A spectacular day at the Pyramids
Before going to the pyramids near Cairo (in Giza), I looked at a few travel blogs and they all talked about how it was basically a terrible experience. Possibly the worst tourist experience you could have on a trip. Well, good news: here is your guide to having a spectacular day at the most famous pyramids in Egypt.
1. Go in the afternoon.
The morning is actually cool too, but there tends to be a haze that makes it hard to get good photos.
2. Don’t get a guide
And don’t fall for the fake ticket office trick. The actual office is to the right of the first big pyramid and the entrance there has a security check and a turnstile. Tickets are 80 LE (LE=Egyptian Poinds) for adults or 40 for students. They also have free maps available. They can be a bit strict about having an international student ID card but…in the end they let us use our regular school issued IDs.
3. No more ticket checks after the entrance.
Once inside, no one needs to check your ticket again. You’ll likely run into people posing as officials and asking you for your ticket. Just ignore them; they are just trying to sell you a camel ride. You can always go to the tourist police if you need help.
5. Go to Pizza Hut.
After the pyramids exit at the Sphinx and you’ll find a KFC/Pizza Hut.
A lot of people will offer you “gifts” or free stuff. Of course it’s never really free. One guy let us get on his camel for photos without setting a price and saying we could pay whatever we want. After we got our pics we paid him 20LE for letting us take the photos (about $1.20). The starting price for going on a camel ride around the pyramids would be around 50LE, so we thought that was pretty reasonable. He tried to ask us each to pay 100LE just for the photos!! He refused to take the 20LE, instead insisting that we each pay 100LE. We held our ground and told him that he could either accept our offer or get nothing because we were leaving. Seeing that we were serious he took the money we offered. You should take the same approach. Be firm. Resolve beforehand not to be taken advantage of and you can enjoy the experience without being overly annoyed by street vendors and such. It is a wonderful place. Enjoy!