Are you eager to explore the wonders of ancient Egypt? If so, visiting the Great Pyramids should be at the top of your must-see list, and I’ve got you covered with some tips for your visit.
Visiting the Great Pyramids has always been a bucket-list item for me, and when Madison started learning about deserts and the pyramids at her primary school, I realized that I had to make it happen for her. I’ve always adhered to the quote:
It’s better to see something once than to hear about it a hundred times.unknown
So I looked into flights out of London, and low and behold, we were able to get flights from London to Cyprus to Egypt, returning through Paris, for a little under £300 each for an entire week. Now it was time to plan our schedule, and I knew that I wanted to do the Pyramids as the first event, so I booked a tour for the second day for me and Madison. The tour included a private tour of the Pyramids, Sakkara, and Memphis and also included lunch.
Here’s something to note: “private tour” doesn’t mean that you have the pyramids to yourself; instead, it means that you’ll be there with thousands of others, but with a tour guide that belongs to you and your group. In my case, it was just me and Madison. Also, there is no need to worry about a language barrier, as many or most Egyptians speak English and tours are given in English.
Now that I’ve gotten older, I never hit the ground running. I take the day of arrival as a day to decompress, maybe take a walk near the hotel to get a “lay of the land”, find restaurants, and see what else I can do while visiting a city. In this case, our hotel room overlooked Tahir Square and we ate at the hotel and slept the day/night away with the AC blasting as it was HOT 🥵 in Egypt.
Whether you’re looking for long-lasting memories or just a brief encounter with history, here are some tips on how to make your visit to the Great Pyramids an unforgettable experience!
Visit During the Winter Months
I would never again visit Egypt during the summer months (May through September). We visited in June, and not only was the weather excessively hot, but we were also dealing with the humidity as well. Temperatures soared to over 100°F while there, and there was hardly any shade. If I’m being honest, I don’t remember there being any shade at all. If you must visit Egypt, consider visiting during the winter months between November and April, as we were told that’s when temperatures are at their mildest.
Get a Tour Guide
While you can visit the Great Pyramids on your own, having a tour guide with their personal vehicle makes it easy to get around to see the sites. You’ll be picked up and taken back to your hotel at the end of the day, which eliminates the need for finding a ride. One thing to note is that ride-sharing in Egypt is extremely affordable. We took a 45-minute Uber ride from our hotel to the Egyptian Mall, and the cost was less than $5 USD. The tour guides take their jobs seriously but skip any of the extra activities they recommend, as they usually try to take you to their “special stops” in order for you to spend extra money. It’s usually for items you don’t need but think you do.
Egypt’s summer season is May–September and is dry and hot, with winter being a bit milder. Whenever traveling to places with hot climates, it’s important to dress appropriately for the weather. The best way to do this is by wearing light and breathable clothing to keep yourself cool and comfortable. If you’re visiting during the summer months, it’s also a good idea to bring a hat to protect your head and face from the sun’s harmful rays, and don’t forget the sunscreen. Skip the heels and wear comfortable shoes. We were fine in Birkenstocks, but sneakers work as well. Don’t forget that Egypt is a mostly Muslim nation, so be sure to dress in a way that suits the local climate and culture.
Bring Enough Water for the Day’s Activities
Don’t forget that Egypt is mostly desert, and no matter what time of the year you’re visiting, it’s going to be hot. While some months are hotter than others, bringing enough water for the day can mean the difference between a fun-filled adventure and a miserable experience while visiting the Great Pyramids. Our tour guide provided us each with a bottle of water, but due to the weather, we ended up needing more than what was provided. Luckily, there were vendors selling water, so we were able to get a few more bottles. Not only did the water help keep us energized and alert, but it also prevented us from being dehydrated and suffering from heat exhaustion.
Look out For Pickpockets
While Egypt is a mostly safe country, it’s no secret that popular tourist destinations are often crowded, and unfortunately, pickpockets tend to flock to these areas. That’s why it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings at all times when visiting these places. Keep your belongings close to your body, and always be alert. Though it may seem like common knowledge, it’s crucial to remember that pickpockets can strike quickly and quietly, so taking extra precautions like storing your valuables in a secure place or keeping cash in a front pocket can make all the difference.
Take Lots of Photos!
I can’t emphasize this enough. Whenever I travel, I take hundreds, sometimes thousands (depending on how long I’m visiting a place) of photos. There’s something magical about capturing a moment in time through a photograph. It’s like freezing a memory into a visual masterpiece that you can look back on for years to come. Remember, this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and, for many, a bucket list experience. Whether you’re using a professional camera or your smartphone, the photos can transport you back to the exact moment and all the emotions that you felt while visiting. So go ahead, take lots of photos, and seize the opportunity to relive those incredible experiences time and time again.
Skip Going Into the Pyramids Unless You Want to Make it a Memory
The cost of visiting the Pyramids of Giza is 360 Egyptian pounds for adults and 180 Egyptian pounds for kids, while entry into the pyramids is an extra 400 Egyptian pounds if you’re not an Egyptian native. If you are claustrophobic, I recommend skipping going into the pyramids, just as if you suffer from back problems. You would be crouching in very small and tight spaces for quite some time, and when you do get to the top of the pyramid, you may be very disappointed as there’s really nothing to see on the inside. The mummies have all been relocated to the Natural Museum of Egyptian Civilization if you’re thinking of seeing them. DSLRs and other cameras, besides your cell phones, are also not allowed inside the pyramids.
Also, Skip the Animal Tourism
While at the pyramids, your tour guide might suggest that you ride camels, or one of the many vendors there might approach you and ask if you’re interested. Please say no, instead give the ATV’s a try. I’ve ridden camels while visiting Dubai and while it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, simply to say I’ve done it, it’s something that I regret after learning how these animals are treated. If you do want to ride camels in Egypt, I suggest visiting the Bedouin camps and experiencing the life of a Bedouin firsthand, which includes riding camels. Skip the camel rides at the pyramids.
Visiting the Great Pyramids of Egypt is an unforgettable experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list. The complex history and cultural significance of these ancient marvels have captivated people around the world for centuries. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or just starting out, having an understanding of the best time to visit, throwing a few loosely-fitted garments into your suitcase (to stay cool in the hot, dry climate), and packing plenty of water are essential strategies for making your trip an enjoyable one.
With careful planning and wise decisions, you can truly maximize your visit to this magical place. Don’t forget to take lots of photos; this is a moment that will stay with you forever! Start researching now and plan for your unforgettable journey to explore the pyramids of Egypt.