Photos from Valley of the Kings in Egypt

Valley of the Kings is perhaps the most interesting monument of Egypt. The valley lies on the West Bank of the Nile in Luxor, opposite the vibrant city of Luxor and it’s a place of final resting of pharaons, rulers of ancient Egypt. The magnificent tombs were built in the valley in the desert to prevent thieves from taking the valuables left in them. Valley of the Kings photos can prove that despite the thieves they still impress.

It’s a World Heritage Site and was used as a burial ground for Ancient Egyptian royalty between the 16th and 11th century BC. The site’s most famous resident was (and still is!) Tutankhamun, discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. Most of the tombs of the Valley of the Kings are actually not open to the public.

Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt





Photography Valley of the Kings Luxor

Valley of the Kings – Photography Permit

For years the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt had a strict photography ban, which resulted in not that many photos online. However, a few months ago the photography ban has been partially lifted and visitors can take photos without flash if they purchase a special permit at the entrance. This isn’t really advertised anywhere and group tours aren’t told about it.

The permit costs 300 Egyptian ($17) and it’s valid for 3 tombs of your choice, just like your entrance tickets. It doesn’t permit to take photos and videos inside ‘special’ tombs that require separate tickets, Tutankhamun, Seti I & Nefertari. Guides inside tombs really check your permit, but once you present it to them you’re free to film and photograph everything for as long as you want.

Note: Many visitors opt for not buying a permit and giving guards some baksheesh for snapping a quick picture, but while in most situations it could work, I also witnessed someone being screamed at and threatened with jail time for attempting to take their cameras out. This is why I highly recommend buying a permit as it gives much more freedom.


Valley of the Kings Facts

The official name for the site in ancient times used to be: The Great and Majestic Necropolis of the Millions of Years of the Pharaoh, Life, Strength, Health in The West of Thebes. Or also, Ta-sekhet-ma’at (the Great Field).

Archaeologists have found that most of the ancient graffiti is located in KV9, which contains just under a thousand of them. The earliest positively dated graffiti dates to 278 B.C.

entrance to the tomb


Tips for Visiting Valley of the Kings

A regular entrance ticket costs 160 Egyptian ($9), but it’s only valid for 3 selected tombs. Frankly, I wish I bought two tickets, as I left the Valley of the Kings with a feeling that I’d have loved to see more. To see the Tutankhamun’s tomb you need to buy a special ticket that costs 200 Egyptian.

Most tours start the day by visiting the Valley of the Kings as it gets very hot in the middle of the day. I got there around 9 am and the place still wasn’t very crowded as most bus day tours from Hurghada arrive at around 10 am.

When you reach the ticket office (before the tram) you’ll see many people. But, none of them actually buying any tickets. This is because they’re on bus tours and their guides have their tickets. Buy your ticket and photography permit before boarding the tram. Technically, you need a separate ticket for the tram (4 Egyptian). I was very confused whether I needed it as no one ever checked it.

If you prefer to arrange a guide beforehand, here are some recommended tours:


Is it Worth to Pay Extra and Get Inside the Tomb of Tutankhamun?

Yes, absolutely! While the treasures have been removed and put in the Egyptian Museum, it’s a unique tomb that still contains the body of the pharaoh. Howard Carter, who discovered the Valley, uncovered it in a wrong way and it can’t be removed.


What Are The Best Tombs to Visit?

While I haven’t entered all the tombs, the first tomb I visited was Ramses IV and it made the biggest impression on me. Due to its location, most tour groups tend to venture there first, so you might need to wait it out. I did manage to have it all to myself for about 10 minutes though. On the contrary, I wasn’t blown away by Ramses I tomb personally.

There were almost no visitors at Seti I tomb. Sadly, tombs of Horemheb wasn’t opened during my visit (as it rarely is), but since it’s a unique tomb if it’s open do yourself a favor and go inside.


Valley of the Kings Photos

Ramses IV Tomb Photos

Valley of the Kings - Ramses IV

ramses iv tomb

Ramses IV tomb Valley of the Kings

Valley of the Kings


Ramses IX Tomb Photos

Ramses IX Tomb Photos

Ramses IX Tomb Photos

 

ancient grafitti


Ramses I Tomb Photos

Ramses I Tomb Photos

Any Questions About Visiting the Valley of the Kings?

Categories Egypt

15 thoughts on “Photos from Valley of the Kings in Egypt”

  1. This post reminds me of my trip to Jaisalmer because of the desert. Egypt is the place where every traveler wants to visit. You have forced me to have a plan for this city.

  2. Great blog Very helpful! Can you recommend anywhere to stay in Luxor and Aswan? Also,how did you transfer between these two cities?
    To get to the sights you recommend around Aswan do you need to book a tour?

    Thanks

  3. Hello Anna,
    Great blog!! We are visiting Egypt next month and would like some clarification. We plan to visit Tomb of Tut for which I understand, we have to buy a separate ticket. In addition, I assume the base ticket allows visit to three tombs. What will be your recommendation?

    • Yes, that’s correct. You need to buy an extra ticket at the cashier for that. If you want to visit more than 3 tombs have some cash on you as guards will ask you for a tip to let you in (I saw this happening at every tomb, to be honest). I definitely recommend Ramses IV as I found it the most well-preserved, but there are so many of them!

  4. Hi, we are planning a day trip to Luxor, is it advisable to book a tour guide? Also Is it easy to get around, hoping to do both east and West Bank on the day. Many thanks

    • I’d suggest a driver for sure. My driver was telling me everything I needed to know but I didn’t want him to go inside with me as I like to do things at my own pace. You can definitely do east and west bank in a day, it will be just a fully packed hot day 🙂

  5. Hi Anna, we are planning a trip this summer. Is it possible to do the valley of the kings and Luxor and Karnak temples all in the same day? Also I am trying to fly to Abu Simbel from Cairo. Is this possible? is Abu Simbel a full days worth of travel? ( from there I would then work our way back to Luxor for a day and Hurghada for the beach and sea for two nights then onto Cairo. From there we are trying to find flights to Dubrovnik, Croatia which is virtually impossible!
    its been tough trying to fit Abu simple into the 6 day itinerary since its so far but I feel that its a must. Can you offer any suggestions?

    • It’s possible, assuming you don’t want to see anything else in the West Bank apart from the Valley of the Kings (I highly recommend Medinet Habu).

      Are you planning on flying to Abu Simbel direct or Aswan? I’d probably skip Abu Simbel unless you want to take a 2-day tour from Luxor, as there’s way more to see on the way there than just the temple alone. Plus, you want to be there either very early in the morning or late in the evening, otherwise, it just looks very plain with the sunlight.

      For Dubrovnik you’d have to change in Istanbul.

  6. Amazing information on the completion structure of navigating tickets and permits Anna. We are planning a trip here with our kids and feel way better about coming away with some great content.

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