Apr 292013

The Pyramid Complex of Giza is the only surviving wonder of the world from the ancient days. Located in Giza, a suburban area of Cairo, the capital of Egypt, these pyramids attract millions of visitors every year from all corner of the world. Most tourists generally stay in Cairo City,preferably in the Downtown and adjacent areas of Cairo. Giza Pyramid Complex is located about 18 kms away from Downtown Cairo across the Nile River. This post is intended to help you to reach Giza Pyramids from Downtown without any hassle using the Public Transports available in Cairo.


Downtown Cairo

There are three major modes of transports to reach from Downtown Cairo to Pyramid Complex of Giza:

1. Private Taxi: The most comfortable way and do not require any effort from your side. From your hotel/hostel, just walk on the main streets, wave your hands and hire a taxi, that’s it. Pyramids are normally 30 minutes away from Downtown, but depending on traffic conditions, it may take 60-90 minutes.

Just keep some points in your mind while choosing a taxi:

i. There are three types of taxi cabs running in the Cairo: Black Taxi, Yellow Taxi and White Taxi. Black taxis are the oldest one. Most are without meter and without air-conditioner. White taxis are the modern version of black taxis with meter and air-conditioner.Yellow taxis are professionally run and the costliest one. It can be book on the phone also.

So, my suggestion is always try to get a white taxi as far as possible.

ii. Bargain hard and more harder to get a good taxi fare. Normal taxi fare between Downtown Cairo to Giza Pyramids is about 30 LE (Egyptian Pounds).

iii. Giza Pyramids Complex is huge enough to spend an entire day, and may be you will be interested in The Evening Light and Sound Show also. So, no need to book a taxi for both the sides from downtown and paying unnecessary waiting charges. You can always get another taxi while returning back.

2. Public Buses/Micro-Buses: Another way to reach Giza Pyramids from Downtown is by using the Public Buses and it is very cheap. Bus Number 355 and 357 are available from Downtown to Giza Pyramids. 355 and 357 buses are available from a bus stand behind the Egyptian Museum on the main road. It is a convenient option for the people staying in Tahrir Square area as well as on the bank of Nile river, but it is difficult to get these buses for the tourists staying in the backpacker’s hostel spread around Md. Farid Street in Downtown. These buses are large, comfortable and some have air-conditioners also. Fare is about 2.00 LE.

You can also use mini-vans known as Micro-buses from the same bus stand. These buses are less comfortable and very crowded.


1. Fare is about 2 LE for big buses and 50 pt. (half of LE 1) for micro-buses, but micro-bus driver (conductors of big buses are fair enough) may intend to charge you more after seeing you as a tourist. Always ask for the fare before boarding the bus.

2. In Cairo, most people do not know speak English, but Arabic Language. They may not be able to understand your query. Always double check any information.

3. Another suggestion for you to learn the Arabic Numerals. Learning the numeral from 0 to 9 is not a very big task and it will be really useful during your stay in Cairo.

These two types of road transports, i.e., Taxis and Buses are good options, but traffic condition on all the road of Cairo is unbearable all the day. It is horrible and very chaotic, jams are very frequent, so an 1-hour drive may become a 2-3 hours nightmare. There are lot of flyovers, underpasses and highways available and many are still under construction, but overall traffic condition still needs a major overhaul.

Road Traffic

Traffic Jams at a flyover behind Egyptian Museum

3. Cairo Metro + Public Bus/Private Taxi : You may have heard that Cairo Metro is too crowded, filthy and very slow, but for me it is the best way to commute in Cairo around the major tourist sites. It is really crowded during peak hours, so start your day early and come back late to avoid that crowd. Metro Network does not cover the whole Cairo, but it covers the major attractions of Cairo. It is really efficient and also the fare is dirt cheap (LE 1.00 flat for a single trip regardless of distance).

Luckily, Downtown Cairo has a good metro connectivity with four metro stations located at its four corner. There is no metro station in the immediate vicinity of pyramid complex, but Giza metro station is situated about 10 kms away from the Pyramid Complex.

Cairo Metro

Cairo Metro Network Map, Image Courtsey: Istambul City Guide

So, in order to start your journey from Downtown, first locate the nearest metro station to your hotel. Four metro stations in the Downtown area are Attaba, Md. Naguib, Sadat and Naseer. Best way to locate a metro station to look for a sign with the large, red “M” in a circle. If you know Arabic alphabets, you can also find the Metro written above the “M” in Arabic language. Normal operating hours of Cairo Metro are from 6 AM in the Morning to 12 AM Midnight.

Metro Sign

Metro Sign outside Md. Naguib Metro Station

Attaba metro station is close to Md.Farid Street. Popular hostels located here are Roma Pension, Aussie Hostel, Alexander Hostel, Dino’s Hostel etc. So, if you stay at any of these hostels, you can get a metro from Attaba after 5-10 walks.

Sadat Metro Station is located underground the Tahrir Square. It is close to Egyptian Museum and Nile River. Most spurge hotels like Intercontinental, Hilton, Kempinski Nile Hotel and hostels like Egyptian Night and Sara Inn Hostel are in the close vicinity of this metro station.

Tahrir Square

Sadat Metro station @ Tahrir Square

Naseer Metro Station is close to the junction of 26 October Road and 26 July Road. Carlton Hotel is loacted in the close vicinity of this metro station.

Md.Naguib Metro station is located at the South-East end of Md. Sabri Abou Alam Street. It is very close to Royal Hotel, Bedouin Hotel, Happy City Hotel and Meramees Hostel.

Giza metro station is located at Line 2 of Cairo Metro Network. Sadat, Md.Naguib and Attaba are also located on the same line, so if you take a metro from any of thee stations, you can directly reach to Giza. But, if you catch a metro from Naseer Metro Station, which is located at Line 1, then you have to change another metro at Sadat Metro Station.

Some of the metro station on Cairo Metro are underground and some are elevated. All four above-mentioned metro station in Downtown are underground. After descending several steps, you will reach at the underground station premises. Most of the stations have elevators, so they are also disabled-friendly. At the station premises, look for the ticket window. The fare is flat 1 LE irrespective of the distance. You can also exchange the metro lines with that ticket without coming out from the stations.


Elevator at a metro station

Ticket will be issued in the form of a small rectangular paper sheet. At the entrance gate, you have to insert this paper in a machine and it will pop-out from the other side. The electronic door will open automatically, take back your paper ticket and go to the platform. At your destination you have to either insert this paper in machine again and it will not pop-out this time, or you can handover it to a guard standing near the machine and move out from the station.

Metro Station

A Metro Station premises

In order to locate a correct platform for the right direction train, it is always better to know the both end of your metro line. For example, if you are going to Giza from Downtown, just remember that you have to go to the platform of Giza Direction, which is clearly mentioned in the station premises. Last station on this line is El Mounib, but it is mostly written as Giza direction. While coming back to Downtown, you have to go on a platform of Shobra direction, which is the last station at that end.

Similarly, if you are boarding a train from Naseer station, catch a metro of Helwan direction, leave that at Sadat Metro station and catch another train to Giza direction.

Two coaches of each metro train is reserved for ladies passengers only. Do not board these coaches, else you will be thrown out :-) . The position of these coaches are clearly marked at the metro platform.

Metro Direction

A metro station platform showing El-Marg Direction @ Mar Girgis Metro Station

Metro Track

Underground Metro Train Platform

A metro will take around 20 minutes from Attaba to Giza and 15 minutes from Sadat. There are two metro stations in Giza area- Giza Railways (El-Giza ) and Giza Suburbs. Leave your metro at El-Giza (not the Giza Suburbs), which is the second station from Cairo University.

Metro Train

Metro Train

Walk out from the station and you will find many mini-vans waiting for the passengers. They only depart when they have full passenger capacity, so avoid them and move 100 meters further on a downward slope towards the main road. This road is known as Al Haram road. Cross this road and go the other side of the road. There is a bus stand on that side of the road. You can catch a bus from there to the pyramids, which is about 10 kms away. Micro-buses and cabs are also available from that place to Giza Pyramids.

Bus number 900 and 997 operate on this route to the pyramids. Bus fare is LE 2. But these buses, do not operate till the gate of the pyramids complex (Normally buses leave you 1 km before the pyramid complex). Bus conductor can be busy and may forget to tell you about your destination, so it is better to inform your local fellow traveler about your intended bus stop.


1. Most people do not understand the word “Pyramids”, so either use the Arabic word “Haram” or make a sign of triangle using your palm while asking for the direction to Giza Pyramids.

2. Bargain about the price before boarding a cab. It should be about 15 LE for the pyramids from the metro station.

3. There are two ticket counters for the pyramids complex, one is situated near The Great Pyramid, while other is close to The Sphinx. If you traveling by a bus, the ticket counter close to The Great Pyramid will nearby and if you are traveling by a hired car, you can go any ticket counter.


Pyramid Complex of Giza

In the next post, you will find a detailed description of The Pyramid Complex of Giza. If you are enjoying the travel tips from Solo Backpacker, let us celebrate this journey together. Follow us on Facebook as well as on twitter.

  22 Responses to “How to Reach Giza Pyramids from Cairo Downtown?”

  1. Firstly I would like to thank you Mr Solo Backpacker for this informative site, you are one of a kind. I’m from South Africa and it the first time I will be travelling out of my Province KwaZulu Natal, Durban. I have no experience in travelling but I’m keen to take this tusk on my own.
    I have manage to get a tour guide with a Taxi transfer from Airport in Cairo to the Hotel (31 km from Airport) and he will take us to sightseeing at 550 EGP for a day, now my question is the price reasonable enough or should we just use normal transport (Metro and Buses and vans) and about the history itself we will be able to gather enough information about the subject matter on our own without a Guide i.e. Pyramids Sphinx. (Trip for 28/02/2016)

    Lastly through you I think I’ll make it there and back in one piece

    • Hi, Thank you for the appreciation. I am always in favour of managing things by my own using the public transport. I don’t have a fair idea about the taxi prices, but I think, 2 years ago, they charged me 120 EGP for half day trip. So, 550 EGP is still too much for a day. 300-350 EGP should be fair enough. Have a nice trip and share your experiences whenever you get back in one piece. :-)

    • Dear Silvane,

      I take it that you do not speak any Egyptian Arabic.

      550 EGP for a day is a bit much I think. But if you will be in Cairo for just a day, you may not like to worry about other alternatives.

      As I was in cairo a couple of a years ago, and wanted to travel like a local (I like to blend in, and I have learnt some Egyptian Arabic), here is a bit of information for you.

      The actual taxi ride from the airport to downtown Cairo costs 25 EGP. You need to ALWAYS bargain/agree with the driver BEFORE you board the taxi. If you cannot speak Egyptian Arabic, take a small paper notebook with you. Write your numbers on it. Sooner or later, the driver will agree for 25 EGP from the airport to Cairo. Of course, you can always give a tip of 5EGP once you get to your destination.

      Internet in Cairo is very bad. So, do as much inverstigations you can do before you leave.

      The Cairo Metro is absolutely great. It covers many areas. Any one trip – regardless of distance – costs just ONE EGP. If you are going to make use of Metro, become very familiar with the routes/stations before you get to Cairo. In the CBD, there are a couple of stations with tracks on multiple levels. You can easily get lost if you do not have a map handy. However, the ticket inspectors are very friendly and speak English.

      If using Metro trains, do not enter special ladies compartments! Some Egyptians do not like people taking photos. So watch out!

      If travelling to see the Pyramids…

      You can travel by Metro from the CBD (e.g. Sadat station) to the Giza station (1EGP). From the Giza station, an obvious choice is hiring a taxi. Do not agree to pay more than 25EGP.

      Regardless of what mode of transport you take to the Pyramids, you WILL BE SCAMMED! It is not a question of IF, but HOW.

      The Scammer could be a 40-50 year old person, speaks good English, and gets into your cab somewhere on the way! He will keep on talking, and will manage you to get into the conversation. You WILL fall in to the trap. He will talk about how the scamsters will try to sell you the tickets to the Pyramids for 100EGP, etc etc. But he promises to save you heaps of money.

      All that he wants to do is take you to his friend who offers camel rides for 400EGP. Once you are at his friend’s place, his friend will force you to part with at least 200-250EGP for the camel ride.

      DO NOT go for a camel ride! It is not worth it. You will be very thirsty, and the camel driver will sell you expensive water.

      How to save yourself from the scamsters when you cannot speak Egyptian Arabic?

      Put the headphones on, and pretend you cannot hear them at all. Don’t let a person get into your cab on the way. The cab-driver is a mate of the scamster. If someone gets into the cab, you must exit the cab. Pay the cab driver half the agreed amount, and take another cab.

      Alternatively, take a bus from the CBD to the pyramids. Do not get into a conversation with an Egyptian – no matter how friendly he sounds.

      My policy (and it works): If an Egyptian approaches you with a smile and English, he is a scamster. Do not even open your mouth! You can trust an Egyptian (generally) if he has no smile, and does not speak English.

      VicMath, Australia

  2. Brilliant. By far the best information on the web about getting to the Giza complex. Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to put this together.

  3. I have booked my Hotel Amarante Pyramids, Egypt which not very far from Pyramids. I like ask how much will be a taxi charge for 10 hours please. I like go to the Egyptian Museum, Khan El Khalily ‘The Bazaar’ and the Muhammad Ali Mosque, Citadel of Cairo.

    • Hi, a day taxi charges is anywhere between 150 EGP to 200 EGP. If you can, better to use Cairo Metro. Very efficient and really cheap. For mosque and citadel, you have to use a bus or taxi.

      • Hi Solo! great job !! We all appreciate it! I am just a bit confused on how to reach the Pyramids (quick and cheap from Downtown Cairo. I would appreciate if you could give me quick and graphical instructions. Thanks so much. (your blog is now saved in bookmarks :)

  4. You’re the best man! and I have been traveling for many years, thanks for all the help

  5. Hello there!We are two girls who are planning to visit Cairo in October,do you think it safe for two women travellers? thank you in advance

    • Yes. I find Egypt very safe. If you take due normal precautions, there shouldn’t be any problem. Since, Cairo is a big Metropolitan Area, there is no risk to roam around, even till the midnight. At least, I haven’t observe any problem. Days of protests and demonstrations are almost over and they are not so frequent. But if you find any, just avoid that. Have a great trip. :-)

  6. Hi Mr Solo Back packer,

    your site is excellent and I referred to it recently and also took a printout when I visited the Giza pyramids from Maadi. I followed your exact guidance and was successfully able to go to Giza and come back by metro + mini van.

    I really admire you going around in a foreign country on your own and getting such a wealth of information and setting up a site and letting others also get the benefit of your vast experience.

    You are great. thank you very much and wish you very many soul fullfilling journeys and best wishes

    Regards..Anil Rao – India

  7. olá estou pensando em viajar para o exterior mas estarei sozinha quero realizar um sonho que é conhecer o cairo ;

  8. I plan on traveling to Egypt March, 2014

    I have never traveled abroad, is Cairo a suitable destination for inexperienced traveler? (I will be alone).

    • Yes, Cairo is perfectly safe for a Solo Traveller. Just stay alert and avoid tourist touts. Cairo has a rich architectural and cultural history of ancient Egypt, because of the mysterious pyramids, a grand museum, old churches, big mosques and also the mighty Nile.

  9. thank you so much for the information. i ll be visiting Egypt on this November. your blog helped me a lot. Wish me luck. thanks again for all the info.

  10. These tips are very helpful for me.

  11. very very thanks to you. its very help full……if i found the same i give you a rating of 5 stars.

  12. Will definately be using this mode of transport

  13. Thanks for this nice and detailed post. :)

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