Travel to the Pyramids of Giza (All You Need To Know & Muslim Solo Travel Tips!)
The pyramids of Giza are undoubtedly one of the world’s iconic sights as it is the remaining standing monument of the Seven Ancient World Wonders.
Whether you like history, archaeology or not, traveling to the Pyramids of Giza is on almost everyone’s Egypt bucket list.
Read on to know more about what it’s like to travel to the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.
This guide will answer all of your burning questions about how to Visit The Pyramids (including the common scams), so you can be prepared as a Muslim Solo Traveler!
Disclaimer: Some of the links here are affiliate links. I receive a small commission AT NO EXTRA cost to you if you use the links. Hope you find this guide helpful!
About the Giza Complex & History of The Pyramids of Giza
A trip to the Egyptian pyramids is alluring because it contains mysteries, secrets, and histories.
Wondering where are the Pyramids in Egypt?
The Pyramids can be found scattered in several location in Egypt.
But Giza Complex is its most famous location due to the pyramids’ condition that is still intact today, and its close proximity to Cairo.
The Giza Complex, also known as Giza Necropolis, or Al-Haram in the local dialect, is an area that covers the famous Pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx, and several other smaller pyramids and tombs.
The Pyramids of Giza consist of three main pyramids that are still intact today:
- The Great Pyramid of Giza, also known as Khufu, is the largest of all. At a time, the Great Pyramid was the tallest structure in the world for about 3,800 years!
- Pyramid of Khafre – smaller than Khufu and larger than Menkaure
- Pyramid of Menkaure – the smallest pyramid of the three
Mystery of the Great Pyramids of Giza
So why should you visit the Pyramids of Giza?
There are many reasons!
But mainly because the Pyramids of Giza are Engineering Feats that you’d wonder how they were built with ancient tools, technology, and knowledge!
Built initially as tombs for the pharaohs Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, with great precision, the Pyramids of Giza were constructed through a mysterious process that historians, scientists, and archaeologists today are still uncertain over how this massive construction was built.
Best Things To do at the Pyramids of Giza
If this is your first time traveling to the pyramids of Giza, you may think the only thing to do there is to see the pyramids and the Sphinx.
There are many things to do when you visit the Giza pyramids.
You may not be able to cover all attraction highlights, but do plan out your priorities so you can go home from your Giza trip feeling fulfilled.
Here are some of them:
See the main pyramids (Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure)
Check out the original limestone covering on top of the Khufu pyramid!
Some say, long, long ago, these limestones were so white they would sparkle like a diamond.
This “shiny sight” became the key indicator of the pyramid’s location in the middle of the plain Sahara desert from far away!
Enter Inside One of the Pyramids
Khufu’s a great one to check out as it is the largest pyramids — that also means the heftiest entrance fees
Do take note that there are no mummies inside the pyramids as they have all moved to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (highly recommended to visit!)
Go on a Camel/Horse ride
Feel what it’s like to live in the desert in the ancient times with a ride on a camel or horse carriage!
Take a photo from Panoramic Point (with a view of all the three main pyramids)
Possibly the best point to get a view of all the main pyramids.
Check out the Sphinx
To see the Sphinx up close, additional cost is required.
But two places that gives the best Sphinx view (without additional tickets) are either from (1) the side of the main road going uphill to the pyramids; and (2) from entering Valley of the Temple.
Check out this video to understand more.
“This great-value half-day tour helps you skip all the stress and gets you there right from your door, with entrance fees, lunch, and onboard Wi-Fi. You’ll see the pyramids of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure; take photos from the perfect viewpoint; ride a camel through the desert sands; then visit the Great Sphinx.“
Watch the Sound and Light Show at sunset
You’ll get to see the pyramids and Sphinx illuminated in the colorful light show as the Sphinx narrates the history of the pyramids for about one hour.
This tour includes pick up and drop off, as well as an entry ticket. All you need to to do is bring yourself!
See Hieroglyph Texts Inscribed on the Walls of Hidden Chambers and Tombs
Depending on your courtesy with the local guides, you may even get to enter one of the secluded areas or secret tombs!
Muslim Solo Travel Tips to Pyramids of Giza – What To Expect (& Potential Scams)
As a Muslim Solo Traveler, you might be thinking of visiting the Pyramids without a Guide, and questions like “Can you go to the pyramids alone?” would pop up.
Truth be told, solo (or not) travel to the pyramids of Giza comes with its own set of challenges.
As Egypt is a developing country, and the people rely on tourism to make ends meet, it is essential to understand that the local guides and vendors at Giza can be persistent, pushy, and challenging to deal with.
As a Muslim Solo Travel-tested destination, here are, some honest expectations on what traveling to the pyramids alone are like.
1. Being a solo traveler, some men may keep on following you, hustling you with “a good deal” out to the panoramic point or statements like “you can pay later”.
You need to be firm, decline their help, and just continue to walk on as they’ll eventually leave you alone.
2. Some will also pretend they’re from the Ministry of Tourism to help you see your ticket.
You should only show your tickets when entering the Complex (via metal detectors) or at the entrance of the pyramids (with visible entrance signs).
Other than that, hold on to your ticket.
3. There were also cases from travelers that were threatened to be abandoned in the middle of the desert (beyond the panoramic point) by the camel handler, that in exchange for returning to the entrance, extra tips were necessary.
It is wise to negotiate earlier on the set price and which areas the ‘entire set priced’ service covers.
Watch How to Navigate The Giza Pyramids
4. Everything else ‘extra’ comes with tipping here. Such as posing with a camel, entrance to one of the secret underground rooms around the Complex, or going beyond your agreed ride hours (if you promised for 3 hours and go a bit over, the camel/horse handlers may ask for more).
So be prepared for shelling extra, if necessary.
5. Finding the sweet spot in between being polite and firm is helpful as you navigate around Giza Complex.
“These may sound daunting, but note that one’s experience varies and is never the same. As long as you know what to expect, you will come to the pyramids better prepared as a Muslim Solo Traveler.
Sometimes, you may come across helpful Egyptians around— who may even show you secret tombs around the temple valley!“— Farihah
Where are the Prayer Rooms & Toilets at Giza Complex?
Prayer rooms and washrooms are located near the souvenir mini-souk vendors in the Giza complex.
Bring your own praying garments, as most praying spaces do not provide.
Can You Go Inside The Pyramids of Giza?
Yes, you can, at an additional cost. More details are further below in this post.
Can You Climb the Pyramids?
No. Visitors aren’t allowed to climb the pyramids.
You may get yelled at or, worse, get arrested if you do so.
If you want to take a photo, a few blocks up from the entrance may be accepted, but above those blocks, it’s not permitted.
How Much Time Do You Need to Visit the Pyramids of Giza?
Expect about three hours up to half a day for you to explore the Pyramids.
If you plan on walking only (without camel/horse ride/van), it can be more than three hours, as the Complex is enormous (with uphills) to walk from one destination to another.
Camel Ride or Horse Ride? Are They worth it?
This depends on your preference and how many people you are with when you visit the pyramids.
The best Giza & Egypt Pyramid Desert Experience is, of course, with a camel ride.
However, a horse ride would be cost-effective if you’re going with another person as the carriage can fit more than one.
Keep in mind of the camel ride tariff (about 350 EGP/ hour in 2022). For a solo traveler, this can be a lot, so depending on your bargaining skills with the Camel suppliers, you may get a cheaper fixed tariff at a set time rate.
For some people, bargaining can be a hassle, as the camel suppliers can be fussy, and those handling the camel may expect extra tips later.
If you don’t want to deal with these potential hassles, go for a pre-arranged trip with a tour guide.
Best Time To Visit The Pyramids?
In a day, there are two best times to visit the pyramids.
- Early morning is excellent to avoid the Summer heat and the crowds.
- Sunset – if you’re intending to attend the light show.
Do keep in mind that in the winter (Dec – Jan), the pyramids can be covered in haze early in the morning. But, you can expect clear skies by 10 am / 12 noon.
Sundays – Thursdays are great days to visit for a less crowded experience. The weekend in Egypt starts on Friday until Saturday. Some even adopt a half-day Thursday.
Expect hot temperatures (up to 40C and beyond) in Summer times (March – October)
What to Wear to the Pyramids?
Suitable pair of footwear that would be easy on your feet as you walk around the grounds of the Giza complex.
Where to Get the Best Views of the Pyramids?
Since the place is huge, here are some sites you should keep in mind for the best views of the Pyramids.
- On your horse/camel ride
- Panoramic Point (where you can view three of the pyramids together)
- In front of the Sphinx
- Nearby cafes (outside of Giza Compound)
Getting To and Around the Pyramids of Giza (with Map!)
Ways to Get to The Giza Complex
There are several ways to get to the Pyramids of Giza.
If you’re coming from Cairo to Giza, the most convenient option (depending on your preferences, comfortability, and situation) is either taxi, Uber, Careem, joining a tour, or hiring a guide with a driver/camel handler.
By Taxi: Black and white taxis have no air conditioning and do not run on the meter — riding them can be an adventure! White taxis have meters and air conditioning – a safer option. Yellow taxis are the most expensive and need to be hired earlier via cab companies.
Beyond the city, the meters can be unreliable, where drivers charge higher than usual fares if they feel underpaid.
By Uber/Careem: No haggling needed. However, know your exact endpoint as there were previous cases where Uber/Careem drivers diverted to a nearby location and teamed up with a “local tour guide” friend.
By pre-arranged tour groups: An easy option. Comes in either large groups, or private intimate small groups.
“For a wholesome experience, this private, full-day tour lets you learn about Egypt’s history and culture with a certified Egyptologist. It includes pick up and drop off, a trip to Giza Pyramids (and camel rides), Egyptian museum trip to see mummies, and finishes off at Khan el Khalili Bazaar!— Farihah
By Private Guide with Driver or Camel / Horse Carriage Handler: This will eliminate all the hassle of buying tickets, getting around the Giza Complex, and negotiating rides. All that’s left to do is just enjoy the area!
Besides that, buses, minivans, and the metro are other alternatives to get to Giza.
Getting Around The Giza Complex
By walking – Expect to do a lot of walking because the distance from only the Sphinx uphill to the Panoramic is about 3km. That excludes detours to nearby attractions.
By Private guide & Driver or Camel / Horse Carriage Handler: With this option, you’ll have the Camel / Horse Carriage Handler driving you around the Complex.
Saves you a lot of walking (except from the main road to the entrance of your attraction of choice, which requires a couple of steps)!
By car / mini van: Besides that, a car/van ride within the Giza Pyramid Complex is also available.
Map of Attractions at Giza Complex
Hotels Near the Pyramids of Giza
Ease your travel to the Pyramids of Giza by staying overnight in Giza. By staying overnight in these hotels, you can just walk to the entrance of the Giza complex.
These hotels come with views of the pyramids:
Pyramids Valley Boutique Hotel – views of the Pyramids from the terrace and rooftop restaurant. Some rooms offer balcony view
Marriott Mena House, Cairo – garden pyramid view of the Pyramids
Mamlouk Pyramids Hotel – 400 m of Great Sphinx that comes with terrace and rooftop views (some from room balcony)
2022 Attractions Price List (in EGP) in Giza Pyramids Complex
How much is it to go inside the pyramids? The ticket prices vary at different attractions in Giza.
Here’s the entire price list:
- Giza Pyramids Complex (entrance ticket): 200 for adults, 100 for a student with a valid ID
- Entry to the Great (Khufu) Pyramid: 400
- Entry to Khafre or Menkaure Pyramid: 100
- Entry to Solar Boat Museum at Giza Pyramids: 100
Operation Hours of Giza Complex
7:00 am – 4:00 pm (in winter) and to 5:00 pm (in summer) daily.
Extensions from Giza Pyramids
Extend your Giza trip by visiting the mummies at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, or the Saqqarah Pyramids!
Muslim Solo Travel Takeaway
Before you travel to Pyramids of Giza, make sure you’ve got the gist of the attractions and activities you’d like to check out, if you need a tour guide, and know of the possible touting & scam scenarios.
So that you’re well prepared and good to go!
Any other tips and experiences of visiting the Great Pyramids of Giza? Do share in the comments below!
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