Giza Pyramids Overview
Giza is located only a few kilometers south of Cairo, several hundred meters from the last houses in the southernmost part of the city proper, where a limestone cliff rises abruptly from the other side of a sandy desert plateau.
Even though the oldest known tomb in Giza is a mastaba that can be dated to the early 1st Dynasty, main attractions of Giza are the three Pyramids that attract several tourists every year.
The Pyramids themselves are a constant and popular attraction for the world at large. They stand for ancient Egyptian civilization's best and most archetypal work. Together with the Sphinx, they simply embody ancient Egypt.
The Pyramids are the oldest manmade structures on the earth and The Great Pyramid needed 30 years, about 100 000 workers & 6 millions stone block to be erected. the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) is the only monument left of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World. The Giza Pyramid of Khafre is a little smaller than the Great Pyramid but appears slightly larger than it from a few angles because of a better position on the plateau.
The Giza Pyramid of Menkaure is the smallest of the Giza Pyramids. Each Pyramid is a tomb to a different King of Egypt. In front of the pyramids lies the Sphinx or Abu al-Hol in Arabic, "Father of Terror". Carved out of a single block of stone, this enormous cat-like sculpture has mesmerized millions of visitors.
The Pyramids were also the tallest manmade structure in the world for more than 43 centuries with the height of 145.75 m. it was only in the 19th century AD that the pyramids were transcended in height. The Pyramids fulfilled the purpose of the tomb to bury the kings and nobles from where they begin mystic journey of the afterlife.
The Great Pyramid took almost 20 years to be completed and used almost two million blocks of limestone each with a weight of more than two tons. The entrance to the pyramid is on the north and the king's burial chamber is in the center of the structure accessible by the Great Gallery.
There are several corridors, galleries and escape shafts leading to king's chamber or were built for other functions. The walls of the King's chamber and his sarcophagus are built of red granite.
Getting to Pyramids is easy either you plan a one day trip visit from your Sinai or Red Sea resort or you are visiting Egypt for a week. Most travel agencies and tour operators organize daily guided trips to the Pyramids area.
The visit does not need more than couple of hours stopping firstly between the two Pyramids of Cheops and Chefren then head to the Panorama for a full view of Giza Plateau and finally you will be taken to the Sphinx before leaving the area.
Getting life time pictures, purchasing souvenirs and try a short camel ride are the common activities that tourist can do. Follow the instructions of your tour guide when getting to the Pyramids and stay away from the hassle for sellers and camel guys and respond with just one word "Thanks".
You may prefer to attend the Sound and light show performed at Giza Pyramids by evening, it needs a separate ticket and lasts for around 45 minutes. Shows are translated in most languages and it is one of the nice night activities you may always remember.
Giza Pyramids Tours
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Frequently Asked Questions
Egypt is safe country to visit with notable low crime rate, tourist attractions are well secured and there is no common negative attitude towards foreigners, with some sensible precautions and preparations you will feel at home and as safe as you'll ever be.
There is no special dress code when visiting Egypt tourist sites, modest dress is recommended in less tourist sites and there is no special concern for women traveling alone.
Egyptian Arabic is the most commonly spoken language in Egypt, it is also the national language in the country but Egyptians speak and understand English as they study it in school. Fewer Egyptians can speak other languages like French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Egyptians working in tourism sector are accustomed to speak enough English and other languages to fulfill the needs of most travelers.
Egypt is very connected to the world, it has many direct flights with Africa, Asia, European Union and United States. Visit Cairo Airport website for a full list of Airlines that fly to Egypt.
Duty free allowances on arrival to Egypt are 1L alcohol, 1L perfume, and either 200 cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200g tobacco. Duty free shops are available in Egypt airports and major tourist cities (Cairo, Luxor, Hurghada, El Gouna and Sharm El Sheikh).
Giza Pyramids and most monuments and Museums in Egypt open between 8 Am to 5 Pm. During Ramadan, the holy month of the Islamic calendar, be aware that these hours will change significantly.
Shops and stores in Egypt are usually opened from 10 Am to 10 Pm however in major cities it opens much later and some are open 24 hours.
Visitors are welcome in most mosques throughout the year. Modest dress is recommended, women should cover their hair, arms and legs. Both Women and men will remove their shoes before entering.
Taking pictures for people and streets is fine after people permission While Taking pictures for official type or army structures is not permitted. In most historical sites and museums in Egypt it is allowed to use camera, some of them may charge you for camera but at the Egyptian Museum and some similar historical sites it is prohibited and you will be asked to leave camera at reception before entering.
Egypt enjoys big hotel variety from world class luxury to simple hostel accommodations; Check in time in most hotels in Egypt is around midday, 12 or 1 PM.
There in no health concerns or vaccinations required to visit Egypt but we recommend to check with your own doctor, he knows you and your medical history best.
The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound (LE), it is about ,06 to USD. Money exchange is widely available, Credit cards are largely used in Egypt major cities and tourist spots.
We do not recommend the public buses in big cities. Taxi and limousine service are fine every where but price is negotiable. Trains go to all big cities in Egypt except Sinai and the Red Sea. Flights from / to tourist cities are always available.
Tipping in Egypt is an appreciated habitual attitude but is Not obligatory. Generally 5 to 10 EGP for small favors is fine for carrying luggage, parking a car or to guys who clean bathrooms. 10 % is fine in restaurant and spa. Tipping your tour guide and vehicle driver should be considered if you're provided with good to great service, feel free to give what you think your experience was worth.