Visiting the Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

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Slightly oblivious of what to expect when visiting the Pyramids, I set off with Mark to see one of the ancient wonders of the world.

Getting to the Pyramids (and getting around in Cairo)…

To get to the Pyramid complex, we booked a ride on Uber from our hotel in Maadi. The ride cost about 40EGP (N800, $2). So far, Uber has proved to be the most efficient and convenient way for us to get around within the city. The fares are quite competitive and close enough to what the regular taxi drivers offer.

We arrived at the complex a little after 10:30 am on a Saturday morning. The Uber driver dropped us off right at the entrance gate where we purchased our tickets. I expected to see a queue there, considering that we arrived almost two hours after the place had opened, but there was none.

I got a glimpse of the Pyramids and the Sphinx from outside the gate before we went in. It’s hard to explain what I felt at that moment. While I’m not usually sentimental about tourist attractions and sites, something about seeing these 40 centuries+ gigantic structures took my breathe away.

How much does it cost to visit the Pyramids and Sphinx (2018)

At the time of this writing, getting into Pyramid complex cost 120 EGP (about N2,400, $7) per adult. We paid another 20 EGP to go in with a tripod. There is an extra fee to gain entrance into one of the Pyramids and the museum. We skipped both during our visit.

Once we were inside the complex, which was empty for the most part, some men approached us looking to offer their horse-drawn carriages and camel riding services. We declined the offers, choosing to walk instead despite the men insisting that it wasn’t possible to do so.

The Great Pyramids of GizaCairo in June is hot and humid and the complex is quite large. So at some point, we considered taking a camel ride up to the point where we could see all seven of the Pyramids. Another camel rider approached us again and we agreed to use his camel once we finished walking around on our own.

Getting Hassled at the Pyramids…

The man (not pictured above) and a second rider took that as an invitation to follow us around for hours afterward, constantly asking us if we were ready to take the ride. At first, we asked them to give us an hour to explore by ourselves on foot and wait at a meetup point. They seemed to accept that but as we moved, they kept following and bombarding us with questions, mostly about our nationality.

As we learned later, questions like ‘where are you from?’ weren’t necessarily an invitation for small talk or perhaps friendship. Rather, they served as a basis to set prices for tours. Eventually, we got fed up and just wanted to be left alone. We decided against using their services but that didn’t stop them from following us around. This almost ruined the experience of visiting the Pyramids but not quite. We did have a moment of civil interactions with a few vendors.

Anyway, we ended up not taking the horse-drawn carriages or camels at all and walked for hours instead. Even though the weather was hot, the walk was enjoyable. Our visit ended shortly after 3 pm, just as the complex was closing for the day. (During the month of Ramadan, the complex closes 2 hours earlier than normal).

We left to find a place to eat before heading back to our hotel. There are several restaurants close by, so it wasn’t difficult finding one. We settled for lunch at Pyramids Restaurant. This was, hands down, the best meal we had during our stay.

I have to admit though, that for an ancient world wonder, I expected a different ambiance surrounding the site but the pyramids face a busy street, lined up with camel riders, restaurants and guesthouses. The Sphinx is literally looking at a Pizza Hut and KFC restaurant! Not sure the Pharaohs would have approved of that.

But overall, our visit to the Pyramids was surreal. Seeing them in person, these majestic, mysterious structures, left me awestruck. It was worth every hassle.

Thanks for reading this article. If you have enjoyed doing so, please take some time to share it on your social media platforms.

If you have visited the Pyramids before, I would love to read about your experience. And if you haven’t, would you consider doing so now? Let me know in the comment section below. 

16 Comments

  1. Hi Amara! I’m your biggest fan! When you travel, do you plan what you’re going to do each day of your stay or do you just go with the flow?

    • Thank you Chibuike! It depends on the trip. Sometimes, I go with the flow and other times, I tend to plan a bit more. Typically, I usually have an idea of what I want to do in each place. If my stay is longer then I can afford to be very flexible.

  2. The pharaohs would definitely not approve.

    It’s interesting to see similarities between visiting the pyramids and Nigeria.

    Getting hassled, paying to take tripod in etc

    That said the pyramids are just gorgeous.

  3. jennietobbie

    So beautiful and well detailed. The pictures you took and of you are magical!!! This is one of the reasons why I take my time to marinate in your blog because you are slowly, but surely, piling up my travel destination. Account balance be the savior <3

  4. I love the Mummy movies and would sure love to visit Egypt some day.

    As I read about the camel riders that hassled you guys I was thinking of the Nigerian equivalent.

  5. sagetravels

    Did you see Pharaoh?

  6. Hi Amarachi,
    I stumbled on your blog quite by accident as I was trying to plan a surprise holiday for hubby and I to Ghana this Fall and I have to admit, that it was the best and most detailed trip analysis ever! Took a screenshot of your cost b/down btw (tooted grin). I am impressed by your travel history and would definitely consider Egypt for 2019. Who knew that its not always about London and Dubai for we Nigerian holiday revelers? Keep up the good work!!!

    • Hey Vivien, so glad you found my blog and also happy the post is helping you plan your trip 🙂 And yep, London & Dubai is our second home as Nigerians, haha! Great to know you’re considering Egypt for 2019, I hope you get to visit

  7. Wow,wow,wow…will definitely want to visit the pyramids, hopefully this Christmas if the Lord tarries☺️…why did you skip visiting inside the pyramid and the museum though? I have such high expectations for Egypt (since the days of The Mummy) and I really hope I am not disappointed when I get to go.

    • Hi Fisayo, thanks for your comment. We didn’t have enough time. The complex was closing early and we chose to walk around instead. Mark later went to the Egyptian Museum (not in the Pyramid complex) and I’ll try to do so during my next trip. I hope you enjoy the country when you visit. And don’t limit your tour to Cairo. The city can be a bit overwhelming (Think Lagos).. 🙂

  8. wwornheels

    Wow, crazy that it’s like across from Pizza Hut. I would never have pictured that in my head. Now I have a new (realistic) picture. I guess that’s what development brings! I can’t lie, I love that its easily accessible by uber and not some crazy long bus ride. Bummer about the harassment but I’m glad you still had a great time. One day, Egypt we shall meet!

    • Yes, we had a good time for sure. I was also happy we didn’t have to travel a long distance to get to them. Now I understand why there are many layover tours within Cairo. The Pyramids are right in the heart of the city.

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