The compact town lends itself to cycling, and distances on the generally flat west bank are just far enough to provide some exercise but not to be exhausting (except when the weather is too hot). Cycling at night is not recommended given the local habit of driving without headlights.
Many hotels rent out bikes. Prices vary, as does the quality of bikes. You might find one for LE25 a day, or LE10 an hour. Be sure to check roadworthiness – there’s nothing worse than getting stuck with a broken chain halfway to the Valley of the Kings.
You can take bikes across to the west bank on the baladi (local) ferry, or pick one up for LE25 a day from the excellent Mohamed Setouhy on the west bank.
Donkeys & Camels
Donkeys and camels with guides can sometimes be rented at the ferry landing, but it’s safer to rent them from a recognised stable such as Nobi’s Arabian Horse Stables.
There is a fleet of feluccas to take you on short trips around Luxor, leaving from various points all along the river. How much you pay depends on your bargaining skills, but expect about LE50 to LE80 for an hour of sailing.
Most tourists on organised tours cross to the west bank by bus or taxi via the bridge, about 8km south of town. But the river remains the quickest way to go. The baladi ferry costs LE2 for foreigners and runs between the dock in front of Luxor Temple and the dock fronting Gezira village on the west bank. Small motor launches (locally called 'lunches') also leave from wherever they can find customers and will take you across for LE20.
Known as calèche or hantour, horse-drawn carriages cost from LE20 to LE100 per hour depending on your haggling skills and the desperation of the driver. Expect to pay about LE30 to get to Karnak from downtown.
Microbuses are often the quickest and easiest way to get about in Luxor. They ply fixed routes and will stop whenever flagged down. Just shout your destination to the driver and if he's going that way he'll stop and pick you up. To get to the Karnak temples, take a microbus from the main microbus station directly behind Luxor Train Station, or from behind Luxor Temple, for LE1. Other routes run inside the town.
The west bank's kabouts (pickup trucks) have nearly all now been replaced with microbuses, which operate until around 10pm (LE1 per ride). They run back and forth between the villages so you can always flag one down on your way to one of the sites, although you will have to walk from the main road to the entrance which, in the case of the Valley of the Kings or Queens, is quite far. The microbus lot is close to the ferry landing. All microbuses heading to Gurna can drop you at the main ticket office. Most drivers are also more than happy for you to hire the entire vehicle – private hire might costs LE20 to LE30 between the ferry terminal in Gizera and the ticket office.
There are plenty of taxis in Luxor, but passengers still have to bargain hard for trips. A short trip around town is likely to cost at least LE20. Taxis can also be hired for day trips around the west bank; expect to pay LE200 to LE300, depending on the length of the excursion and your bargaining skills. The West Bank Taxis stand is just inland from the public ferry landing.