Luxor, Egypt - Stein Travel
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Luxor

Part of the ancient city of Thebes that was the ruling seat of power for 1,350 years, Luxor is a major holiday destination, particularly for those interested in ancient Egypt, and the area boasts an exceptionally rich legacy of temples, tombs and monuments. Around these relics of ancient Egypt's celebrated history are signs of the prosperous industry of the modern day - tourism.

Luxor town is crowded with souvenir shops, hotels and restaurants, while the Nile River carries feluccas and luxury hotel ships. The streets are filled with the cries of shop owners, horse-drawn carriages (caleches), taxi drivers and tour guides, all offering their services to the newly arrived holiday people, whether wealthy tourist or economizing backpacker. The action on the Luxor streets is almost as captivating as the temples the tourists have come to see.

Whereas the impressive structures of the Temples of Luxor and of Karnak are within the town itself, the biggest attractions lie on the west bank across the Nile, where the funerary complexes of the Tombs of the Nobles, the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens relate the fascinating story of the ultimate resting places of ancient royalty.

Information & Facts

Language

Arabic is the official language although English and French are widely spoken, especially in the tourist areas.

Money

The unit of currency is the Egyptian Pound (EGP), which is divided into 100 piastres. Most credit cards are accepted in major hotels and restaurants. Visitors are advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars or Pounds to avoid additional exchange rate charges. Banks are usually closed on Friday and Saturday, but private exchange bureaux, called 'Forex', are open daily and banks in major hotels are open 24 hours. Cairo branches of the Egyptian British Bank and Banque Misr now have ATMs available that accept Visa, MasterCard and Cirrus and are quite common in the main tourist areas.

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