There are few places in the world that capture the imagination quite like the Great pyramids of Giza in Egypt. These ancient wonders have stood the test of time and continue to fascinate travelers from all over the globe. If you’re planning a trip to Egypt, visiting the pyramids should be at the top of your list. In this travel guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about visiting the pyramids of Giza, from how to get there to what to expect during your visit.
Quick Facts (Main Pyramid)
Before we dive into the details, let’s start with some quick facts about the main pyramid at Giza. Built in 2560 BC, the Great Pyramid of Giza was the tallest man-made object in the world for 3,800 years. It stands at an impressive height of 150 meters (500 ft) and has a base length of 150 meters (500 ft). The pyramid weighs a staggering 6 million tons and is made up of 2.3 million blocks. It’s estimated that over 200,000 workers were involved in its construction.
Best Day Tours To The Egypt pyramids
If you’re short on time or prefer the convenience of a prearranged tour, there are plenty of options for day tours to the pyramids of Giza. These tours typically include hotel transfers, a visit to the pyramids and the Sphinx, and sometimes even a camel ride. Prices can range from $45 USD for a basic tour to upwards of $100 USD for a more luxurious experience.
One highly recommended tour is the “pyramids and Sphinx Half-Day Tour” offered by Viator. This tour includes hotel pickup and drop-off, a knowledgeable guide, and entrance fees to the pyramids and Sphinx. You’ll also have the option to add on a camel ride for an additional fee. This tour is perfect for those who want to see the pyramids and learn about their history without the hassle of planning and arranging transportation.
For those looking for a more budget-friendly option, consider booking a group tour with a local company such as Egypt Day Tours. These tours can be found for as low as $25 USD per person and offer a similar experience to the more expensive options. Keep in mind that these tours may have larger group sizes and less personalized attention from the guide, but they are a great way to save money while still seeing the pyramids.
How To Get To The Giza pyramids
If you prefer to visit the pyramids on your own, it’s fairly easy to do so from Cairo, the capital of Egypt. The most common way to get there is by taxi or Uber. From central Cairo, the drive takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour depending on traffic. It’s important to negotiate the price with the driver before getting in the car, as some may try to overcharge tourists.
Another option is to take public transportation. You can take the metro to Giza station and then transfer to a microbus or minibus that will take you directly to the pyramids. This option is much cheaper than a taxi, but it can be confusing for first-time visitors and may take longer due to multiple transfers.
Giza pyramids: What To Expect
As you approach the pyramids, you’ll likely be greeted by a sea of vendors selling souvenirs and offering camel rides. While it can be overwhelming, it’s best to politely decline and continue on your way to the entrance. Once inside, you’ll be able to purchase tickets for the Great Pyramid, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure. The cost of the tickets varies depending on which pyramid you choose to enter, but prices range from $5-10 USD.
It’s important to note that the interior of the pyramids is not wheelchair accessible and may be difficult for those with mobility issues. Additionally, there are no restrooms inside the pyramids, so it’s best to use the facilities before entering.
Once inside the pyramid, you’ll have the opportunity to climb up a steep and narrow passage to the burial chamber. This can be a challenging climb, so it’s not recommended for those who are claustrophobic or have physical limitations. However, if you’re able to make the climb, the view from the top is truly breathtaking.
Camel Rides At The Egypt pyramids
One of the most iconic experiences at the pyramids of Giza is riding a camel around the complex. These majestic animals have been used as transportation in Egypt for centuries and offer a unique perspective on the pyramids. You can choose to take a short ride around the perimeter of the complex or opt for a longer ride into the desert for a more immersive experience.
It’s important to negotiate the price with the camel owner before getting on the animal, as prices can vary greatly. It’s also recommended to bring small bills to pay for the ride, as some vendors may not have change for larger bills.
The Great Sphinx of Giza
No visit to the pyramids of Giza would be complete without seeing the Great Sphinx. This massive limestone statue stands at 73 meters (240 ft) long and 20 meters (66 ft) tall. It’s believed to have been built around the same time as the Great Pyramid and is thought to represent the pharaoh Khafre.
You can purchase a separate ticket to enter the area surrounding the Sphinx, but many visitors choose to simply admire it from a distance. Keep in mind that the area can get very crowded, especially during peak tourist season, so plan accordingly.
Hotels Near The Egyptian pyramids
If you’re looking to stay near the pyramids of Giza, there are plenty of options to choose from. The most popular and luxurious option is the Mena House Hotel, located just steps away from the pyramids. This five-star hotel offers stunning views of the pyramids and a range of amenities such as a pool, spa, and multiple restaurants.
For those on a budget, there are also several affordable hotels and hostels in the nearby town of Giza. These accommodations may not offer the same level of luxury as the Mena House, but they provide a convenient location and comfortable stay at a fraction of the cost.
When Is The Best Time To Visit The Giza pyramids?
The best time to visit the pyramids of Giza is during the cooler months of October to April. During this time, temperatures are more comfortable for exploring and there is less chance of sandstorms. However, keep in mind that this is also peak tourist season, so the area can get quite crowded.
If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, consider visiting during the summer months (May-September). While the temperatures can be scorching, the lack of tourists means you’ll have more space and time to explore the pyramids.
Visiting the pyramids of Giza is an experience unlike any other. From the impressive structures themselves to the rich history and culture surrounding them, it’s a must-see destination for any traveler. Whether you choose to visit on a prearranged tour or venture out on your own, the pyramids will leave a lasting impression and a sense of wonder that will stay with you long after you’ve left. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to check off one of the most iconic destinations in the world from your bucket list.