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Visit to the Valley of the Kings

 

THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS IN LUXOR -
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU VISIT

 

Planning your visit to the Valley of the Kings in Luxor?

Here are my travel-tested tips for making the most of your visit to the Valley of the Kings!

Find out which tombs are open.

Read about the best and the most famous tombs to visit.

Learn about how to buy the tickets, save time, avoid lines.

Here is everything you need to know to make your visit efficient and memorable!

Also, if you are planning a trip to Luxor, then make sure to check out my post: Perfect 2-Day Itinerary in Luxor.

 

 

IMPORTANT: When planning my visit to the Valley of the Kings, I struggled with finding any updated and reliable resources on the internet. In addition, I constantly faced changing rules pertaining to photography, opening hours and ticket prices.

Following are my travel-tested tips, and things I wish I knew before going to the Valley of the kings in Luxor.

 

 

 

NUMBER 1

WHAT IS THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS

 

The Valley of the Kings is a valley nestled on the west bank of the River Nile at Luxor.

For a period of nearly 500 years, from the 16th to the 11th century BC, known as the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, the Valley of the Kings was home to the tombs of the Pharaohs.

 

Visit to the Valley of the Kings
The entrance to the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

 

NUMBER 1

 

WHY WERE EGYPTIAN TOMBS FILLED WITH TRESURES? 

 

The Egyptian religion was focused on the belief in immortality and the lifelong preparation for the afterlife.

The construction of the tomb was started almost immediately right after the Pharaoh was chosen. It continued during his entire life.

The tombs were filled with variety of items. For example, when the tomb of Tutankhamen’s was opened in 1922, it was the first tomb to be found almost intact, it contained 5,398 artifacts.

The tomb robbing must have been recognized early on in Ancient Egypt. As a result the burial chambers were located in more isolated places, as well as becoming more elaborate.

Tutankhamun Tomb
The tomb of Tutankhamen

The tombs in the Valley of the Kings were carved out as long shafts. The shafts led deep into the ground and ended in intricate burial chambers.

 

 

The Valley of the Kings contains some 65 magnificent royal tombs.

Nowadays, their contents are gone. However, you can still see the amazing wall and ceiling decorations with religious images and texts from the netherworld books, designed to guide the pharaohs in their journey to the afterlife.

 

 

NUMBER 2

WHERE IS THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS LOCATED

 

The Valley of the Kings is a valley nestled on the west bank of the River Nile at Luxor.

 
 

Credit: Map data @2020 ORION-ME

 

 

NUMBER 3

HOW TO GET TO THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS

 

There are several ways of ways to get to the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

 

 

For example, for me, it was the third day of cruising along the Nile River. 

Actually, I started my day with a sunrise hot air balloon ride over Luxor. The experience was breathtaking and I am strongly recommending it.

However, it requires getting up practically in the middle of the night since it takes time to reach the launching pad. In spite of it, it was all worth it. Don’t miss it! You will be mesmerized by the bird’s-eye view of the Valley of the Kings bathed in the first rays of sun. 

 



INTREPID SCOUT’S TIP:

CHECK IT OUT: Hot Air Balloon Ride Over Luxor

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Right after the sunrise hot air balloon ride, I returned to my cruise boat and my tour guide with a driver was already waiting for me. It took us about 15 minutes to reach the entrance to the Valley of the Kings. 

 

 

HOW TO GET TO THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS 

  • WITH A PRIVATE GUIDE AND DRIVER 

Honestly, having a driver and a tour guide is the best option of visiting the Valley of the Kings. This option gives you the total flexibility. You can decide how many tombs you are going to visit and which ones you might select.

By the way, the guides are not allowed inside the tombs. But, it is not the problem. My guide spent time with me before I entered each tomb. He highlighted the important facts about each of the Pharaohs and pointed what to pay attention to. In addition, he had pictures of the inside areas of the tombs, so it made it easier for me to remember what I should pay close attention to once I entered the tomb.

Now, if you are staying in one of the hotels in Luxor, your hotel will be more than happy to arrange for you a driver and a guide. Needless to say, this is an expensive option, but it is all worth it. 

 

  • ON A TOUR

You can ask your hotel for a bus tours that stops at all major attractions in Luxor. It is probably one of the least expensive options. But, it does not give you much flexibility. 

 

  • BY TAXI

Another option is to just book a taxi and head to the Valley of the Kings. You will always be able to hire a guide right at the entrance to the Valley of the Kings.

 

 

 

Once you get to the entrance to the Valley of the Kings, make sure to catch a tuf-tuf. It is an electric train that circulates between the visitors center and the tombs.

The ride is only 4 EGP.

 

Visit to the Valley of the Kings
Make sure to hop on a tuf-tuf – an electric train that circulates between the visitors center and the tombs.

 

 

NUMBER 4

WHAT TOMBS ARE OPEN IN THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS 

 

There are around 65 tombs that have been excavated so far. Although, all the artifacts were looted long time ago, you will be still amazed by the beautifully decorated walls and ceilings. 

Now, the question is what tombs you should see in the Valley of the Kings?

Well, even though 65 tombs have been excavated, only 11 or so are open to the public. In addition, it might be even less than that in order to lessen the effects of tourism. As I mentioned before, the list is constantly changing.

However, here is an updated and confirmed (by my tour guide) list of 10 open tombs:

  1. Ramses VII – Tomb KV1

  2. Ramses IV – Tomb KV2

  3. Ramses IX – Tomb KV6

  4. Ramses V and Ramses VI – Tomb KV 9

  5. Merenptah – Tomb KV8

  6. Ramses III – Tomb KV11

  7. Tausert-Setnakht – Tomb KV14

  8. Seti II – Tomb KV15

  9. Seti I – Tomb KV17

  10. Siptah – KV47

  11. Tutankhamen – KV62

 

 

NUMBER 5

WHERE ARE THE OPEN TOMBS LOCATED

 

The Valley of the Kings is divided into two main branches: the more famous East Valley and the West Valley.

To the south, towering over the valley, is a peak shaped like a pyramid, known as el-Qurn (the horn).

Here is a map of the Valley of the Kings: the tombs that are open, I circled in red to help you with planning your visit to each tomb.

 

MAP OF THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS

 

Map of the Valley of the Kings

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

 

By the way, all the tombs are within an easy walk-able distance from each other.

The area is well signed. You will have no problem locating the tombs.

Just hold on to the map and follow the signs!

 

Visit to the Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings is well signed and the signage is easy to follow.

 

Now, if you do not have guide with you, then make sure to read the signs located at the entrance to each tomb.

Each sign has a lot of useful information about when the tomb was built, when it was discovered, why it is significant, and especially, what to look for as far as the decorations inside the tomb.

 

Visit to the Valley of the Kings
Each tomb in the Valley of the Kings is clearly marked with some useful information.

 

 

It does get better! I want to encourage you to walk around, soak it all in, capture some great photos and explore the area. Don’t just focus on going from tomb to tomb, wonder around. Check out the entire area. 

 

Visit to the Valley of the Kings
Exploring The Valley of the Kings in Luxor

 

 

NUMBER 6

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO VISIT THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS

 

How long does it take to visit the Valley of the Kings? Of course, it all depends how many and what tombs you are planning to explore.

On average, it takes 1-2 hours to see one tomb. If you decide to stick to the three tombs included in the general admission ticket and quickly snap a few pictures, then roughly it would take you about 3 hours and you will be done.

Also, factor in the crowds that arrive as a part of a large tours and swarm the area. Usually, long times form outside the tombs and it gets packed, hot and humid inside.

So, take your time. There is a lot of excavation going on in the area. It is interesting to just stop by and observe the process. There is a lot of research going on inside the tombs that is just simply exhilarating.

 

Visit to the Valley of the Kings
The excavations happening in Valley of the Kings

Visit to the Valley of the Kings
Research and exploration happening inside the tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

 

 

NUMBER 7

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO VISIT THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS 

 

First of all, the general ticket costs 240 EGP. It covers the entrance to three of the following tombs:

  1. Ramses VII – Tomb KV1
  2. Ramses IV – Tomb KV2
  3. Ramses IX – Tomb KV6
  4. Merenptah – Tomb KV8
  5. Ramses III – Tomb KV11
  6. Tausert-Setnakht – Tomb KV14
  7. Seti II – Tomb KV15
  8. Siptah – KV47

Second, you can purchase extra tickets. Here is the list of the tombs that you need an extra ticket to enter and prices: 

  1. Ramses V and Ramses VI – Tomb KV 9 – 100 EGP
  2. Seti I – Tomb KV17 – 1,000 EGP
  3. Tutankhamen – KV62 – 300 EGP

 

 

Now, what ticket should you buy to see the tombs in the Valley of the Kings? 

It all depends how much time you have devoted to exploring the Valley of the Kings.

The majority of the tourists buy the general ticket and tour three tombs

 

 

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The Valley of the Kings in Luxor - Top Tips for Visiting 

The Valley of the Kings in Luxor - Top Tips for Visiting 

 

 

NUMBER 8

WHICH TOMBS SHOULD YOU VISIT IN THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS

 

 

Out of the 11 tombs that are open to the public, I visited 9.

I purchased 2 general entry tickets, which gave me access to 6 tombs.

I relied on my tour guide recommendations, and ended up visiting following tombs:

  1. Ramses VII – Tomb KV1
  2. Ramses IV – Tomb KV2
  3. Ramses IX – Tomb KV6
  4. Merenptah – Tomb KV8
  5. Ramses III – Tomb KV11
  6. Tausert-Setnakht – Tomb KV14
  7. Seti II – Tomb KV15
  8. Siptah – KV47

In addition, I purchased 3 extra tickets, which gave me an access to:

  1. Ramses V and Ramses VI – Tomb KV 9
  2. Seti I – Tomb KV17
  3. Tutankhamen – KV62

 

Find out which ones where my absolute favorites!! Check out the pictures! Read my post: 7 Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings 

 



INTREPID SCOUT’S TIP: 

READ: 7 Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings 

CLICK HERE



 

 

NUMBER 9

CAN YOU TAKE PICTURES INSIDE THE TOMBS IN THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS 

 

During my visit to the Valley of the Kings, photography was allowed inside all 9 tombs that I visited. However, it only applied to cellphones.

 

 

If you want to bring your camera along, then you will have to purchase a photo pass. The photo pass costs 300 EGP and covers one device. It can be used in all the tombs except for the tomb of Seti I and Tutankhamen. 

As I mentioned earlier, the rules are constantly changing, so be prepared for any kind of opportunity. Make sure to have your cell phone, and pack your camera as well.

 

 

NUMBER 10

WHAT IS THE MOST FAMOUS TOMB IN THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS 

 

Hands down, the most famous tomb in the Valley of the kings is the tomb of Tutankhamun (King Tut) – KV62.

However, in my opinion, it is not the most glamorous tomb. Nonetheless, it is definitely the most visited tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

 

NUMBER 10

 

HOW WAS KING TUT’S TOMB DISCOVERED?

 

King Tut’s tomb remained undiscovered for centuries. It was mostly due to the fact that there are basically no records mentioning King Tut after his death.

In addition, the entrance to his tomb was covered by layers of debris mostly from tombs constructed after King Tut’s burial.

On November 4, 1922, British Egyptologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tut in the Valley of the Kings. It took Carter eight years to remove and catalog everything contained within the tomb.

 

 
If you decide to explore King Tut’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings, keep in mind that the treasures found in King Tut’s tomb were transported to the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo.

Nowadays, you will be able to see beautifully decorated walls and ceilings depicting King Tut’s life and death. Moreover, you can view an exquisite quartzite sarcophagus.
 

Visit to the Valley of the Kings

 

And, you will be able to see King Tut’s mummified body.

 

Visit to the Valley of the Kings
King Tut’s mummified body in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

 

 

NUMBER 11

WHAT IS THE BEST TOMB TO VISIT IN THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS 

 

The tomb of King Seti I – KV17 is unquestionably the most spectacular of all the tombs found in the Valley of the Kings.

First of all, it is the longest tomb in the Valley of the Kings at 450 feet. Next, it is the deepest of all the tombs at more than 200 feet.

Moreover, it is composed of 11 chambers.

But, above all, each wall of every chamber and passage is beautifully decorated with exquisite reliefs.

 

Visit to the Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings – Tomb of King Seti I

 

The reliefs feature extremely detailed figures and they will remind you of the style of the Old Kingdom.

 

Visit to the Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings – Tomb of King Seti I

 

 

NUMBER 12

WHAT ARE THE OPENING HOURS OF THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS

 

The Valley of the Kings is open daily from 6 am till 4 pm (winter) and 5 pm (summer).

 

 

NUMBER 13

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS 

 

First of all, without any doubt, plan your visit to the Valley of the Kings as early in the day as possible.

If you manage to get to the Valley of the Kings by at least 8 am, you will be in good shape. You will practically have the place all to yourself and be able to get some great pictures of the tombs without any tourists in them.

It starts to get very crowded by about 10 am.

 

Visit to the Valley of the Kings
Make sure to get to the Valley of the Kings by at least 8 am to avoid large crowds.

 

 

Next, once you get to the Valley of the Kings, start with the tombs that are included in the general ticket. These tombs are the most popular and get jammed packed.

Finally, save the visit to the tombs with an extra ticket for last. Because of the extra cost, these tombs do not get as many visitors. 

 

 

 

INTREPID SCOUT’S POINTERS FOR VISITING THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS IN LUXOR 

 

That is quite a list of tips for visiting the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, right? 

No problem! Here are my absolute 3 things that you should know before visiting the Valley of the Kings:

  • Keep it simple and buy a general ticket and visit 3 tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Read my post and decide which 3 tombs in the Valley of the Kings you should visit. 
  • Arrive early to avoid crowds. It gets very crowded and congested inside the narrow passages inside the tombs. Keep in mind that there is practically no ventilation and it gets humid and hot. 
  • If you can splurge, then, hands down, visit the tomb of King Seti I – KV17. It is simply breathtaking!
  • Finally, if you are looking for more ideas then check out some of my posts about Luxor:

 

5 Best Day Trips from Luxor You Do Not Want to Miss (with Maps and Photos)

18 Unmissable Things to See and Do in Luxor (for Every Budget!)

Luxor Temple – 11 Unmissable Things to See



INTREPID SCOUT’S TIP:

READ: 7 Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings (with Maps and Photos)

CLICK HERE



 

 

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The Valley of the Kings in Luxor - Top Tips for Visiting 

Valley of the Kings - What You Need to Know Before You Visit

 

 

 

Now, I would like to hear back from you!

Are you planning your trip to Egypt? Is the Valley of the Kings in your Egypt itinerary?

Please let me know! Drop me a quick comment right below!

Also, click on any of the images below to get inspired and to help you with the planning process with your trip to Egypt!

Above all, check out my latest post about the amazing Luxor Temple, which you cannot miss if you are planning to be in Luxor!

 



INTREPID SCOUT’S TIP: 

READ: The Luxor Temple – 11 Unmissable Things to See and Top Tips for Visiting 

CLICK HERE



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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