-So, are they really majestic as they seem? That was the question my friend asked me as soon as I got back from Egypt. And without any hesitation, being completely honest, I could say: Oh, yes. Yes, they are.
Great, impressive and just a bit shinny under hot Egyptian sun.
Just like me, and my friend, we all have a bucket list when it comes to places we want to visit. And I know that, for many of you, pyramids of Giza are somewhere close to the top of that list.
So, I thought, for when that time comes, and you get to see them for yourself, I might give you few tips and tricks so you can have a full pyramid experience and make the best of it.
1. Clothes. Even though in touristic resorts you can pretty much wear whatever you like, in Cairo and around that area, out of the respect for locals, you are supposed to cover yourself a bit. That means no shorts, no crop tops, no mini skirts. If you are visiting in summer, you want to cover yourself anyway, because you might get sunburns if you stay around for a longer time.
2. Do not, I repeat, do not wear dresses or skirts. You will regret this a lot if you decide to get inside of a pyramid because the space to go up or down is narrow and low, and there are ladders involved. (Nope, I wore jeans, don’t worry!) Also, I suggest you don’t wear any nice footwear. Or flip-flops. High ankle trainers or Timberlands would be perfect.
3. Sunscreen. Pretty obvious, I guess. But it applies to whole year around. I was there in late October and it was still needed. In summer, I would suggest a hat.
4. Water is not a problem. If you don’t bring any, you can get it at the entrance.
5. Washrooms are. Make sure you do your thing at wherever you are staying because there you might not like what you see. And it is a lot to go around so you will stay at the pyramids for quite a time.
6. Parking. Everywhere in Cairo area, if a local comes up and all of the sudden is helping you to go in or out of your parking space, be aware he expects a tip for that. This will happen often. Coins will do.
7. Make sure you check all the options for entrance tickets as they have few different ones and even though they might be grumpy or annoyed because you are asking, you obviously want to know what you are paying for.
8. Once you have passed the main entrance and you are all excited and amazed, make you sure you do not give your tickets to anyone. By this I mean-anyone. You will get at least few sketchy people coming over and asking for them. Remember that you have no reason to give them to anyone.
9. Guys with dark red tags are a different story, as they are official tour guides that will give you a little talk through and help you to take pictures in and out of pyramids. Beware, they expect a tip. Eeeveryone in Egypt expects a tip.
10. Make the trip earlier in the morning, not just to avoid strong sun but also to get the chance to enter the big pyramid as they have daily limit to number of people that are allowed to go in. I am pretty sure limit is 150.
11. Put away your sunglasses or anything that may fall when you go in and out of pyramid. Like I said, it is very narrow and steep.
12. Once you have heard the basic facts about the pyramids, asked questions, took pictures, etc., you will be offered to go to the southern point where you can get the best (and trust me this is no false advertisement) view of all pyramids and take pictures. Proper touristic photos. You know, them when you put your finger on top of the pyramid, hold them in your palms or what not. (Yes, as I went full on touristic on this trip, I have pictures like that. Obnoxious, I know. Love ’em. )
13. You can chose between a horse ride and a camel ride. I find camels quite… Uncomfortable, and I’ve tried that before so I strongly suggest a horse. But it is up to you.
14. Once again, make sure you know what are you paying for. I have heard stories where they brought people on camels all the way to the viewpoint and then told them they have to pay extra to go back. And it is not really a walking distance…
15. Even if you have never been on a horse or a camel before, do not worry. Horses are super calm and know their way, so just let the guide to lead the horse for you and you will be fine. However, if you are too scared, don’t do it. Of course.
But once you get there, trust me, you will literally gasp from the view. Totally worth it.
16. What you pay to the horse or camel owner, is not the final price as you are expected to tip the guide on the end of the tour. Well, not expected. You are obligated. He will ask for ridiculous sums like 1500 egyptian pounds. Make sure you give them less. As that is cca 190 USD.
17. This is not exactly a tip, but it is just so funny I need to mention it. Once you are at the viewing point, you can buy drinks and take pictures and so on. There will also be a police officer. Yep, he too will ask for a tip. Nope, not joking.
18. Once you have done what you needed at the view point, if you bought the full tour, you are supposed to see the ship. The biggest one they dug out. Have in mind: the ship.
19. Reason why I am telling you this is because there is a pretty big chance you won’t see the ship. They will completely “forget” about it and take you to an “awesome” exhibition of essences and papyrus, to some of the shops there. So if you decide to go, don’t get scared like I did when we turned into some back alley.
20. Making the papyrus is actually a fun thing to see and they have loads of great souvenirs you can get in there, but beware that the guide has a deal with a certain place he takes you to, so both of them will push you to buy something. I was so annoyed that at some point I cursed. (Hey, it happens!) Remember, you can just go in and have a look, no need to buy anything. And there is a pretty good chance you’ll get a free beer.
So, my lovelies, these are some of the tips I thought you might find useful. Hope they answered at least some of your question. If you have any to add, please leave them in comments. I would be happy to read them.
Smiles all around,