Egypt, Luxor, Travel

Egypt part 3-A: Luxor – must have experiences, amazing restaurants, and best souvenir shops – advice from locals

Hey everyone!

If you have any questions about the sites to see in Luxor, please see the bottom of this post.

Since I recently wrote my blog about the sites to see in Luxor I thought that I would cover the top experiences and of course the best food to try while in the Middle East. Like always this is a list complied with research from locals and other travelers that highly recommend everything.

Imagine seeing the Egypt from the air, not in a plane, but in a balloon, or sailing down the Nile River, or scuba diving in the Red Sea. There are so many unique and amazing experiences waiting in Egypt for any type of traveler to try. Shopping, eating, playing, and exploring. Below is a list of the top things to try, eat, or see.

Luxor:

1 – Must have experiences

Egypt-Valley-Kings-balloon-ride

  • Hot air balloon rides down the Nile River over Valley of the Kings

    • Ticket prices
      • Vary from $50- 250 depending on the company and duration
    • 45 minutes long to 3 hours
    • Local advice is to not book online beforehand but haggle on price when you get there since there are plenty of vendors for this experience
    • Beautiful views
      • Karnak Temple
      • Hatshepsut Temple
      • Colossi of Memnon, etc.
    • Once in a lifetime experience

Felucca-sailing-in-Egypt

  • Sail down the Nile on a Felucca

    • Prices
      • Depends on the captain, most will let you negotiate a price before getting aboard
      • Duration is roughly 3 hours but can be negotiated before boarding
      • Locals suggest doing this in Aswan because the views are amazing and there are less things to see there vs Luxor itself

  • Smoking Shisha (Hookah)

    • Authentic experience from the Middle East and a nice relaxing option for smokers (also healthier for you)
    • prices can range from super cheap to expensive, from my research it seems that a lot of restaurants have Shisha listed on their menus for flavors and prices
    • It’s a common cultural experience there so it’s not uncommon for people to smoke while out to dinner.

  • Horse back Riding

    • A company named Ride Egypt (http://www.rideegypt.com/) has many options including holidays, day trips, mini holidays, etc.
    • You can plan rides from just one hour up to 8 days or more with their holiday packages
    • They have multiple locations and cities but for this post I’m only going to talk about the Luxor options
      • One hour 28 Egyptian pounds or $1.50 USD
        • Ride past banana plantations, some villages, and see water buffalo along the Nile
      • Two hours 45 Egyptian pounds or $2.50 USD
        • Ride past sugar cane fields, villages, desert, countryside and Temple of Medinet Habu
          • They recommend around sunrise/sunset to enhance your experience
      • Three hours 55 Egyptian pounds or $3 USD
        • Ride past farms, villages, desert, Nile river, Mount Thebes, and visit the Temple of Medinet Habu
      • Full day (8am -4pm) 95 Egyptian pounds or $5.30 USD
        • Add all of the others combined and then add riding past the temples and  tombs, lunch is provided, and if you wish you can swim your horse in the Nile river.
    • This website has tons of positive reviews about not only the experience but also the animals.
    • Definitely high on my bucket list for my visit to Luxor.
    • Again other options for other cities listed on their website.

2 – Best Restaurants = traditional and local street food   

  • Jewel of the Nile

    • Owners use organic produce from their personal gardens
    • Offer international dishes as long as traditional Egyptian meals
    • Very reasonable prices

  • Gerda’s Garden

    • Very reasonable prices
    • German, European, and Egyptian mix of foods
    • Great atmosphere and friendly service

  • Al-Sahaby Lane

    • Built in the 30’s and the governor named the street after the founding restaurant family
    • It has grown to be the most popular restaurant in the city
    • International, Egyptian, and Bedouin mix of foods
    • Very reasonable prices

  • Oum Hashim

    • Barbecue, Egyptian, and middle eastern mix of foods
    • Very reasonable prices
    • Rumored to be the best street food in Luxor
    • Has tendency to be smokey from the grills but less tourists visit
      • can be beneficial if wanted a more authentic experience

3 – Souvenir Shops

 

  • Luxor Market
    • Haggling is a must to get the best prices on goods
    • Multiple choices for bring home items such as perfumes, pipes, t-shirts, spices, fruits, or statues of ancient Egyptian gods or pharaohs, etc.
    • Near the end of the market you will find more souvenir items targeted towards tourists
    • Throughout the market you will find numerous shops holding authentic items everyday Egyptians buy
  • Non market shops
    • These shops have prices marked and haggling isn’t necessary to get a good price for your goods
    • Along Medina & Television Streets

 

Hopefully putting this post along with my original Luxor things to see post, you will be able to get a comprehensive look at the wonders to be hold and experience during your travels to Egypt. Local traditional food is your best bet to emerge yourself in the culture and really experience the atmosphere. You will be able to come back from your vacation and not only show pictures of the monuments but as be able to tell others about the amazing food you tried while in that part of the world.

The unique thing about going on vacation is getting to experience new things and hopefully take a part of it home with you when you return to your daily life. I hope your travels are great and that you want to explore even more parts of the world as you grow. Travelling is almost like a drug, once you start you can’t want until you get to go somewhere new all over again.

 

As always

Happy Travels Everyone!!

~Julie

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Let me know if there is another other adivce you have heard on your travels about this location.

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