Egyptian banks have branches in Luxor, and there is no shortage of ATMs on the east bank. There are now a couple of ATMs on the west bank, but it is best not to count on them working.

American Express Currency exchange beside the entrance to the Winter Palace Hotel.

Travel Choice Egypt Currency exchange below the entrance to the Winter Palace Hotel.

Opening Hours

Tombs and temples 6am–4pm

Cafes 10am–midnight

Shops 10am–10pm

Tourist Information

Main Tourist Office Very helpful and well-informed tourist information opposite the train station. The office can also book hotels and tours, and sell tickets for the sound and light show in Karnak. There are branches of the tourist office in the train station and the airport too, although with the lack of visitors they may not be functioning.

Accessible Travel

A growing number of destinations are offering facilities for travellers with disabilities. This includes wheelchair access to some hotels, restaurants and sites, including Karnak Temple and certain tombs in the Valley of the Kings. For more information see http://luxor-news.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Disabled.

Travel with Children

As in many places in Egypt, there is no shortage of attractions to hold the interest of kids, from sailing boats and swimming pools to camels and mummies. If you need to buy specific items (nappies, creams etc), you are more likely to find them on the east bank.

Volunteering

Those distressed by the state of the horses in Luxor streets may like to visit ACE. It’s a veterinary hospital and animal welfare centre seeing up to 200 animals a day. Treatment for the working animals of Egyptians, particularly donkeys and horses, is free. Volunteers are welcome.