Pyramid Complex of Giza is the most visited tourist attraction of Egypt. This is the only surviving ancient wonder of the world. Like any other major tourist attraction visited by million of tourists every year, this place is also full of surprises, hidden gems and unavoidable tourist touts and number of scams. But it happens everywhere. The main aim of this post is to make you aware about those activities, scams and touts while planning your trip to the Pyramid Complex of Giza.
Activities to do in the Pyramid Complex of Giza:
1. Camel Safari: This complex is an excellent place to enjoy the back of a camel. You can hire camel to see the whole pyramid complex, to enjoy a desert safari or to shoot some pictures with it.
2. Caliche Ride: Caliches are horse driven carriages those are very popular in The Egypt. You can hire them to ride on the roads inside the pyramid complex and enjoy the grandeur of the pyramid while moving.
3. Just sit along the road and Gaze the Pyramid: Do nothing. Just search a quiet place to sit on the any road in complex and gaze the massive structures standing tall in front of you. But be aware of the scorching heat.
4. Click some good pictures: There are some good points to click a memorable moments in the pyramid complex. Click a picture while sitting on the back of a camel with pyramid in the background, another picture with your palm over the pyramid, a picture while you are kissing the Sphinx from a distance, or put your palm over the head of Sphinx. Try these pictures to enjoy those moments for lifetime.
4. Enjoy the Sound and Light Show in the Evening: It is an overwhelming experience to watch the pyramid after the dark. You can enjoy a good Sound and Light Show in the evening at the pyramid complex. There are two shows everyday, the first in English around 7:00 PM and the second in any other language (Spanish, French, Italian etc. depending on the day of the week, around 8:00 PM). This show is held near the Sphinx and ticket cost is LE 130 for first VIP row and LE 90 for other rows.
1. Avoid Camel Owners: If you do not want to go for a camel ride, then avoid camel owners at all. First, they distract you before the entrance by saying that ticket counter is too far and you can reach there after one hour walk, so you should use the camel. In reality, you can walk there in 10 minutes from the police post on the way. Don’t accept their free tea also.
Again, those camel owners disturb you just after your entry in the pyramid complex. They insist you to pose with their child, their camels and then they say that you can also pose on the back of the camel without any charge. They take your camera to shoot your pictures with the camel and return it only after getting some money. If you are not interested in camel ride, avoid them at all.
2. Avoid small children and teens walking around with Keffiyeh in his hand: Those innocent looking boys ask you to pose with his younger brother and take your camera to click a picture. In another pose, they put their Keffiyeh (scarf-like cloth) on your head and suddenly a man with heavy personality appears from somewhere to demand some money. If you deny, they keep your camera to harass you unnecessarily.
3. Avoid the so called Gate-keeper of the Tourist Sites: Many so called gate-keepers approach you to inform that a particular attraction is closed and the key of its gate is with them, which they will open only after getting some tips (Bakhshish) from you. In Giza complex, nothing is closed by so-called security guards or gate-keepers, so don’t listen to them.
4. Avoid people, who offer help to click a picture of you: Nobody will help you without Bakhshish. If anybody wish to click your picture with your camera, just keep in mind that he needs some Bakhshish at the end. Better to ask any fellow traveler or foreigner to click your pictures if you are traveling alone. Many people will help you happily.
5. Avoid Photography inside the tombs and the temples: There are many places in the Pyramid Complex, where photography is not allowed, but in the greed of some Bakhshish, the security persons allow you to click some pictures. This happens at every site in entire Egypt. This is okay, but if you will catch by another authority, you may land in trouble.
Tips to Enjoy Your Visit:
1. Before hiring any Caliche or Camel, always fix the price and proposed area of the ride. Always bargain hard to get the good price.
2. Do not hand over your camera to a local person to click your pictures. You need to give at least 10 LE as a Bakhsheesh (tip), if you do so, otherwise they will harass you by keeping your camera. I argued with them for 20 minutes to get my camera back without giving them a single penny.
3. Do not hand over your entry ticket to anybody. They may claim that they are from government, but just show them the ticket and keep again with you.
4. Best way to visit the pyramid complex is to avoid the eye contact with the touts. Better to put a headphone on, so that everybody think that you are enjoying the music and not listening to them.
5.If anybody harass you endlessly, just stay firm and say him that you are going to complain to the Tourist Police.
6. You can watch the Sound and Light Show from the roof of Pizza Hut outlet located outside the entrance near Sphinx at a cost of the small tip, but the view will not be the excellent one.
7. Do not climb on the pyramids. It is strictly prohibited and highly dangerous.
Ticket Prices (Updated Feb, 2017): 80 LE to visit the pyramid complex, that allows you to visit all the pyramids from outside as well as Sphinx with other desert areas of pyramid complex
Extra ticket of 200 LE is required to visit the Great Pyramid of Khufu from inside.
Extra 60 LE ticket to visit the Pyramid of Menkaure, smallest of all three major pyramids
Extra 60 LE ticket to Solar Barque Museum, showcasing an excavated and reconstructed solar boat that was buried with the Pharao.This museum is located immediately alongside the southern face of the Great Pyramid.
No extra ticket to visit the Sphinx.
No extra ticket for digital still cameras, but carrying a tripod will cost you 20 LE ticket. There is no lockers to keep your tripod, so you have to pay this fee if you are there with the tripod.
Only two pyramids are open for the visitors at a given time. Third one remains close for renovation. This sequence changes every two years.
VIP Ticket (first row) for Sound and Light Show 130 LE. 2nd and 3rd rows for 90 LE while 4th row onwards is 75 LE only. No harm to buy a ticket in 4th row. Arabic show price is 11 LE.
A private show can also be booked on request that cost will be LE 65 (per person)+ LE 300 (covers operating expenses).
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