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Pyramids of Giza: The Complete Guide for First-Time Visitors

Julie Last updated: January 24, 2024 Egypt 32 Comments

Pyramids of Giza Egypt Travel

The Pyramids of Giza, along with the Sphinx and a handful of smaller tombs, form one of the most iconic sights in the world. If you have plans to visit Egypt, then most likely these pyramids are at the top of your list.

In this guide, get all the answers to your questions about how to visit the Pyramids of Giza. In order to give you the information you need to know to plan your visit, we visited the Giza Plateau twice. 

Table of Contents

Interesting Facts about the Pyramids of Egypt

The Pyramids of Giza were built almost 5,000 years ago, at the beginning of human recorded history.

The Great Pyramid of Giza, also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops, is the oldest of the three main pyramids on the Giza plateau. This pyramid was built around 2570 BC and it is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In fact, it is the only Ancient Wonder to remain largely intact.

For 3,800 years, the Great Pyramid was the tallest building in the world, until the Lincoln Cathedral was built in 1311 AD in England.

When people refer to the “Pyramids of Giza,” typically they are referring to the three large pyramids that are located in the Giza complex. These three pyramids include the Great Pyramid and its two neighbors, the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure.

The pyramids were built as tombs for the pharaohs of Egypt. Inside of the pyramid is the “King’s Chamber,” the location of the sarcophagus.

The Pyramids of Giza are located on the Giza Plateau, which is also referred to as the Giza Necropolis or the Giza pyramid complex. Nine pyramids, the Great Sphinx, and a collection of smaller tombs sit on this plateau.

The Giza Plateau bumps right up against the sprawling city of Giza. If you like the idea of booking a hotel room with a unique view, there are numerous hotels where you can have a room with a view of the Sphinx and/or the Great Pyramid.

Camel Ride

Best Things to Do at the Pyramids of Giza

  • See the pyramids of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure
  • Go inside one of the pyramids
  • Visit Panoramic Point
  • Take a selfie with the Sphinx

Visit the Valley Temple

Watch the sound and light show.

Map of the Pyramids of Giza

Map of the Giza Plateau

The Pyramids of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure

Without a doubt, the best thing to do while on the Giza Plateau is to see the three massive pyramids that dominate the landscape.

To fully appreciate their enormity, get up close to the Great Pyramid. The limestone blocks are massive. Just imagine the manpower it took to build something like this. It’s even more amazing to think that people built these pyramids almost 5,000 years ago.

Go Inside One of the Pyramids

For an additional fee, you can go inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure. More details later in this post (or skip ahead now).

  • Panoramic Point

This is one of the best viewpoints of the pyramids of Giza. From this spot, you can see six of the nine pyramids that sit on the Giza Plateau.

Panoramic Point Egypt Pyramids

Talk a Selfie with the Sphinx

For a close-up view of the Sphinx with the Pyramids in the background, make sure you visit the viewing platform that sits next to the Sphinx. If you want a photo “kissing the Sphinx,” this is the place to do it.

Great Sphinx

Go on a Camel Ride

There have been reports about animal abuse, not just to camels, but horses too, at the pyramids. In some cases, the animals are sometimes beaten and overworked during the day, and offered little chance to take a break. 

We didn’t witness any of this ourselves. The camels we saw looked in good health and seemed to be getting plenty of rest. But you never know what goes on behind the scenes and the circumstances may be different when you visit (a busier time of day, a different person attending the animals, etc.). Therefore, if you are considering this experience, it is important to educate yourself on this subject first.

For more information about how to have an ethical camel riding experience, read this article on Matador Network. To read more about the treatment of horses and camels in Egypt, read this article on the New York Times. 

Located right next to the Sphinx is the Valley Temple. This temple was used in the mummification process of King Khafre.

Each night, the Sphinx and the pyramids are illuminated in a rainbow of colors. For one hour, the Sphinx narrates the history of the pyramids.

The Sound and Light Show gets mixed reviews. Some people love it, some say it’s boring, almost everyone says that it is outdated (it started in the 1960’s and hasn’t changed much since then).

Tickets start at $20 USD and can be reserved in advance. Click here to learn more. If you need transportation from your hotel, this tour includes tickets for the Sound and Light Show and transportation to and from your hotel.

How to Go Inside the Great Pyramid

For an additional fee, on top of what you will spend to visit the Giza pyramid complex, you can go inside one of the three large pyramids (the Great Pyramid, Khafre, or Menkaure).

The Great Pyramid

The entrance fee for the Great Pyramid is considerably larger than the entrance fee for the Pyramids of Khafre or Menkaure (900 EGP for the Great Pyramid versus 220 EGP for Khafre or Menkaure), but how often do you get the chance to go inside an Ancient Wonder of the World?

You will enter the Great Pyramid through a hole on the north face of the pyramid. To get up to the King’s Chamber, you will walk up a ramp through the Grand Gallery until you reach the King’s Chamber. In this dark, hot room is the empty granite sarcophagus.

Entrance into Great Pyramid

In this photo you can see the entrance into the Great Pyramid.

Grand Gallery Great Pyramid

The Grand Gallery

PRO TRAVEL TIP: You can take photos inside of the Great Pyramid with a cellphone, at no additional fee. However, photography with a camera is not permitted inside of the Great Pyramid, but you no longer need to leave it with a guard, as you might read on other blog posts. Just leave your camera in your bag.

Pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure

These two pyramids are smaller, cheaper, and typically less crowded than the Great Pyramid. Like the Great Pyramid, there is not a whole lot to see on the inside, but if you like the idea of smaller crowds, consider a visit to one of these two pyramids.

Pyramid of Menkaure

Pyramid of Menkaure

Is Going inside the Great Pyramid Worth It?

Entering the Great Pyramid costs additional money and will add about 30 minutes to your visit to the Giza necropolis.

It can be a hot, crowded walk up through the Grand Gallery of the Great Pyramid, so if you dislike crowds or have claustrophobia, skip going inside this pyramid.

We did it and we thought it was worth it.

However, it is crowded, and there’s not much to look at inside of the pyramid. It’s a much different experience than visiting the colorful tombs in the Valley of the Kings or climbing down the tunnels of the Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid (this feels like an adventure). But it is still a thrill to stand inside of this amazing Ancient Wonder of the World.

If you are not sure you want to spend the time and money to go inside the Great Pyramid, don’t feel bad about skipping it. Many people skip it and have no regrets. During our visit, our mothers skipped it and they don’t feel like they missed out on anything.

Can You Climb the Pyramids?

No. Visitors are no longer permitted to climb the pyramids.

Where to Get the Best Views of the Pyramids

There are numerous places around the Giza Plateau to take some gorgeous photos of the pyramids. On the Giza plateau, here the best places for stunning views of the pyramids:

  • In front of the Sphinx
  • From the helicopter pad
  • On a camel ride

LEARN MORE: Where to Get the Best Views of the Pyramids

Egyptian Pyramids

Pyramids of Giza

How Much Time Do You Need at the Pyramids of Giza?

Plan on spending a minimum of three hours at the Pyramids of Giza. This gives you enough time to go inside one of the pyramids, visit Panoramic Point, and snap a photo with the Sphinx.

A great way to spend one day in Cairo is to visit both the Giza pyramid complex and the Egyptian Museum. Once the Grand Egyptian Museum opens (possibly in 2024), you will be able to walk from the Giza Plateau to the museum.

Egypt Travel Guide

Best Time of Day to Visit the Pyramids

We visited the Giza Plateau twice, in the morning and in the afternoon, shortly before sunset.

The best time of day to visit the Giza Plateau depends on which season you visit Egypt.

If you will be visiting Egypt during the months of December and January, it is common for the pyramids to be hazy in the morning. On our first two days in Cairo, a haze covered the pyramids, but this typically burned off between 10 am and noon. On our last day in Cairo, we got very lucky that there was minimal haze. But you can’t count on this happening.

Because of the possibility of hazy skies in the morning, the best time to visit the pyramids in the winter months is midday and in the afternoon. If you prefer to go in the morning, when the pyramids are less crowded, you will have to keep your fingers crossed for clear skies.

If you will be visiting Egypt between February and November, that morning haze is unlikely.

Between March and October, expect hot temperatures. We recommend visiting the Giza Plateau in the morning to avoid the heat and the crowds.

Fridays and Saturdays tend to be more crowded than the other days of the week. Schools are closed and many Egyptians visit during this time, making the pyramids of Giza more crowded. 

Pyramids of Giza Sunset

What to Wear

There are no restrictions as to what to wear when you visit the pyramids of Giza. Basically, wear comfortable clothing and a sturdy pair of walking shoes. Egypt is a conservative country, so we recommend keeping your shoulders covered and not wearing very short shorts.

How Do You Get to the Pyramids of Giza?

To get to the Pyramids of Giza, your best option is to either take a taxi, uber, join a tour, or hire a guide and driver. If you booked a hotel with a view of the Pyramids, you can walk right to the Giza Plateau.

By Taxi: There are three types of taxis in Cairo. The old black and white taxis have no meter and no air conditioning. The more modern white taxis have air conditioning and a meter, just make sure your driver turns it on. The yellow taxis are the most expensive. They can be arranged ahead of time by telephone.

By Uber: No haggling, no worrying about the driver setting a meter. If you have the Uber app and cellular service on your phone, this is a great way to get around Cairo and Giza.

By Tour: There are numerous companies that offer tours of the Pyramids of Giza, and sometimes you can also include the Egyptian Museum or Saqqara and Dahshur into the same day tour. This half day tour of the pyramids gets rave reviews or visit Giza, Dahshur, and Memphis on the same day in this tour.

By Private Guide and Driver: If you want to eliminate the hassle of getting around the Giza Plateau, buying tickets, etc., then consider taking a tour. We typically do not take tours, but in this circumstance, having a guide and a driver made our visit hassle free and very enjoyable.

We hired Egypt Tailor Made, a tour company that offers private day trips throughout Egypt. For our time in Cairo, we had a van, a private driver, and a guide.

It is also possible to get around by bus, microbus, and metro, but for most tourists, the options above are the most convenient and easiest for new visitors to Cairo and Giza.

How to Get Around the Pyramids of Giza

There are two entrances at the Pyramids of Giza.

One entrance is near the Great Pyramid of Giza, not far from the Marriott Mena House. Down the hill from the pyramids is the second entrance, which is near the Great Sphinx.

Pyramids of Giza Entrance

Entrance near the Great Pyramid

It really doesn’t matter which entrance you use. However, if you enter through the Sphinx entrance, it will be an uphill walk to the pyramids and then to Panoramic Point.

You can get around the Giza Plateau on foot but expect to do a lot of walking. It is almost a 3 km walk from the Sphinx to Panoramic Point, one way, uphill. Plus, you will add even more steps by walking around the Great Pyramid, visiting the Khufu Ship, and any other detours you might take.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: Once on the Giza Plateau, you can walk to almost everything. The only place on the Giza Plateau that is off-limits for walking is the desert and dunes around the pyramids. It’s not exactly forbidden, but it is strongly discouraged that people walk here. If you want to visit the dunes for views and photographs of the pyramids, you will have to hire a camel or a horse to visit this part of the plateau.

If you are here with a guide and private driver, your driver will drive you all over the plateau, which eliminates a lot of walking and saves you a lot of time. If you took a taxi or Uber to get here, you can pay your driver to take you around the Giza Plateau. Another option is to go by horse or horse and carriage (but the horses tend to be abused and overworked so we don’t recommend this).

Practical Information

2024 price list for the giza plateau.

Giza Plateau Entrance Ticket: 540 EGP per adult, 270 EGP per student (with valid ID) Entrance Ticket to the Great Pyramid: 900 EGP Entrance Ticket to the Pyramid of Menkaure: 220 EGP

Planning Information

Hours of Operation: 7 am to 5 pm

Bathrooms: There are bathrooms near both entrances of the Giza Plateau.

Food: There is a small restaurant near the Sphinx and Valley Temple.

Website: Get updated pricing and hours on the egymonuments.com website.

Where to Stay

Wouldn’t it be nice to start and end your day with a view of the pyramids? Here are three recommended hotels in Giza with views of the pyramids.

Marriott Mena House.  This is where we stayed and it was fantastic. It was 8 pm and dark by the time we arrived at the hotel, but what a thrilling experience to see the Great Pyramid from our balcony. Breakfast is a buffet with endless choices of food (it’s one of the best hotel breakfasts we have had yet). Plus, you can sit outside and stare up at the Great Pyramid over a cup of coffee.

Pyramid Hotel View

Pyramids View Inn.   This small hotel offers views of the Sphinx and the pyramids. The view from the rooftop terrace is amazing and this is a great place to watch the Sound and Light Show, without joining the crowds.

Great Pyramid Inn.  This is yet another hotel that boasts amazing views of the Pyramids of Giza. From the top floor terrace you have an awesome view of the pyramids. Some rooms have views of the pyramids and/or a balcony. 

Still have questions about how to visit the Pyramids of Giza? Let us know in the comment section below. If you have any tips to share, we would love to hear those too.

More Information about Egypt

CAIRO: Start with our article Best Things to do in Cairo. We also have a 2 day Cairo Itinerary  and how to day trip to Dahshur, Memphis, and Saqqara.

LUXOR: Get on overview on what to do in our article Best Things to Do in Luxor. We also have detailed guides to the East Bank of Luxor , the West Bank of Luxor , and the Valley of the Kings.

EGYPT ITINERARY: With 10 days in Egypt , visit Cairo, Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel.

TRAVEL ADVICE: Here is list of important things to know before visit Egypt . The Luxor Pass and Cairo Pass can save you a lot of money…learn more in our guide. And we also have information on how much it costs to visit Egypt.

Read all of our articles about Egypt in our Egypt Travel Guide.

Egypt Pyramids of Giza Travel Guide

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Comments 32

Avatar for Travis

Is it legal and free to film outside the pyramids and sphinx with a mirrorless camera?

Avatar for Julie

Yes, as far as I know. We didn’t have a mirrorless camera at the time (we do now) but these photos were taken with a Canon 5D Mark IV and that was allowed. Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Andy

A small suggestion – the Captcha really takes you through the wringer by making you verify 4-6 pages when trying to ask a question, and in the end there is no confirmation that your question was submitted. With captcha, I mark every square that has even a tiny section of traffic lights (as an example), maybe I’m doing something wrong? Please consider modifying the captcha or offering a different method of verification, and also adding a confirmation showing that question was submitted.

Thanks for the suggestion!

Hello, your website is hands down the best and most helpful guide that I’ve seen for our upcoming Egypt trip! When we visit the Pyramids, we want to get a photo with each of us (my wife and I) on a camel with nothing else except the Pyramids in the background – similar to the first picture you have posted on this page. Any suggestions on how we can get such a picture? Also I’ve read that camel rides are only $3-5 for 30 minutes based on an Egyptian government rule – is that correct? Is it recommended to have a guide facilitate such picture? Incidentally, our hotel is within walking distance of the Pyramids.

Hello Andy. The easiest way to get want you want is to hire a guide and tell them exactly what you want and they’ll help you get the photo you want. We used Egypt Tailor Made to visit the pyramids (and other sites in Cairo) and it was wonderful having a guide at the pyramids. They drove us around in a van, took us to several great photo spots, and they can set up a camel ride for you that will take you to the photo spots that you want. Doing it this way is more expensive but from our experience, I would do it the same way again. It removed a lot of the hassles of visiting the pyramids. I’ve heard a lot of different prices for camel rides and $3 to $5 USD for 30 minutes sounds very cheap and I don’t think you would get that kind of price, even if it is based on Egyptian government rule (unless things have changed since our visit). Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Jerry Garcia

Hello, I really enjoyed reading your article. I bought a plane ticket to Cairo, Egypt for a total of 5 days. The thing is, I really want to visit Luxor. Do you think there is enough time to visit Cairo and Luxor in 5 days? If so what method or methods of transportation between cities do you recommend.

Yes, I think it’s possible to visit both in 5 days. The afternoon or the evening of the second day, fly from Cairo to Luxor. Spend 2 days in Luxor, with one day in the east and one day in the west, and return to Cairo on day 5. On day 5, if you fly to Cairo first thing in the morning, you’d have a several more hours that day for sightseeing. Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Ireland🇮🇪

I got a plane from sharm el sheikh, thought i was indiana jones, to cairo,went to museum where there was alot of army and tanks as this is near the square where all the protests be,got bus to a boat which took me down river to a restaurant boat, food very nice, got bus again along road beside the dry river full of rubish, stopped at a perfume shop then onward to pyramids, got on a camel and went around pyramid to entrance, what a WOW world of wonders, amazing, then back again, this was 10 years ago and it still overwhelms me every time i think about it, big tomb raider fan think thats what made it:-)

Avatar for Mo

Interesting that you left out all the scammers and the ways tourists are cheated by the native people. Egypt is full of double crossing con artists. They will offer to take a lovely photo of you and your family in front of the pyramids, then hold your phone/camera hostage until you pay them. The camel guides will take your money then put you on the camel and walk you in a circle taking pictures (which costs more) and drop you off where they found you. Some dress similar to police/government officials and use whistles to rope you into their con. Be wary of all these people!!

Hello Mo. Thanks for writing in. I didn’t mention it because we did not experience any of that. We did have a guide, so maybe that helped us have a better experience. Cheers, Julie

Avatar for Crystal

Our driver said – don’t speak to any strangers. Our son had us already practising saying ‘La -ah, shokran’ which cam in useful there

Avatar for türkiye

Dear All, thank you very much for your detailed explanation and valuable comments, it really helped with my Egypt travel. kind regards from Türkiye.

Avatar for aj

I really enjoyed reading your info’s about the places you have mentioned. I had visited the Pyramids of Giza with my boyfriend during our Egypt trip. It is a globally famous tourist destination where plenty of tourist attractions are housed along with the oldest of the Ancient World. Thanks to “ Ask Aladdin” to make our trip memorable which we will never forget in our life.

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How To Visit The Pyramids Of Giza In Egypt (Travel Guide)

What kind of bucket list doesn’t include the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt? Believe it or not, the Giza pyramids are fairly easy to visit on a day trip from Cairo, the capital of Egypt.

Built in 2560 BC, the Great Pyramid of Giza was the tallest man-made object in the world for 3,800 years. It’s the oldest of the Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World, and the only one still standing today.

Visiting the Egypt pyramids is a pretty simple experience, and there’s not a whole lot to do there except gaze at the big piles of rock, but it’s still a profound and unique experience that every traveler should check off their list.

This travel guide will explain how you can visit the Egyptian pyramids on your own, with or without a tour, and with a very modest budget and minimal planning!

travel egypt pyramids

Quick Facts (Main Pyramid)

  • Date: 2560 BC
  • Height: 150 meters (500 ft)
  • Base Length: 150 meters (500 ft)
  • Weight: 6 million tons
  • No. of Blocks: 2.3 million
  • Builders: 200,000+

Best Day Tours To The Egypt Pyramids

First of all, if you’re on a tight schedule and want to skip the extra steps involved in arranging your own trip to the pyramids, or if you’d rather travel in a tour group for safety or convenience, there are options for doing that.

There are a number of companies that offer prearranged day tours to the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx for as low as $45 USD, complete with hotel transfer, optional camel ride, and same day return to Cairo.

If you’d rather make your own arrangements and go without a group, that’s covered next.

travel egypt pyramids

How To Get To The Giza Pyramids

The Great Pyramids are located on the outskirts of Giza , a suburb of Cairo, Egypt.

The nearest airport is the Cairo International Airport (CAI), which is served by a bunch of international airlines. You can shop for flights to Cairo at Skyscanner.

From the Cairo airport, it’s a 1 hour drive to Giza. The arrivals zone has plenty of taxis you can take, but I used Uber and I would highly recommend this because it’s much cheaper and probably safer too.

Do not rent a car in Egypt unless you are familiar with driving in the Middle East! Traffic in Arab countries is dangerous and chaotic, and you’ll be much better off going with a driver who’s familiar with how the traffic works here.

Besides, the drivers in Egypt are pretty affordable — as of 2020, the price for an Uber ride from Cairo to Giza is less than 200 EGP ($10 USD).

travel egypt pyramids

Giza Pyramids: What To Expect

If you’re staying at least one night in Giza, which I’d recommend, then you can drop off your luggage first at your hotel and then easily walk to the entrance of the pyramids and sphinx.

There are a bunch of hotels in Giza that are within a 5 minute walk to the main entrance for the pyramids, and they usually have great rooftop views to boot. More on that later.

If you’re ready to visit the pyramids, then just head up to the main ticket office and buy your tickets. The scammers and touts will already be trying to chat you up at this point, but you should ignore them.

As of 2020, the general ticket price is 120 EGP ($7 USD) and that gives you admission to the sphinx and the whole area surrounding the pyramids.

travel egypt pyramids

Camel Rides At The Egypt Pyramids

If you do go on a horse or camel ride, which I think is a great idea, then be sure to negotiate your price and terms BEFORE hopping on.

It’s common for the touts to try to come up with ridiculous prices after you’re already in the saddle and feeling obliged.

Do not pay before your ride either, handle the payment after your ride — no matter what they say!

As of 2020, the government of Egypt has a fixed price for the camel rides of 50 EGP (~$3 USD) for 30 minutes. There’s a sign near the entrance that says so, and you can always point to it if you’re having a hard time getting a fair price from the touts.

travel egypt pyramids

The Great Sphinx of Giza

Don’t forget to stop at the Great Sphinx too.

This mythical creature, with the body of a lion and the head of a pharaoh, is the oldest surviving sculpture in Egypt.

It’s also included in the same 120 EGP ticket you bought at the entrance for the pyramids, so just show your ticket at the doorway to the sphinx and you can walk up to it.

travel egypt pyramids

Hotels Near The Egyptian Pyramids

There are a bunch of neat hotels in Giza that are within a 5 minute walk to the main entrance for the pyramids, and they usually have awesome rooftop views of the whole area.

I would highly recommend staying at least one night in Giza, because it allows you to go at a relaxed pace and make the most of your time there.

It also makes it easy to do the Sound & Light Show, or just sit back and watch the sunset at Giza.

travel egypt pyramids

I stayed at Marvel Stone Hotel

travel egypt pyramids

I stayed at Marvel Stone Hotel for $32 USD/night, and it had a great rooftop terrace with views of the pyramids and sphinx, complete with easy chairs and even a pool table.

This was actually one of the highlights of my trip to Giza, because I was able to sit back and admire the pyramids and the camels running around in the distance — without being harassed by sellers and touts.

In the evening I watched the sunset over the Pyramid of Khafre and took some photos from the rooftop.

travel egypt pyramids

When Is The Best Time To Visit The Giza Pyramids?

Egypt has an arid climate, so it’s hot and dry year round.

The coolest months are from December to March, and this is probably the most popular time to visit the pyramids, but honestly any month in the spring or fall would also be fine.

I visited Egypt in September, and the heat was bad at times (mostly in Luxor), but I didn’t think it was too much of a problem in Giza. Northern Egypt is not nearly as hot as nearby Middle Eastern countries like Qatar or the United Arab Emirates.

You can take photos of the pyramids in the morning, but the dust will obscure the colors a bit. The best time of day for taking photos at the pyramids is around noon, when the dust clears up and the blue sky can be seen in the background.

travel egypt pyramids

  • Egypt Travel Guide - Tips, Info & Photos
  • Best Things To Do In Egypt

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What a great article! We’re currently dreaming of going to Egypt again – we’ve been there before and we love, love love it! Here’s to a year with loads of travel plans and new experiences!

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Indeed, thanks!

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I love the article

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Fantastic guide! Planning my trip to the Pyramids of Giza, and your tips on day tours, getting there, and the camel rides are super helpful. Excited to tick this off my bucket list, thanks for the insights!

Nice! Have a great trip.

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The Intrepid Guide

14 MUST-KNOW Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt: The Ultimate Guide (2024)

Top tips for Visiting Pyramids of Giza Egypt in 2023

These 14 top tips will answer all your questions about visiting the Pyramids of Giza so you’re well-prepared for the magical day when you see the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

If seeing the Pyramids of Giza isn’t on your bucket list then I don’t know what is. The Great Pyramid of Giza is an incredible example of human engineering and construction. Its sheer size and scale rivals any structure built within the last few hundred years. As one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it is the only monument on the list that is still standing today.

I realised my own personal lifelong dream when I visited the Giza Plateau. I loved it so much that I went twice during the same trip! Here are my best tips to help you plan your visit to the Pyramid Complex of Giza.

Looking for something in particular? Use this table of contents below to jump around using the links.

Table of Contents

Map of egyptian pyramids of giza, why were the egyptian pyramids of giza built.

  • When were the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza built?
  • Who Built the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza?

Where are the Pyramids?

1. when is the best time to visit the pyramids of giza, 3. how long does it take to get to the pyramids of giza, 4. what are the opening times of the pyramids of giza, 5. how much time do you need to visit the pyramids of giza, 6. how much are tickets to the pyramids of giza.

  • 7. Can you go Inside the Pyramids?
  • 8. Taking Camel and horse rides
  • 9. What should I wear when visiting the Pyramids?
  • 10. What should I pack when visiting the Pyramids of Giza?pa

11. Can you buy food inside the Giza Pyramid Complex?

  • 12. Sound and Light Show

13. Solar Boat Museum

  • 14. Bonus tips for visiting the Pyramids of Giza

This map shows you all the locations mentioned in this guide. Click on the pins for more information.

Tip: For a larger view of the map, click on the icon in the top right corner. If the icon is hidden and you’re viewing this on your phone, go to landscape mode. Technology, eh?

Nearly 5,000 years ago, Giza became the royal burial ground for Memphis, which was then, the Capital of Egypt. Within 100 years, three successive generations of the ancient Egyptians built the three pyramid complexes to serve as tombs for their kings.

When were the Pyramids built?

The Pyramids of Giza were built during the 4th Dynasty of the Old Kingdom from around 2613-2498 BC. The oldest and largest of the Pyramids, the Great Pyramid, was built by the 4th-Dynasty king, Khufu (2589-2566 BC.)

Who built the Pyramids of Giza?

Top tips for Visiting Pyramids of Giza Egypt

It wasn’t until 2010 that an archaeological team led by Dr. Zahi Hawass discovered several new tombs that belonged to the workers who built the pyramids of Khufu and Khafre.

Archaeologists now agree that the men who built the pyramids were, in fact, highly-skilled workmen, not slaves.

These tombs were built beside the king’s pyramid, which indicates that these people were not by any means slaves. If they were slaves, they would not have been able to build their tombs beside their king’s. Dr. Hawass

The Egyptian Pyramids are located within the Pyramids complex on the Giza plateau approximately 25km (15 miles) south-west of Downtown Cairo.

These pyramids include the Great Pyramid of Khufu (aka Cheops), Pyramid of Khafre (aka Chephren) and the Pyramid of Menkaure (aka Mycerinus) and the smallest of the three main Pyramids of Giza.

The pyramids were purposely built on the West Bank of the River Nile because the Ancient Egyptians believed that the East side of the Nile (East bank) was for the living, because the sunrises there, whilst the West Bank was for the dead (where the sun sets).

As you travel around Egypt, you will notice that all tombs are located on the West Bank of the Nile.

14 Top Tips for Visiting the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza

In general, the best time to visit Egypt is during the winter. More specifically, the best time to visit the Pyramids of Giza is after the morning rush of tourist buses. I recommend going to the Egyptian Museum first thing in the morning, this was you’ll miss the tour buses which arrive at the Pyramids between 9:30 am – 10:30 am. 

Another the benefit of waiting a bit longer is that it will give more time for the haze of pollution to clear up a bit. Yes, Cairo is very polluted, particularly in the mornings.

2. How do I get to the Pyramids?

Top tips for Visiting Pyramids of Giza Egypt

The Mortuary Temple of Khafre

I visited the pyramids twice during my trip. The first time way during this excellent tour around Egypt, then I went again after the tour had ended . If you want to do on a day trip, then I recommend this Giza Pyramids and Sphinx: Half-Day Private Tour or this Pyramids of Giza, Sakkara & Memphis: Private Tour with Lunch tour

Giza Pyramid Complex is only about 18 kilometre from Downtown Cairo however, Cairo is a heavily trafficked city. Using the public transportation available in Cairo, there are three different modes of transport you can use to reach the Pyramids.

Taking a taxi to the pyramids is by far the easiest option as there is very little effort required on your part. From anywhere in central Cairo, you can flag down a taxi on any main street and ask to go to the ‘Haram’ (this is what the pyramids are locally known as).

The only downside to taking a taxi is that you might get stuck in traffic. On a good run, it will take thirty minutes to reach the entrance to the Giza complex. Worse case scenario it could take closer to an hour if not more. There are three different kinds of taxi services available in Cairo:

Black Taxi – Black taxis are the oldest of the three. Don’t be surprised if they don’t have a meter or air-conditioning. White Taxi – White taxis are the modern version of black taxis complete with a fare meter and air-conditioning. Yellow Taxi – Yellow taxis are the most expensive, professionally serviced and can be pre-booked over the phone.

Tips for taking a taxi:

  • I always recommend taking a white taxi. Before you get in, make sure you agree on a price and don’t be afraid to bargain hard for a good rate. Expect to pay around 40 LE (Egyptian Pounds) from anywhere in Downtown Cairo.
  • If you prefer, it is possible to pay extra and have the taxi wait for you until you’ve finished visiting the Giza Pyramids Complex to then take you back to the hotel. While the option is there, keep in mind that the complex is huge and you could easily spend all day there. Plus, you don’t necessarily need to do this as there are plenty of taxis servicing both sides of the complex from the main entrance and exit near the Sphinx. I did, however, choose to pay extra for a taxi to come inside the complex and drive me around. This came in handy when I wanted to go around to the panoramic lookout which is far away.

Uber is the best, most convenient and still a very cheap option. The best part is that you won’t have to worry about haggling for the best price. Expect to pay around 60LE to the pyramids from central Cairo.

An even cheaper (yes, it’s possible) way to get to the Giza Pyramids from Downtown Cairo is by taking the public bus. The buses are comfortable and some have air-conditioners. Tickets are only 2.50 LE.

If you’re visiting the Egyptian Museum in the morning (which I highly recommend), located on the main road behind the museum are buses 355 and 357 which will take you to the Giza Pyramids complex.

If you’re staying near the Tahrir Square area it’s good to know what these buses also pass through here.

Micro-Buses

Locals, aka Cairenes, take the microbus (pronounced ‘mee-kro-bas’) these small vans are usually crowded, uncomfortable and can only seat 12 passengers.

Since no destinations are signposted, it can be tricky to use them at first. They do, however, then to depart from normal bus stops.

Microbuses are useful for major routes such as reaching the entrance to the pyramids from the Giza metro station.

Micro-Buses will only stop if there is an available seat on board. The fare will vary depending on the distance you need to travel. This can be anywhere from LE2 to LE5 and is paid once you take your seat on board.

The Cairo Metro, like any metro, gets really crowded during peak hours (7 am to 9 am and 3 pm to 6 pm). Avoid these time by starting your day early and returning after the rush.

Plan your journey by using www.cairometro.gov.eg and clicking on ‘English’ in the top left corner.

Cairo’s Metro Network doesn’t cover the entire city, but for a visitor, it’s perfect as it includes all the major tourist attractions. It’s efficient and very cheap. All single trip fares are LE 2.00 no matter how far you travel. There are four metro stations in central Cairo: Attaba, Md. Naguib, Sadat and Naseer that will take you to the closest station to the Giza Pyramids complex. After a 15-20 minute journey, get off at El-Giza station. From here it’s another 10 km to the pyramid complex entrance.

Exit the station and head down to Al Haram, this is the main road leading to the pyramids. Cross to the other side and catch either bus 900 or 997 or a microbus to the pyramids. All buses will drop you one kilometre from the entrance.

Tips for taking the metro:

  • Metro stations are clearly marked with a large red ‘M’ in a blue star.
  • Keep your ticket until you complete your journey, you’ll need it to feed into the turnstile when exiting
  • The metro opens around 6 am with trains running every 5 minutes until closing at 11.30pm.
  • Ladies, there are two carriages located in the centre of each train reserved for women only (men will be kicked out). Look for the blue ‘Ladies’ signs on the platform so you know where to wait to get on the right carriage.
  • Since the roads will be chaotic, the bus driver may forget to tell you when to get off, so it’s a good idea to ask a friendly passenger to alert you just in case.

Tips on getting to the Pyramids of Giza:

  • Most Egyptians don’t understand the word “Pyramids”, so make sure you learn the Arabic word for them, especially if you’re taking a taxi there. Haram also means. The strict translation of the Arabic word ‘harim’ means (a prohibited place) and is from the verbal root ‘harama’ (prohibited), designated as ‘haram’ (a pyramid). ( Source )
  • There are two entrances to the pyramids complex. One entrance is near the Great Pyramid of Giza, the other is near The Sphinx. You can enter via either, but if you catch a bus, you’ll arrive closer to the Great Pyramid of Giza entrance.

If you’re travelling by road, the journey can last anywhere between 30-90 minutes. Cairo is a heavily trafficked and congested city so be prepared for severe delays. The best time to leave is either side of rush hour.

If you’re travelling by train then bus/microbus, allow 45 minutes.

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The Giza plateau is open 8 am – 4 pm daily. The Giza Pyramids are open 8 am – 4 pm daily (5 pm in summer). The Solar Boat museum is open 9 am – 4 pm daily (5 pm in summer).

How much time do you have? Haha No, but seriously, time will fly once you’re inside the complex. I recommend allowing most of the day to explore the entire pyramids complex. I arrived just before 11 am and left right on closing time at 4om and I still didn’t want to leave.

My advice? Soak it up. Don’t rush your time here. Find a quiet spot and enjoy the view. Who knows when you’ll be back to see them again.

Top tips for Visiting Pyramids of Giza Egypt

If you are taking a tripod inside, you’ll need to purchase a tripod ticket for 20 LE. This is standard practice all over Egypt.

7. Can You Go Inside the Pyramids?

Top tips for Visiting Pyramids of Giza Egypt

While most people, including local guides, will try and talk you out of going inside The Great Pyramid of Giza, saying it’s not worth paying 300 LE (USD$16) for, I still recommend going inside. But it all depends on how interested you are in the pyramids.

For me, I had to go inside. After all, I travelled all that way, so why not, right? Located in the core of the pyramid is the King’s Chamber. While there’s nothing to see in the King’s Chamber per se, other than an empty sarcophagus, it’s the experience of walking through the 9 metre (30 ft) high Great Gallery and seeing the inner workings of such an incredible monument.

If you’re not already planning on going, I highly recommend going to the Egyptian Museum to see the mummies and beautifully decorated tombs. Don’t miss the Royal Mummy Room!

Tips for going inside The Great Pyramid of Giza:

  • The Great Gallery inside the Great Pyramid of Giza is very narrow and you may feel claustrophobic. Reconsider going inside if you suffer from claustrophobia.
  • Allow 30-40 minutes to complete your visit inside The Great Pyramid of Giza.
  • Cameras, including phones, aren’t allowed inside. You can leave your items at the entrance with the guards. They will give you a ticket in exchange. Don’t lose it! You’ll need it to collect your belongings afterwards.
  • It’s super humid inside the King’s Chamber, so take some tissues with you to mop up that forehead.

8. Camel and Horse Rides

Top tips for Visiting Pyramids of Giza Egypt

If you do decide to take a camel ride, make sure you’re not hassled into paying more than the fair price. In order to crack down on scamming tourist, signs have now been put up showing set prices for camel rides which are 50 Egyptian Pounds for 30 minutes.

9. What should I wear when visiting the Pyramids of Giza?

Also in my Egypt travel tips guide , I explain how you can pretty much wear anything you like in tourist areas such as the pyramids. However, you might find it more comfortable to wear breathable material like linen so you don’t have to put sunscreen all over your body. These linen pants are a great option ( these are cute too ) or a maxi-dress if you prefer.

Definitely wear a hat. Your head will catch the sun and tender for a few days afterwards.

Perhaps the most important item will be your footwear. You’ll be walking a lot, mainly through sand and dirt, so wear comfortable and breathable closed-toe shoes.

10. What should I pack when visiting the Pyramids of Giza?

It’s can get really hot whilst visit the Pyramids complex. It’s dry, dusty and since it’s a dry heat, it won’t be as obvious how much fluid you’re losing through sweat. I highly recommend taking three litres of water per person and keeping some in a thermal bottle to keep it cool and drink later in the day.

Take sunscreen and apply it before you go out in the sun. Wear sunglasses, a hat and take an umbrella just in case you need some shade; because there is none!

Top tips for Visiting Pyramids of Giza Egypt

If you still can’t get enough of the pyramids,  after you leave the Pyramids complex, head to the top floor of the Pizza Hut. Located just outside the pyramids complex directly in front of the Sphinx and watch the sunset over a pizza.

12. Sound and Light Show at the Pyramids

Go back in time and see the history of the Ancient Egyptians and the Pyramids in the daily Sound and Light show located near the Sphinx. Booking a ticket is essential , however, you can also watch the show for free if you stay at a nearby hotel with a rooftop terrace such as Pyramids View Inn Bed & Breakfast or Panorama Pyramids Inn .

The Sound and Light Show runs at 7 pm, 8 pm and 9 pm during the winter and 2.5 hours later during summer.

Don’t forget to see the boat! What boat I hear you ask? Oh, just the boat that was buried at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

It’s unclear if it was used to carry the body of Khufu from Memphis to his tomb, (markings suggest it had been sailed before) and was buried for the pharaohs own journey across the heavens or it was buried for the sun-god himself.

Either way, this impressive full-size ancient Egyptian boat took 14 years for experts to put its 1,200 pieces together.

14. Bonus tips for visiting the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt

Top tips for Visiting Pyramids of Giza Egypt

  • Climbing the Pyramids – Once upon a time you could climb the pyramids, however, this is no longer the case. But then again, it also depends on who’s working that day. A guard let me climb up just long enough to take the photo above, but that was it. It any case, it’s best to ask.
  • Toilets – There are toilets near the Sphinx and at the entrance to the pyramids complex before going through security.
  • Panoramic Viewpoint – There is a panoramic viewpoint you can go to but it’s a bit far to walk in the heat so you may want to get a lift there. Either take your taxi which you paid extra for (like I did) or take a horse or camel. This viewpoint is where all the tourist buses stop, so it gets busy. While it’s a nice spot, it’s not the best perspective of the pyramids. To get a more iconic shot as seen in this photo, you’ll need to walk out into the dunes for about 15 minutes. Hardly anyone does this so ita ’s nice opportunity to just take it all in without being interrupted.

Top tips for Visiting Pyramids of Giza Egypt

View from the panoramic viewpoint

I hope this guide has answered all your questions and helped you feel more prepared for your trip to the Pyramids of Giza. If you still have any questions or concerns, please reach out and leave a comment below. I’d be happy to help where I can. If not, then I wish you a wonderful trip! Support this blog book your Egypt tour here. Shukran for reading! ;)

Got more time? Take a day trip from Cairo

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  • Pyramids of Giza, Sakkara & Memphis: Private Tour with Lunch
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  • Cairo: Dinner Cruise on the Nile River with Entertainment
  • Cairo: Egyptian Museum 4-Hour Private Tour with Transfer
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  • Old Cairo and Khan El Khalili Bazaar: Private Half-Day Tour
  • Cairo: Best Kept Secrets Night Tour
  • Plus loads more here …

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Top tips for Visiting Pyramids of Giza Egypt

Sources Independent UK |  Eyewitness Egypt

Over to you!

Which of these tips did you find the most useful? Is there anything you would add? Tell me below! Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.

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travel egypt pyramids

Thanks for the information ? I’m going tomorrow morning, should be fun!

My pleasure! Have a wonderful trip :)

travel egypt pyramids

Do you need to wear sunglasses in Giza because of the dust swirling around (or worse dust storm)? Or is this not a problem?

I booked a half day tour with Viator to see the pyramids. Is this a good option or is it better to do this on your own by catching a taxi to Giza and buying a ticket at the entrance?

Yes, I would wear sunglasses for both the dust/sand but also since the sun is very bright. When I was there, I didn’t experience any storms or wind, so I dare say, you should be OK :)

Yesh, I think a tour is a great way to do it, especially if you’re unsure. The tour guide will give you lots of history and then you’ll have free time. If you feel like you want to spend more time there, I would go back another day with a taxi as you will know what to expect by then :)

travel egypt pyramids

Wonderful blog!! I wished i could have supported this blog by purchasing tours but after reading this, i realized i dont need i was inspired to do it how you did it. Thanks and more power

Thank you for your support, Marizon :)

travel egypt pyramids

really useful blog, thank you! I saw your IG, is impressive. Do you have some tips about explore Luxor?

Hi Nicola, thank you so much :) There’s so much to see in Luxor. I would be prepared to pay an extra fee to take your camera/tripod in to places like the Valley of the Kings. Dress appropriately, as per my general Egypt travel tips here . Avoid wandering off on your own and stay with at least one other person if you can, especially in Karnak Temple. Hope this helps :)

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The Great Pyramid of Giza (tomb of pharaoh Khufu)

On the west bank of the River Nile lies Egypt’s most iconic ancient sight : the Pyramids of Giza. The site is made up of three separate pyramid complexes, including the Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Khufu), the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure. The Great Sphinx of Giza stands sentinel over them all. All three pyramids were constructed by Fourth Dynasty pharaohs, making them over 4,500 years old. Together, they form part of the ancient Memphis necropolis and stand as a testament to the astonishing wealth, power and architectural prowess of the Ancient Egyptians. Find out how to visit the Pyramids with this guide.

Great Pyramid of Giza

The Great Pyramid of Giza is both the largest and the oldest of the Giza pyramids. It was constructed as a tomb and monument for the pharaoh Khufu, and completed around 2560 B.C. Like the other pyramids, it is built out of vast blocks of granite and limestone that would have been quarried, transported and assembled by hand. In total, around 2.3 million blocks of stone were used to create the pyramid, which was originally encased in smooth white limestone. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, this architectural feat required a workforce of 100,000 men and took 20 years to complete.

In its heyday, the pyramid would have stood 481 feet (146.5 meters) tall. It was the world’s tallest man-made structure for more than 3,800 years. The entrance is located on the north face and leads via a series of corridors to the Queen’s and King’s chambers. The pyramid was opened and looted by the pharaohs of the Middle and New Kingdoms, who may have used its contents to furnish their own tombs at the Valley of the Kings near Luxor . In Hellenistic times, the Great Pyramid was named as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Despite being the oldest of the ancient wonders, it is also the only one that still exists today. 

Pyramid of Khafre

The second-tallest of the Giza pyramids, the Pyramid of Khafre was built as the burial place of Khufu’s son and successor. The exact dates of its completion are not certain, although Khafre ruled from around 2558 to 2532 BC. Some of this pyramid’s original limestone casing remains around the apex, although the rest was removed at various times throughout its history – including during the Nineteenth Dynasty when Ramesses II looted the limestone for one of his temples at Heliopolis. This pyramid has two entrances which lead to a single burial chamber and a subsidiary chamber that may have been used for storage purposes. 

Pyramid of Menkaure

The Pyramid of Menkaure is the smallest and most recent of the three and was likely completed at the beginning of the 25th century B.C. Unlike the other two pyramids, only the upper portion was encased in limestone and parts of the granite exterior appear unfinished. It’s likely that construction was interrupted by Menkaure's death and never completed. The pyramid has a single entrance leading to a subterranean burial chamber. At the end of the 12th century, it was the first victim of Sultan Al-Aziz Uthman 's attempt to demolish the pyramids. Fortunately the task proved too difficult and was abandoned; however, damage to the pyramid’s north face remains as proof of the vandalism. 

Great Sphinx of Giza 

The Great Sphinx of Giza is a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of a man. Egyptologists generally agree that its face was carved in Khafre’s likeness; which makes sense given the fact that it dates back to his reign. It is the oldest-known monumental sculpture in Egypt and is especially impressive when one considers that it was carved out of a single chunk of the plateau’s limestone bedrock. Layers of different density in the rock account for the accelerated erosion in the middle part of the sphinx’s body while theories abound as to the reason for its missing nose. It measures 240 feet (73 meters) in length and stands 66 feet (20 meters) high. 

Modern Explorations

The Giza pyramids have been the subject of exploration and research for almost as long as they have existed. In the early 1800s, French archaeologist Auguste Mariette began clearance work on the Giza site. The first modern archaeologists to explore inside the pyramids included Giovanni Belzoni, John Perring and Richard Vyse, and Karl Richard Lepsius. In 1880, British archaeologist Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie traveled to Giza to make the first scientific survey of the pyramids. His drawings and measurements were so accurate that much of our understanding of how they were built is still based on his findings. 

Excavations continued throughout the 20th century and into the 21st. In 2010, Egyptian archaeologists discovered a worker’s burial ground that proved the pyramids were built by paid artisans rather than slaves. Most recently, in May 2019, a new cemetery and sarcophagi were uncovered that are believed to be over 4,500 years old. In 1979, the Pyramids of Giza were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the rest of the Memphis necropolis .

Things to See & Do 

Today, the three main pyramids and the sphinx are the main attractions; but there’s much more to see at Giza including a series of smaller, subsidiary pyramids, mastaba tombs, and temples. You can also view the ruins of the workers’ village, located to the southeast of the Khafre and Menkaure pyramids; and the Solar Boat Museum . The latter houses a boat that was found buried at the foot of the Great Pyramid and painstakingly reconstructed by experts over the course of 14 years. If you stay after dark, you can also watch as the pyramids are illuminated by the nightly Sound & Light Show . 

General tickets include a tour inside one of the three satellite pyramids of the Queen of Cheops. If you want to view inside the three main pyramids, it’s possible to do so with the purchase of an additional ticket. There isn’t too much to see inside as the mummies and their treasures have been removed (either by looters, or to the safety of the Egyptian Museum ). Old Kingdom pharaohs also didn't decorate their burial chambers with hieroglyphs as later rulers did. However, the experience of venturing deep inside such ancient structures is worth it for many visitors—although claustrophobics should opt out. Climbing the pyramids is illegal. 

How to Visit

Some people choose to join an organized tour . Benefits include a hotel pick-up, transfers from Cairo, included entry fees and an English-speaking Egyptologist guide; however, you’ll be traveling in a large group at the time when the pyramids are most crowded. Alternatively, it’s easy to explore the pyramids independently. Taxi or Uber rides from central Cairo take approximately an hour (depending on traffic) and are amazingly affordable. Public buses also travel from outside the Egyptian Museum to the pyramids. 

When you get there, you can choose to wander the complex on foot or hire a camel or horse. The latter is a popular option for those that want to venture into the desert to get a panoramic view of the pyramids; however, many of the animals are poorly treated or underfed. The best views are from the dunes behind the Pyramid of Menkaure, and include all three temples juxtaposed against the modern Cairo skyline in the distant background. Sturdy footwear, ample sun protection and plenty of water are all must-haves for your Giza adventure. 

If you want to avoid the crowds, try visiting a little later in the day after the majority of the tour buses have been and gone (most arrive between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.).

Hours & Admission Fees

According to the official Egyptian tourism website , the site opens at 9 a.m. every day and closes at 5 p.m. Ticket prices are listed as 60 Egyptian pounds for general admission, 100 Egyptian pounds for entry into the Great Pyramid, 30 Egyptian pounds for entry into the Pyramid of Khafre and 25 Egyptian pounds for entry into the Pyramid of Menkaure. The Sound & Light Show costs US$15 and should be booked in advance. 

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How to Visit the Pyramids of Giza

The Great Pyramid is the last remaining of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. If you’re coming to Egypt, there’s a good chance you’re here to see it (and the other pyramids of Giza).

travel egypt pyramids

A camel ride is a quintessential part of your visit to the Pyramids of Egypt (Photo: Unsplash)

The Great Pyramid is the first and largest pyramid of the Giza pyramid complex, but that doesn’t mean the others aren’t incredibly impressive. There’s a lot to take in while you’re in Egypt—from pyramids to cemeteries to museums—and knowing the “lay of the land” will help you better plan your time.

If you’re wondering how to visit the Pyramids of Giza, this guide is here to break it down.

A Short History of the Pyramids of Giza

The Giza complex consists of three pyramids—each one is a tomb built for a prolific pharoah. The Great Pyramid was built around 2550 B.C. for King Khufu, and his son Khafre started the construction of his own pyramid about 30 years later. The Great Pyramid and the Pyramid of Khafre were the two largest pyramids built in ancient Egypt. (The legendary Sphinx was also built to watch over Khafre and is said to have been created to look like him.)

The last pyramid in the Giza complex is the Pyramid of Menkaure, dedicated to Khafre’s son (Khufu’s grandson) and built around 2490 BC. This is the smallest of the three pyramids, but there’s still plenty to admire about it. At 65 meters tall, it certainly isn’t “small.”

One of the most incredible things about the Pyramids of Giza is that nobody really knows exactly how they were built. Uncovering all the mysteries of the pyramids is an ongoing pursuit.

So, what do researchers know? Most researchers and scientists can agree that building the temples took up to 20,000 workers over the course of 20 years or so. And no, they weren’t slaves. Most of the workers were actually farmers who worked during a time when the Nile River flooded their land. There was even a temporary town set up nearby for them, complete with dwellings, shops, and other services.

The magnitude of work here is hard to grasp. To build the Great Pyramid, for example, more than 2.3 million blocks of stone were cut and transported to the site. Researchers believe an elaborate system of ramps was used to move the blocks of stone around but remain unsure of exactly how they functioned. Long story short: the ancient Egyptians were brilliant engineers, and their work remains shrouded in questions thousands of years later.

Fun Facts About the Pyramids of Giza

The pharaohs were buried with their most prized material possessions so that they had everything they needed to thrive in the afterlife. Sadly, many of these priceless treasures have been looted over the years.

The pyramids are almost perfectly aligned with the cardinal points, but researchers don’t have a concrete explanation for how it was done.

At least 130+ pyramids have been discovered around Egypt, but the ones at Giza are the most famous.

The pyramids were originally encased in white limestone and would have reflected the sunlight’s rays brilliantly, causing a sort of glimmer effect. That limestone has deteriorated over the years due to natural elements, but also because it was stripped for other building uses. You can see that the Pyramid of Khafre has some limestone remaining at its peak.

If you were to replicate these pyramids today (factoring in the cost of materials and labor), it’d cost about $1 billion to build all three!

travel egypt pyramids

There are many things to do at the Pyramids, including a visit to the world-famous Sphinx (Photo: Unsplash)

Things to Do at the Pyramids of Giza

There’s a lot to see and do at the Pyramids of Giza. Here are some of the best activities to enjoy:

Explore the Pyramids

Yes, you can venture into the pyramids, although each has its own entrance fee. You’ll likely feel dwarfed by these giants when you’re standing in their presence, so take some time outside the pyramids first to admire their size.

In the Great Pyramid, a small door leads through the Grand Gallery and into the King’s Chamber. There’s nothing here but an empty sarcophagus, but it’s impressive to be inside just the same.

You can also enter the two smaller tombs, but like the Great Pyramid, there’s not much to see inside. The crowds are definitely less congested, however, so if you want to roam around and imagine yourself back in the day of the ancient Egyptians, this is your chance.

See the Eastern and Western Cemeteries

Along the east side of the Pyramid of Khufu lie three smaller pyramids where Khufu’s wives and sisters were buried, as well as stone tombs in cemeteries used for officials and members of the royal family.

In the eastern cemetery, you can visit the mastaba (large tomb) belonging to Meresankh III, the wife of Khafre, to see its beautiful wall frescoes. The colorful scenes here all depict everyday, ordinary life. The mastaba for Seshemnufer IV doesn’t have the same impressive paintings, but the entryway has elaborate columns that are worth admiring.

At the royal cemetery, visit the Tomb of Senegemib-Inti to see its intricate wall carvings there.

Visit the Valley Temple

The Valley Temple of Khafre is a striking structure, made with granite blocks and alabaster flooring. The temple’s purpose was twofold: it was used for the mummification of the king, and also for the purification of the mummy before burial.

The mummification process is a fascinating one that would have taken 70 days to complete. High priests worked as embalmers to treat and wrap the body, all while performing the rites and prayers required at certain stages throughout. First, all internal organs would be removed immediately to prevent decay. Then they were placed in special jars to be eventually buried with the mummy.

To remove all moisture from the body, the priests used a type of salt known as natron which is known for its drying properties. When it came time for the wrapping, a priest would use several hundreds of yards of cloth to carefully bind the body. The Egyptians believed that the body was an important vessel for the spirit, and so they wanted to keep the body mostly intact to carry on in the afterlife.

See the Sphinx

This is easily one of the most recognizable monuments in Egypt—and the world. It’s carved out of granite and resembles a lounging lion, but with the head of the pharaoh (most researchers think it’s Khafre’s head) adorned with the royal headcloth. Nobody knows for certain what happened to the Sphinx’s missing nose.

Visit the Solar Boat Museum

Excavations around Giza in the mid-1900s led to the discovery of five long spaces for boats, including a Solar Barque (a vessel used by the sun god, Ra) broken into a thousand pieces and serving as an offering to the gods.

Incredibly careful restoration has pieced the boat back together, and now you can see the 4500-year-old vessel on display at the museum.

travel egypt pyramids

Visiting the Pyramids with a tour vs. solo (Photo: Unsplash)

Should You Visit the Pyramids With a Guided Tour?

While it’s possible to visit the pyramids on your own, this is the kind of experience you’ll really want to do on a guided tour. This is especially true if you’re only visiting Giza for a short amount of time and would prefer to soak up as much of the experience as possible, all while learning about this incredible place (and all the mysteries still surrounding it).

You’ve probably heard about the incredible crush of vendors all around the Giza complex who will try to sell you something you don’t want. This isn’t the case for all of them, of course, but it’s better to have something arranged beforehand if you want to avoid being overwhelmed. These vendors are only doing their jobs, but it’s better to go with a guide you trust than someone you’ve just met five minutes ago at Giza.

With the right tour, you won’t get a boring old spiel of memorized facts and history, either. Take the time to find a tour that really matches your interests. Here are some examples from Get Your Guide:

You can explore at a leisurely, relaxed pace on a Pyramids of Giza and Great Sphinx: Private Half-Day Tour . That means you won’t be jostled around on a tour bus with 100 other people.

If you’re a solo female traveler, you can join a female-led private tour of the pyramids , as well as an Egyptian Museum and a nighttime bazaar trip. Egypt can be challenging for women (especially those traveling alone), so a female-led is a great option for anyone who’s nervous about navigating the area.

Get a little adventurous on a Giza Pyramids Tour with Quad Bike Safari & Camel Ride (or take a shorter ATV trip into the desert if you just want a panoramic view of the pyramids and the Sphinx). A camel ride, in particular, is a quintessential thing to do at the Pyramids, at the very least for the epic photography.

Stick around later in the evening for the pyramids’ sound and light show . You’ll grab a seat at the Giza Plateau to watch the story of the Egyptians and their kings being projected onto the pyramids and the Sphinx.

Most tours also offer hotel pick-ups and transfers as well. For anyone who wants a certain level of convenience, a guided tour is the way to go. Everything is taken care of, and you can sit back and enjoy the experience.

travel egypt pyramids

A horse ride at the Pyramids of Giza (Photo: Unsplash)

Tips For Visiting the Pyramids of Giza

You should plan for a full day (5 hours at the very least) to explore the Pyramids of Giza. But if you want to take a glimpse inside every pyramid, cemetery, and museum, you’ll easily spend eight hours or more here. Keep in mind that there are restaurants and other facilities here should you need anything throughout the day (like a good meal).

You can visit the Pyramids of Giza year-round, but peak season is from December to February when temperatures are the coolest. (Be prepared for morning haze during this time, though. Sometimes it ruins photography.) The shoulder seasons (March to April, and October to November) are best for fewer crowds.

Remember: this is a desert environment, so it gets hot inside the pyramids and around the complex during the day. Cooler temperatures feel more welcoming, but crowds make things a little more uncomfortable. Outside of December to February, temperatures are a lot higher. Keep in mind that you’ll need to dress modestly when you visit, which makes it even warmer.

What does modest mean? Men are expected to wear long pants instead of shorts, but a t-shirt is fine. Women should not have their knees exposed, nor should they wear anything too revealing like a plunging neckline. Bare shoulders are also a no-no.

Be sure to pack sunscreen and carry lots of water. There’s very little relief from the sun and the heat in the middle of the desert! It’s also not a bad idea to pack a lunch rather than spend money on the inflated prices at the restaurants and cafes around the complex.

Arrive as early as possible. The earlier you’re there, the fewer crowds you’ll have to deal with. Anytime before 10 a.m. is a good time to beat the rush.

Also, if you can avoid the weekends, do so. Fridays and Saturdays are typically very busy as school is out and local families love to see the pyramids for themselves.

If you’d prefer to visit the Pyramids of Giza on your own, you can easily get an Uber. This is a good way to ensure you don’t get ripped off or scammed by overzealous taxi drivers. But for the best experience, a tour is the way to go.

Millions of people visit the Pyramids of Giza each year, and once you see them for yourself, it’s easy to understand why. There’s something incredibly humbling about standing at the bottom of the Great Pyramid and knowing that these larger-than-life monuments were created thousands of years ago without any of the technology we have today. It’s a fascinating place and a trip of a lifetime. Enjoy every moment.

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15 Essential Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza (Ace Your Adventure!)

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Step into the realm of antiquity and prepare for an extraordinary adventure as we unveil 15 Travel-Tested Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza .

These monumental structures have stood proudly for millennia, drawing travelers from around the world to witness their enigmatic allure.

In this guide, we will take you on a journey through the sands of time, revealing insider insights and invaluable advice to help you make the most of your visit to this iconic archaeological wonder. Our tips will ensure that your trip to the Pyramids of Giza is nothing short of extraordinary.

Join us as we uncover the secrets of these ancient giants and embark on a quest to create lasting memories amidst the sands of Egypt!

PRO TIP: You might also like: 10 Epic Things to See and Do at the Pyramids of Giza (Unlock Giza’s Gems!)

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7 Best Tombs to Visit in the Valley of the Kings

  • 1. 15 Essential Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza (Ace Your Giza Agventure!)
  • 1.1. Captivating Reasons to Explore the Great Pyramids of Giza
  • 1.2. Discovering the Pyramids of Giza: Location and Travel Route to Get There
  • 1.3. Essential Things to Know About the Pyramids of Giza Complex
  • 1.4. Who Built the Pyramids
  • 1.5. Why Were the Pyramids of Giza Built
  • 1.6. How Were the Pyramids Built
  • 1.7. What Are the Most Fascinating Facts About the Pyramids
  • 1.8. What to See and Do at the Pyramids of Giza: 10 Epic Things You Can't Miss
  • 1.9. Can You Climb on the Pyramids
  • 1.10. What to Wear When Visiting the Pyramids of Giza
  • 1.11. How Much Does it Cost to Visit the Pyramids
  • 1.12. What Are the Opening Hours of the Pyramids of Giza
  • 1.13. How Long Does it Take to Visit the Pyramids of Giza Complex
  • 1.14. What Is the Best Time to Visit the Pyramids
  • 1.15. Where to Stay When Visiting the Pyramids of Giza
  • 2. Intrepid Scout's Most important Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza

15 Essential Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza (Ace Your Giza Agventure!)

Captivating reasons to explore the great pyramids of giza.

  • Ancient Wonder of the World: The Pyramids of Giza hold a special place in history as one of the last remaining wonders from the ancient world . Visiting them allows you to connect with the past and witness an achievement that has fascinated humanity for centuries.
  • Architectural Marvels: These pyramids are architectural marvels, showcasing the advanced engineering skills of the ancient Egyptians. Their precise construction techniques, alignment with the cardinal points, and massive scale continue to intrigue architects and historians.

The Pyramids of Giza

Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza / Captivating Reasons to Explore the Great Pyramids of Giza

  • Historical Significance: Beyond their awe-inspiring presence, the pyramids serve as tombs for pharaohs, offering a glimpse into the profound cultural and religious beliefs of ancient Egypt. Exploring their chambers and hieroglyphics provides a window into this ancient civilization.
  • Sphinx Encounter: Adjacent to the pyramids stands the Great Sphinx of Giza , a colossal statue with the body of a lion and the head of a pharaoh. It guards the pyramids and adds an air of mystery and symbolism to the site.

What to See and Do at the Pyramids of Giza

  • Astrological Alignment: The pyramids’ alignment with celestial bodies, particularly with the stars, has fascinated astronomers and scholars for centuries. You can learn about these celestial connections and the significance they held for the ancient Egyptians.
  • Photo Opportunities: The pyramids offer an array of breathtaking photo opportunities. Whether capturing their majesty from a distance or exploring their intricate details up close, you will create lasting memories through photography.

Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza

Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza / Pyramids of Giza at Sunrise 

Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza

Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza / Pyramids of Giza at Sunrise

  • Mysterious Legends: The pyramids are surrounded by intriguing legends and mysteries, from the search for hidden chambers to theories about their construction methods.
  • Sunset and Sunrise Spectacle: Witnessing the pyramids during sunrise or sunset is a magical experience . The warm, golden light transforms these ancient structures into ethereal wonders, creating a truly memorable sight.

Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza

Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza / Pyramids of Giza at Sunset

  • Timeless Symbolism: Reflect on the timeless symbolism of the pyramids, which represent human ambition, achievement, and the pursuit of immortality. These enduring structures continue to inspire and captivate people worldwide.
  • Bucket List Destination: For many, a visit to the Pyramids of Giza is a lifelong dream. Checking it off your bucket list provides a sense of accomplishment and a deep connection with history.
  • Global Heritage: Recognize the global significance of the pyramids as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They stand as a testament to human achievement and serve as a shared cultural heritage for people of all backgrounds.

Discovering the Pyramids of Giza: Location and Travel Route to Get There

The Great Pyramids of Giza sit on the Giza Plateau , which is located on the edges of the Western Desert. Specifically, they are positioned approximately 9 km (5 mi) west of the Nile River in the city of Giza and about 13 km (8 mi) southwest of Cairo.

The best way to get to the Pyramids of Giza is by having a driver and a guide . This option gives you total flexibility. You can decide how much time you need to see everything at the Pyramids of Giza. Plus, having a knowledgeable guide by your side is priceless!

You can ask your hotel for a  bus tour  that stops at all major attractions in Cairo. It is probably one of the least expensive options. But, it does not give you much flexibility.

Another option is to just  book a taxi and head to the Pyramids of Giza. You will always be able to hire a guide right at the entrance.

Image Source: Map data ©2020 ORION-ME

Essential Things to Know About the Pyramids of Giza Complex

The Great Pyramids of Giza are part of the Giza Pyramid Complex , which is also called the Giza Necropolis . The Giza Pyramid Complex consists of:

1. The Great Pyramid of Giza, also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops

2. Pyramid of Khafre

3. Pyramid of Menkaure

4. Great Sphinx of Giza

5. Queens Pyramids

6. Solar Boat Museum

In addition, there are causeways, valley pyramids, several cemeteries, and the remains of a workers’ village

The Great Pyramid of Giza

Map of the Pyramids of Giza Complex / Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza / Image Source: Wikipedia

Who Built the Pyramids

The pyramids were constructed during the period of the Old Kingdom , also known as the “Age of the Pyramids” or the “Age of Pyramid Builders (c. 2686-2181 BC). Specifically, they were built during the reign of the Fourth Dynasty Pharaohs.

The Pharaohs: Khufu, Khafre , and Menkaure erected the Pyramids of Giza.

Interestingly, the pyramid building project was started with the Step Pyramid in Saqqara during the reign of the Third Dynasty Pharaohs. Specifically, the Step Pyramid was built for the burial of Pharoah Djoser.

In addition, King Sneferu , the founding pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty of Egypt, was the first one who attempted to build smooth-sided pyramids at Dahshur.

A Quick Read: 

Were the Pyramids of Giza built by slaves?

The ancient Greeks believed the pyramids were built with a massive slave labor force.

However, Miroslav Verner , in his book The Pyramids: The Mystery, Culture, and Science of Egypt’s Great Monuments , argues that the pyramids were not only built by humans—instead of aliens or gods—but they were constructed by tradesmen and artisans whose skills were in high demand and who were paid wages and organized under a complex bureaucracy. Source: Open Culture

In addition, Egyptologists Mark Lehner and Zahi Hawass claim that 20,000-30,000 skilled laborers, including stone masons, engineers, architects, surveyors, builders, and other craftsmen, were conscripted to construct Khufu’s temple, while a more significant force of workers was summoned during the summer months when the Nile flooded the surrounding valley and integrated with the permanent labor force.

The Pyramids of Giza

Who Built the Pyramids of Giza / Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza 

Why Were the Pyramids of Giza Built

Pharaohs held a special position in Egyptian society. It was a status of a being that combined both human and divine characteristics . As a result, this godlike status was held even after death

First of all, the pharaoh’s body was mummified and then buried in elaborate tombs, like pyramids.

Mummification was a necessary process since the Egyptians believed that the mummified body served as a home of the three spirits : ka, ba, and akh.

Ka was essentially a person’s double. It was the life force and at death it was separated from the body. However, it was important that after the pharaoh’s death ka had a home as well as be properly nourished and cared for. It was important that the deceased body would resemble the living body as much as possible so that ka, which was free to roam around and then return, could recognize his body.

That is the reason why each tomb would contain absolutely anything that they might need and what would help them in their afterlife.

Interestingly, if the body was destroyed, or the name of the pharaoh was erased, like in the case of a sad story of Pharaoh Hatshepsut , then ka would be lost.

How Were the Pyramids Built

There are many theories on how the Pyramids of Giza were built.

  • Some reports claim that the pyramids were built by either dragging , rolling , and then lifting the huge blocks into place.
  • Some theories suggest that a system of ramps had to have been constructed for maneuvering the huge blocks.
  • Finally, there are theories that suggest that wooden and bronze levers were used to intricately position the stones into their place. These are all speculations.

Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza

How Were the Pyramids of Giza Built / Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza 

What Are the Most Fascinating Facts About the Pyramids

  • I think that the most fascinating fact that I came across was made by Robert Bauval in his book Orion Correlation Theory: 

Bauval claimed that the three Pyramids of Giza are aligned exactly like the three stars of the Orion Belt: Alnilam (Epsilon Orionis), Alnitak (Zeta Orionis), and Mintaka (Delta Orionis). He reported that the layout of the pyramids and their relative sizes were a deliberate design plan.

It is a controversial theory and has been criticized by Ed Krupp of Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, and Anthony Fairall , an astronomy professor at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza

Fascinating theories about the Pyramids of Giza / Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza

Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza

  • Another interesting observation that I came across was the fact that the Great Pyramid at Giza’s latitude , 29.9792458°N, perfectly matches up to the speed of light, which is 299,792,458 meters per second. It is a fascinating fact!

Some claim that the ancient Egyptians had some greater knowledge of the speed of light, space travel, and, potentially, advanced alien spaceships.

  • The mystery that still puzzles the scientists is whether or not mortar was used to attach the stones to each other.

How is it possible that some of the blocks are so perfectly matched that not even human hair can be inserted between them? Why, despite the existence of millions of tons of stone, carved presumably with copper chisels, has not one copper chisel ever been found on the Giza Plateau?

  • Another interesting theory that I read about suggested that the Pyramids of Giza were once covered in a white casing made of highly polished limestone blocks which reflected the sun’s rays.

The pyramid’s angled sides symbolized the rays of the sun and were designed to help the pharaoh’s soul ascend to heaven and join the sun god Ra. The theory goes on and claim that the casings slowly disappeared after becoming loosened by earthquakes and crumbling to rubble or being cut loose and taken to build other structures.

  • Another fascinating discovery that you should be aware of is that although at first sight, the Great Pyramid of Giza appears to have four sides, in reality, it has eight sides .

Each of the four sides of the pyramids is evenly split from base to tip. The discovery goes back to 1940 when a pilot named Robert Marsland Groves while flying over it noticed the indentations.

These are all interesting speculations and it is fun to read about them. It just shows how little we know about the ancient Egyptians and how much more we still need to learn about them.

The Great Pyramid of Giza

Fascinating facts about the Pyramids of Giza / Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza / Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

What to See and Do at the Pyramids of Giza: 10 Epic Things You Can't Miss

How do you decide what to see and do at the Great Pyramids of Giza?

Make sure to read my post 10 Epic Things to See and Do at the Pyramids of Giza to find out all the details. This bucket list contains 10 of the best experiences you can have at the Giza Pyramid Complex. It will help you to get a sense of this incredible place and all the treasures it holds.

Following is a short list to get you started:

  • See the Great Pyramid of Giza – The Great Pyramid of Giza, also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops, is the oldest and the largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Pyramid Complex.
  • Go Inside the Great Pyramid of Giza – for an additional fee, on top of the entrance ticket to the Great Pyramid Complex, you can go inside either the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Pyramid of Khafre, and/or the Pyramid of Menkaure.
  • See the Pyramid of Khafre – the Pyramid of Khafre is the second tallest and second largest of the Pyramids of Giza. However, if you look at it, it appears to be taller than the Great Pyramid.
  • See the Pyramid of Menkaure – The Pyramid of Menkaure is the smallest of the three main Pyramids of Giza. Did you know that at the end of the twelfth century al-Malek al-Aziz Othman ben Yusuf , Saladin ‘s son and heir, attempted to demolish the pyramids , starting with that of Menkaure? Despite their efforts, workmen were only able to damage the pyramid to the extent of leaving a large vertical gash at its northern face.
  • Be Amazed by the Great Sphinx of Giza – I have to honestly say that when I saw the Great Sphinx of Giza, it literally took my breath away! Did you know that a sphinx is a mythical creature with the head of a human, a cat, or a sheep, with the body of a lion with the wings of an eagle?
  • Go on a Camel Ride – hands down, go on a camel ride. It is part of the experience! Negotiate the prices before you get on the camel. I suggest that you ask to ride the camel to the Panoramic Spot and have your pictures taken there. Read all about it here.

The Pyramids of Giza

What to See at the Pyramids of Giza / Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza 

Can You Climb on the Pyramids

You cannot climb the pyramids. However, I saw tourists tipping the guards and climbing on the pyramids.

Please do not do it. Let’s make as little of an impact as possible and save the pyramids for future generations.

What to Wear When Visiting the Pyramids of Giza

  • There is no set dress code or specific restrictions on what you can or cannot wear while visiting the Pyramids of Giza. The bottom line, is you can wear whatever you want. However, keep in mind that Egypt is a conservative country. So, with that being the case, cover up your body and be respectful . Skip tank tops or tube tops and short shorts.
  • In addition, since you will be outside most of the time, I would suggest that you wear a hat and a sun shirt  to protect yourself.
  • Needless to say, wear comfortable and sturdy shoes . You will be doing a lot of walking.
  • Finally, keep in mind that you will be in an open area that gets very windy and it is very dusty! It is a good idea to bring a scarf and cover up your nose and mouth. Each year, around April and May, the Khamsin winds loaded with sand hit Egypt. The winds take a toll on the Great Pyramids of Giza, but especially weathered is the body of the Great Sphinx of Giza which is carved out of a softer layer of limestone.

How Much Does it Cost to Visit the Pyramids

  • The entrance ticket to the Giza Plateau costs 200 EGP per adult and 100 EGP for a student (with a valid ID).
  • The entrance ticket to go inside the Great Pyramid of Giza costs 400 EGP, the Pyramid of Khafre costs 100 EGP, and the Pyramid of Menkaure is also 100 EGP.
  • The entrance ticket to the Solar Boat Museum costs 100 EGP.
  • Consider buying the combo ticket , which includes the entrance to the Giza Plateau, the entrance to the Great Pyramid of Giza, and the entrance to the Solar Boat Museum. The combo ticket costs 600 EGP.
  • Included in your ticket is a free visit to the middle pyramid of the three satellite pyramids of the Queen of Cheops.

The Pyramids of Giza

How Much Does It Cost to Visit the Pyramids of Giza / Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza 

What Are the Opening Hours of the Pyramids of Giza

The Giza Plateau Archaeological Site opens every day between 8 am and 5 pm from October to March, and from 7 am to 7 pm every day between April and September.

My recommendation is to get there as early as possible . The tour buses start arriving between 9:30 am and 10 am and needless to say, it gets very crowded. You will get lucky if you manage to take a picture without any tourists in them.

How Long Does it Take to Visit the Pyramids of Giza Complex

My recommendation is to reserve a minimum of 3-4 hours . It is a bare minimum.

First of all, it is a huge site. It takes time to walk from pyramid to pyramid. Next, if you decide to go inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, you will need at least an hour to do it.

Moreover, if you are going to visit the Solar Boat Museum, then you need at least an hour to see the boat. Finally, if you go on a camel ride, then add another hour. Plus, you need time to take a ton of pictures!

So, do not rush it. Take your time. Find a quiet spot and soak it all in! Who knows when you are going to be back?

Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza

How Long Does It Take to Visit the Pyramids of Giza / Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza 

What Is the Best Time to Visit the Pyramids

Get to the Giza Pyramid Complex as early as possible . First of all, you will avoid the crowds that usually swarm the place by about 9:30 am.

Second, if you are visiting during the summer months , then getting to Giza early will save you from the scorching heat.

If you are visiting during the winter months then make sure to go in the afternoon. There is usually a pretty dense fog that has a tendency to linger on in the morning during winter months and obscures the views.

Where to Stay When Visiting the Pyramids of Giza

I stayed at Marriot Mena House in Giza and it was fabulous!

Unfortunately, at the time of my stay, all the rooms with views of the pyramids were going through renovation. I was hoping that each morning I would be waking up to the sight of the Great Pyramid of Giza, but no such luck. However, the minute I stepped out of my room, I was greeted with the most amazing views of the pyramids.

Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza

Where to Stay When Visiting the Pyramids of Giza / Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza 

Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza

The buffet breakfast, which I enjoyed every morning, offered endless possibilities and the food presentation was top-notch. By the way, after you have your breakfast, get your cup of coffee and go to the outdoor patio area and enjoy your coffee there while admiring the views.

I honestly have to say that the rooms are fair size, clean, and nicely decorated. Above all, the customer service is outstanding! They will absolutely go out of their way to make your stay perfect.

Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza

Intrepid Scout's Most important Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza

  • If you are visiting the Pyramids of Giza during the summer months, get to the Pyramid Complex as early as possible or late in the afternoon to escape the crowds. The tour buses arrive at about 9:30 a.m. and leave at about 3 p.m. If you are visiting during the winter months, make sure to schedule your tour in the afternoon. There is usually a dense fog or haze in the morning which obscures the view.
  • Use entrance # 1 as marked on the map. Entrance # 2 is very narrow and always jam-packed with tourists and locals.
  • Do not skip the Solar Boat Museum . The reconstructed boat is a sight to see!
  • Go on a camel ride . It is part of the experience.
  • Take the time and walk to the Panoramic Spot . You will be able to take amazing pictures.

Find out how to get to the Panoramic Spot at the Pyramids of Giza here .

Traveling in Egypt can be challenging , even for the most seasoned nomad. There’s so much to know about Egypt and consider before planning a trip, however, make sure to read 14 Egypt travel tips , to help you make the most of your time,  avoid possible challenges, and ensure you have a safe and enjoyable stay in Egypt.

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Getting to know the Pyramids of Giza

Nov 26, 2020 • 6 min read

Pyramids of Giza during sunset.

© Ratnakorn Piyasirisorost/Getty Images

The Great Pyramid is the only standing monument of the Wonders of the Ancient World, so it’s no surprise that the Pyramids of Giza are a bucket list destination for many travelers. These massive structures offer modern-day visitors a peek into a powerful historical dynasty whose building techniques continue to puzzle historians to this day.

Visitors flock to Egypt for the chance to marvel at the ancient architecture built to last an eternity. Before planning a trip, learn more about the history and mysteries of the Pyramids of Giza and why they’re well-worth the visit. 

Editor's note: During COVID-19 travel restrictions may be in place or opening hours may vary. Please check ahead before planning any trip and always follow government health advice.

What are the Pyramids of Giza?

The Pyramids of Giza are tombs built for three of Egypt’s pharaohs. The ancient Egyptians believed that when pharaohs died, they would move on to the afterlife as gods. These pharaohs prepared for the afterlife by ordering the building of enormous pyramid tombs for themselves, where they could store all the items they’d need in the next world. 

The construction of the first and largest pyramid, the Pyramid of Khufu (also known as the Great Pyramid ), began around 2550 BCE for Pharaoh Khufu. Thirty years later, Khufu’s son ordered the construction of his own tomb, the Pyramid of Khafre . Simultaneously, the Sphinx – believed to be modeled after Khufu’s son – was built to watch over his tomb. The last of the Giza Pyramids, known as the Pyramid of Menkaure , was built around 2490 BCE by Khafre’s son and is considerably smaller than the first two pyramids.

Great Sphinx of Giza and the Pyramids in the background on a clear sunny day

These three pyramids, along with the Sphinx and several other pyramids and tombs make up what is known as the Giza Pyramid Complex. 

How were the Pyramids built?

The engineering behind the Pyramids of Giza is so impressive that scientists and historians are uncertain exactly how they were built. However, over the past several decades, archaeologists have made numerous discoveries that have helped them further understand the construction of the Pyramids. 

Researchers agree that it took anywhere between 10,000–20,000 workers over twenty or so years to construct the three pyramids. Old history books claim that the Pyramids of Giza were built by slaves, but later discoveries concluded that the majority, if not all, workers were native Egyptian farmers, who worked during a time when the Nile River flooded nearby land. These workers lived in a temporary town that was built near the Menkaure Pyramid. 

Egyptians used a variety of tools and materials to construct the Pyramids. Stones used in the construction of both Khufu and Menkaure came from nearby quarries, although it’s unclear where stones used to build the Khafre pyramid came from. To move these stones over land and onto the pyramids themselves, workers dragged sleds across wet sand and hauled materials up using a series of ramps. How these ramps were designed remains unknown; this is just one of many mysteries surrounding the construction of the Pyramids of Giza.

Special features at the Pyramids

Pyramid alignment.

The Great Pyramid is almost perfectly aligned along the cardinal points (north–south–east–west), a feature that continues to baffle historians. Researchers have theorized different methods on how this could have been achieved, with the most recent theory pointing to using the fall equinox. To date, there’s no conclusive evidence to indicate this. 

Aerial view of the pyramids of Giza in the desert by day

Limestone covering 

The Pyramids of Giza were once covered with a smooth limestone casing that has since been stripped away for usage in other buildings throughout Egypt. Only the Khafre Pyramid still retains some of its original limestone casing on the top. 

Smaller pyramids and tombs

The Pyramids of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure are not the only pyramids at the Giza Complex. Three smaller pyramids can be found along the east side of the Pyramid of Khufu. These tombs, known as the Queens’ Pyramids , were built for Khufu’s wives and sisters. 

Additional smaller temples and pyramids can be found near both the Khafre and Menkaure pyramids as well. These structures, along with the mastabas (stone tombs), were used for the burials of officials of the king and other members of the royal family. 

Planning your trip to the Pyramids

- Can you go inside the Pyramids?  Yes. For an extra fee you can enter the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure.

- Best time to go:  It is possible to visit the Pyramids of Giza any time of the year but peak season is December to February, when the weather is cooler. Choose the shoulder seasons (October–November and March–April) for fewer crowds and better weather. Visit the Pyramids as soon as they open. Most tour groups don’t arrive until around 10am, so you’ll be able to enjoy 2–3 hours of quiet by arriving early. 

- How to get to the Giza Complex:  Booking a guided tour will mean you can avoid the vendors located all around the Giza Complex. Most tours include hotel pick-up and drop-off. If you’d prefer to visit independently, Uber is the easiest way to get to the Pyramids. 

- How long you’ll need at the Pyramids:  Plan for at least 4–5 hours to leisurely explore the Giza Complex. If you purchase tickets to enter the different pyramids and visit the cemeteries and tombs as well, you can easily spend 7+ hours there. 

Egyptian man sitting on camel near pyramids of Giza

- Opening hours:  The Pyramids of Giza are open daily from 8am–5pm between October and March, and 7am–7pm between April and September.

- What to wear:  Egypt is a predominantly Muslim country and accordingly, people dress conservatively. Cover shoulders and knees out of respect for local culture. Be sure to also wear comfortable walking sandals/shoes, and a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.

- Cost of entry:  There are various entrance fees depending on which parts of the Giza Complex you’d like to visit. The main entrance fee is LE120 for adults, which will provide you with access to the outside of all the pyramids and the Sphinx. However, there are additional fees for entering the different pyramids as well as the cemetery and Meresankh Tomb . Students carrying an identification card receive 50% off the entrance fee.

- Where to stay:  The Pyramids are located in Giza, approximately 45 minutes from Cairo by car. Although you can easily stay in Downtown Cairo the night before your visit, it's worth staying at one of the many hotels near the Pyramids for one night. Not only will you be able to enjoy sunrise over the Pyramids, but you can also sleep in a bit longer as well. 

Find more of Sally Elbassir's writing on Passport and Plates.

You might also like:

A perfect day in Cairo: how to spend 24 hours in Egypt's capital    Hiking, canyoning, climbing and more: finding adventure in the Middle East    A grand tour of the world's most amazing architecture   

This article was first published July 2020 and updated November 2020

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Camels sit in front of the Pyramids of Giza

Your Guide to Visiting Egypt’s Pyramids of Giza

From the moment these structures were built, they have held the world in awe. Planning a visit to Visiting Egypt’s Pyramids of Giza? Read on!

travel egypt pyramids

As a tribute to the heavens and gods for safe passage into the afterlife, the Giza pyramids were built by Egypt’s pharaohs to stand until the end of the time. They are among one of the last remaining wonders of the ancient world. Erected over 4000 years ago, these pyramids are as impressive now as they were then, and continue to draw mere mortals into their fold. Today, many people all over have dreamt of standing at the foot of these magnificent structures, longing to be in the presence of ancient Egypt’s might and power. If you’re planning on visiting the Pyramids of Giza, you needed this guide yesterday.

Travel to: Egypt

A quick overview of Egypt’s Pyramids of Giza

The pyramids are located in Giza, on the west bank of the River Nile, about 40 minutes or so away from Cairo . Pharaoh Khufu established the first Giza pyramid round 2550 B.C. The largest, Khufu’s pyramid stands at about 481ft high. Around 2520 B.C., Khufu’s son, Pharaoh Khafre, began work on the second pyramid of Giza. He is also responsible for Egypt’s iconic Sphinx. The third pyramid, although much smaller than the first two features a more complex inner tomb and was built by Pharaoh Menkaure around 2490 B.C.

Camels sit in front of the Pyramids of Giza

Even today, Egypt’s pyramids baffle scientists, who aren’t entirely satisfied as to how they were constructed. Some conspiracy tales claim that the pyramids are too perfect for humans to have built, that they are the product of an extraterrestrial activity, that angels or aliens are responsible for them.

The Great Pyramid is made of millions of stones that weigh at least two tons each. Even with the machinery available to us in modern times, this would be a remarkable feat! Alien theorists also say that the three pyramids are in better shape than others built centuries later. While scientists haven’t been able to fathom just how the pyramids were built, there’s plenty of evidence that shows they are the work of highly skilled, well-fed Egyptian workers from days gone by.

When to visit

The best time of day to visit the pyramids is usually in the late afternoon because by this time large groups of tourists have usually dissipated. You could also try early morning, but it’s quite hazy so these may not be the best conditions for photography!

Pyramid of Cheops behind Chephren

Weather-wise the best time to visit Egypt is probably from October to April, as these months have pleasant temperatures. December and January are peak tourist season, so sights like the Pyramids of Giza along with the Temples of Luxor and Abu Simbel are notoriously crowded. If you plan on seeing these attractions during your visit to Egypt, it’s best to visit at a time when you can enjoy them with ease. Bear in mind that the quieter months from June to September are sweltering, so being outside can get quite uncomfortable.

How to get there 

If you decide to visit this ancient phenomenon as part of a multi-day group tour, you have the advantage of being taken straight up to the pyramids in an air-conditioned coach. You skip the queues for tickets to the pyramids, and you get an experienced guide who can help you avoid any tourist traps! Otherwise, it’s just a short eight-minute walk through the sand from where the buses or taxis will drop you off, or you can hire a camel or a horse. If you do opt for a camel or horse (walking through the sand isn’t always ideal) then negotiate the fee (USD 7-8) before you hop on and pay once you reach your destination.

You can also grab a bus from Midan Tahrir, the large public square in the centre of Cairo. From here large buses numbered 800 and 900 will take you the pyramids, there’s also the number 82 which is a smaller bus (be sure to check if there have been any route changes or updates). You can also purchase a tour ticket from your hotel, this way you’ll be picked up from the hotel. Or you could take a taxi.

Cabs in Egypt are black and white, and it’s best to agree on a price before you drive off. Frommers does mention that sometimes cab drivers try to take charge tourists a little more, it’s best to ask a local what the typical amount is and make sure you have small bills, or close to the exact amount as a lot of taxi drivers don’t carry much change. It’s not customary for women to sit in the front of a taxi in Egypt as socially it’s not considered appropriate. If you don’t want to haggle with taxi drivers, another great option is Uber.

See Also: Egypt vs. Morocco: Which Destination is Right for You?

Exploring the Pyramids of Giza

While it’s possible to reach the pyramids from Cairo, you could also spend the night at one of the hotels in front of the pyramids. There’s something to be said for waking up to a view of one of the world’s most ancient treasures. Sometimes the guards will let you walk over to the dunes (depending on their mood), and that’s one of the best spots for a view of the pyramids. To see the Sphinx from the front, you may have to pay a little bit extra for the privilege. Otherwise, you can observe it from the side for free with everyone else.

Once you enter the site, you can explore on foot or hire a horse or camel to experience these structures and the breathtaking vastness of the nearby desert. While it’s possible to go inside the pyramids, it’s worth bearing in mind that the mummies have been moved to the nearby Egyptian Museum, which is also worth a visit! Usually, there’s one pyramid included with the cost of your ticket (depending on what kind you have), but you may have to pay a little more to enter Khufu’s Pyramid and Khafree’s Pyramid. While fascinating from the inside, they mostly all look the same, so it might not be worth spending money on all of them! Within the walls of these structures, you’ll find ancient inscriptions and art.

View of the ancient Egyptian burial ground in Giza, west of Cairo from a hotel room

During the evenings, there’s a Sound and Light Show that’s been going strong for over two decades. A chic way to see it is to grab a spot on one of the many nearby hotel rooftops while sipping a drink.

Top Tip: Most visitors will head straight to the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Khafre, the Pyramid of Menkaure and the Sphinx, but the surrounding desert is also filled with exciting things to see. If you want to dig a little deeper, the warm sands have plenty of other ruins, tombs, remnants of temples and smaller pyramids well worth exploring as well.

What to wear? 

Wear something you’ll feel comfortable in, especially your shoes if you have a full day of walking around! If it’s hot, don’t forget your hat and while it’s important to cover up for mosques and rural areas, you don’t need to dress as strictly when visiting Egypt’s Pyramids of Giza!

Opening Hours

October to march:.

Monday – Sunday, 8 am to 5 pm

April to September: 

Monday – Sunday, 7 am to 7 pm

Do you have any tips for visiting Egypt’s Pyramids of Giza? Share them with us in the comments! 

travel egypt pyramids

Based in Toronto, Sahar is a full-time content editor for Days to Come and part-time travel junkie.

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The Only Egyptian Pyramids Guide You Will Need!

Great Pyramid of Giza - Egypt / July 7, 2022 by Daniel

The Great Pyramid of Giza in Cairo Egypt

Where is the Great Pyramid of Giza

Visa requirement, egyptian pyramids guide.

Planning a trip to the scenic Great Pyramids of Giza and don’t want to get lost in the tombs? The only Egyptian Pyramids guide you will need covers everything you need to know to make the best of your exciting trip to this historic site!

What is the Great Pyramid of Giza all About?

Constructed between the years 2584 and 2561 BC, the great pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the last remaining of them. We’ll take a brief look at the history of this fascinating structure.

According to Egyptologists, this pyramid was built as a tomb for Pharaoh Khufu, the second king of the Fourth Dynasty, and took approximately 20 years. For almost 4,000 years, the pyramid was considered the tallest man-made construction in the world.

Furthermore, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the biggest and the oldest of the three-pyramid complex of Giza, an embodiment of the grandeur of ancient Egypt.

View of the Great Pyramid of Giza Site

What is very interesting is the planning of the pyramid’s construction is still a puzzle. It was built with more than two million stone blocks, each weighing approximately two to 15 tons. It was 481 feet tall when it was first constructed, but erosion removed the top piece. So today, it stands at around 455 feet tall. As for the base, each side is about 756 feet long, and it covers an area of 13 acres.

When I visited this pyramid, my tour guide mentioned that the Nile River had shifted over the years and was once closer to where the Great Pyramids sit today. He continued by saying the stone blocks they used were not naturally close to where the pyramids were built. They are located near a mountain you could barely see in the distance.

So the theory is the builders shipped these enormous pieces of stone on the Nile to get these massive stones closer to the pyramid site.

tour guide to the Great Pyramid of Giza site

Why Visit Egypt?

We all know Egypt is known for its ancient treasures and rich history. However, Egypt has much more to offer than you might actually expect. With dreamlike waters, golden white sand beaches, and remarkable architecture and natural therapies, Egypt is 100 percent a top bucket-list-worthy country. Here are a few other things Egypt offers besides the amazing Pyramids.

– Ranking as the longest river in the world, the Nile River tourists can visit several attractions through the Nile. The most prominent being cities such as Luxor and Aswan.

The nile river view in downtown cairo

– The Red Sea is the best place to dive in Egypt . It even ranks as one of the best in the world. It offers diverse diving locations for a remarkable experience.

– Egypt’s beaches are some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The coast is home to internationally competitive beaches with golden sands perfect for honeymooners, family, and even solo travelers.

Egypt Beaches

– Egypt’s landmass is mainly covered by desert, making it the perfect spot for desert sports and adventures. The best way to discover the white and black desert or the oasis is to join a safari trip .

– Cairo has some of the best Islamic architecture and art, which are considered many local treasures.

 Muhammad-ali-mosque

– Neighboring countries have influenced Egyptian food in the Middle East. The result is present in dishes full of delicious flavors.

Also check out: 13 Things to see, do, and experience in Cairo, Egypt

The Great Pyramid of Giza is located about 18 km (11miles) west of downtown Cairo, Egypt.

Planning Your Journey – Egyptian Pyramids Guide

Depending on how much time you have in Egypt, you will have to plan out your days to maximize your sightseeing efforts carefully. Furthermore, you may have safety concerns about the local Cairo area and how you can stay safe.

Other things to think about when visiting Egypt are the local dressing customs and visa requirements once you arrive? Also, where should I stay, and how do I set up seeing the Pyramids and other popular sites. All that will be covered below, but first, should you consider joining a guided tour group?

Recommended Tours

Some positive things that a guided tour brings include having the peace of mind that all daily activities and logistics are pre-planned and taken care of. Egyptian Pyramids guides provide a lot of value as they know more about an area.

They can give an extraordinary amount of facts and insight into the local Egyptian culture and customs. The guide will take care of any issues or questions you may have throughout the trip.

Camel ride near the great pyramids of giza

A challenge of joining a guided tour might be that you may not like how the tour is structured. You might want to spend more time here or less time there. You also might need a rest day as the tour will continue. So you have to be prepared ahead of time with the itinerary they give you as it won’t be as flexible as if you planned the trip yourself.

Overall, taking a guided trip lowers travel stress as all you need to do is focus on exploring the sites.

G Adventures is a great tour company that I would highly recommend taking a look at. They have many itineraries for all budget types and timeframes. Why take a G Adventures tour to see the Great Pyramid of Giza and Egypt?

  • They have seven tour options with many departure dates to choose from
  • Choose from an 8-day tour to a more comprehensive 14-day Egyptian tour.
  • Professional guides by your side to navigate the unique culture/customs of Egypt
  • Help with the pre-departure checklist, such as flight alignment, visas, and transportation .

Related : Best guided tour to see all of Egypt- Experience pyramids, temples, history, and a Nile cruise on this 12-day tour!

Egyptian monument

Multi-day Tours

8 Day Best of Egypt tour

This journey through Egypt packs in awe-inspiring culture and adventure in eight energetic days. Explore the ancient sites along the Nile and discover the most famous of them all, the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Embrace the culture and meet remarkable people as you sample some traditional fare with a Nubian family in a local village. Feel the buzz of vibrant bazaars in Aswan and Luxor, but still manage to relax and watch life unfold as you sail the Nile in a traditional felucca.

travel egypt pyramids

12 Day Upgraded Egypt Tour

 Encompassing Egypt’s greatest highlights and a three-day Nile cruise, this adventure enhances a wide variety of included activities with our Chief Experience Officers (CEOs) expertise, through whom you’ll gain a greater appreciation of the region’s history and archaeological finds.

Discover the secrets of the Great Pyramids and explore the Valley of the Kings, then meet local people and share a traditional meal. Air-conditioned transport and domestic flights will get you to the sights (and your comfortable accommodations) quickly and conveniently. From ancient history to bustling modern Cairo, embark on an incredible journey to the very heart of Egypt.

travel egypt pyramids

15 Day Egypt & Jordan Adventure

Get ready for a wide-ranging adventure showcasing the region’s natural wonders and fascinating cultures, offering the perfect combination of guided excursions with free time to explore at your own pace.

Our expert local leaders will share the archaeological and historical secrets of the ancient sites of Petra, Luxor, and the Great Pyramids of Giza. Egypt and Jordan will be etched into your memory like a hieroglyph, whether haggling in Cairo’s bustling bazaars or snapping a desert sunset.

travel egypt pyramids

Private 7-Night Cairo, Luxor, and Nile Cruise, with Flights – another great option if you want to do it all and see all of the best spots in Egypt!

Nile river Cruise boats on the nile river

Half-Day Tour to Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx – if you want to see the pyramids on a shorter tour, this one is for you.

Private 7-Night Cairo, Luxor, and Nile Cruise, with Flights – this is another excellent option if you want to do it all and see all of the best spots in Egypt!

Also check out: Best all-inclusive tour to see the Great Pyramid of Giza and six others from Cairo, Egypt

Self Planning Resources – Egyptian Pyramids guide

Pros – Preparing your own travel plans allows you to create your own fully custom itinerary at your own pace and enables you to take a break whenever you need one. You can choose which day tours you take, how much time you spend at a given place, and where to stay.

Cons – The average person takes 42 hours to plan a trip! A guided tour has all the plans set up, so they are accountable, not you, if something goes wrong. The guides are there to solve your problems and keep you safe from any safety issues .

Want help planning your trip to the Pyramids and Egypt?  We can help!

When to Visit

The  best time to visit Egypt is between Oct. and May. This will provide cooler temperatures but still pleasantly warm across the country. This will make your time exploring the busy streets of Cairo and visiting the Pyramids in the desert more comfortable and enjoyable.

Staying Safe

No country is entirely harmless, and safety can not be guaranteed anywhere. Safety and security are issues that must be considered before traveling in Egypt and anywhere in the world.

By taking simple precautions such as staying at a hotel with ample security and booking your Egypt tour with an experienced tour company, you have taken an easy step to staying safe. Moreover, violent crime against tourists is considered extremely low and uncommon! You just need to be aware of petty crime (watch your belongings when you’re out in public) and look out for minor scams.

Secrutiy guard on a camel near the great pyramid

What to Wear

While it is true that Egypt is a majority Muslim country and it is recommended to dress modestly as everyone should cover their shoulders and legs, don’t worry too much about it. Furthermore, my fantastic tour guide told me the local people respect other cultures and realize they need tourist money!

He went on to say that no specific dress code at major tourist landmarks exists, and you will see people walking around with tank tops and shorts. 

Ticket to the Great Pyramid

entrance ticket to the great pyramid of giza

A ticket to see the Great Pyramid is super cheap! The cost is only 120 LE ($8 USD) to enter the pyramid and Sphinx area. The price to actually enter the Great Pyramid is 300 LE. ($19). You can choose to enter the Menkaure’s Pyramid for a lot less at 25 LE ($1.50 UDS).

Quick Note: Camel Rides

An area close by the pyramids will allow you to ride a camel for about 50 LE ($3) for a 30-minute ride.

Inside the Menkaure's Pyramid

Transportation

You can get to the Pyramids by taxi, Uber, or private vehicle during a tour . These are the three ways I would recommend for getting around Cairo as well. Use the white taxis and haggle a little bit for a price of 20-50 LE ($3-4 UDS), depending on the distance to the Pyramid site.

You can also have your front hotel desk call a taxi for you. They know reputable companies to call for a pickup. Uber felt safe for us and was dirt cheap and very convenient without haggling on the price.

Where to stay

I would recommend two locations options to stay while visiting Cairo. One is Downtown Cairo, which is a safe location to stay in and is also close to many things such as the Nile River and the airport. Check out hotels in your budget in this area. For amazing views of the Nile, take a look at Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah or the Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino .

The second location I would recommend staying in is in Cairo’s west Giza area at a nice resort (this was my choice). This option will position you with views of the pyramids. This is a safe choice as most have security at the front doors, providing you with peace of mind. Try the Cairo Pyramids Hotel !

This is where we stayed, and we absolutely loved it! It has multiple pools, stores, restaurants, comfortable rooms, and a great view of the pyramids.

Also check out : Where to stay in Cairo, Egypt! – Best hotels for any budget!

poolside at a luxury hotel in cairo egypt

You do need a visa to enter Egypt. The good news is it’s cheap, and you can get it on arrival at the airport you land in. When you land in Cairo, the desk to buy a visa is to the right when you approach the customs area. You will probably see a short line. The cost is $25 for a single entry into the country. Bring cash (USD)!

You can also apply for an e-visa online . You fill out a simple application and pay the $25 fee. I don’t think getting a visa online is necessary because you can walk up to the desk once you get to the airport and get one on the spot.

I hope the only Egyptian Pyramids guide you will need gave you some insight and knowledge to use on your trip to Egypt!

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Egyptian Pyramids of Giza Travel Guide

What do you expect? After Covid 19, tourism in Egypt plummeted, and despite the fact that Egypt is an immensely appealing location for most people, the risks depicted in the media drive most to stay home. As a result, many Egyptian youngsters seldom, if ever, see tourists since 2 years ago. Egyptian Pyramids of Giza are here to enjoy, come and see now, no body can expect what will happen later. Here we get you the best Travel Guide and tips to Giza Pyramids , read well before you go.

The impact of the tourist slump on Egypt has been tragic, and it has been particularly tough for towns that rely significantly on tourism. On the other hand, prices in Egypt increased specielly after the Egyptian Pound’s value plummeted in 2016. This might make you feel a king as people in Egypt are welcoming tourists now in 2021.

Egyptian Pyramids of Giza tour is well worth it in order to see the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the stunning, mystical, and amazing Pyramids of Giza!

Egyptian Pyramids of Giza Ultimate Guide 

Before you go to the Pyramids, be sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Giza Pyramids Panorama5

The Egyptian Pyramids of Giza

Egypt’s currency is the Egyptian Pound (LE). The exchange rate in 2021 is at 15.5 LE to $1 USD at the time of publishing this guide. Keep in mind that we’ll be talking about prices in Egyptian Pounds, so if we say item buys 100 LE, that’s roughly $6.50 USD.

The Egyptian Pound consists of 100 Piastres, and the banknotes are identical in appearance, so get to know them both.

Keep some little coins on you in case you get a “baksheesh,” or tip. While visiting the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza, you’ll be needing some extra money for photographs with camels, restroom usage, and other unexpected assistance. 

Egyptians mother tongue is Arabic, so you’ll need to pick up a few words to get about and it is also a fun experience to bring Egyptian words to your home country. “Al Salam Alaikum” (pronounced sall-em wall-a-come) is a pleasant way to greet someone. Thank you is “Shukran” (pronounced shoo kran). Goodbye is “Ma’-Elsalama” (ma sale lem-a)).

For 90% of the population, Islam is the state religion, with Sunni Muslims making up the majority. When leaving the house, women are supposed to cover their knees and shoulders, like in other traditional nations (though this is not the situation in many wealthy districts in Egypt). However, because this is a popular region, you’ll certainly encounter several foreigners visiting the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza with some revealing clothes.

Read the rest of out piece about what I wish you to known before going to Egypt.

Getting to the Egyptian Pyramids from Cairo

The Great Pyramids of Egypt are located in Giza, which is only a 30-minute drive from Cairo . While it is feasible to visit the Pyramids of Giza in a single day, here in our Pyramids of Giza Travel Guide, we strongly advise spending longer and at least a day in Giza.

The Egyptian Pyramids of Giza Entrance Fees and Ticket Prices

Only on the giza plateau area: 200 le per person, 400 le each person at the great pyramid, adults entry ticket is 400 le, while students ticket is 200 le., entry to the inside of the 2nd or 3rd pyramid costs 100 le per person., 100 le each person at the boat museum, 250 le each person for the pyramids sound and light show, can i get camera and tripod to egyptian pyramids of giza.

Yes, it’s possible for you to carry your tripod to the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza! For an extra 20 LE, visitors are permitted to take a tripod onto the Giza plateau.

Inside the tombs, cameras are not allowed, so double-check with the security guards who will be verifying tickets at each entrance (and don’t be surprised if they ask to help you as Egyptians are very helpful nation). Well, you can take a walk around the Great Pyramid of Khufu and please notice that the Khufu Boat “Solar Ship” was moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum and the building behind the Great Pyramid is empty now.

Egyptian Pyramids of Giza Daily Working Hours

The Giza Plateau Area is open every day from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

The Great Pyramid’s interior is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Because the pyramids are always being renovated, it is unusual to see all three available to the public at the same time.

Is it risky to visit the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza?

Absolutely! Will Egyptian onlookers want to photograph you? Yes. Will Egyptian teenagers and kids approach you just to say “Hello” many times? Certainly. But what about genuine physical danger? It never happened.

Kissing a camel at the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza

Kissing a camel at the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza

Top-rated Hotels and Stay near Giza Pyramids

When touring the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza, the Marriott Mena House Hotel is a must! Not only is this opulent hotel flawless on the inside and exterior, but the views of the pyramids from the immaculately kept grounds are perhaps superior to those seen on the Giza Plateau Area! And you won’t have to deal with any of the worry or inconvenience. You’ll be fantasizing of taking off your shoes, changing into your bathrobe, and resting in your magnificent room-with-a-view after a long, hot, dusty day visiting the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza!

Brief History of the Great Egyptian Pyramids of Giza

Pharaohs in ancient Egypt thought that elaborate arrangements were required for their deceased to enter the afterlife. To lead and support them in the afterlife, they underwent lengthy and extensive mummification processes, established temples, built pyramid tombs, and filled the graves of the deceased with jewels and wealth.

The three Egyptian Pyramids of Giza were constructed as tombs to store the remains of three Pharaohs in order to assist them in their journey to the afterlife. To this day, one of Egypt’s greatest mysteries is how they were created. The three Pharaohs Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure are said to have erected them between 2550 and 2490 BC.

Khufu Pyramid

Pharaoh Khufu was the first to build a pyramid in Giza, and his is the biggest of the three, standing at 146 M (480 feet) tall. It required an estimated 2.3 million stone blocks, each weighing between 2.5 and 15 tonnes. The renowned “Great Pyramid of Egypt” is the biggest and highest of the three.

Khafre Pyramid

Pharaoh Khafre, Khufu’s son, erected the second Egyptian Pyramid in Giza in his father’s honour, although it was only 143 M (447 feet) tall, as was customary at the period. The Pyramid of Khafre is easily to identify by the original limestone cap that remains at its summit.

The Great Sphinx

The Sphinx, which depicts Ra-Harakhte, the sun deity, was also found in Khafre’s necropolis. The Spinx, who keeps watch over the Egyptian pyramids, is 20 M (66 feet) tall and bears the head of a pharaoh (perhaps Khafre himself) and the body of a lion. Despite many renovations throughout the years, the Sphinx has deteriorated and tragically lost his nose to gunshot in 1798.

Menkaure Pyramid

Pharaoh Menkaure, son of Khafre, erected the third Egyptian pyramid in Giza, which stands just 71 M (228 feet) tall and is significantly smaller than the first two. It was created using more expensive materials such as dazzling white limestone and red granite all the way from Aswan , despite its little size.

Despite the common assumption, the hundreds of thousands of workers were not slaves. They were Egyptian laborers who were supplied with a nearby temporary city and were skilled, well-cared-for, and well-organized. They were most likely farmers who worked on the Egyptian Pyramids during the three months of the year when farming was difficult due to the yearly Nile floods.

Giza Pyramids Complex Gate from the inside

The great pyramids: what to expect.

One entry gate is near the Sphinx, while the other is near the Great Pyramid.

If you’re resting at the Mena House Hotel, you’ll entrance through the Great Pyramid, which is only a 5-minute walk away. Be wary of the individuals directing you to a left-hand door; reject them and keep heading until you reach the ticket office sign.

By getting our advice in this Pyramids of Giza Travel Guide, you will get at the Pyramids around 8:00 a.m., you should be able to find some peace and alone for the first 2 hours or so. If you’ve bought the extra ticket, this is an excellent time to see the Great Pyramid’s tomb. It’s also an excellent time to visit Panorama Point to escape the heat of the day.

Around 10:00 a.m., busloads of residents and tourists will arrive, putting an end to the pleasure of the early morning. Youre adventure to meet locals will start. The crowds concentrate mostly around the Great Pyramid, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Sphinx, thus the further you walk away from those locations, the more chance you are to encounter quiet (and fewer touts).

Even if you’re not to visit the pyramids on Friday or Saturday (Egypt week-end) you’ll almost certainly be asked to take selfie photos from Egyptian children visiting the site. They’re absolutely safe, but if you say yes to one, you’ll respond positively to the others.

Seeing the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza is quite amazing. It’s absolutely amazing how much planning and care went into their creation.

Plan on spending around 2-3 hours at the Pyramids, which should give you enough time to see the attractions and then relax in your hotel pool.

Things to do at the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza

Visit the interior of the great pyramid of giza’s tomb.

You’ll have to stoop to fit up a flight of incredibly steep steps, half of which are in a tunnel with a low ceiling, forcing you to squat. The ascent culminates in the chamber that once housed Pharaoh Khufu’s tomb. It’s merely a plain stone tomb in an empty stone chamber. Still, going about within an ancient Egyptian pyramid, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is an extraordinary experience that you must have!

Visit the interior of Khafre Pyramid’s Tomb

Sometime visitors are unable to enter the inside of the Khafre Pyramid since government close it alternately with the third pyramid.

Visit the interior of Menkaure’s Pyramid Tomb

Unlike the Great Pyramid, you’ll be descending a steep stairway that leads to Pharaoh Menkaure’s subterranean tomb. The actual tomb, on the other hand, is comparable to the Great Pyramid in that it is simple and unadorned. If you’ve previously visited the Great Pyramid, it’s almost pointless to go back.

Visit the 6 Pyramids of the Queens

beside the Great Pyramid of Khufu you will see 3 tiny pyramids, it’s the Queens Pyramids (King’s wife and 2 daoughter. Also, beside the third Pyramid of Menkaure you will find another 3 Queens Pyramids. On the other hand King Khafre didn’t construct puramids for his queens! So in totall, Giza Plateau has nine pyramids.

The Egyptian Pyramids Panorama

This location, on a hill above the plateau, provides views of all three pyramids from a single vantage point. 

Horse or Camel Ride at The Egyptian Pyramids of Giza

The Panorama is the best place to enjoy a camel or horse ride with the view of the 9 pyramids in the back of your photo.

Transportation at The Egyptian Pyramids of Giza

Whereas the pyramids are very nearby together and traveling to all of the sites is possible, keep in mind that you will be trudging on deep sand in direct sunlight for the majority of the day. And if you really want to explore all of the area’s highlights, you’ll probably have to walk at least 7 kilometres. Don’t worry if so much walking isn’t your cup of tea. You won’t be able to travel more than 20 feet without being approached by a persistent salesman offering you a ride on a camel back.

Camel and Horse Ride fees

All rides (camel, horse, and carriage) charge 100 LE per animal (not per passenger) for a 30-minute ride and 200 LE per animal for a 60-minute trip, according to government regulations. Don’t allow anybody persuade you to spend more money, and if someone attempts to give you lower prices, it’s probably a fraud. 

Some of them might ask you for a tip, which is something traditionl her in Egypt. It is entirely up to you whether or not you want to comply with their demands.

The Great Pyramids’ restrooms

Because there are just a few restrooms inside the gate, so plan beforehand. Restorooms are at the gate and the Panorama Sphinx Restaurant is located outside of the Pyramids of Giza. Each restroom will have a bathroom attendant who will demand a tip for keeping the toilets somewhat clean. The current fee per person is 2 LE.

Stay a way from Scams When Visiting the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza

Within the Giza Pyramids region, there are a number of frequent frauds. They’re quite straightforward to identify and avoid once you’ve become aware of them. 

“Government workers” with an identification (but not in a police outfit) approaching you and demanding to see your ticket. They’ll congregate at the entrances to attractions such as The Sphinx. If you refuse to show them, they will shout at you and appear enraged. They’ll claim, “I work for the government,” and display you their badge (which just reads “Pyramids” – there’s nothing official about it). They’re merely attempting to get you to come to a halt and talk to them then they can offer to be your tour guide throughout the day. Ignore them or take out your phone and start filming them; they’ll disappear in no time.

A price that has been agreed upon but is not what you are supposed to pay. Everywhere you look, prices are plainly displayed. Make sure you agree on a charge in Egyptian Pounds to get on (and off) the camel (or to do anything around Giza). They may argue that they meant UK Pounds. Don’t commit to anything until you’ve figured out what’s going on. If you’re worried, hold your ground and record them agreeing to a price.

Gifts that are “free.” Or, to put it another way, forced keepsakes. Nothing is free in the Giza Pyramids region. Not a single thing. It doesn’t even include the bathroom.

If they remove a scarf from the package and place it on your head, they’ll tell you that you have to buy it because they opened it. You don’t have to. Don’t be feel so happy if they try to put a bead in your hand as a “free present”. Nothing is for free.

The front gate that isn’t really the front gate. When you arrive, you’ll be able to identify the entrance gate. There is a decent ticket desk and a parking area full of tour buses. There will also be touts shouting at you to turn left to enter the building. Ignore them because they’re lying.

People seeking to assist you in taking photographs. “Hey! Do you want to give the Sphinx a kiss? Give me your phone and I’ll take your photo if you look that way and fake a kiss. But all they want is tips . Unless you’re travelling alone, these photographs are very simple to capture on your own and for free.

Options for Food and Drink at The Egyptian Pyramids of Giza

The Panorama Sphinx Restaurant and 9 Pyramids Restaurant are the only restaurants in Giza Pyramid Area. They’re expensive, but they’ll be your only option if you’re hungry. They provide a 300 LE lunch buffet, as well as hot and cold beverages.

The Pyramids Restaurant is located near the Sphinx, just outside the entrance. You’re likely to build up an appetite after a few hours of roaming about in the desert. Their Mixed Grill dish is filling and perfectly seasoned.

The 9 Pyramids Restaurant is near the Panorama hill, it’s a new restaurant and it service all types of Egyptian food.

Our Tips for Visiting Giza’s Great Pyramids

1- To avoid the tour buses and throngs, arrive at the gate by 8:00 a.m. precisely. You’ll also be able to skip the lengthy lineups at the ticket counter.

2- Take a humorous approach and have some fun with the touts, or act as though you don’t know English and simply ignore them. Getting angry is not good, you are here to have fun.

3- If you do decide to ride a camel or a horse, be upfront about your pricing and expectations and stick to them. You might want to record them agreeing to your conditions so that you can replay it if they disagree.

3- If all of the frauds and pictures listed above seem like your biggest nightmare, contact us to make reservations for a tour guide escort you around. They’ll also serve as a personal bodyguard for you and help you deal with the locals..

4- Regrettably, the Giza Plateau is not open for dawn and dusk, but the sights from Mena House Hotel are still amazing! Also, make sure to have a look at our list of things to do and see in enchanting Cairo while reading this travel guide about the Pyramids of Giza.

5- Charge your camera.

6- Make your camera always ready for great shots.

Finally, after speaking so frankly in this Pyramids of Giza Travel Guide; Telling you all things you need to know and avoid; We herply request you to book your visit to the Pyramids of Giza with a travel expert to assist you around. This will make your tour to the most famous highlight of Egypt more enjoyable. We don’t ask you here to book with our travel agent, but we ask you to enjoy. Most importantly, before your visit the Pyramids is to be will prepared for a new culture and take lots of photos. Once you go back home, don’t just upload these photos to Facebook; But print them, fram them and hang them over your bedroom. It will be always a great memorable trip for all your life time.

Enjoy your trip to The Egyptian Pyramids of Giza.

Hope this Pyramids of Giza Travel Guide meets up with your expectation.

Egypt United Tours Team

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travel egypt pyramids

The World Through a Lens

A Refreshing Look at Egypt’s Ancient Pyramids

A downpour, a dust storm and an encounter with a lively dig team offered a photographer a new perspective on the country’s celebrated tombs.

A dust storm swirls around the Step Pyramid of Djoser, part of the Saqqara necropolis. Credit...

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Photographs and Text by Tanveer Badal

  • July 4, 2022

“Yallah, yallah, yallah! Woooo ! ”

I was visiting the pyramids of Giza, Egypt, in the company of Mark Lehner, a renowned Egyptologist, when suddenly a series of voices erupted and echoed throughout the site. Our small group turned to face the commotion, wondering what had happened — and if anything was wrong.

Instead, we saw the cheery faces of an approaching group of men running barefoot through the sand, some of them with bags and other equipment in tow. Their faces were sweaty under the sun, and their loads heavy, but their frequent whoops gave the scene a sense of celebration.

travel egypt pyramids

As it turns out, their jovial entry coincided with our own arrival at Dr. Lehner’s dig site, where the archaeologist and his team from the Ancient Egypt Research Associates, or A.E.R.A., are uncovering the Lost City of the Pyramids .

The energetic workers are led by Sayed Salah, whom they respectfully refer to as their “rais,” the Arabic word for “leader.” Their excavation work is grueling and laborious — but there’s a subtler, deeper level to it, as Dr. Lehner explained.

Many of the men, most of whom are from Abusir, a small town near Saqqara, see themselves as part of an esteemed team, one that links them all the way back to the Egyptians who had initially erected the pyramids.

Evidence uncovered in the last several decades suggests that the workers who built the great pyramids were not enslaved laborers , as has long been popularly believed. In fact, the work was likely done by paid laborers who were housed in nearby barracks. According to papyri fragments discovered by Pierre Tallet, an Egyptologist and the co-author (along with Dr. Lehner) of the book “The Red Sea Scrolls,” the work was considered a noble, respectable profession.

And the parallel between the high spirits of the workers of today and a new picture of those of the past was clear to see. In addition to the bonuses and celebration feasts that come along with this job, these men staunchly believed they were continuing the important work of their innovative predecessors.

I was in the presence of Dr. Lehner and his contemporary crew as part of a history-driven private tour of Giza’s pyramids, organized by the travel company Your Private Africa . On special occasions, Dr. Lehner partners with the group to lead historical journeys across Egypt for guests and patrons of his archaeological and research projects, a body of work that spans nearly 40 years.

My last visit to the pyramids was almost exactly 10 years ago, right before the Arab Spring revolution began. While Egypt has gone through a torrent of changes over the last decade, political and otherwise, these ancient wonders have remained as majestic and otherworldly as they ever were — though, as Dr. Lehner’s own work regularly demonstrates, there’s still plenty to learn about the structures and the people who made and used them. With his wide-ranging expertise, constant commentary and insider status (I lost track of the sheer number of government officials, other Egyptologists and guides who greeted him throughout the tour), my experience this time around, this past November, was undoubtedly richer.

Seeing the pyramids of Giza again — iconic monuments that thousands of visitors snap photos of every day — was a richer experience for me as a photographer, too. And that was largely because of one unexpected wild card: It rained.

In this part of the world, rainfall is a true rarity; the area generally sees less than an inch each year. And yet “bad” weather often allows for good photography. Streaks of light or interesting cloud cover can allow you to see things in a different way. That can be especially useful when trying to capture locations that are so heavily photographed.

So I considered it a stroke of luck when Mother Nature provided a rarefied dramatic backdrop just as we neared the Bent Pyramid in Dahshur, some 25 miles south of Cairo. This notable pyramid, I learned, is the second built by Sneferu, the founding pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty of Egypt. (His successor, Khufu, went on to build Giza’s famous Great Pyramid.) Egyptologists now see the Bent Pyramid as a critical step toward the building of a strictly pyramidal tomb.

Mother Nature wasn’t finished with her show yet, either. A heavy dust storm swirled around the Step Pyramid of Djoser, part of the Saqqara necropolis that lies some 19 miles south of Cairo. Masks and scarves were whipped out as we arrived, with some people ducking away to shelter from the opaque wall of airborne sand.

The season of sandstorms, and the winds that cause them, are known as the khamsin , the Arabic word for “50,” referring to the 50 days of potential storms that arrive in late winter or early spring. From my perspective though, seeing Egypt’s most famous ancient treasures under such drama-filled circumstances only made these inimitable structures more otherworldly.

I continue to keep up with Dr. Lehner’s fascinating excavation work through regular dispatches that he sends out to his research supporters. He’s currently sifting through the sands of a Giza-based dig site called Heit el-Ghurab , a 4,500-year-old settlement that includes two different ancient towns, a delivery bay and several identifiable main streets. His daily considerations — which he jokes are all about testing “beautiful theories” against sometimes “ugly facts” — range from hypothesizing about the ability of cattle to fit through certain ancient openings to the exact usage of an area of the settlement he has called the OK Corral. (“OK,” in this case, cleverly stands for “Old Kingdom.”)

And so I eagerly await his findings. As I have directly observed, I know that the workers excavating the sites beside him will be there to joyfully cheer each new bit of information the team unearths.

Tanveer Badal is a travel, architectural and lifestyle photographer based in Los Angeles. You can follow his work on Instagram .

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram , Twitter and Facebook . And sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to receive expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places list for 2022 .

An earlier version of this article misspelled the surname of the Egyptologist who co-authored “The Red Sea Scrolls.” He is Pierre Tallet, not Talet.

An earlier version of a picture caption with this article misidentified the pyramid seen behind the Great Sphinx of Giza. It is the Pyramid of Khafre, not the Great Pyramid.

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Pyramids at Giza

Tourism is Egypt’s second largest source of revenue, bringing in $13 billion in 2010. The Great Pyramid at Giza, after all, is one of the seven ancient wonders of the world.

To visit the Pyramids is to be struck dumb by their monumentality, their celebration of the fundamental human need to create. It's even more affecting in the midst of a revolution, when there are no tourists at all. A week after Hosni Mubarak’s departure and a day after the biggest celebration in Tahrir Square, a handful of Egyptians scrambled up the blocks of Khufu’s Great Pyramid, but there was not a foreigner to be seen.

I have visited them before, but this time they felt different. Each stone block is waist-high and worthy of awe. I noticed them, not the other people around me. They were mine for reflection and contemplation. All I could think of is how hard it must have been to make them, how much will it took when there were no cranes or earthmovers or power tools, and what that says about us as human beings—that we can no more not build or mark our place or strive for glory than we can not breathe or eat or love.

In the empty quiet I had a chance to talk to the horsemen and camel drivers who usually hustle rides to tourists.

“We have no work, nothing,” said Ali Abd el Hamid, astride his camel.

  • Nat Geo Expeditions

He and his colleagues ply their trade seven days a week, year in and year out, a profession inherited from their fathers and grandfathers. They were barely hanging on now.

“I had three camels but sold two to feed my family,” says Hussein, who wouldn’t give his last name. “But before, the Egyptian citizen had no value, and hopefully that will change.”

Read This Next

  • History & Culture

The Pyramids at Giza were built to endure an eternity—but how?

How to spend a day in cairo, egypt, how cosmic rays helped find a tunnel in egypt's great pyramid, see the world’s most enchanting sound and light shows.

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Group of travellers marvel at the pyramids in Cairo

Awesome ancient wonders, endless golden sands and atmospheric local souqs make Egypt the ultimate travel destination.

You’ve got to see it to believe it in Egypt – the chaos of Cairo (seriously, this city never stops); the bustling bazaars; the imposing glory of the Pyramids of Giza, and the world’s most famous lion with a human head (the iconic Sphinx). Only in Egypt can you sail into the sunset on a felucca cruise along the Nile, jump on the back of a camel and ride into Luxor’s Valley of the Kings, then float facing towards the sky in the glittering expanse of the Red Sea. Take a moment as time stands still in Egypt.

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Egypt at a glance

Capital city.

Cairo (population 9.4 million)

107.5 million

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(GMT+02:00) Cairo

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Type C (European 2-pin)

Learn more about Egypt

Best time to visit egypt.

Egypt is blessed with lots of sunshine and very little rain. Generally, the hottest months are June to August, and the coolest month is January. Rainfall is negligible, except on the coast, with rain usually occurring during the winter months (December to March).

During the summer months (from June to August), daily temperatures can reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) - perfect for snorkeling and soaking up the sun on the beaches of Sinai, but can prove challenging for some in the crowded streets and souqs of Cairo.

Choose to escape the crowds by traveling from March to May or September to November when the weather is milder, and there's the opportunity to experience Egypt during Ramadan and the celebrations of Eid (which marks the breaking of the fast). If you are planning to travel during Ramadan, it's important to consider that many restaurants and shops will either be closed or operating at reduced hours.

Read more about the best time to visit Egypt

Culture and customs

Life in Egypt has been in a state of flux since the 2011 revolution. Many of the issues that motivated so many to take to the streets in protest continue to be points of contention, but Egyptians remain hopeful, relying on religion, family and humor to get them through, like they have for thousands of years. A strong sense of community binds people across the country. Families and communities support each other and there is a prevailing sense that everyone is in it together. For all these reasons, most express great pride in being Egyptian, despite their nation’s recent turmoil.

As a largely Muslim country (about 90% of the population is Muslim while most of the remaining 10% identify as Coptic Christian), Islam permeates daily activities. Life revolves around the five daily prayers and everything is closed on Friday, the Muslim holy day. A wide array of cultural norms, including how people dress and interact with the opposite sex, are influenced by religion. Women are largely defined by their role as a mother and matron of the house, whereas men are expected to be the provider.

Many Egyptians consider their country the gateway between the West and the rest of the Arab world, and take pride in their ability to mix tradition with modern influences. This mixing is most apparent in major cities, such as Cairo and Alexandria, where American fast-food chains can be found next to traditional cafes, secular attitudes are more common, and pop music rings through city streets.

Food and drink

With fragrant spices, fresh fruit and vegetables, and delicious sweets on offer, culinary adventures in Egypt are guaranteed. On many Intrepid trips you'll be given the opportunity to dine with a local family – this offers a great chance to see how meals are prepared and learn more about the ingredients.

Things to try in Egypt

1. Hamam mahshi

A north African delicacy, hamam – roasted pigeon stuffed with cracked wheat and rice – can be found on the menu of most traditional Egyptian restaurants. You may need a few to fill up though, as they don’t contain a lot of meat. And be careful of all the tiny bones.

2. Ta'ameya (falafel)

Crunchy on the outside, and moist on the inside, these deep-fried balls of spiced fava beans are a Middle Eastern vegetarian staple. Usually served in a pita with salad, pickles, and sesame-based tahina - buy it at a street stall for a quick, cheap meal.

Shops specializing in this popular ‘poor man’s dish’ can be found throughout Cairo. A hearty mix of rice, macaroni and lentils, chickpeas, and fried onions, koshary is topped with a tomato-vinegar sauce.

4. Ful medames

Don't leave Egypt without trying the classic dish of ful medames, which can be traced back to pharaonic times. Consisting of slow-cooked fava beans, served with olive oil, parsley, garlic, and lemon juice - add some spice by seasoning with chili paste and eat with bread.

5. Pastries

Delicious, sweet pastries are found in restaurants, markets, and cafes in Egypt. Never was there a better time to live by the adage ‘Life is short, eat dessert first’.

Egypt is a mostly Muslim country, and any consumption of alcohol here is relatively low-key. There are many fantastic alternatives. Juice stands are common on main streets offering freshly squeezed banana, guava, or mango juice. Karkadai is a chilled, crimson drink brewed from hibiscus leaves (served hot in the winter). And tea (or shai) is the beverage of choice for most Egyptians, which is sipped throughout the day and with meals.

Read more about what to eat in Egypt

Read more about what to drink in Egypt

Geography and environment

Located in the northeast corner of Africa, Egypt shares its borders with Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Libya, and Sudan, as well as the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the east. The two seas are connected by the man-made Suez Canal.

The remote triangle-shaped peninsula is largely characterized by limestone and desert, but also has a vibrant coral reef along the Red Sea coastline. Hot, dry desert covers most of the country’s terrain, with the Western Desert occupying much of the west, and the Arabian (or Eastern) Desert stretching the length of the eastern coast. These two regions are dissected by the Nile River, which runs the length of the country, emptying into the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile Valley, a narrow fertile band extending from the river, is the country’s only fertile land and where 98% of the population lives.

History and government

Recent history.

Napoleon Bonaparte, the infamous pint-sized French leader, invaded Egypt in 1798, seeking to set up a French colony. However, not long after, the French were repelled, and Egypt became a part of the Ottoman Empire once again.

From 1882, the British Army occupied Egypt to protect the Suez Canal. Muhammad Ali officially ruled from the early 1800s, and his family and successors continued to rule for decades (alongside and during British occupation) until overthrown by a military coup in 1952.

During World War II, Egypt became a crucial element in Britain's defense. The Italian Army tried to advance into Egypt in 1940 but was stopped by the British Army at Mersa Matruh. Egypt continued to serve as a vital base for British troops during World War II and despite the disruption, Egypt's shopkeepers and retail trade benefitted from the thousands of Allied troops staying in Egypt.

In 1953, Egypt was officially declared a republic, and a year later, Colonel Nasser was declared Prime Minister, then President. In 1979, after decades of confrontation with neighboring Israel, the historic Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty was signed. This agreement made Egypt the first Arab country to officially recognize Israel as a country - a significant step in the peace process. More recently, in February 2011, large-scale protests and mass demonstrations resulted in the removal of President Mubarak after decades of autocratic rule.

Early history

Ancient Egypt has been the focus of much fascination, investigation, speculation, and intrigue. It's hard to escape the education system without having studied Ancient Egypt in some way. Drawn in by the mighty pyramids, mysterious hieroglyphics, distinct burial rituals and animal-headed gods - scholars, students, historians, and travelers are all amazed by this civilization which has endured cycles of dynastic rule, invasion, and natural disasters.

Through key archaeological finds, historians have been able to unravel some of the mysteries of this great land. What is known is that the daily life of the average Egyptian usually involved working in agriculture with the waters of the Nile providing fertile ground for planting crops. Egyptians usually lived in modest homes with children and domestic pets. Professions were usually inherited - so if your father was a farmer, then so were you.

While most Egyptians led simple lives, dynasties of Pharaohs led lavish lifestyles, with the most well-known being Ramses II, Hatshepsut, Akhenaten, Tutankhamun, and Cleopatra. Huge monuments, imposing pyramids, golden artifacts, and detailed paintings all hold details about pharaonic rule and succession, as well as commonly held beliefs about religion and the afterlife.

Spanning centuries and full of drama worthy of a soap opera, the epic history of Ancient Egypt is complex and we suggest you read about it before visiting.

Top places to visit in Egypt

1. nile river.

Sail down the mighty Nile River on a traditional Egyptian felucca.

Trip: Egypt Experience

Trip: Explore Egypt & Jordan

Dive into the warm, glittering waters of the Red Sea on a snorkeling adventure in Hurghada.

Trip: Jordan & Egypt Express

Trip: Explore Egypt

Trip: Egypt Family Holiday

3. Alexandria

Discover the historic wonders of Alexandria, an ancient port city that locals call the Bride of the Mediterranean Sea.

Trip: Jordan & Egypt Uncovered

Experience the bustling energy of Cairo and shop for souvenirs at Cairo's Khan al-Khalili bazaar.

Trip: Egypt Adventure

5. Mt Sinai

Hike to the summit of Mt Sinai, which many believe is where Moses received the ten commandments.

Trip: Discover Egypt & Jordan

Explore the impressive chapels, pylons and obelisks of Karnak Temple.

Trip: Egypt, Jordan, Isreal & the Palestinian Territories

7. Abu Simbel

These massive monuments dedicated to Ramses II and Queen Nefertari are seriously impressive.

8. Valley of the Kings

King Tut’s treasures may be long gone, but his hieroglyphic-covered tomb remains an incredible sight to see.

Trip: Essential Egypt

Trip: Epic Egypt, Jordan & Isreal & the Palestinian Territories

Trip: Real Egypt & Jordan

Top 10 ancient wonders of Egypt

1. grand designs.

The original grand design - monumental and magnificent - the Pyramids of Giza are an impressive achievement in ancient engineering. Towering above the desert sands and standing proudly for centuries, the first glimpse of these stunning structures will render visitors breathless.

2. Stony enigma

Be captivated by the mysterious aura of the Great Sphinx of Giza. This monolithic mythical beast possesses a lion’s body and a human head - and has sat quietly in the desert sands for eons. Gaze at the Sphinx and try to work out the riddle of its existence.

3. Mighty Nile River

No trip to Egypt is complete without visiting the Nile River - the life force of Egypt that has flowed for centuries. A provider of irrigation, an essential travel route, home to hippos and crocodiles, and now a source of leisure for locals and travelers alike, the Nile is an aquatic link to Egypt’s ancient heritage.

4. Terrific temples

Discover an enormous open-air museum like no other. The awe-inspiring Temples of Karnak are filled with stately statues, immense columns, and gigantic gateways. Explore this intriguing site and be left in no doubt about the brilliance of the ancient Egyptian civilization.

5. Holy mountain

Embark on a trek to the top of Mt Sinai and witness an incredible golden sunrise to remember. A place of worship for many faiths, a pilgrimage to Mt Sinai reveals stunning scenery, an ancient monastery and historic chapels. An iconic highlight of Egypt for believers and non-believers alike, Mt Sinai is not to be missed.

6. Double happiness

Located in the Nile Valley, the unique Temple of Kom Ombo is a ‘double temple’ and a rare archaeological find. Dedicated to two gods, a visit here is a true highlight of an Egyptian escapade. Marvel at the well-preserved wall reliefs, try to decipher the hieroglyphics and honour the craftsmen who created this wonder.

7. Museum magic

Step into a dazzling world of antiquity at the Egyptian Museum. Be amazed by the glittering treasures recovered from King Tutankhamun’s tomb – with jewelry, furniture, chariots and that famous gold funerary mask, this pharaoh was certainly prepared for the afterlife.

8. Roman ruins

The Roman ruins of Kom el-Dikka in Alexandria may not be the biggest, but they are certainly among the best-preserved in Egypt, if not the world. Soak up the atmosphere of the Roman amphitheater and imagine it in all its glory - packed with 800 spectators ready for action.

9. Colossal characters

Near the modern city of Luxor stand the imposing Colossi of Memnon. These massive stone statues of Amenhotep III, while badly damaged, still maintain an unmistakable air of authority. Stand below them and be dwarfed by the scale of these tremendous figures.

10. The ancient heart of Cairo

Wander the cobbled streets of Islamic Cairo and uncover the ancient heart of this chaotic city. Admire mosques, palaces and houses, and peruse the goods on offer at one of the world’s oldest bazaars. Dating back to medieval times, the Khan al-Khalili bazaar is where people have traded goods for centuries.

Souqs – or open-air bazaars – are both the best place to shop in Egypt and attractions in their own right. The biggest and most famous souq is the 500-year-old Khan El Khalili Bazaar in Cairo. Within the maze of narrow streets and laneways lie stalls selling jewelry, glass, copper, spices and artisan goods, along with more standard tourist fare. Quality can vary greatly so spend some time shopping around.

Like many markets around the world, bargaining is the norm, but Egyptians take it to another level. Expect to be offered tea (it can take that long) and for elaborate theatrics from the seller. While bazaars in Cairo tend to sell everything, visit Aswan’s bazaar for spices, incense, and basketwork, and Luxor for cheaply priced alabaster figurines and vases. It's also a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country.

Things to buy in Egypt

You’ll often see spices piled high in bazaars. In addition to making a great photo for Instagram, they’re often a good buy as long as you keep a couple of things in mind. Always buy whole spices rather than ground to ensure freshness and skip the ‘saffron’ – it’s actually safflower and tastes like dust.

2. Glassware

Hand-blown Muski glass, recognizable by its air bubbles, comes in brilliant shades of blue and green and purple and has been made in Egypt since medieval times. Be careful with this purchase though as it’s extremely fragile.

3. Cartouche

A kind of nameplate written in hieroglyphics. Most gold or silver shops sell these and many can customize them by engraving your name.

Festivals and events

Eid al-fitr.

After fasting for an entire month, Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan with Eid al-Fitr, or ‘Feast of Breaking the Fast’. For three days, starting on the first day of the tenth month of the lunar calendar, people celebrate with feasts, family, and festivals. Look for vendors selling kahk cookies (nut-filled cookies covered in powdered sugar) while taking in the festivities, a tasty treat synonymous with Eid for many locals.

Eid al-Adha

Arguably the most important holiday in Egypt, the ‘Feast of Sacrifice’ is not one for vegetarians and vegans. About 70 days after Eid al-Fitr, sheep, and goats are slaughtered (often in the middle of the street) for a mighty feast.

Sham el-Nessim

Each year on March 21st, Egyptians celebrate the coming of spring by spending the day outdoors. Join the locals for this ancient holiday by packing a picnic and heading to a park or public garden.

Abu Simbel Sun Festival

As if the two temples dedicated to Ramses II and Queen Nefertari weren’t impressive enough, they were constructed in such a way that twice a year, the sun’s rays reach its innermost chambers and illuminate three stone gods that reside within, while leaving Ptah (god of the underworld) in the dark. And those days just happen to be Ramses’s birthday (October 21) and coronation (February 21). Coincidence? We think not.

Read more about festivals in Egypt

Similar destinations

We have a variety of similar destinations, trips and routes that you could consider! Tie another trip into your holiday, or, see how we can help you get from A to B. We have tours departing from a number of locations across Africa. The options below may be of interest:

Cairo to Madaba

Amman to Madaba

Tours from Cairo

Tours to Cairo

Egypt or Jordan?

Further reading

Egypt travel faqs, do i need a covid-19 vaccine to join an intrepid trip.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travelers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travelers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Do I need a visa to travel to Egypt?

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Check the Essential Trip Information section of the itinerary for more information.

Is tipping customary in Egypt?

Tipping is customary for pretty much all services in Egypt. A tip of 10–15% is customary at cafes and restaurants and loose change is acceptable for food purchases from street vendors and markets. It’s also a good idea to tip local guides and drivers USD 2–4 per day.

What is the internet access like in Egypt?

Internet access is growing in Egypt, with internet cafes and Wi-Fi hotspots becoming increasingly common in large cities, especially Cairo, though access may be limited in smaller towns and remote areas.

Can I use my cell phone while in Egypt?

Cell phone coverage is generally good in Egypt’s urban areas, but may not be available in remote and desert areas. Ensure global roaming is activated with your service provider before leaving home.

What are the toilets like in Egypt?

Squat toilets are most common in Egypt, although Western-style flushable toilets can be found in larger hotels and some tourist areas.

What will it cost for a...?

Egypt's unit of currency is the Egyptian Pound (EGP). Here's what you can expect to pay for a:

A couple of pastries = EGP 49 Cup of tea or coffee = EGP 35-50 Falafel sandwich from a street stall = EGP 92 Sit-down dinner at a local restaurant = EGP 100-300

Can I drink the water in Egypt?

Drinking tap water isn’t recommended in Egypt. Remember to avoid drinks with ice and to peel fruit before eating it. Help the environment and try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle with filtered water. Ask your leader or hotel where to find filtered water.

Are credit cards accepted widely in Egypt?

Credit cards are usually accepted by modern hotels, large retailers, and tourist sites but are less commonly accepted by smaller vendors in remote areas. Always carry enough cash for smaller purchases in case credit cards are not an option.

What is ATM access like in Egypt?

ATMs are commonly found in larger cities, like Cairo and Alexandria, near shopping centers, tourist areas, and 5-star hotels, but are far less common in small towns and rural areas. Make sure you have enough cash before leaving urban areas.

What public holidays are celebrated in Egypt?

  • 7 Jan: Coptic Christmas
  • 28 Apr: Coptic Easter*
  • 25 Apr: Sinai Liberation Day
  • 28 Apr: Sham el-Nessim*
  • 1 May: Labor Day
  • 5 Jun: Eid al-Fitr*
  • 23 Jul: National Day
  • 12 Aug: Eid al-Adha
  • 11 Sep: Coptic New Year
  • 1 Sep: Islamic New Year*
  • 6 Oct: Armed Forces Day
  • 10 Nov: Birth of Prophet Mohammed*
  • *Please note many of these public holidays are religious holidays and change each year as they are celebrated according to the Islamic lunar cycle. For a current list of public holidays in Egypt go to World Travel Guide's website.

Is Egypt a safe destination for LGBTQIA+ travelers?

Discretion is advised for LGBTQI travelers in Egypt. Though homosexuality is not officially outlawed, gay men have been prosecuted using debauchery and public morals laws and given long prison sentences. Be aware that signals are ambiguous in Egypt as men commonly hold hands, link arms, and greet each other with a kiss on the cheek. As long as you use common sense, travel in Egypt should not be a problem. For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting  Equaldex  or  ILGA before you travel.

If you are traveling solo on an Intrepid group tour, you will share accommodation with a passenger of the same gender as per your passport information. If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at the time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly. A single supplement is available on some tours for travelers who do not wish to share a room.

What to wear in Egypt

Summer temperatures can get very high, so light fabrics like linen, cotton, and athletic gear made to take the heat are best. If you’re traveling outside of winter, don’t underestimate the cool change that can come in the evenings, especially if you’re spending the night in the desert or on a Nile cruise. Avoid packing anything in white – desert dust will quickly turn those light-colored clothes a not-so-delightful shade of brown.

How will I travel around Egypt?

Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.

Depending on which trip you're on while in Egypt, you may find yourself traveling by camel.

A mode of transport that's been used for centuries, riding a camel is a definite must when visiting Egypt. Swaying through the desert sands on a 'ship of the desert' is an unforgettable Egyptian experience.

Where will I stay in Egypt?

Traveling with Intrepid is a little bit different. We endeavor to provide travelers with an authentic experience to remember, so we try to keep accommodation as unique and traditional as possible.

When traveling with us in Egypt you may find yourself staying in a:

Felucca Glide down the Nile on a traditional Egyptian felucca; sleep on deck under the stars as the sun slides away for the day - a must-do experience while in Egypt.

Homestay Be welcomed into the home of a local family and experience the cuisine, culture and customs of Egypt firsthand during your stay. A truly authentic travel experience like no other.

Desert camp Travel deep into the White Desert to camp under the stars amid surreal scenery. This is a rare chance to experience the remote wonder and isolation of the Egyptian desert.

With calming Red Sea views and fresh sea breezes, this rustic breach abode is all about life’s simple pleasures.

How do I stay safe and healthy while traveling?

From Australia?

Go to: Smart Traveller

From Canada?

Go to:  Canada Travel Information

From the UK?

Go to:  UK Foreign Travel Advice

From New Zealand?

Go to:  Safe Travel

From the US?

Go to:  US Department of State

The World Health Organisation also provides useful health information.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance before traveling?

Absolutely. All passengers traveling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

What is it like traveling on a small group tour?

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or you’re about to embark on your first trip, traveling can be as intimidating as it is exciting. That's the beauty of a small group tour. From handling the logistics and organizing amazing cultural activities to local leaders who know each destination like the back of their hand (like which street has the best markets and where to get the most authentic food), traveling on a small group tour with Intrepid will give you unforgettable travel experiences without the hassle that comes with exploring a new place. Plus, you'll have ready-made friends to share the journey with. All you have to do is turn up with a healthy sense of adventure and we’ll take care of the rest.

Does my trip to Egypt support The Intrepid Foundation?

Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. In fact, we make a donation on behalf of every traveler. Trips to Egypt directly support our foundation partner, Animal Care in Egypt . 

Animal Care in Egypt  

Animal Care in Egypt (ACE) cares for sick or injured working animals, like horses and donkeys, in Upper Egypt. Donations from our trips help ACE provide free veterinary care and fund education programs that empower local people with the knowledge and skills to best look after their animals. 

Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Does my Intrepid trip include airfare?

While our Intrepid trips include many modes of transport, from tuk-tuks to overland vehicles, bullet trains and feluccas, airfare to and from your home country is not included in your tour package.

The Telegraph

Rebuilding granite blocks around pyramid ‘as absurd as straightening the Tower of Pisa’

A plan to cover a Giza pyramid with granite cladding has been called “absurd” after its proponents promised it would deliver “a gift from Egypt to the world”.

The project aims to restore the Pyramid of Menkaure, the smallest of the three pyramids at Giza , to its original glory over a three-year period.

The structure was originally cased in 16 layers of granite blocks, but only seven remain today.

Their restoration, which has sparked controversy among archaeologists and Egyptologists, has been hailed by supporters of the plan as a historic move to restore a wonder of the ancient world.

Mostafa Waziri, the head of Egypt’s supreme council of antiquities, said the project would offer modern visitors a glimpse of the structure’s original magnificence.

He has described the plan as “a gift from Egypt to the world”. It is set to coincide with the opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum , which is expected to open later this year, more than 20 years after construction began.

However, the project has drawn sharp disapproval from some quarters, with some critics likening it to “straightening the Tower of Pisa”.

Monica Hanna, an Egyptologist, questioned the need for the cladding and demanded a more conservative approach be adopted, one focused on preserving the structure as it is today, rather than attempting to recreate its original appearance.

“When are we going to stop the absurdity in the management of Egyptian heritage?” she said, arguing that international principles of archaeological restoration generally prohibit such extensive interventions.

In response to the criticism, the Egyptian mnistry of antiquities said it had formed a committee of experts to examine the project, throwing its future into uncertainty. It is expected to issue a verdict on the plan in the coming days.

Zahi Hawass, also an Egyptologist, told The Telegraph that roughly one-third of the Menkaure pyramid was originally clad with 16 granite blocks.

It was never fully encased because of the demise of Menkaure, the pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty that the pyramid was named after.

Built around 2,500BC, the Pyramid of Menkaure originally stood some 65 metres tall. Over time, it has been gradually whittled away by erosion and vandalism.

Constructrion of new museum 

The plan to restore its granite cladding forms part of a larger “project of the century” initiative to develop the Giza Pyramids area , a Unesco World Heritage Site and the world’s most iconic archaeological destination.

The broader plan includes building the Grand Egyptian Museum, upgrading local infrastructure, and establishing new and improved visitor facilities.

Cairo has touted the museum as the largest in the world devoted to a single civilisation. A vast structure near the Giza pyramids that has been under construction since 2005, its opening has been repeatedly delayed.

Officials hope the $1.2 billion attraction will provide a major boost for Egypt’s tourism industry , a crucial source of foreign currency and jobs for the country’s struggling economy, once it finally opens its doors.

The issue of heritage preservation in Egypt is often the subject of heated debate.

Recent destruction of entire areas of Cairo’s historic area led to powerful mobilisations by civil society groups, many of which are largely banned from political activity and now concentrate the bulk of their disputes with president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s government on urban planning and heritage issues.

The debate has lately focused on the 15th-century Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi mosque in the coastal city of Alexandria, Egypt’s second largest.

Local authorities announced an investigation after a contractor in charge of renovation decided to redecorate the ornate, carved and coloured ceilings of the city’s largest mosque using white paint.

Discover Telegraph Wine Cellar’s new wine club. Enjoy expertly chosen bottles at exclusive member prices. Plus, free delivery on every order.

Granite blocks are being installed alongside the Pyramid of Menkaure in a bid to restore it

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  2. Pyramids of Giza: The Complete Guide for First-Time Visitors

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COMMENTS

  1. Pyramids of Giza: The Complete Guide for First-Time Visitors

    Visit the Valley Temple Watch the Sound and Light Show Map of the Giza Plateau The Pyramids of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure Without a doubt, the best thing to do while on the Giza Plateau is to see the three massive pyramids that dominate the landscape. To fully appreciate their enormity, get up close to the Great Pyramid.

  2. How To Visit The Pyramids Of Giza In Egypt (Travel Guide)

    There are a number of companies that offer prearranged day tours to the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx for as low as $45 USD, complete with hotel transfer, optional camel ride, and same day return to Cairo. If you'd rather make your own arrangements and go without a group, that's covered next. How To Get To The Giza Pyramids

  3. 14 MUST-KNOW Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt: The

    14 Top Tips for Visiting the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza 1. When is the best time to visit the Pyramids of Giza? 2. How do I get to the Pyramids? Taxi Uber Public Bus Microbus Metro 3. How long does it take to get to the Pyramids of Giza? 4. What are the opening times of the Pyramids of Giza? 5.

  4. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt: The Complete Guide

    Jessica Macdonald Updated on 08/28/19 Travelpix Ltd / Getty Images The Great Pyramid of Giza Address X4HM+MPC, Al Haram, Nazlet El-Semman, Al Haram, Giza Governorate 3512201, Egypt On the west bank of the River Nile lies Egypt's most iconic ancient sight: the Pyramids of Giza.

  5. How to Visit the Pyramids of Giza

    by Jeremy Scott Foster | Published August 12, 2021 The Great Pyramid is the last remaining of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. If you're coming to Egypt, there's a good chance you're here to see it (and the other pyramids of Giza). A camel ride is a quintessential part of your visit to the Pyramids of Egypt (Photo: Unsplash)

  6. 15 Essential Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza (Ace Your Adventure

    Historical Significance: Beyond their awe-inspiring presence, the pyramids serve as tombs for pharaohs, offering a glimpse into the profound cultural and religious beliefs of ancient Egypt. Exploring their chambers and hieroglyphics provides a window into this ancient civilization. Sphinx Encounter: Adjacent to the pyramids stands the Great Sphinx of Giza, a colossal statue with the body of a ...

  7. Getting to know the Pyramids of Giza

    Visitors flock to Egypt for the chance to marvel at the ancient architecture built to last an eternity. Before planning a trip, learn more about the history and mysteries of the Pyramids of Giza and why they're well-worth the visit. Editor's note: During COVID-19 travel restrictions may be in place or opening hours may vary.

  8. How to Visit The Pyramids of Giza Egypt (Visiting Do's & Don'ts)

    Grab Breakfast or Lunch at 9 Pyramids Lounge. Another thing to do when you visit the Pyramids of Giza, is to grab a bite at 9 Pyrmaids Lounge. This is one of the best places to eat while being in front of the Pyramids. Reservations are usually required, so if you want to make this happen, do it in advance.

  9. Your Guide to Visiting Egypt's Pyramids of Giza

    A quick overview of Egypt's Pyramids of Giza. The pyramids are located in Giza, on the west bank of the River Nile, about 40 minutes or so away from Cairo . Pharaoh Khufu established the first Giza pyramid round 2550 B.C. The largest, Khufu's pyramid stands at about 481ft high. Around 2520 B.C., Khufu's son, Pharaoh Khafre, began work on ...

  10. Pyramids of Giza

    Pyramids of Giza, three 4th- dynasty (c. 2575-c. 2465 bce) pyramids erected on a rocky plateau on the west bank of the Nile River near Al-Jīzah (Giza) in northern Egypt. In ancient times they were included among the Seven Wonders of the World. The ancient ruins of the Memphis area, including the Pyramids of Giza, Ṣaqqārah, Dahshūr, Abū ...

  11. The Only Egyptian Pyramids guide You Will Need!

    The price to actually enter the Great Pyramid is 300 LE. ($19). You can choose to enter the Menkaure's Pyramid for a lot less at 25 LE ($1.50 UDS). Quick Note: Camel Rides. An area close by the pyramids will allow you to ride a camel for about 50 LE ($3) for a 30-minute ride. Inside the Menkaure's Pyramid.

  12. 5-Day Egypt Itinerary for Cairo and the Pyramids

    Day 4 - Alexandria Day Trip. Alexandria, a Mediterranean port city, is the second-largest city in Egypt. It is about a 2.5-hour drive from Cairo and is well worth the trip. Alexandria has a rich Roman history and a stunning location. Here, you can visit the Roman catacombs, explore the temple complex, and visit the Pompey's Pillar.

  13. Egyptian Pyramids of Giza Travel Guide 2024

    While visiting the Egyptian Pyramids of Giza, you'll be needing some extra money for photographs with camels, restroom usage, and other unexpected assistance. Egyptians mother tongue is Arabic, so you'll need to pick up a few words to get about and it is also a fun experience to bring Egyptian words to your home country.

  14. A Refreshing Look at Egypt's Ancient Pyramids

    July 4, 2022 "Yallah, yallah, yallah! Woooo! " I was visiting the pyramids of Giza, Egypt, in the company of Mark Lehner, a renowned Egyptologist, when suddenly a series of voices erupted and...

  15. Must-Visit Egyptian Pyramids to Visit

    The Great Pyramid of Giza is located on the Giza Plateau, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. It is part of a larger complex that includes two smaller pyramids, several smaller tombs, and the Sphinx. You will never miss t he Great Pyramid of Giza when you travel to Egypt. It was built around 2560 BCE as a tomb for the Pharaoh Khufu.

  16. Ancient Egypt and the Nile

    Day 4 - Giza and Cairo. Set out for Giza to encounter two of Egypt's most iconic sites: the Pyramids and the Sphinx, whose leonine body and human face was carved from a single piece of limestone.Later, venture to Coptic Cairo to visit some of its beautiful churches, including the 5th-century St. Sergius Church, the famous Hanging Church, and the domed St. George's Church.

  17. The Egyptian Pyramids: Facts, Inside, Location...

    The pyramids of Egypt are one of the travel highlights of the world. For thousands of years, the greatest architectural wonders on the globe have been on the Giza Plateau in Cairo Egypt, and millions of people go to see them annually.. However, most people do not know that there are other well-preserved pyramids that are almost the same size and age in Egypt, and people have discovered about ...

  18. Egypt Group Giza Pyramid & Museum Tours

    Join National Geographic Expeditions on a group tour of Egypt. During our trip we'll visit many famous locations such as the Giza Pyramids & Nile River!

  19. Pyramids at Giza -- National Geographic

    Published April 14, 2011 • 3 min read Writer Carl Hoffman traveled to Egypt in February 2011, a week after popular demonstrations led to the president's resignation. These are his observations....

  20. Best Egypt Trips & Tour Packages 2024/2025

    USD $2,292 Add to my wishlist 8 Days · Original Egypt Adventure From USD $953 Add to my wishlist 9 Days · Premium Premium Egypt From USD $3,402 Add to my wishlist 19 Days · Comfort Explore Egypt & Jordan From USD $4,350 Add to my wishlist 15 Days · Basix Explore Egypt From USD $1,369 Add to my wishlist TAILOR-MADE TRIPS

  21. Cairo To Giza Pyramids: 5 BEST Ways To Travel In 2024

    You can travel from Cairo to the Great Pyramids in Giza in anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour by car, depending on your starting point in Cairo. However, it's important to note that during peak travel times, such as rush hour, the travel duration can extend up to 2 hours due to traffic congestion. Tip!

  22. Is it safe to visit the pyramids in Egypt?

    According to various sources, visiting the pyramids in Egypt is considered safe for tourists. The pyramids are open to the public because they are deemed safe to enter. Many people describe going inside at least one pyramid as a truly incredible experience. However, it's important to follow safety guidelines and stay informed about the ...

  23. Granite blocks rebuilt around pyramid compared to ...

    A plan to cover an iconic Giza pyramid with granite cladding has been called "absurd" after its proponents promised it would deliver "a gift from Egypt to the world". The ambitious project ...