How to Visit The Pyramids of Giza Egypt (Visiting Do’s & Don’ts)

Are the Egypt Pyramids of Giza on your bucket list? Located just outside of central Cairo, Egypt, they are actually the last remaining of the old seven wonders of the Ancient World. In this guide, I am covering how to visit the Pyramids of Giza Egypt, travel tips to keep in mind, commonly asked questions, and more! 

Visit the Pyramids of Egypt Giza
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How to get to the Pyramids of Giza

The first order of business is getting to this once in a lifetime destination. Many believe that the Pyramids are in Cairo, and while they are in the “Greater Cairo,” the Pyramids are technically in the city of Giza, thus the name.

If you go with a guide (we will talk about this later), you won’t have to worry about this. However, if you are visiting on your own, there are two different entrances.

Egypt Travel Tips Pryamids of Giza
How to Visit the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt

One is to the North of the Giza Plateau. This entrance will let you out right at the Great Pyramid. This is right next to the Marriott Mena House Hotel.

The second entrance to the Pyramids is by the Great Sphinx of Giza to the East. This is near the famous Pizza Hut view, and a lot of other smaller accommodations. 

I would suggest starting at the North Entrance, which will open right up to the show stopper, the Great Pyramid of Giza. From there, you will exit at the Sphinx.

If you are staying in Old Cairo, it will take around 30 minutes to get to the Giza Plateau. If you are staying in Giza, you will probably see the Pyramids from your hotel. More about where to stay at the end of this guide.

Without a guide, I would recommend using Uber to get here, or organizing transportation with your accommodation.

Walking from the entrance to the Great Pyramid
View of the Great Pyramid from the entrance

The Cost of Visiting

So, if you didn’t already know, the public is allowed to go inside the 3 pyramids. However, most people who pay the extra ticket price say it is underwhelming and not worth the extra money, but that is for you to decide. 

The reason many have that feeling is because the passage climbing up is very narrow and sometimes steep. It can also be very hot, and have a lot of traffic with people trying to get in and out. Additionally, there is no real decoration inside, unlike the tombs at the Valley of Kings.

You will go up to the ticket booth and purchase your tickets. You can buy them with either Egyptian Pounds (EGP or LE), or a Visa or Mastercard Credit Card. 

The prices below are foreigners AKA tourists. Egyptians have reduced rates.

  • The Entry Price to get into the Giza Plateau and Sphinx Costs  240 EGP per person. 
  • The Entry to go inside the Great Pyramid is an additional 440 EGP per person.
  • Entry inside Pyramid 2 and 3 are an additional 100 EGP each per person.
  • They also have a combo ticket that includes the Giza Plateau, Sphinx, entrance to the Great Pyramid, and the Solar Boat for 600 EGP per person.

Additionally, there is also a section for professional gear, including a tripod. Although it is on the sign, they didn’t charge us extra.

This could be a case-by-case, depending on the ticket agent you get. The rules sometimes feel like a free for all in Egypt. 

Once you get the ticket, hold onto it because you will need to swipe it, but first, you will walk through a metal detector and put any bags through the X-ray machine. After you get through the security check, you will scan your ticket at the turnstile.

Egyptian Pound with Sphinx and Pyramid in the background

Hours of Operation for Visiting The Pyramids

The hours of operation at the Pyramids of Giza are from 8 AM – 5 PM. It is important to mention that when doing research, I found a lot of different times.

Also, even though it was 8 AM for opening, when we were there in November, I saw people near the Sphnix around 7:40 AM.

Because the hours seem to change every so often, I would suggest double-checking with your hotel, a local, or your guide when you arrive in Cairo or Giza.

Unfortunately, there is currently no official website that has the details. 

The Panoramic View of Giza Pyramids
The Panoramic View of Giza Pyramids

Best Time to Visit

In general, the best time to visit is between the months of October – April. These months are also considered the “high-season” when Egypt has the most tourists. 

This is because the weather is more tolerable during these months. Summer months can be brutally hot. December and January seem to be when most people plan their vacations. 

With this in mind, the Giza Pyramids are the most famous landmark. As you can imagine, it can get crowded. Therefore, if you are someone who likes to avoid crowds, visiting when they first open will be ideal. 

Moreover, if you are visiting during warmer months, escaping the midday heat is a great idea. There is not too much shade around.

three small pyramids at the Pyramids of Giza Egypt
3 small pyramids that are behind the 3rd Pyramid of Egypt

Best Things to do When you Visit

Now that we laid down the groundwork, let’s get into the good stuff, which is the best things to do once you are there. 

The Great Pyramid

Starting off with the Great Pyramid of Giza. This pyramid was built by the Ancient Egyptians during the 4th dynasty for Pharaoh Khufu.

It is the largest Pyramid in Egypt, standing at around 481 ft. high! That makes this pyramid around 4600 years old! The Pyramid was built from limestone, and you can still see a bit of the shiny limestone at the bottom. 

You can climb up a little bit of the Great Pyramid to the entrance of going inside the chamber. This is the only place you can go up it a little. Even if you don’t go up the Pyramid, make sure to at least touch this architectural gem.

The stones weigh around 2.5 tons – which is just so crazy! The Great Pyramid of Giza is also referred to as the first Pyramid. This is because it was the first Pyramid built at the Giza Necropolis. 

So the big question is, are you team aliens built them or people?! Let me know in the comments!

Standing on the great Pyramid of Giza
Standing on the Great Pyramid of Giza

Visit the 2nd Pyramid of Khafre

The 2nd Pyramid was built by Pharaoh Khafre, Kufu’s son (builder of the first Pyramid). This is the second-largest Pyramid, and Khafre also built the Great Sphinx. You can recognize this pyramid because some of the original limestone finish is at the top. 

This Pyramid was believed to be completed around 2570 B.C. and stands at 448 ft. The 2nd Pyramid also tends to look larger because it is built on higher ground, giving it the appearance. 

Sphinx and Giza Pyramid Complex

The 3rd Pyramid of Menkaure

The smallest of the 3 main Pyramids of Giza was built for Pharaoh Menkaure. It is a little over 200 ft. tall and is believed to have been built in the 4th Dynasty. This one is unique in that it has 3 smaller pyramids behind it. 

There is speculation as to who the other three smaller pyramids were for. Some believed it was for the queen, others for Ra; either way, they are still very cool to see.

The 3rd temple also was partly demolished by the Sultan in 1196 AD. However, it was so expensive for them to try and take down the men quit. So, you will see a large vertical gap in this pyramid. 

Egypt Pyramids

Take Photos from Panoramic Point

One of the best places to take photos of the Pyramids is from the spot called the Panoramic point of the Pyramids. If you are with a guide, make sure they take you here.

Generally speaking, it is a very popular spot to stop for anyone with a tour guide because you can get a great view of all three pyramids. 

What to Wear in Egypt Giza Pyramids in background

The Great Sphinx 

You can see the Shpnix in front of Khafre’s Pyramid. The Sphinx has the body of a lion and a head that is believed to be Khafre. 

While I couldn’t find any literature online to confirm my guide’s story, he said that there was a giant boulder in the eyesight of Pharaoh Khafre’s view. Because it was so hard to move, the architect carved it into the Sphinx instead, which is partly why it is the largest Sphinx ever to be found.

You can take this story with a grain of salt because I couldn’t confirm it, but it does make sense!

The Great Sphinx measures 240 ft long from paw to tail and 66 ft high.

Make sure to walk through the Valley Temple of Khafre, which is just to the left of the Sphinx. As you go through, you will walk up a ramp that will also allow you to be closer to the Sphinx. 

Visit the Pyramids Giza Egypt
With the Great Sphinx in Egypt

The Solar Boat Museum

You also have the opportunity to explore the Solar Boat, which is a reconstruction of King Khafre’s ship.

The boat has been moved to the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is not fully open yet, but is supposed to be incredible once it is.

Grab Breakfast or Lunch at 9 Pyramids Lounge

Another thing to do when you visit the Pyramids of Giza, is to grab a bite at 9 Pyrmaids Lounge. This is one of the best places to eat while being in front of the Pyramids.

Reservations are usually required, so if you want to make this happen, do it in advance. The lounge is located inside the Giza complex, and the food is known to be quite tasty here. 

And, of course, you really can’t beat this view! Having a private driver is the best for visiting the lounge because it is quite far from the entrance.

If you don’t have a car, your only other option is by walking, camel, or horse and carriage ride. Because they know people need a ride, many times, they charge well over what they should be for this transportation. You can stay up to date on their Facebook page.

Take a Camel Ride

To be honest, I did not take a camel ride. The reason I didn’t do this is because I know many of the camels and horses are treated badly.

This may not be the case for all the camels, but after a bad experience in Israel, I will always opt-out. Now, I know many of you dream of going by camel across the Pyramids of Egypt.

So, if you do, just try to work with someone who looks to be treating their animals well.

Standing with Camel at Giza Pyramids of Egypt

Travel Tips To Know

The pyramids can be a great experience, but if you are unprepared, it can feel overwhelming.

Knowing these tips will help you prepare for your visit.

  1. If you see a group of kids trying to take pictures with you, just say no thank you, or Shukran (like saying no thank you). These kids are ruthless. They don’t mean any harm, but they can be very annoying. 
  2. Vendors will ask you non-stop if you want to do camel rides, horse rides, and horse carriage rides. One of the best ways to get them to stop hassling you is by telling them you already took a ride.
  3. If you do want to do one of the rides, make sure you bargain the price and have a confirmed set price. I’ve heard all sorts of stories of the vendors trying to charge more after the fact. 
  4. Make sure to use the bathroom at the entrance. There are only a few bathrooms once you start exploring. 
  5. If you are with a guide, you tend to get hassled less by vendors. They look for people without guides. However, even with a guide, they are still going to try and sell you stuff. 
  6. You can not take any pictures of guards. You will get in trouble. 
  7. When leaving, there are tons of vendors selling stuff. These items are cheap and are usually not made in Egypt. So if they are selling “genuine” papyrus paper, this may not be the case. It is totally fine to buy things from these vendors. Just know it might not be authentic. 
  8. Wear sunscreen and bring water with you. It gets hot, and there is not much shade. 
  9. If there is anywhere you should dress more covered up (ladies), this is the place to show much less skin. Women seem to complain most at the Giza Pyramids.
  10. Wear sturdy shoes if you are planning on walking around the grounds. 
  11. If someone offers to take a photo for you (like a guard), they will likely ask for a tip after taking the photo for you.

I would recommend checking out this Packing guide for understanding the dress code and these tips to know before you go for more details on what to expect when visiting.

Touching the Great Pyramid
Touching the Great Pyramid

Photography at the Pyramids

In the past, Egypt was more strict with photography, but they seem to be relaxing some of these rules. During our visit to the Pyramids of Giza, we didn’t get hassled at all for photography with professional camera gear. It helps when you are with a guide. 

However, I spoke with a gentleman later in our trip who said that even with a guide, the guards gave him trouble for his zoom lens. It really seems to depend on the guard you run into.

If you are dressed for a photo shoot, you will likely run into more issues than someone who looks like a normal tourist. 

I have heard of content creators and influencers being asked to delete their SD cards and really getting hassled for taking “professional” photos around the Giza Pyramids.

Again, we didn’t run into this at all, but I wasn’t wearing a fancy dress, and when we took photos, it didn’t really look like we were taking photoshoots.

If you are not a content creator or traveling with a fancy camera or tripod, you shouldn’t have to worry about any of this at all! 

View from the Guardian Guest House Rooftop Deck
View from the Guardian Guest House Rooftop Deck

Using a Guide

So, technically you do not need a guide to visit, however, if this is your first time, it can be very helpful. For one, you will get all your information about these Ancient sites from an Egyptologist.

Additionally, having a guide and driver makes it easy to get around these historical sites. The Giza plateau is very large.

Furthermore, having a guide will help protect you more from scammers trying to haggle you.

Sphinx in Giza Egypt

Q&A Egypt Pyramids

In this section, I wanted to cover some of the most common questions I’ve been asked or have seen about visiting the Giza Pyramids in Egypt. 

Can you climb the Pyramids of Giza?

Technically no. However, you do have to climb up some of the Pyramid to go into the entrance if you choose to go inside. Additionally, sometimes guards will let you go up a little for a tip, but you shouldn’t.

Can you enter the Pyramids of Giza?

Currently, the pyramids are open to the public, and you can go inside the Pyramids for an extra cost.

Which Pyramid of Giza was built first?

The Great Pyramid of Giza was the first Pyramid built by Pharaoh Khufu.

Who Built the Pyramids of Giza?

The Pyramids were built by 3 different Pharaohs. Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure.

Which Egypt Pyramid is the largest?

The Great Pyramid of Giza built by Khufu is the largest Pyramid in Egypt. It is 481 ft. high.

Why are the Pyramids of Giza Famous?

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the largest Egyptian pyramid and it is the only of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still intact.

Why were Pyramids Built?

Pyramids were built in Egypt to house the Pharaoh’s tomb for when they were prepared to go to the afterlife.

When were the Giza Pyramids built?

All 3 pyramids were built in the 4th Dynasty and are over 4,500 years old.

Sphinx and Pyramid Cairo 2 days itinerary

Where to Stay

Now that you know how to visit, you may be wondering where you should stay. There are two places to consider staying when visiting.

You can either stay in Old Cairo or in Giza. If you stay in Giza, you are almost guaranteed to see the pyramids from your hotel.

However, unless you stay at the Marriott Mena House hotel, the accommodations are not very luxurious. If you are okay with that, staying in Giza and being able to see the Pyramids from your hotel window is worth it.

If you want more luxury, staying in Old Cairo will be your better option. From Cairo, it is around 30 minutes to the Pyramids depending on traffic.

Here are some hotel options to consider for visiting the Egyptian Pyramids.

The Guardian Guest House: (Giza)This is where we stayed. The staff was extremely friendly, and we could not complain about our view. We could even see the pyramids light show at night from our window.

Marriott Mena House, Cairo: (Giza) If you want a very luxurious experience with the Pyramids in sight, this is where you want to stay!

Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza: (Cairo) Located right on the Nile River, The Four Seasons Hotel never disappoints.

Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir Cairo: (Cairo) The Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir Cairo is located right by the Egyptian Museum, and the decor looks lovely.

Disclaimer: These are affiliate links. I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

View from The Guardian Guest House at Night
View from our hotel room – The Guardian Guest House at Night

Pyramids of Giza Egypt Wrap-up

This concludes everything you need to know about visiting the Pyramids of Giza. I hope you have the most incredible time visiting these Ancient Egyptian sites.

More Egypt travel guides:

Have any questions about this guide like I missed something? Let me know in the comments below, or feel free to reach out via email or social media.

Did you find this Guide Helpful? I’d appreciate it if you could share it below!

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Samantha Oppenheimer

Samantha Oppenheimer (Sam Opp) quit her corporate marketing job in 2018 to travel the world and become a travel writer, blogger and content creator. She loves experiencing authentic travel experiences, photography, and nature. Sam shares helpful travel itineraries, travel tips, budget tips, and travel advice from her personal experiences. You can also find Sam's words featured in large publications including Mirror, Thrillist, and Well + Good.

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