Madinat Habu and Valley of the Queens, Egypt

Madinat Habu Temple is a mortuary temple of Ramses III near Valley of the Queens on the West Bank of the Nile near Luxor. Of all the temples we visited in Egypt, Madinat Habu was the least crowded and one of the most impressive. It made for a joyful visiting experience.

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Madinat Habu was buried under the sand for centuries helping preserve the structure, inscriptions, and the color!The color used in hieroglyphics and inscribed stories has been my favorite surprise of all the things in Egypt!

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We walked around for about an hour through the different structures in the complex. As things go with travel, not everything always is sunshine and rainbows. I got food poisoning 2 days earlier along with another woman and this was our first outing since getting sick. We toughed it out and I’m so glad we did.


Both of us were feeling too terrible the day prior to go to Valley of the Kings to see King Tut’s tomb and others. Thankfully, Madinat Habu and Valley of the Queens mostly made up for it. A few other members of our group liked today’s sights better than Valley of the Kings and it’s massive crowds.

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I guess all that means it that someday I’ll have to come back to Egypt to do Valley of the Kings! Always a silver lining.

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Valley of the Queens, the ancient royal necropolis of for the Queens of Egypt (and some other family members),  lies a few miles from the tourist-ridden Valley of the Kings. While the above ground portion of Valley of the Queens is not impressive, just go down! Main entrance fee of $5.70:

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Often overlooked Valley of the Queens is worth the time even if only to see the tomb of Nefertari, the favorite wife of Ramses II (the same queen with the temple at Abu Simbel).

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A few of the temples in Valley of the Queens require an extra fee to take photos. Designate one person in your group take the pictures and send them out to everyone else. In the most amazing tomb, Queen Nefertari’s, no photos are allowed and even our super-stealthy group member who was usually able to sneak a few, could not. They were watching everyone like hawks.

Ancient Egyptian high-five!


In Valley of the Queens there are over 90 known tombs but only 3 are open to the public at a time. The restored tombs usually have plexi-glass covering the inscriptions so people don’t touch them.

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The tomb of Nefertari is worth the extra money, and it isn’t cheap (approximately $58). Do it anyway- it was one of the best things I saw in Egypt!

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Valley of the Queens (particularly Nefertari’s tomb) and Madinat Habu are definitely two places not-to-miss on any Egypt trip. Both are not crowded at all (basically a first, most places were crowded!) and both were a feast for the eyes.

Reader Question: Have you ever had food poisoning on a long trip? Did you push through or were you down for the count?  I was down and out for 24 full hours and then pushed through. I hope to never repeat that experience again!

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