I am still knocking the dirt off my shoes from this captivating experience of visiting the Pyramids of Giza. It’s only been a few weeks since coming back, and I am still in awe at how amazing it is and how crazy it made me feel at the same time. It is inspiring seeing these remarkable iconic landmarks up close and personal. Traveling to see the Pyramids of Giza has been exciting, stunning, just out-of-this-world EPIC.
Seeing the Giza Pyramids, seemingly in the middle of a desert next to the bustling city, may not be what you would expect. In the post, I want to share with you what to know before visiting the Pyramids of Giza. I will give you travel tips and advice for first-time visitors, those traveling with kids, and solo travelers.
Reading about this once-in-a-lifetime trip will be your first step in guiding you to have an incredible experience while visiting the Pyramids of Giza.
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Facts about the pyramids
The Pyramids of Giza were built nearly 5,000 years ago as huge tombs for Egyptian Pharaohs. The great pyramids are incredibly one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; actually, they are the only Seven Wonders remaining. The pyramids were ordered to be built by the Pharaohs because they wanted to have somewhere to keep their bodies preserved for the afterlife.
The largest and oldest pyramid, The Great Pyramid, was constructed for Pharaoh Khufu starting in 2550 B.C. It stands tall at approximately 481 feet. Building the pyramids could’ve been easy. Since the stones that make up the pyramids weigh up to 15 tons each. That couldn’t have been easy to pick up. The other 2 Pyramids that people are usually familiar with are built for Pharaoh Khufu’s son, Pharaoh Khafre, and grandson Pharaoh Menkaure.
Where are the Pyramids of Giza located?
The Pyramids of Giza is located in Cairo within the Giza pyramid complex. The complex sits on the Giza Plateau and includes the Sphinx, temples, and other smaller pyramids of wives and sisters. The Pyramids of Giza is about an hour away from Cairo airport. But Cairo is notorious for having heavy traffic, so it may take even longer to get there from Cairo airport.
Hours of Operation
To visit the Giza Pyramids complex, the hours of operation are 0800-5:00 PM every day.
How much does it cost to enter the pyramids of Giza?
Pyramid Area Entrance: Adults:200 EGPs/Student 100 EGPs
Inside the Great Pyramid: 400 EGPs
Inclusive Entry-The Great Pyramid and Khufu’s Boat Museum: 600 EGPs/Student:300 EGPs
Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza
Stay at a Pyramids view hotel
One of the best ways to get spectacular views of the Giza Pyramids in Egypt is to stay in a pyramid view hotel in Giza. We decided to stay at the Marriott Mena House hotel because of all the wonderful reviews I read about it. It’s one of the most popular and renowned hotels to stay. This 5-star luxury hotel is lovely. The rooms are clean, and the staff is very friendly. They treat you like royalty, and the food is yummy, especially the breakfast buffet. And it’s very significant too. The Marriott hotel is where royals would stay while visiting the Pyramids and other celebrities.
You can get a room with a balcony and get breathtaking views of the pyramids just by walking outside. The rooms are nice and spacious and include a sitting area, a table with chairs. Not only that, the property is right next door to the Giza Pyramids. It’s so convenient that you can just walk to the pyramids from the hotel. What?! There are so many areas on the property where you will see the pyramids. The perfect place to get those incredible views is at the 139 Pavilion restaurant. You can have your breakfast with a view. Plus, you can sit by the pool and have the historic pyramids as your backdrop.
Pyramid views for days
The Marriott has beautifully manicured gardens in the courtyard making this the perfect area to take amazing photos with the pyramids. My daughter even did a Tik Tok video right in this area because it was cool seeing the pyramids as her backup dancers.
If you are part of the Marriott Bonvoy program, you could even stay in the hotel with your points or one of your free nights. Now that is a spectacular win-win situation.
To get more info for a stay at Marriott Mena House, click HERE.
When is the best time to visit the Pyramids of Giza?
The best time of the year to visit the Pyramids of Giza is during the winter season. For one, the winter season has mild temperatures. It may be a little chilly, but when I was there during December, it was in the ’60s. Compared to England’s 30-degree weather, 60 degrees was a welcome treat. The weather got warmer and warmer the further south of Egypt we explored.
Since this is the desert, the summertime may be too hot for you or anybody. The temperature gets up to 95 degrees, and this is desert heat. I’ve been to desert climates plenty of times (thanks to the Air Force), and when I say the heat in the middle of summer could be just torture. And the blinding light from the sun could be just as bad.
Once you get to Cairo, visit the pyramids first thing in the morning. Going in the morning would help alleviate some of the large crowds, and it’ll give you more time to explore the Giza complex. We went in the morning, and we really lucked up because there weren’t many people there. I was ecstatic because there are times when tour buses and people come in droves trying to visit the pyramids.
Giza Plateua is a big complex
One thing to know is that the Pyramids of Giza are inside of a huge complex. The entrance we took was the Great Pyramid side, but there is another entrance near the Sphinx. With that being said, all of the pyramids and the Sphinx aren’t right next to each other. It may look like they’re close together but its farther away than you may think.
However, the other pyramids are on the other side of the complex. A driver took us around the complex from the Great Pyramid to the smaller ones, then later to the Sphinx. Still, if you don’t have a driver, don’t worry. There are camels and horses around that could take you throughout the complex, and of course, you could just walk around to each area.
Hire a tour guide to visit the pyramids of Giza
For this trip to Egypt, I decided to have a tour guide take us around. That’s because before visiting the Pyramids, in the research I’ve done, I saw recommendations to have a local guide. Hire a local guide to take you to the top tourist sites so you can stay safe and they can speak to other people in their language. I talk more in-depth about this experience in my post, Egypt Travel Tips: Things to know before traveling to Egypt.
You will get hassled
When you visit the Giza Pyramids, people will be trying to sell you cheap goods. If you travel solo or without a guide, you will just have to ignore those people. Considering that once you respond in any way, they will keep haggling you and following you around. This is where having a tour guide played an essential role in keeping the hagglers and scammers away. To see more about how to keep from getting hassled, go to Egypt Travel Tips: Things to know before traveling to Egypt.
Can you climb the pyramids?
Climbing the Giza Pyramids is strictly a no-no unless you tip them, of course. We only climbed up the Great Pyramid to the point of entry. We didn’t go any further than that. But if you would like to walk on these ancient stones, then just tip the right person (the pyramids guards), and up and away you go.
Can tourists go inside the pyramids of Giza?
Did you know that you can go inside the pyramids? Well, you can if you want to. I decided not to tour inside of the pyramids because I saw that it could get hot in the tombs and that you would be sweating profusely (especially in the summer). Plus if you don’t like to be in tight spaces, you may hyperventilate. For that reason, I decided not to do it.
However, now that I think about it, I kind of wish that I did. I mean, what other time would I get the opportunity to say I climbed into a 5,000-year-old landmark?! That’s just craziness, right!!!
Having the chance to experience being inside of Egyptian history would be just unbelievable!
Anyway, if you would like to visit inside the pyramids, you will just have to pay an extra fee of 400 EGPs ~ $25, and you’ll be good to go.
Should you ride the camels?
Have you seen those amazing pictures on Instagram of people riding camels at the pyramids? Regardless of whether you will visit the Giza Pyramids solo, with or without a guide, I think you should definitely take a camel ride. Egypt was my 3rd time taking a camel ride while traveling around. The first time I ever rode a camel was in Morocco.
Therefore, I will give you a few tips for riding a camel from my experience. I decided to wear a dress to the Great Pyramids because I wanted to be cute! You know so that I could have stunning photos for my IG and this blog. Anywho, the biggest mistake I made was not wearing leggings underneath my dress. Why? For one, it was super windy outside that day, and my dress kept flying up while riding the camel. For two, it was just uncomfortable being on top of that camel without that extra layer of clothing underneath.
Even though I had that entire and uncomfortable fiasco, it was still an incredible way to see the Pyramids of Giza. While riding the camels, it was just nostalgic looking at the pyramids and the desert from a panoramic viewpoint. Our stopping point was at the most stunning view of the Giza complex. We were able to see about six of the pyramids grouped together. It was absolutely breathtaking.
Have cash with you for tipping
That brings me to my next point. You will need to bring cash with you for tipping. In Egypt, they expect you to tip the workers or anyone providing a service. That goes for the Pyramid guards, security, drivers, bathroom attendants, etc.
The same goes for the camel guy that guided us around the Pyramids complex while taking fabulous photos of us. Therefore, tipping him is much expected for his services. But that tip was well worth it anyway. I didn’t know how much to tip as this was our first full day in Cairo, so generally, it’s good to start at 100 EGPs ~ to 6 US dollars for a service like this. Otherwise, you should carry small bills with you to tip less.
Make sure to visit the Sphinx
The Giza complex doesn’t just have the great Pyramids. It also has the Sphinx. The Sphinx is a humongous statue with the head of a human and the body of a lion. Supposedly the Sphinx was built to be the protector of the complex.
We got a chance to see the Sphinx before leaving the complex. The place we stood was on the street, leaving the complex where we saw the side of the Sphinx. I’m pretty sure you’ve seen plenty of pictures of people kissing the Sphinx. Yes, I am one of those cliche people, and I am proud of it.
Still, I regret not going to see the front of the Sphinx. I think our guide said the line was way too long. Oh, how I wish I would’ve insisted, because who knows when I will be able to visit again. Seeing the Sphinx from the front would give you more perspective and have the beautiful pyramid of Khafre sitting behind it. I missed my chance to see that, but you should not miss it!
Best Photo Spots & Viewpoints
That brings me to another important point. Know where the iconic photo spots are for great pictures and more amazing views. Luckily our guide knew of the best areas to take photos. Regardless, even if you have a guide, I recommend doing your research before entering the pyramid plateau.
Sound and Light show at the Pyramids of Giza
See the pyramids illuminated in an array of colored lights while going through the history of Ancient Egypt. The show takes place every night at 7 PM with the narration being in many languages including English.
There have been mixed reviews about the Sound and Light show. Some people say that the technology is dated, and the sound isn’t that great. But others enjoyed learning the history of Egyptian culture and civilization.
You can see the show from your Pyramid view hotel from some hotels. Nevertheless, you can book it here if you want to attend the show while sitting near the Sphinx. The prices run about $20 depending on what company you secure it with and if you reserve VIP seating.
Click here for more info.
What to wear at the Pyramids of Giza?
Since Egypt is mainly an Islamic country, I would heed on dressing more conservatively here. Wearing colorful maxi dresses is beautiful while staying conservative, especially in photos. You could also wear loose-fitting, breathable pants like this one.
Since you’re in a desert climate, you would want to bring your sunglasses, first because of the glaring sun, and secondly to keep the sand and dirt out of your eyes, because if it’s windy, dirt will start whirling around everywhere.
If traveling during the winter season
So to caveat. My daughter and I went in December where the temperature was in the 60’s. So it was pretty chilly and cold in the morning. So wear a heavy enough jacket to protect you from the wind. Bring a scarf like this one for your neck and to cover your head in case of a sandstorm.
The terrain is full of sand, dirt, and rocks. So you will need to wear some comfortable shoes like this. I decided to wear my Adidas, and they were so comfortable and helpful from stepping on the rocks. I usually wear these shoes when I know I’m going to be out sightseeing all day.
Also, you may want to avoid wearing sandals or flats unless it has a suitable/thick sole on them. If not, you will feel every single rock underneath your feet. Plus, if you plan on going inside the pyramids, you would want shoes that hold some traction and keep you from slipping.
To see more info about the shoes I was wearing, click here.
In conclusion, visiting the Pyramids of Giza was an epic adventure. Having these travel experiences and sharing that with my daughter no less is unbelievable. Doing the research and knowing what to expect is essential to make your experience of visiting the Pyramids of Giza the best trip of your life.
Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below.
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