Often called the largest religious complex on earth, Karnak Temple is one of Luxor’s essential ancient sites. Since Karnak is on the same side of the Nile River as Luxor Temple—another key landmark in Luxor—many tours combine both destinations into a single trip. Within Karnak Temple, visit key areas such as the enormous Hypostyle Hall, the Sacred Lake, the Temple of Khonsu, and Ramesses III Chapel. Each area is rich with art and symbolism, so it’s worth exploring with a guide to understand the significance of what you’re seeing.
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Things to Know Before You Go
A must-visit for history buffs and travelers interested in ancient Egyptian architecture.
Much of the site is in full sun, so bring a wide-brimmed hat and other sun protection.
Karnak Temple is wheelchair- and stroller-accessible, though some paths and surfaces are bumpy.
How to Get There
The entrance to Karnak Temple is located on Mabad Al Karnak on the East Bank of the Nile River in downtown Luxor. If you’re visiting on a tour, transportation typically will be included. There are also taxis available on site—just be sure to negotiate a price before setting out.
When to Get There
Visiting in the afternoon can mean powerful sun and heat, so morning trips are ideal for the most comfortable conditions. If you’re planning to visit Karnak Temple during the day and for the after-dark Luxor Sound and Light Show, you’ll need two separate tickets; the temple closes between regular hours and the evening show.
The Luxor Sound and Light Show at Karnak Temple
Colored lights and voice-overs add extra drama to Karnak Temple, which hosts the popular Luxor Sound and Light Show. The after-dark show is split into two parts. First, visitors walk through the soaring columns of Hypostyle Hall, which are even more spectacular with mood lighting. From there, the show continues to Sacred Lake, where seating is provided for a 30-minute light show with storytelling; this portion is especially popular for travelers with children.
- Luxor Museum
- Mummification Museum
- Avenue of Sphinxes
- Luxor Temple
- Luxor Cruise Port
- Colossi of Memnon
- Ramesseum (Mortuary Temple of Ramses II)
- Temple of Hatshepsut (at Deir el-Bahari)
- Medinet Habu (Temple of Ramses III)
- Deir el-Medina (Valley of the Artisans)
- Valley of the Nobles (Tombs of the Nobles)
- Tomb of Ramses III
- Tomb of Ramses VI
- Valley of the Kings
- Tomb of Tutankhamun