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What You Need to Know About Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings

There are around 65 tombs that have been excavated in Valley of the Kings so far.

However, there are only 11 tombs in Valley of the Kings open to public. Out of the 11 kings tombs that are opened, I have visited 9.

Following are 7 best tombs that I am recommending that you should not miss on your visit to Valley of the Kings. However, if you are on a tight schedule, then at the end of this post, I narrowed it down to 3 tombs that must be on your Valley of the Kings itinerary.

Now, although, all the artifacts inside the tombs were looted long time ago, you will be still amazed by the beautifully decorated walls and ceilings inside the tombs!

Valley of the Kings Map with 7 Best Tombs to Visit

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

  • KV17 – Tomb of Seti I
  • KV6 – Tomb of Ramses IX
  • KV11 – Tomb of Ramses III
  • KV2 – Tomb of Ramses IV
  • KV9 – Tomb of Ramses V and Ramses VI
  • KV62 – Tomb of Tutankhamen (Tut)
  • KV14 – Tomb of Tausert-Setnakht

NUMBER 1

Tomb of Seti I (KV17) - Most Spectacular Tomb in Valley of the Kings

Seti I tomb is, in my opinion, unquestionably, the most spectacular of all the king tombs found in Luxor Valley of the Kings.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

First of all, it is the one of the longest tombs of the pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings at 450 feet.

Next, it is the deepest of all the tombs at more than 200 feet.

Moreover, it is composed of 11 chambers.

It gets better

Seriously, it does get better!

Every chamber and passage in the tomb of Seti I is beautifully decorated with the most exquisite reliefs!

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

What you will notice right away, is that the quality of the carvings is superior.

The details are amazing and the colors are rich and vibrant.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

The tomb culminates in a massive burial chamber with an amazing arched ceiling.

Needless to say, the paintings on the ceiling are absolutely stunning!

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The tomb of King Seti I in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor. Image Source: Jean-Pierre Dalbera via Flickr

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

The paintings on the ceiling depict astronomical scenes.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The Tomb of King Seti I in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor. Image Source: Jean-Pierre Dalbera via Flickr

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

Who Was King Seti I?

  • Seti I reigned from 1290 to 1279 BC.
  • In the early years of his reign, Seti led his army northward to restore Egyptian prestige, which had been partly lost during the troubled years of the late 18th dynasty. He battled in northern Palestine and Syria and fought at least one battle with the Hittite king Muwatallis; he subsequently concluded a peace treaty that may have established the frontier at Kadesh
  • Seti did much to promote the prosperity of Egypt. He fortified the frontier, opened mines and quarries, dug wells, and rebuilt temples and shrines that had fallen into decay or been damaged; and he continued the work begun by his father on the construction of the great hypostyle hall at Karnak, which is one of the most impressive monuments of Egyptian architecture.
  • Another important work is his memorial temple at Abydos, which he dedicated to Osiris and six other deities and decorated with reliefs of great delicacy on which much of the original colour remains.

Source: Encyclopedia Britannica

Mummy of Seti I

Side view of the mummy of Seti I, 19th Dynasty. Cairo Museum. Photo by Emile Brugsch.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons 

NUMBER 2

Tomb of Ramses IX (KV6) - Most Popular Tomb to Visit in Valley of the Kings

The tomb of Ramses IX is one of the most popular tombs in Egypt Valley of the Kings.

It is situated near the entrance to the main section of the Valley of the Kings. As a result, it is usually the first tomb that everyone visits. Besides, it has a gently sloping shaft, that is an easy hike on the way back.

It is not known when the tomb was first discovered. Although, it has some Greek and Roman graffiti on the walls.

Even though Ramses IX reigned for 18 years, his tomb was only about half-way finished.

As you enter, you will notice that the first corridor has beautiful decorations, however as you continue through the rest of the passages, you will see more of the unfinished sections.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The tomb of King Ramses IX in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings, Luxor.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

You will pass through several corridors divided by lintels. Each of the lintels is beautifully decorated.

What caught my attention was the beautifully decorated outer lintel to the third corridor. It shows a sun disk. Inside the disk is a picture of a ram-headed god and a baboon. On each side, there is a picture of the worshipping king followed by gods and goddesses.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The tomb of king Ramses IX in the Valley of the Kings.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

Moreover, you will be amazed by the astronomical ceiling which shows pictures of divine barques and processions of gods in yellow standing out sharply from the dark blue background.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The astronomical ceiling in the tomb of Ramses IX.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The astronomical ceiling which shows pictures of divine barques and processions of gods in yellow standing out sharply from the dark blue background.

Next, once you reach the entrance to the burial chamber, take your time to notice some of the interesting details.

Take a look at the soffit. It shows a sun disk with a ram-headed god adored by four worshipping baboons.

Best Tombs in the Valley of the Kings

The soffit in the burial chamber shows a sun disk with a ram-headed god adored by four worshipping baboons.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

Moreover, take a look at the vaulted ceiling with the beautiful picture of Nut, goddess of the sky, suspending the heavens over many standing and kneeling figures.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The burial chamber of the tomb of Ramses IX.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

One more beautiful relief that caught my eye on the way out showed Ramses IX surrounded by gods and goddesses sailing away to the afterlife.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The King Ramses IX and his entourage sailing away to the afterlife.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

NUMBER 3

Tomb of Ramses III (KV11) - Best Preserved Egyptian Tomb to Visit in Valley of the Kings

The tomb of Ramses III is the most interesting and the best preserved tomb in the Valley of the Kings. It is also called the Tomb of the Harpists due to scenes showing harpists playing.

It is interesting to know that king Ramses III was the second king of the 20th dynasty. He ruled Egypt for 31 years and the next three rulers of ancient Egypt Ramses IV, Ramses V, and Ramses VI were all his sons. 

As soon as you enter the tomb of Ramses III, you can see the superior quality of the reliefs.

Make sure to catch a beautiful relief on the lintel leading to the first corridor. It features an image of a sun disk with scarab and a ram-headed god.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The high quality reliefs in the tomb of Ramses III in the Valley of the Kings.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The sun disk with scarab and ram-headed god on the lintel inside the first corridor.

As you continue down the corridor, the reliefs get better and better!

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The reliefs in the tomb of Ramses III in the Valley of the Kings.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The reliefs in the tomb of Ramses III in the Valley of the Kings.

The ceiling of the corridor is probably one of the most stunning decorations I have seen in all the tombs.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The ceiling decorations in the tomb of Ramses III.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The ceiling decorations in the tomb of Ramses III.

There are eight side-rooms along the length of this corridor and each one is decorated with interesting pictures.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The decorations inside the tomb of Ramses III in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The decorations inside the tomb of Ramses III in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor.

It gets better

When you think that this is it, the corridor ends and you reach and amazing hall with four pillars and a sloping floor.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The hall with four pillars inside the tomb of the king of Ramses III.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The hall with four pillars inside the tomb of the king of Ramses III.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

The corridor descends further into the tomb towards a vestibule and the burial chamber.

However, here, a barrier closes the rest of the tomb to the visitors.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The tomb of Ramses III in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

Was Ramses III Murdered? 

  • Computed tomography scans revealed a deep cut in Ramesses III’s throat, probably made by a sharp knife.
  • During the mummification process, a Horus eye amulet was inserted in the wound for healing purposes, and the neck was covered by a collar of thick linen layers.
  • A 2011 Science Channel documentary had noted the bandages on the mummy’s throat and tied them to the assassination, a coup attempt blamed on one of the pharaoh’s wives in a bid to place her son, Pentawere, atop Egypt’s throne.
  • A mummy of a young man found in the pharaoh’s tomb turned out to possess genes tied to Ramses III, “strongly suggesting that they were father and son,” says the study. The young man, designated “E” in the study, may have been strangled.

Source: thebmj and USAToday

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings

Head of mummy of pharaoh Ramses III.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

NUMBER 4

Tomb of Ramses IV (KV2) - Best Tomb to Visit in Valley of the Kings with General Ticket

The tomb of Ramses IV is the best tomb you can visit in the Valley of the Kings with General Entrance Ticket.

Tomb of Ramses IV in Valley of the Kings

The example of Coptic graffiti in the tomb of Ramses IV.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

As soon as you enter the tomb of Ramses IV you will be able to see multiple examples of Greek, Latin and Coptic graffiti. In addition, during the nineteenth century, European explorers used the tomb as a dwelling while they investigated the sights in the Valley of the Kings.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The example of Coptic graffiti in the tomb of Ramses IV.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

For me, what really stood out in the tomb of Ramses IV were the incredibly vivid colors. I was amazed by all the shades of ochre used on the walls and ceilings ranging from yellow to deep orange.

Tomb of Ramses IV in Valley of the Kings

Inside the tomb of Ramses IV in the Valley of the Kings.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

Tomb of Ramses IV in Valley of the Kings

Inside the tomb of Ramses IV in the Valley of the Kings.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

Almost every inch of the space is used by decorations depicting the scenes from the Litany of Ra, the Book of Caverns, the Book of the Dead, the Book of Gates, and the Book of Nut.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The decorations inside the tomb of Ramses IV.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

Once you reach the burial chamber, take a look at the ceiling. It is one of the most beautiful and unique decorations showing the earth god Geb supporting the sky goddess Nut.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The decorations inside the tomb of Ramses IV.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

In the burial chamber, you will be able to see a large stone sarcophagus.

Tomb of Ramses IV in Valley of the Kings

The decorations inside the tomb of Ramses IV.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

Tomb of Ramses IV

The decorations inside the tomb of Ramses IV.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

The decorations inside the tomb of Ramses IV.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

NUMBER 5

Tomb of Ramses V and Ramses VI (KV9) - Top Best Tomb to Visit in Valley of the Kings (after Tomb of Seti I)

The tomb of Ramses V and Ramses VI is considered to be the top best tomb to visit in the Valley of the Kings (after Seti I’s tomb which requires the Extra Ticket).

My guide told me that the decorations starting at the entrance to the tomb were done by during the reign of Ramses V who ruled for just 4 years. It is not confirmed whether Ramses V was even buried in this tomb.

The tomb was completed by his successor Ramses VI.

Tomb KV9 - Ramses V and Ramses VI

The tomb of Ramses V and VI in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor. 

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

Tomb KV9 - Ramses V and Ramses VI

Inside the tomb of Ramses V and Ramses VI in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor. 

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

The corridor will eventually lead you to a beautiful pillared hall. Here, you can see detailed scenes of the king making offering to various deities. Also, make a note of an amazing astronomical ceiling.

Tomb KV9 - Ramses V and Ramses VI

Inside the tomb of Ramses V and Ramses VI in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor. 

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

However, the highlight of this tomb is the burial chamber. First of all, it has a vaulted ceiling decorated with astronomical scenes. And, in the middle are the  broken remains of a large granite outer sarcophagus of Rameses VI.

Tomb KV9 - Ramses V and Ramses VI

The burial chamber in the tomb of Ramses VI in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor. 

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

KV 9 - Tomb of Ramses V and Ramses Vi

The burial chamber in the tomb of Ramses VI in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor. 

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

NUMBER 6

Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62) - Most Famous Tomb to Visit in Valley of the Kings

Hands down, the most famous tomb in the Valley of the kings is King Tut’s tomb. In my opinion, it is not the most glamorous tomb, however, it is definitely one of the most visited tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

King Tut’s early death necessitated a speedy burial. As a result, the tomb that he was buried in is much smaller than most of the tombs in the valley. It is possible, that the tomb was originally built for a lesser noble, but had to be used for King Tut.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings

King Tut’s Tomb in the Valley of the Kings. It is definitely one of the most visited tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

Nowadays, you will be able to see beautifully decorated walls and ceilings depicting King Tut’s life and death. And, the highlight for everyone is King Tut’s mummified body.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings

King Tut’s mummified body in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

Who Was King Tut?

  • Tutankhamen, known as King Tut, was the 12th pharaoh of the 18th Egyptian Dynasty. It is estimated that King Tut was in power from about 1332 to 1323 BC.
  • As my tour guide told me, King Tut was the son of Akhenaten, known as Amenhotep IV. The interesting fact about Amenhotep IV is that he forbade the worship of multiple gods in favor of one, Aten, the sun disk. Needless to say, his intent was to reduce the power of the priests. Additionally, Amenhotep IV moved the capital of Egypt from Thebes to Armana.
  • This shift in religion caused major power struggle. Eventually, Amenhotep IV was forced to abdicate and he died soon after.
  • Amenhotep IV’s 9-year old son, Tutankhamen, took over the throne. The old order was restored and the capital moved back to Thebes.
  • The study conducted in 2010 of King Tut’s DNA suggested that he had malaria. It is possible that the disease was the cause of his premature death at the age of 19. We know that he was disabled and required a cane to walk. There were several canes found in his tomb.
Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings

A canopic coffinette of king Tutankhamun of the 18th dynasty of Egypt from the 14th century BCE. It was discovered from his intact KV62 tomb. This object today forms part of the permanent collection of the Cairo Museum of Egypt. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

What Was Found in King Tut’s Tomb?

  • King Tut’s tomb remained undiscovered for centuries. It was mostly due to the fact that there are basically no records mentioning King Tut after his death.
  • In addition, the entrance to  his tomb was covered layers of debris mostly from tombs constructed after King Tut’s burial.
  • On November 4, 1922, British Egyptologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tut in the Valley of the Kings.
  • It took Carter eight years to remove and catalog everything within. It included statues, gold jewelry, Tutankhamun’s mummy, chariots, model boats, canopic jars, chairs, and paintings.
Tutankhamun Tomb

The tomb of Tutankhamen. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

  • Today a small fraction of the items found in King Tut’s tomb are on display in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
  • Without doubt, the most famous item is King Tut’s burial mask. The mask is one of the best-known works of art in the world. It is exquisitely sculpted.
  • King Tut’s mask weighs about 25 pounds and stands about 2 feet tall. This priceless treasure is composed of a solid gold base inlaid with semi-precious stones such as lapis lazuli, obsidian, and quartz.
King Tut's Burial Mask

King Tut’s Burial Mask. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

NUMBER 7

Tomb of Tausert-Setnakht (KV 14) - Largest Tomb to Visit in Valley of the Kings

The tomb of Tausert and Setnakht is the largest and most unusual tomb to visit in the Valley of the Kings. Also, it is a definitely a visually stunning tomb.

The toms consists of two complete burial chambers.

The first burial chamber belonging to Tausert, has eight pillars, an astronomical ceiling, and scenes from the Book of the Caverns. The corridors leading to the second burial chamber are decorated with scenes from the Amduat.

The second burial chamber belonging to Sentnakhat has eight pillars an astronomical ceiling, and scenes from the Book of Gates.

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The Tomb of Tausert-Setnakht in the Valley of the Kings.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The Tomb of Tausert-Setnakht in the Valley of the Kings.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

The Tomb of Tausert-Setnakht in the Valley of the Kings.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

The tomb was originally built for Tausert, a queen and wife of Seti II. Tausert was one of the few queens who ruled Egypt as pharaoh. She was the second wife of Seti II. It was Seti II that ordered her tomb to be built. This was an honor given to very few queens. She was the last ruler of Dynasty 19.

Tomb of Tausert-Setnakht (KV 14)

The Tomb of Tausert-Setnakht in the Valley of the Kings.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

Tomb of Tausert-Setnakht (KV 14)

The Tomb of Tausert-Setnakht in the Valley of the Kings.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

Tausert was the second wife of Seti II. It was Seti II who ordered her tomb to be built. This was an honor given to very few queens.

Upon Seti II death, his son of Syrian wife, Siptah, ascended to the throne. Siptah ruled for about 6 years.

After Siptah death, Tausert formally ascended the throne of Egypt. There is not much information about her rule and when she died.

Tausert was the last ruler of Dynasty 19.

The tomb was eventually taken over and enlarged by King Setnakht, who succeeded Tausert.

Tomb of Tausert-Setnakht (KV 14)

The Tomb of Tausert-Setnakht in the Valley of the Kings.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

Tomb of Tausert-Setnakht (KV 14)

The Tomb of Tausert-Setnakht in the Valley of the Kings.

Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings 

Intrepid Scout's Pointers for Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings

That is quite a list of tombs to visit in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, right?

No problem! Here are my absolute three tombs you should visit in tthe Valley of the Kings:

  • Buy a General Ticket and visit 3 tombs in the Valley of the Kings.
  • First of all, Visit the tomb of Ramses V and VI, because it is the best tomb to visit with the General Ticket.
  • Second, go to the tomb of King Tut. It is not as glamorous as the other tombs in the Valley of the Kings, however it is the most famous tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
  • Next, head to the tomb of Ramses IV. It is another good one to visit with the General Ticket.
  • Finally, if you can splurge, then, hands down, visit the tomb of King Seti I – KV17. It is simply breathtaking! However, to enter the tomb of Seti I you will need to purchase an Extra Ticket.
  • If you are looking for more ideas then check out some of my posts about Luxor:

Karnak Temple – Guide to Egypt’s Most Epic Temple 

The Temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor – Top Tips for Visiting

Hot Air Balloon Ride in Luxor – A Bucket List Experience 

  • Are you planning on visiting the Valley of the Queens best tombs as well The Valley of the Queens contains at least 75 tombs that belonged to queens of the 19th and 20th dynasties as well as to other members of the royal families. Four of the tombs are open for viewing. The most famous of of the four is the tomb of Nefertari. The other tombs are those of Titi, Khaemwaset and Amunherkhepshef.
  • Make sure to watch ‘Valley of the Kings: The Lost Tombs‘. It is an awesome documentary available on discovery+ and Discovery Channel! Most visitors to Egypt will visit the famous Valley of the Kings, a site that has produced more than 60 famous Egyptian tombs, including the untouched, treasure filled tomb of the Boy King, Tutankhamun. But Egypt Valley of Kings is actually two separate branches, East and West. Despite more than 200 years of excavation in this area, the Western Valley of the Kings has remained mostly forgotten…until now. Source: Discovery Channel

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Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt
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Now, It Is Your Turn, I Would Like to Hear Back from You!

Are you planning your trip to Valley of the Kings?

Please let me know! Drop me a quick comment right below!

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Comments:

4 thoughts on “7 Best Tombs to Visit in Valley of the Kings (with Map and Photos)


2020-12-14

I HAVE FOUND YOUR INFORMATION INVALUABLE. I TRAVELED 23 TIMES TO EGYPT FROM 1978-1997. I AM OF LEBANESE HERITAGE; TRAVEL FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO LEBANON DURING THE LEBANESE CIVIL WAR, SO I OPTED FOR EGYPT. THE PHOTOGRAPHS HEREIN INDICATE THAT MANY IMPROVEMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE SUCH AS LIGHTING, FLOORS, AND STURDY HAND RAILS INSIDE THE TOMBS. I PLAN TO VISIT EGYPT FOR MY 80TH BIRTHDAY IN 2022 WHEN THE PANDEMIC SHOULD BE OVER AND THE GRAND EGYPTIAN MUSEUM IS OPEN ON THE GIZA PLAIN. I HAVE INFORMATION THAT SOME SITES IN LUXOR HAVE HELP FOR THE HANDICAP.

    2020-12-14

    Hi Robert,
    I glad you found the information useful.
    Wonderful that you are planning your trip for 2022. I am ready to go back as well. The new museum is on my list.
    Safe travels, Robert!

Jody
2021-01-14

I am planning a liveaboard (dive) vacation and would like to maximize my Egypt time. I had hoped to take a day long tour out of Hurghada. There’s so much to see and do in each place I just don’t know where to begin, but your information has helped. Thank you for sharing.

    2021-01-15

    I am so glad you found some useful information! Good luck with planning your trip and let me know if I can help with anything.

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