106. Karnak

What is Karnak?

It's 3,500 years old. It was a hugely important Egyptian temple and several pharaohs contributed to its expansion - it has obelisks, sphinxes, the works. The highlight is the hypostyle hall with 134 giant columns. You might have seen it in the Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me.

What is Karnak like? 

It's stupendous. If someone built it today you'd be impressed, so how they did it five millennia ago is beyond comprehension.

Where is Karnak? 

Luxor, Egypt

When did we go?

April 2006

How did we get there?

We did a Nile Cruise from Luxor - I was really not sure about the idea but it was fantastic. I highly recommend it. We also visited Luxor Temple (142) and the Valley of the Kings (45).

Worth noting 

You'll need to get used to your Egyptian gods when you do a Nile tour. Karnak was built for Amun.

Where was Karnak in the 2015 edition of the Lonely Planet Ultimate Travel List?


Does Karnak deserve its place in the 2020 Lonely Planet Top 500? 

Yes! And I got my wish - I said it should be 100 places higher and it was indeed elevated (by 80 places but still!)