If you’re planning a trip to Egypt, the odds are you’re considering a trip to Luxor. The question is, how much does it cost to go to Luxor? Overall, the costs are about the same as the rest of Egypt, but the experience can be completely different.
I’ll just come out and say it. I enjoyed Luxor way more than I did Cairo. There are fewer people, the locals are less pushy, and the historical sites are within walking distance of a Pizza Hut or KFC. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to suggest three nights in Luxor. You could do it in two days if you packed your days, but why rush things?
Luxor trip cost
|Food and drink
The above estimate is in American Dollars, so please use XE.com to find out the average costs in your home country. For reference, the local currency is the Egyptian Pound. You’ll obviously want to use the local currency as much as you can, but I find the US dollars are also accepted in many places but at a less favourable exchange rate.
If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Express Platinum Card gives you a generous welcome bonus that’s often worth more than $900 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees, and it comes with airport lounge access.
In most cases, people visit Luxor when they’re doing a bigger trip in Egypt. I’m going to assume you’re departing from Cairo which is what my estimate is based on. Generally speaking, the three most common ways to get to Luxor and the cost are as follows:
- Flights – $200
- Day train (first class) – $25
- Day train (second class) – $14
- Overnight train (Sleeper) – $200
- Felucca – varies
The above estimates are for a round-trip ticket. I personally think getting a flight is the best use of your time since you’re in the air for only about an hour. The train ride takes 9 hours regardless if you go during the day or overnight. Choosing a felucca can be fun and you get bragging rights.
Some people will choose to train or take a felucca on the way down to Luxor for the experience and then fly back. It’s really a personal preference, but I value my time.
If by chance you’re flying to Luxor from say Europe or the Middle East for a long weekend, a return flight will probably cost you in the $300-450 range.
Hotels in Luxor are cheap, even the luxury ones. On average, I’m estimating $75 a night, but even that might be considered really high. Honestly, it wouldn’t be too hard to find a hotel for $50 – $60 a night. That said, with prices so low, I like to get something more luxurious so I can enjoy myself.
Generally speaking, the nicer hotels are found on the east side of the Nile. Prices are a bit higher if your hotel is on or can see the Nile. If you go inland a bit, prices drop. If you stay on the west side of the Nile, hotels there typically cost less. If you need a hotel recommendation, check out one of the following:
If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. Americans should strongly consider the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card since you can earn up to 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy points and $300 back at U.S. restaurants as a welcome bonus.
Canadians should consider the Marriott Bonvoy American Express, which gives you up to 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. That’s enough points for a few free nights at some hotels, which could easily have a value of over $500.
There’s no real public transportation in Luxor for tourists, but the good news is that taxis are cheap. It shouldn’t cost you more than 100 Egyptian pounds for a taxi from the airport to a hotel on the east side of the Nile. That’s about US $6.50 and can be arranged via your hotel.
Overall, you can budget $30 for public transportation, but note that most of your transportation costs are covered with your day trips. Most of the hotels are no further than a 25-minute walk to the souq / Luxor Temple so you might spend even less.
It’s well-advised for you to join a tour or get a private guide for all of your excursions in Luxor. For some sites, e.g. the Valley of the Kings and Queens, it’s a requirement, but you also get everything included such as your English-speaking guide and transportation. The guides are highly knowledgeable so it’s often well worth the money. You’ll want to budget roughly $250 for excursions which would include:
- Luxor and Karnak Temples
- Valley of Kings & Queens / West Bank Temples
- Sunset felucca ride
- Hot air balloon ride
Note that many of these tours start early in the morning as the heat is quite intense by mid-afternoon. Some of these trips will also take you to alabaster and papyrus shops which are basically tourist traps. Take a look if you want, but most of the items are highly overpriced.
Food and drink
Food and drink are reasonably priced in Luxor. Restaurants at hotels charge more than what you get in town, but the quality tends to be a bit better. Breakfast is almost always included at your hotel, so you only need to factor in the cost of lunch, dinner, and drinking water which will cost you roughly the following each day:
- Lunch – $10
- Dinner – $18
- Water – $2
That works out to $30 a day. You could spend less if you wanted, but there’s no reason to. Even if you ate at nicer restaurants every day, it wouldn’t cost you that much more.
$100 may seem like a lot to budget for random spending, but it’s more of an estimate. Some people love shopping at the souq and will easily spend that amount. You could buy souvenirs, jewelry, or anything else you want.
Having that extra money is also handy for tipping. Those people offering to take your picture at the temples expect a tip. If your hotel doorman hails you a cab, they’ll want a tip. If you pay for a camel ride, the owner will want a tip. Everyone wants a tip. There’s nothing wrong with this, it’s just the culture.
You’ll also want to have some extra money set aside in case you decide to book some extra excursions or if you want to eat at nicer restaurants.
So how much does it cost to go to Luxor? Assuming you’re already in Egypt, a 3-night trip should run you about US $895. That may sound like a lot, but it’s really not. Luxor is truly an amazing city and has some of the most ancient ruins in the world. Need some more inspiration? Check out my guides on Budapest, Barbados, Kyoto, and Jordan.