The Valley of the Kings in Egypt gets all the hype, and deservedly so, but the Valley of the Queens is often overlooked when visiting the ancient sites in Egypt. Receiving only a fraction of the visitors as The Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens is absolutely worth visiting as it contains the best preserved tomb in all of Ancient Egypt: Queen Nefertari’s tomb.
Getting to the Valley of the Queens
Located on the west bank of Luxor, about a ten minute drive from the Valley of the Kings, sits the Valley of the Queens. I would recommend seeing all of Ancient Egypt’s sites with a guide, so transportation is ideally being sorted through your guide or tour group. Accommodations in Luxor are on the east bank, so you will have to cross the Nile river on a little taxi boat to get to the west bank.
The west bank is home to a plethora of other sites including the Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut’s Mortuary Temple, and Medint Habu. For more on Luxor, check out the Best Things to do in Luxor and The Ultimate Luxor Itinerary.
Entrance & Fees
The entrance fee to the Valley of the Queens is only 100 Egyptian Pounds (~$4 USD), but the price to enter Nefertari’s tomb is an extra cost - and it’s a bit pricey. The entrance fee to visit Nefertari’s tomb is 1400 Egyptian Pounds (~$57 USD).
The high price discourages a lot of people from visiting the tomb, which is the point, but if you are any bit interested in Ancient Egyptian history this is absolutely worth the entrance fee. I was hesitant at first to pay the big fee, but my friend was insistent on visiting the tomb - and I’m glad I did, as it was one of the Most Unforgettable Things to do in Egypt.
Queen Nefertari’s Tomb
Queen Nefertari was Ramses the Great’s favorite wife - and one true love. His love for Nefertari has been made clear in many of his monuments, including the imposing Abu Simbel, and her tomb is no exception.
Nefertari’s tomb is the most well preserved tomb of Ancient Egypt. The colors still look fresh. The walls are in pristine condition. The tomb made it mostly unscathed for 3200 years which is an unimaginable thought.
The color palette and visual aesthetic that the Ancient Egyptians used in the tomb artwork is unparalleled. The only other tomb I saw that came close to this was the Ramses V and Ramses VI tomb in the Valley of the Kings, but even that tomb was missing the detail and color that Queen Nefertari’s tomb provides. It’s truly an incredible thing to see with your own eyes.
The tomb is air sealed and visitors only are allowed to be inside the tomb for 10 minutes. My two friends and I were the only people inside the tomb when we visited! It was an unreal experience.
My friends and I visited the Valley of the Queens in the late afternoon, around 3pm, after our tour group had finished for the day. Our group tour itinerary for the day consisted of Valley of the Kings, Hapshepsut’s Temple, and the Colossi of Memnon, but we really wanted to see this tomb. We spoke to our guide and he arranged a side excursion for us to visit Valley of the Queens and Medinet Habu temple, which was a great combo and fulfilled all of our west bank Luxor needs and wants. It was a lot to do in one day but worth the extra effort on a once in a lifetime trip.
Other Tombs in to Visit in the Valley of the Queens
Although by far the highlight, Queen Nefertari’s tomb isn’t the only tomb worth visiting in the Valley of the Queens. Other tombs to explore include Queen Titi’s tomb, Khaemwaset’s tomb and Amunherkhepshef’s tomb - which has the skeletal remains of a 5 month old fetus.
Not as grandiose or decorated as the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, these tombs still have some well preserved artwork and are worth taking a look after visiting Queen Nefertari’s tomb. Plus they are free to visit with the entrance ticket.
I’d highly suggest making your way to Valley of the Queens, specifically to see Queen Nefertari’s tomb, to make the most of your Egypt trip. After all, if this is possibly your only trip to Egypt in your life, you will want to see the most well preserved tomb that’s been discovered thus far.
For more information about exploring Ancient Egypt, check out The Best Things to do in Egypt and The Best Temples in Egypt.