No trip to the city of Luxor in Egypt is complete without a visit to the Karnak Temple complex, and the Karnak Temple Sound and Light Show is a definite must see. Nearly all of our Egypt tour packages, and virtually all of our Nile River cruises include a visit to the temple complex. However, visiting the site at night for the Sound and Lights Show is typically offered as an optional add-on.
The Karnak Temple is a Massive Site
Visitors to the Karnak Temple Complex in Luxor soon discover just how massive the site is and why it is considered to be one of the very best attractions in Luxor. In fact, some even find the site a bit overwhelming, and it’s not uncommon to meet travelers who leave the complex feeling somewhat disappointed because they didn’t allow themselves enough time to take in all of the many sights and attractions on the premises.
When one considers the fact that construction of the complex originally began during the Middle Kingdom period, and it didn’t end until the reign of the pharaohs also ended during the Ptolemaic period, it is easy to see why you might not be able to cover it all in a day.
Some guidebooks describe the city of Luxor as being much like a vast and expansive “open air” museum. While this is essentially true, it should also be pointed out that the Karnak complex is something quite different.
Visiting The Complex
There is essentially only one area within the complex which is open to the general public, and this is the area known as the “Precinct of Amun-Re”. All of the other remaining precincts are not open for tours or visits. When in the area, you should also try to see the famous Avenue of Sphinxes which connects Karnak to the nearby Luxor Temple. There are also a few other nearby structures which are well worth a visit to if you have the time to do so.
Generally speaking, when people refer to Karnak, they are referring to this entire are, and as you can well imagine, it encompasses a considerably large area. For this reason, it is best to approach it with a bit of background knowledge.
Karnak Temple Sound and Light Show
While reading about the city and its history is certainly a good start, if you want a far more enjoyable way of getting all of the background details regarding the area, you should start your visit in Luxor by attending the Karnak Temple Sound and Light Show.
As already mentioned, Karnak was constantly being developed throughout the time of the pharaohs, meaning that it was built over the course of many centuries. This makes it virtually it impossible for visitors to really understand the site properly without a bit of expert help.
One could say that the Karnak Temple Sound and Light Show actually aims to address this issue by giving visitors around 90 minutes of background history. The show focuses on the time period in which Luxor was still known as “Thebes” and served as the ancient religious capital of Egypt. It also covers the history of the many pharaohs who contributed to the development of the complex. Actually, attending the Karnak Temple Sound and Light Show which takes place in the evenings is a really good way to prepare oneself for a visit to the temple the next day.
Current Show Times
The Karnak Temple Sound and Light Show currently runs every evening of the week, and it is offered in many different languages. To avoid disappointment or long delays, visitors are advised to check directly with the ticketing agency to determine when your preferred language is being shown.
The event includes the actual show itself which last for around 90 minutes, followed by a wonderful opportunity for visitors to wander around some parts of the temple while it is beautifully illuminated. The reflection one sees on the water of the nearby Sacred Lake is also quite out of this world.
Looking to Visit Egypt?
If you are going to be visiting Egypt then you will almost certainly want to spend some time in Luxor as well since the area is home to so many fascinating attractions.
Nearly every one of our Nile cruises from Luxor to Aswan and our Nile cruises from Aswan to Luxor also include a night or two in Luxor, so no matter what option you choose, you will be able to enjoy the Karnak Temple Sound and Light if you would like to.