A Guide for your Visit to the Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
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The Great Pyramids of Giza have been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. Dreaming about seeing the famous structures built over 4,000 years ago and wondering how those giant blocks where put so strategically in place mesmerizes me to this day. I hope this visitor's guide will help you make the most of your visit to the Great Pyramids of Giza!
Depending on where you are staying it may take a long time to get to the entrance of the pyramid complex. Traffic in Cairo in insane, so take that into consideration when planning your departure time. It is easy to get a taxi or an Uber in Cairo and if I had to choose I'd go with the Uber. It will be a flat rate and you won't have to haggle with the driver.
Upon arrival, ensure that your driver takes you all the way to the ticket booth. If they let you off by the road you'll have to walk a good distance to the ticket booth and it's uphill. This will also help you to avoid the touts by the road. All in all it will be less of a hassle for you.
Alternatively, you can also hire a guide. I would recommend hiring a guide in advance ensures you receive a high quality tour. Most of the time that will include a pick-up and drop off service from your hotel. I did a City Tour of Cairo with Egypt Tailor Made and would hire them in an instant for another tour in Egypt.
At the time of this writing the cost to enter the pyramid complex is $10. Please note that in order to go inside any of the pyramids there is an extra cost and you must purchase those tickets upon entry as no tickets are sold inside. To go inside the pyramid of Khufu is costs $20.
What to Do and See
The Great Pyramid of Khufu: A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest of the pyramids.
Pyramid of Kharfe: The pyramid that in only slightly smaller then that of Khufu.
Pyramid of Snefuru: The first pyramid.
Pyramid of Menkaure: The smallest pyramid at the complex.
The Great Sphinx: The oh so famous creature with the head of a man and the body of a lion.
The Solar Boat Museum: A small museum make of glass that houses what might be the oldest boat in the world.
Camel or Horse Rides: There are people everywhere with camels and horses. Some of these animals are well cared for and others are not. If you choose to go for a ride know that you'll most likely be swarmed and receive many offers, often at the same time.
Sound and Light Show: Most nights there is a sound and light show at the Giza Pyramids. While I did not attend, this is a very popular family friendly evening activity.
What to Wear
Egypt is a prominently Muslim country, so please dress accordingly. For a visit to the pyramids I'd recommend wearing loose fitting airy pants or an ankle length skirt and keeping your shoulders covered. I lost my luggage on the way to Egypt so my wardrobe was not want I wanted it to be during my visit. It was hot and I wish my clothing has been more breathable.
There is very little shade at the complex. Make sure you bring sunglasses and sunscreen, your body will thank you. I brought a scarf to cover my head to protect from the sun as well.
Do's and Don'ts
Give yourself plenty of time: The site is huge and there is so much to see. Don't rush and give yourself a least half a day to see everything.
Bring lots of water: The hot desert sun can get really get to you. Make sure you have more water then you think you need. Getting dehydrated will ruin your experience.
Be aware of your surroundings: Like any touristy area there are pick pockets. I didn't have any issues, but have heard from friends and fellow bloggers they had some trouble. Stay alert and keep your wallets in a safe place.
Take pictures inside the Great Pyramid: This topic gets me really upset. When a tourist area tells you not to take pictures, just don't do it! They are trying to preserve the space and your flash - you turned it off, yah, yah, I get it, but it still doesn't matter - can cause damage to an ancient site.
Make eye contact with touts: If you don't want to be bothered by touts don't make eye contact. This doesn't work all the time, but I find it to be pretty effective. If you're approached and not interested simply say, "la, shukrann," which means no thank you in Arabic and keep walking.
Climb on the Pyramids: There are walkways up to the Pyramids where you are able to get on them in order to go inside, but otherwise don't climb on them. It's disrespectful, don't be that tourist.