With this list of the most important temples in Egypt, we want to help you get to know one of the great attractions of the land of the pharaohs, a civilization that has left a great mark on human history.
These temples, which stand out for being imposing constructions, built on the banks of the Nile, were used for the worship of the gods and still, to this day, preserve treasures including incredible interior chambers, large statues of pharaohs and gods, as well as walls and columns full of hieroglyphs, which have been the most important source of information about this interesting period.
To fully enjoy the trip and the visit to the temples, we recommend avoiding the summer months, when temperatures exceed 40 degrees and the visits can be quite difficult. Despite that, if you only have available these days, it is best to visit during the first hours of the day, when the heat is not yet pressing, and thus be able to enjoy the experience to the fullest.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the price of admission to most Egyptian temples is around 100 (7 dollars) and 150 Egyptian pounds (10 dollars) and these are already included if you book an organized tour or a cruise and also all have great security since we cannot forget that they are one of the great tourist attractions of Egypt.
Based on the experience of our trip, from which we wrote this article on tips for traveling to Egypt and this guide to Egypt, we have made a list of what we think are the 10 best temples in Egypt. We started!
How to Visit the Best Temples in Egypt?
To get to Luxor you have direct flights from Cair. The best way to visit all these temples is by taking the essential Nile cruise that goes from Luxor to Aswan, or vice versa, in about 4 or 5 days, and which includes an expert guide (Egyptologist) who will help you get to know the city better. history of each one and not miss any important detail. Keep in mind that most, except Abu Simbel, are on the banks or near the Nile, so the cruise is an ideal means of transport to get to know them.
Top 10 Most Important Temples in Egypt: Schedules and Tips
1# Temple of Luxor
One of the most beautiful and best-preserved temples in Egypt is that of Luxor, located in ancient Thebes, the capital of the country during the peak of splendor, which was built by the pharaohs Amenhotep III and Ramses II more than 3,500 years ago.
Located in the same city of Luxor, on the banks of the Nile, this temple dedicated to Amun (god of creation of the ancient Egyptians), is characterized by maintaining its original structure with courtyards surrounded by large columns and statues of pharaohs, in addition to two obelisks flanking the access, one of which is located in the center of the Place de la Concorde in Paris.
If you spend the night in the city, we advise you to come closer to sunset to see it illuminated and visit its interior with very few tourists, which is very appreciated especially in high season.
Visiting hours: every day from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm.
2# Karnak Temple
In the times of the pharaohs, the Temple of Luxor was connected to the Temple of Karnak, one of the most important and largest temples in Egypt, by an avenue of just over 3 kilometers that was flanked by more than 600 sphinxes.
Located on the banks of the Nile, this enclosure was embellished for more than two millennia by different pharaohs until it became the main cult center dedicated to Amun. After seeing the different rooms, courtyards, obelisks, statues, and even a great sacred lake, it is worth entering the incredible Great Hypostyle Hall, to contemplate the 134 23-meter-high columns decorated with magnificent hieroglyphs.
Keep in mind that this complex is one of the most important stops on any tour organized by Egypt and if you go on your own you can get there by taking a taxi from the center or book a tour with a guide that includes the temple of Luxor and thus know its history in a more enjoyable way.
Another good option to learn a little about its history is to come at night, to enjoy the great light and sound show that takes place on the walls of the temple.
Visiting hours: every day from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.
3# Temple of Hatshepsut
The next temple in Egypt that is customary to visit on a cruise is the Temple of Hatshepsut, located in the Deir el-Bahari valley, near the famous Valley of the Kings.
After being speechless looking inside the tombs of pharaohs like Tutankhamun, you will head by bus or car to the Temple of Hatshepsut, dedicated to the only woman who reigned Egypt for more than 20 years.
This temple is characterized by a totally different architecture from the rest of Egyptian temples, as one part is built directly on the rock and another on the outside, forming three terraces connected by a ramp.
Although the vast majority of images of the pharaoh were destroyed by her stepson Tuthmosis III, out of revenge for having taken her reign and subsequent looting, statues and beautiful colored reliefs that represent Hatshepsut with the god Amun-Ra are still preserved.
Visiting hours: every day from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm.
4# Temple of Edfu, one of the most important temples in Egypt
Following the cruise of the Nile, you will arrive at the Temple of Edfu, dedicated to the falcon god Horus, it is another of the best-preserved temples in Egypt, having remained buried for centuries under the desert sand.
Built between 237 and 57 BC, during the Hellenistic period, by order of Ptolemy III, this temple contains all the typical parts of Egyptian temples such as the courtyard, the hypostyle rooms, the pylon, the offering chamber, the room central, and the sanctuary, where you can see a copy of a ceremonial boat (the original is in the Louvre Museum).
Although there are hundreds of important details, one of its most interesting points is the numerous inscriptions that provide information about the construction of the temple and other important aspects of day-to-day life in Ancient Egypt.
On a negative note during the visit, you will see carved reliefs on the ceilings of the second Hypostyle Hall, seriously damaged, as a result of the burning of images by Christians, who considered them pagan at the time.
Visiting hours: every day from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.
5# Temple of Kom Ombo
40 kilometers north of Aswan, on a bend in the Nile, is the curious Temple of Kom Ombo that surprises for having a double design that allows honoring the gods Sobek and Haroeris (Horus the Elder), almost at the same time.
When you reach the facade of the temple, you will see two independent entrances, the north corresponds to Haroeris and the south to Sobek, which lead to completely symmetrical rooms, courtyards, chapels, and sanctuaries, although there are also spaces shared by both.
Among his most interesting images are those of Sobek, god of the waters and creator of the Nile River, represented by a man with the head of a crocodile, those of Horus and especially several surgical instruments, located on a back wall of the temple and not they differ greatly from those found in current operating rooms.
Upon departure and included in the entrance fee of 100 Egyptian pounds (7 dollars), you have access to the Crocodile Museum, where you can see several mummies of this revered animal.
To get to this temple, if you go on your own, you can take a train from Luxor to Aswan, stopping at Kom Ombo, although a more comfortable and interesting option, having a guide, is to book a tour that includes the Temple. of Edfu.
Visiting hours: every day from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
6# Temple of Philae
Cruises usually end in Aswan with a visit to the Temple of Philae, located 10 kilometers from the city and another of the best temples in Egypt.
After being submerged by the waters of the Aswan Dam, this temple was moved, stone by stone, and thanks to the patronage of UNESCO, to the nearby islet of Agilkia, preserving all its original structure.
Once you arrive by boat to the island, in addition to visiting this temple dedicated to the goddess Isis, the female goddess of love, magic, and motherhood, and in which some of the latest hieroglyphs are preserved, you can approach other interesting constructions such as the pylons that give entrance to the complex, the Temple of Hathor, Hadrian’s Gate and Trajan’s Kiosk.
If you go on your own from Aswan, you will have to take a taxi and then a boat that will take you to the island in 10 minutes, or book an interesting guided excursion in which you will get to know the Unfinished Obelisk and the Aswan Dam.
Visiting hours: every day from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm. In summer it closes an hour later.
7# Abu Simbel Temple, another of the most impressive temples in Egypt
Once in Aswan, you can go by bus or car, joining one of the convoys that leave every day, to Abu Simbel, one of the most important temples in Egypt and without a doubt, one of our favorites in the country.
Although there is always talk of a temple, it is important to know that there are actually two, one in honor of the powerful pharaoh Ramses II and the other his favorite wife, Nefertari, both excavated in rock in the 13th century BC. Of which the best known is that of Ramses thanks to its impressive facade with four 20-meter-high statues of the pharaoh and several rooms with careful reliefs of his life, while that of Nefertari has a facade with six figures carved in the rock of the same size, four from Ramses and two from his wife.
With a fascinating history, its good state of conservation is because they spent several centuries buried in the sand of the desert, and shortly before the Aswan Dam came into operation they were transferred, in record time, to a higher point, avoiding this way to be submerged and damaged forever.
To get to Abu Simbel, located 3 hours from Aswan, we recommend you book a tour with a guide for one day or two days. It includes accommodation and will allow you to enjoy the night light and sound show on the walls of both temples.
Visiting hours: every day from 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Night show at 6:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m., and 8:00 p.m.
8# Dendera Temple
Another temple that you can add on a route through Egypt and that we loved is Dendera, dedicated to Hathor, goddess of love and fertility.
Located 45 kilometers north of Luxor, this was built during the Ptolemaic period and stands out for its good state of preservation as it remained buried by sand and mud until the mid-nineteenth century, which allowed it to preserve the original colors in statues and reliefs. something quite unprecedented.
Among the most interesting reliefs is one of the Zodiac represented by all its signs (the original is in the Louvre), that of the Dendera lamps, in which you can see two mysterious figures holding what looks like a light bulb, and that of the famous pharaoh Cleopatra VII and her son Caesarion.
In addition to enjoying the beautiful reliefs decorating the walls, columns, and ceilings, you can go up to the roof to enjoy the views and go down to a crypt where the valuable papyri were kept.
To get to the temple, located 80 kilometers north of Luxor, you can take a taxi or book a tour with a guide that includes the Temple of Sethy I (Abydos).
Visiting hours: every day from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.
9# Temple of Sethy I
One of the most essential temples in Egypt and less visited by tourists is that of Seti I, a built-in Abydos, burial place for the first kings of the country and located 3 hours from Luxor.
This funerary temple built in the shape of an “L” was ordered to be built by Pharaoh Seti I and completed by his son Ramses II, in honor of Osiris, god of regeneration and sovereign of the Hereafter.
Among many other details, inside you can see up to seven beautiful chapels dedicated to different deities, although the most interesting thing about the temple is its careful reliefs, located among the best in Egypt that reveal important information about the life of Sethy I and Ramses II. The most famous is known as the List of Kings of Abydos, which contains the names of the 76 pharaohs of the main dynasties starting with Menes and ending with Sethy himself.
If you do not go on an organized tour, you can reach this temple in the convoy that leaves at 8:00 am every morning from Luxor.
10# Temple of Ramses III
Our last recommendation from this list of the most impressive temples in Egypt is the funerary temple of Ramses III, located in the village of Medinet Habu, opposite the city of Luxor.
This temple dedicated to the god Amon has an architecture very similar to the funerary temple of his admired Ramses II (Ramesseum), located in the surroundings and which is also worth a visit.
Its great jewel is found in the first hypostyle room with several walls full of elaborate reliefs that show the victory of the pharaoh against the Peoples of the Sea, one of his great enemies.
The visiting hours: every day from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm.