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Tips for Visiting The Pyramids of Giza

If you are planning a visit to Egypt, it is likely that visiting the pyramids of Giza is part of your itinerary.  Visiting these Cairo pyramids has always been on my bucket list. I am not sure if it was due to the theories about how they were built with such precision, or whether it was my interest in history at a young age, or even if it was just because I have always had the travel bug. I knew I would visit them one day. I bet you are the same, right?

After falling in love with the Middle East after our first Jordan visit, I knew I would take my boys to see the pyramids as soon as I could. With the social unrest in Egypt, I just did not know when that would be.

After seeing other travellers posting photos of their visits to Egypt, I did some research on the area, read a lot of blog posts from people who were actually there, and enlisted my mother in law to visit with me. I decided that Egypt was safe but I didn’t know if I wanted to tackle it on my own with two young boys. Thanks to my mother in law agreeing to visit with us, it was just down to purchasing a flight! After our tickets were booked I could not be more excited and one of the top places to visit in Cairo was going to be the Pyramids.

Top Tips for Visiting The Pyramids of Giza

 

I am going to give you my top tips for visiting the pyramids of Giza. This will include things I wish I knew before visiting the Pyramids of Giza and everything to expect whether you are arriving on a tour or visiting independently.

 

Top Tips for your Pyramids of Giza Egytp Visit

 

Tip 1 for visiting the Pyramids

Avoid hassles: Benefits of having a Guide on your Cairo Tour

We saw Luxor and the Valley of the Kings on a one day tour before visiting Cairo and arranged the same company to do a one day tour of Cairo and Giza. It was extremely affordable and I suggest you take advantage of having a guide with you!

If you want to book a 1 day tour, check out this one here.

While you will still be asked if you want to buy souvenirs or ride camels or horses, a guide will likely suggest just to ignore them and walk past. These guys know each other, the guides visit all the time and they will probably tell off a pushy vendor for you.

And they can be pushy.

After you finish reading this post on visiting the pyramids, make sure you  check out this post I wrote about the realities of traveling in Egypt so you know what you are up against with the hassles.

I wanted this shot and my guide made it happen. We were super rushed before closing and after riding horses he had the camel guy waiting for a 5 mintue ride and photo. But just because a guide was there, did not mean there were not hands out for baksheesh. And it isnt just for one person; 2 or 3 seem to be involved

Guides will help you get what you do want, whether it is a camel or carriage ride ( I personally wanted an iconic photo of the camel with the pyramids! My guide made it happen )

Guides will prep you on what to expect on the site and tips for your visit. They also help when things like queueing in line becomes a bit of a shoving match

 

Riding Horses at the Pyramids of Giza Tips

I knew that I wanted to ride horses with my son in Giza and we had a great ride. The price is set at EGP200 per hour (on the signs if you see them), but do not be surprised when you are upsold to a “longer” ride that takes you on a different “tour” so to speak. Be ready with what you are willing to pay for. We were told we had to pay an additional EGP200 for our escort to be on a horse to. I threatened to go alone with my son and the horse and we agreed on EGP100 for the escort and his horse. A rip-off, YES, but I got what I wanted which was a ride with my son to the Panoramic photo spot and the price was 5x cheaper than what I would have paid in Canada for an hour’s ride

Tip 2 at the Pyramids of Giza: What you want to know about Riding horses and camels in Giza

My son loves horses, but when asked if I wanted to ride a horse, my first question was that I wanted to see it first. I did not want to be riding something that looked unhealthy and unkept. With owners facing tough times due to the instability of the country and the decline in tourists visiting since the 2011 Arab Spring, they are desperate to feed their animals.

I agreed on a pair of horses that were fit, and then it came down to price. Riding horses has a set price ( if you see the sign ) but that doesn’t mean that you will not be “upsold” with a longer ride or the cost of an escort.

After mounting our horses, they wanted to charge me for a third horse for the man who was going to take us to the panoramic photo spot. I thought it was ridiculous and told him that just me and my son would ride over there. After a bit of back and forth I offered him a few dollars and we were on our way.

I had arranged a custom tour just to the panoramic spot as that was the only place I had not taken photo at yet. We had visited the day before and had wandered between the pyramids on horseback and on a camel, but I really wanted that panoramic shot (and well, Markus loves horses, so he wanted another ride.)

We arrived without incident, Markus enjoying riding his horse by himself as I snapped photos.

After being at the panoramic spot and having some photos taken, the tourist police showed up looking for a bribe. Our horse guide slipped him a few Egyptian pounds and he continued on. The culture of baksheesh drives me crazy, but it’s pretty normal in Egypt.

The guides constantly ask if you are having a good time, and are not afraid to ask for a tip. As long as you are ready for it, it is fine. You get used to it quick. Do not give what you don’t want to, and if you enjoyed your time, whatever you want to tip should be fine. They will likely ask for more, but try not to buy into it if you were happy with your tip. No one seems to give decent tipping guidelines which is annoying, but I was told that a private tour guide’s tip for the day would be about 200 Egyptian Pounds. So I used that as a base.

Also when you finish your ride, the horse owner or whomever organized the ride will mysteriously appear and also ask for a tip for the horses. Again, it is up to you to tip or not. I got flustered at one point and felt like I kept handing over money. SO be prepared and keep lots of small bills. 

Menkaure Pyramid entrance fee in Giza Pyramids

A ticket to go inside Menkaure Pyramid is extra on top of your Giza Pyramid entrance ticket. When we went the price was EGP60 for Menkaur’s Pyramid Entrance Fee. Visiting the Giza Pyramids was EGP120

 

Tip 3 Visiting the Pyramids of Giza: Going inside the Pyramids

You can buy a ticket to go inside one of the pyramids. Egypt seems to be full of places where one ticket only gets you so far and if you want anything else you need another ticket or pass etc. But they do not really do a good job of explaining that.  It is nothing like the inside of the Valley of the Kings and you cannot take photos but it is well worth it in my opinion!

 

Giza Pyramids Tips

Riding Horses, Camels or Carriages at the Giza Pyramids has a set price per hour. But beware of the upsell.

Tip 4 Tourists Beware:the Typical Giza Pyramids Scams

The Taxi Scam

Arriving in Giza by taxi, make sure when your driver drops you off you do not fall for the carriage driver who arrives at your side offering you a carriage ride to the entrance because it is so far away. It is likely just around the corner.

You can read more tips about scams like this in my post on things to know about visiting Egypt.

Horse Riding Scam

As I mentioned above, riding a horse, carriage or camel has a set hourly price of EGP200 when we were there. BUT as soon as you agree, there is an upsell or additional charge that they make up. Whether the ride the sell you, which is often around all the pyramids and up to the panoramic photo site is more than an hour, you generally want to see everything so you agree. Just make sure you know what you are getting for your money.

Read more Egypt Scams here: Things to know before visiting Egypt.

 

Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza

The Sphinx Viewing platform is one of the great places to take photos

Tip 5: Best Places for Photos at the Pyramids

 

The Panoramic Photo op

Seeing all of the pyramids lined up is quite the ride away, as the site is huge. Make sure you plan your day so that you can wander the pyramids, and I suggest you take a horse ride over to the panoramic site rather and riding around the pyramids if you are tight on time. If you have time, you can tour the pyramids by horse or camel as well as ride over to the panoramic spot and back to the Sphinx

The Sphinx Photo op

Make sure you find your way to the Sphinx viewing platform and get a chance to kiss the Sphinx! When we went there were about 100 people there, but we still managed this shot! There are a few twists and turns to get up to the platform, but there seemed to be a steady stream of visitors on our visit, so we followed the queue.

 

Pyramids of Giza

Selfie Time outside the Pyramids of Giza

Visiting the Pyramids of Giza, How to get There!

We took a taxi for 200 Egyptian Pounds from the airport side of Cairo to Giza and then the taxi took us back using the meter. I think it was closer to 250 Egyptian pounds in rush hour and the ride was over and hour. We probably could have hired a car for the whole day for that price, but the taxi was convenient.

A Note About Tours and Luggage.

Luggage needs to be screened before a vehicle is allowed into the site when you are visiting the Pyramids of Giza. This meant that we had to unload out suitcases and have them scanned and then load them back on to the car (which once empty, was also screened. While I do not mind security, it is a bit of a hassle if there is a long queue.

Any questions? feel free to let me know in the comments! I am happy to share my tips on visiting the Pyramids of Giza.

Further Reading:

10 Things to Buy in Egypt

Things to know before visiting Egypt

Best Hurghada Excursions worth your money

Hot Air Balloons in Luxor: A review

Our Luxor Day Tour – things to know about visiting Luxor

The Best Cairo Day tours here

Things to know before visitng the Giza Pyramids | Giza Sphinx | Pyramids of Giza Tips.jpg

Tips for visiting the Pyramids of Giza | Things to know before visiting the Pyramids of Giza and Sphinx | Giza Egypt Tips | Visit Egypt | Cairo Pyramids | #egypt #cairo #giza #travel

Lindsay is the founder and editor of Carpe Diem OUR Way. She left her career in Canada to share her love of travel with her two young boys. She is passionate about sharing adventure travel activities for families and to encourage others to explore the world. She resides in the suburbs of Vancouver when not jet setting abroad.

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