Queen Hatshepsut Temple: Mortuary Temple Of Hatshepsut In Egypt
Queen Hatshepsut Temple is one of the most spectacular ancient Egyptian monuments in Luxor.
This desert tomb near the Valley of the Queens was one of my favorite places in Egypt. The backdrop of the steep rock canyon just makes it such an epic sight to behold, and everything here has been so wonderfully excavated and preserved.
Definitely add this one to your Egypt bucket list! This guide will explain how you can get there, and everything you need to know before you go!
History Of Hatshepsut Temple
The mortuary temple of Hatshepsut was commissioned by Queen Hatshepsut, one of the first female pharaohs in the history of ancient Egypt.
Construction started in 1473 BC, and it took 15 years to complete. The original temple had a garden with trees and vines, and reflecting pools, but nothing like that remains today.
Strangely, when the queen died she wasn’t buried here at the mortuary, but instead she’s at the Valley of the Kings.
Many of the pictures and statues of queen Hatshepsut were later destroyed and erased by her stepson Thutmose III, apparently because of jealousy or embarrassment, and the temple was damaged over the years by earthquakes and rock slides from the cliffs above it.
It wasn’t uncovered until the 1890s AD, and then major excavation and restoration works brought the temple back to life, the way it is today.
What To Expect
Queen Hatshepsut Temple is a 3-story building with a lot of interesting statues, columns, and hieroglyphic writings.
Set at the back of an impressive 1,000 foot tall canyon, this temple has to be one of the most photogenic places in Egypt.
It’s a work of beauty and symmetry, with inscriptions and hieroglyphs that are amazing, like usual. Some of these show scarab beetles and insects, and others tell the story of the queen’s birth and reign.
You could probably walk through the whole temple in about 60 minutes or less, depending on your pace and how much time you spend soaking up the details. It is very worthwhile.
A good time to visit is early in the morning before the heat and crowds, because most people seem to go to Valley of the Kings first.
Hours & Entrance Fees
- Hours: 6 AM – 5 PM
- Fees: 140 EGP*
- Students: 70 EGP with ID
- Bus: 2 EGP**
*There’s no extra charge for taking photos with a phone/DSLR at the temple, but flash isn’t allowed.
**There’s a small shuttle you can take at the entrance to bring you closer to the temple. It’s not a long walk, but the ride comes in handy on a hot day.
How To Get There
Hatshepsut Temple is located on the west bank of the Nile River, on the outskirts of Luxor, Egypt.
The Cairo International Airport (CAI) has 1 hour direct flights to the Luxor airport (LXR) for around $90 USD or less, or you can take a 9 hour day train for around $10 or so.
Once you’re in Luxor, it’s easy to find a driver to take you to Hatshepsut temple and other sites on the west bank for about 300 EGP (~$20 USD) for the whole day. Your hotel can probably arrange this too.
Otherwise, a good place to ask is on the west bank of the Nile River ferry, where drivers usually hang out all day waiting for tourists to walk by. Luxor’s touts can be extremely clingy though, so you’ve been warned!
Best Hatshepsut Temple Tours
Viator has a private day tour of Hatshepsut Temple and the Valley of the Kings, with an Egyptologist guide, for $46 USD with free hotel pickup and dropoff.
This is a great option if you’re wanting to visit the temple with a vetted tour company!
Where I Stayed
I stayed at Luxor Palace hotel on the west bank for 200 EGP ($13 USD) per night.
For this price, I got a clean triple bed room with cold A/C, good WiFi, a pool, kitchen and washer/dryer, and a big rooftop area with a nice sunset view.
The owner was friendly, and it was in a handy location near the Nile, ferry, and restaurants. All in all, this apartment was one of my favorite places I stayed in Egypt.
Prices may fluctuate from time to time, so just keep an eye out for a good deal!