Luxor Life and Visitor Travel Tips

(Luxor, Egypt)

Picture of the Hatshepsut TempleWhen visiting Luxor, be wise to locals who have come to associate tourists as a way of making money. Egyptians are rarely aggressive, but can be rather persuasive at times, particularly the hotel touts and taxi drivers, who will frequently offer to take you to the markets or shops, even if they are only just up the road. A useful phrase to remember when staying in Luxor is 'la sukhran' - a polite way of saying 'no thanks!'

Life in central Luxor is surprisingly high-tech and you will find Internet access available all over the city, particularly in the hotels. Various major Egyptian banks have branches around the city centre and open from Sunday to Thursday, with ATMs usually located outside. Here are some travel tips about life in Luxor.

Useful Contact Details

Luxor Main Tourist Office
Address: Tourist Bazaar, Corniche el-Nil, Luxor, Egypt, EG
Tel: +20 095 237 2215
Open hours: daily - 08:00 to 20:00

Tourist Baazar Post Office
Address: Corniche el-Nil (next to Main Tourist Office), Luxor, Egypt, EG
Open hours: Saturday to Thursday - 08:30 to 14:30

Main Post Office
Address: Sharia al-Mahatta, Luxor, Egypt, EG
Open hours: Saturday to Thursday - 08:30 to 14:30

Further photo of the Hatshepsut Temple

Visa Information

Unless you are a native of Hong Kong, Macau or Guinea, you will need to obtain a visa when entering Egypt and travelling to Luxor. It is possible to obtain visas at either your local consulate, at an Egyptian embassy either in your home country or abroad, or upon arrival at the airport.

It is usually possible for you to extend your visa or alternatively to apply for an actual re-entry visa by visiting the Luxor Passport Office along the Sharia Khaled ibn al-Walid, who will always be happy to help, processing most requests overnight.

Passport Office, Immigration and Visa Extensions
Address: Sharia Khaled ibn al-Walid, Luxor, Egypt, EG
Tel: +20 095 238 0885
Open hours: Saturday to Thursday - 08:00 to 20:00

Language and Dialect

Native Egyptians speak Arabic, a difficult language to both learn and understand. However, your whole vacation experience will be enriched if you make an effort to learn a few common phrases. This always goes down well with locals and may also help when haggling over the price in a shop or at a market stall. Here are a few standard phrases to give you a feel for Egyptian Arabic:

Address: 'sa-lam a-lay-kum'
What is your name?
Address: 'is-ma key?' (to a man) / 'is-mi key?' (to a woman)
My name is...
Address: 'is-mee...'
How much is it?
Address: 'bi-kam?'
Do you have any cheaper rooms?
Address: 'fee ghu-raf ar-khas?'

Drinking Tap Water

Be careful when drinking in Luxor, since the tap water is not safe and can cause severe diarrhoea or vomiting - enough to spoil anyone's holiday. You should only drink tap water in Luxor if it has been completely sterilised. Uncooked fruit and vegetables are also worth avoiding, unless you can be sure that they have not been washed or prepared using tap water. It is always safest to only drink from sealed bottles of water when staying in Luxor, which are available for purchase at various stores around the city.

Tourist Traps and Scams

A naive tourist visiting Luxor is a target for an endless barrage of scams, so be prepared and be ready for some games. As soon as you arrive in Luxor, hotel touts will try to get you to change hotel, so that they can gain a hefty commission, something that you will end up paying for yourself. You may be told that your hotel has been closed down, flooded, is overpriced or simply just not up to scratch. They can be very persuasive, so politely make it clear that you have made your arrangements and are not interested, so that they can find someone else to bother.

Shopkeepers in Luxor will try to trick you into buying things, tell you that if you have touched something, that means that you have to buy it. In some cases, people offer special deals, such as 'two for five pounds' and when they have wrapped up your goods, they ask for five English pounds, rather than the less valuable Egyptian pounds that you thought they meant.

Finally, however reputable your hotel in Luxor may appear, they will be out to get your money, so beware! Avoid booking any day trips or tours with them, unless you want to pay through the nose. Instead, make your own arrangements and save yourself enough money to put towards something else.