Gizeh Pyramids, Cairo
I'm Egyptian and every time i go there i keep starring and just say the same typical sentence "oh god, thats so huge, how did the huk they did this?" i never get bored of saying this.
dear freinds, you really must see it your self, its amazingly hugeeeee. to go inside it costs some money. tickets are limited you have to go in the early morrning to take a turn.
bargin, if you are going by your own.
dont miss the sun boat musuem in the back yard.
I felt compelled to write this review as my wife and I were so impressed by Easy travel Egypt organization and attention We organized two days tours with them , We had our own Egyptology for each day - both of whom were very knowledgeable, and also so accommodating to our wishes. They also helped so much with "local knowledge" on what to do - and what not to. The company's representatives were always on hand and so helpful.
I would defiantly recommend Easy travel Egypt for every one traveling to Egypt
The 3 most famous Pyramids,namely the Great Pyramid of Khufu(Cheops),the largest among the 3.It stands 137m and it was the tallest man made structure in the world until the Eiffel Tower was built in Paris in 1889.There's a small chamber inside the pyramid which can be visited from 8am til 4pm.Then the Pyramid of Khafre(Chephren) is smaller than Khufu 'tho its location on slightly higher ground makes it appear taller.Finally the Pyramid of Menkaure(Mycerinus) the smallest pyramid and thought to be for the family of Menkaure.These pyramids are located right at the edge of the city,so expect traffic while heading to the pyramids.Unfortunately,I couldn't get clear photos because of the thick smog due to heavy pollution in Cairo.
The Great Pyramid of Giza (also called the Pyramid of Khufu and the Pyramid of Cheops) is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now El Giza, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact. It is believed the pyramid was built as a tomb for fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops in Greek) and constructed over a 20-year period concluding around 2560 BC. Initially at 146.5 metres (480.6 ft), the Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years, the longest period of time ever held for such a record. Originally, the Great Pyramid was covered by casing stones that formed a smooth outer surface; what is seen today is the underlying core structure. Some of the casing stones that once covered the structure can still be seen around the base. There have been varying scientific and alternative theories about the Great Pyramid's construction techniques. Most accepted construction hypotheses are based on the idea that it was built by moving huge stones from a quarry and dragging and lifting them into place.
There are three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid. The lowest chamber is cut into the bedrock upon which the pyramid was built and was unfinished. The so-called Queen's Chamber and King's Chamber are higher up within the pyramid structure. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only pyramid in Egypt known to contain both ascending and descending passages. The main part of the Giza complex is a setting of buildings that included two mortuary temples in honor of Khufu (one close to the pyramid and one near the Nile), three smaller pyramids for Khufu's wives, an even smaller "satellite" pyramid, a raised causeway connecting the two temples, and small mastaba tombs surrounding the pyramid for nobles.
It is believed the pyramid was built as a tomb for fourth dynasty Egyptian pharaoh Khufu and constructed over a 14- to 20-year period. Khufu's vizier, Hemon, or Hemiunu, is believed by some to be the architect of the Great Pyramid. It is thought that, at construction, the Great Pyramid was originally 280 Egyptian cubits tall, 146.5 metres (480.6 ft) but with erosion and absence of its pyramidion, its present height is 138.8 metres (455.4 ft). Each base side was 440 royal cubits, 230.4 metres (755.9 ft) long. A royal cubit measures 0.524 metres. The mass of the pyramid is estimated at 5.9 million tonnes. The volume, including an internal hillock, is roughly 2,500,000 cubic metres. Based on these estimates, building this in 20 years would involve installing approximately 800 tonnes of stone every day. Similarly, since it consists of an estimated 2.3 million blocks, completing the building in 20 years would involve moving an average of more than 12 of the blocks into place each hour, day and night. The first precision measurements of the pyramid were done by Egyptologist Sir Flinders Petrie in 1880–82 and published as The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh. Almost all reports are based on his measurements. Many of the casing stones and inner chamber blocks of the Great Pyramid were fit together with extremely high precision. Based on measurements taken on the north eastern casing stones, the mean opening of the joints is only 0.5 millimetres wide (1/50th of an inch).
Great Pyramid of Giza from a 19th century stereopticon card photoThe pyramid remained the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years, unsurpassed until the 160-metre-tall spire of Lincoln Cathedral was completed c. 1300. The accuracy of the pyramid's workmanship is such that the four sides of the base have an average error of only 58 millimetres in length. The base is horizontal and flat to within 21 mm. The sides of the square base are closely aligned to the four cardinal compass points (within 4 minutes of arc) based on true north, not magnetic north, and the finished base was squared to a mean corner error of only 12 seconds of arc. The completed design dimensions, as suggested by Petrie's survey and subsequent studies, are estimated to have originally been 280 cubits high by 440 cubits long at each of the four sides of its base. The ratio of the perimeter to height of 1760/280 cubits equates to 2ð to an accuracy of better than 0.05% (corresponding to the well-known approximation of ð as 22/7). Some Egyptologists consider this to have been the result of deliberate design proportion. Verner wrote, "We can conclude that although the ancient Egyptians could not precisely define the value of ð, in practice they used it". Petrie, author of Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh concluded: "but these relations of areas and of circular ratio are so systematic that we should grant that they were in the builders design". Others have argued that the Ancient Egyptians had no concept of pi and would not have thought to encode it in their monuments. The creation of the pyramid may instead be based on simple ratios of the sides of right angled triangles ( History source: Wikipidia)
We also went to see the inside of a Pyramid. We bought ticket for Pyramid no II for 30 Egyptian Pounds ( USD$6 each). It was a bit scary as the slope was tough to negotiate and air circulation was not cool. It was stuffy and hot but many people were going inside.
After walking for about 50 meters we found the place where the Mummy used to be buried . Since, they don't allow cameras inside I took the picture no 3 and others with my cell phone as no body was watching.
It took a while to sink in that I was actually standing in front of these ancient monuments. My vantage point was quiet and I was alone with my thoughts. All this changed once we arrived at the foot of the pyramids - tourists, merchants and police everywhere.
If you are not prepared for this it can be a bit ovewhelming but it all adds to the fun. Just beware of friendly people who are willing to take your photo or to have one taken with them even dress you up in a headress - it will cost you. Make sure you have small denomination Egyptian pounds and join in the fun - remember they have to make a living too. For purchases learn to bargain. If you don't want to, just make sure you are firm before anything starts.
What is a visit to the pyramids and sphinx without the camel ride?!
The pyramids were built in the 4th Dynasty of the Old Kingdom. The pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) is the largest, followed by Khafra (Chephren) then Menkaura with its three satellite pyramids. Khufu and Khafra were constructed from limestone while Menkaura was made from granite. all were covered with casing stanes of polished limestone or pink granite some of which remains on the apex of Khafra.
They are the last remaining members of the 'Seven Wonders of the Ancient World'.
Sphinxes are creatures that have a body of a lion and the head of a human or other animal. The great sphinx is thought to have the head of pharaoh Khafra but the evidence for this may be circumstantial because of its location in the funerary complex surrounding that pyramid.
I went in to the middle pyramid in Giza some years ago. While I don't consider myself claustraphobic, I do have mild asthma. The entrance shaft is narrow - allowing stooped travel at a 45 degree angle - in one direction only. A group is sent in and no one can begin to leave until they have all arrived down the shaft. That makes the chamber very crowded until the previous group have left, then the next group are coming down...
When I got to the main chamber I found it very airless and hot (and humid due to everyones breath) but the heat & humidity didn't matter. I was slightly breathless from the climb down. Before long I began to feel very uncomfortable due to lack of air - with panic not far away. However there was a man working there who saw me and realised that I was very uncomfortable. He advised me to climb down to the lower part of the chamber where there was an air inlet pipe which I could stand beside. He said he would call me when everybody in our "tranch" was in and it was clear to go up the ramp again. This made all the difference.
After a short while breathing the "fresh" air I felt much better. The knowledge of the pipe & it's whereabouts also helped a lot. I was then fine to look around the chambers until the shaft became free and we climbed back up and out. At no point were we hasseled for money by the helpfull people working there.
If I had the opportunity again I would not go back in to the Pyramid. To revisit is unnecessary. However I am proud that I went in and got to see what little was to be seen of the bare stone chambers.
I believe you should not try it if you are "pretty claustrophobic". It would not be a happy experience as you have no control over when you can leave and this would increase your feelings of panic.
night life in cairo is so hustling... specially around the nile area... you can enjoy going to any hotel restuarants aor nile cruises ... you will enjoy a good dinner and oriantel egyptian dancing... like belling dancer and tanoura dance. for less bagest go to night cafe... for example feshawy cafe in khan el kalili...
for the pyramids..... just go and stand infront of the pyramids and give a single thought how did they make it out to carry a single stone of these with no machinery... not to the top but just one meter high???? just go for this reason and you dont have to be impressed ... its a must see thing.
and before you go just try to read any article about how was the pyramids built and im sure you will be impressed without even going there.
hope you enjoy your trip in egypt
Our guide had managed to take us into the enclosure from where we could view and take the obligatory photo of the Sphinx. This was done at about 3.45pm, at a fairly peak period of the day in April. In other words it was heaving with people and we could only make progress through the site by closely moving along with the crowd.
This photo, taken by my son, was lucky not to have any other tourists in the frame. It was good to see the Sphinx at close quarters but I can't say I enjoyed the experience.
Probably best to chose a quieter time of day: earlier or later, in the day but not mid afternoon.
The pyramids were an amazing sight to see. Well worth the trip alone. However, it could have been even better. I was with a small group working in Cairo and hired a tour guide to take us to the pyramids. Little did we know that we would get a number of side excursions prior to reaching them. It starting well with the guide being friendly, as he should be, and met us on time and we set off. The first side trip was to a "papyrus museum." It was not a museum but a tourist shop selling papyrus paintings. There was a demonstration as to the plant that it comes from and how the paper is made and was informative but that was about 30 minutes and then we were turned over to the army of sales people pushing the various paintings for sale. This was the first place that I had been in and didn't want to buy yet but wouldn't be left alone. If you look at it, it is assumed that you want to buy and it is pushed, hard. I found considerably better prices at a shop near the pyramids. I couldn't get out fast enough. One of the party members witnessed the "guide" receiving payment for bringing the group in.
We got to the pyramid park and while waiting in line to pay the entry fee, 60 Egyptian pounds, I wondered why there were no hawkers or beggars at the entrance. It was because they are all on the inside. There were little stands or just blankets in multiple places selling little trinkets, most of which are made in China. A couple of group members wanted to ride a camel and the guide took the group to a handler and again received payment. The ones that wanted to ride as well as some that didn't got sucked into a ride and ended up paying about US$100 by the time they were done. The going rate, we later found out, is about $40. Everywhere you turned they asked for more money. Money for the handler, money to feed the camels, money for the kids leading the camel, and money for the person watching the camels. Then, when they finished, the handler wanted tips for everyone. A few of us didn't bite the ride gimmick and just wandered around taking some great photos. You can go into the pyramids, to a point. But, of course, the entry monitor wants a tip to show you the well marked doorway. The architect's lab and his wife's quarters can also be visited, for another "tip."
We left the pyramids for a hill that overlooks the pyramids for more photo opportunities. This wasn't too bad. Between the lookout and the buses is a line of souvenir hawkers that all have pretty much the same stuff. You are pretty much left alone unless the vender sees look at, not stare, just a look, anything. They will zoom in on you and relentlessly hound you. Items starting at $20 can suddenly be bought for only $1 when you are walking away. Leaving the venders it is a funny sight. There is a throng of tourists all with similar poses, holding up the pyramids or a finger on the tip of a pyramid. I took of photo of this. A friendly man jumped into the picture and very annoyingly kept hounding to take my picture, for a tip I'm sure. He apparently had a hearing problem because it wasn't until I loudly and sternly said NO did he leave me alone. It really takes away from the experience.
To me, the ones that rode camels didn't get near the quality photos that I took. So, besides saving $100, I felt that I had the better time, despite the houndings.
Anywhere in Cairo similar treatment can be experiences. Just walking around I had numerous men trying to drag me down the street to see their shop, have tea, whatever. I just wanted to relax and enjoy the sights. Too much stress for not being at the office.
Well, you're in Cairo so I'd be very surprised if you weren't going to pay the famous pyramids a visit!
The good - one of the ancient wonders of the world, a must-do box ticked, some good photos
The bad - being pestered by people trying to sell you things and offer you "free" gifts
The ugly - all those coaches and cars that will ruin some of your photos!
Have a good walk round. You can get some good photos up close (minus the cars) and if you go up to a viewpoint you can get a photo of yourself "holding" a pyramid and you can also fit all the pyramids into one shot. You might also be surprised to learn just how close the pyramids are to the city.
Don't engage with the camel riders or the souvenir sellers - they are out to rip you off. We were warned that the camel people will take you far away and try to get loads of money out of you to bring you back.
Lastly, if you want to go inside a pyramid don't bother with the first one (which will cost around 100 L.E.). We went into the second pyramid (which we were told was identical to the main one) and only paid 30 L.E. I will say that going inside the pyramid was a little bit of an anti climax when you've seen films like The Mummy and played the Tomb Raider games but if you want to say you've been inside one then its better to have only paid 30 L.E. rather than 100. Also, if you have back/walking problems, are a very large person, or are claustrophobic then going inside the pyramid might not be for you!!!
I had this arranged by my hotel, so your should be easily able to as well.
I had my own private driver and guide. This made it so easy and you were not fighting crowds to hear what was being said.
Part of my tour was an optional camel/horse tour of the pyramid's well worth the extra expense as you get a totally different viewpoint.
One of the suprises was that the Pyramid's were actually part of cairo.
This was exactly what we have done in early 1999 when we have reached Cairo for first time.
The first thing in the morning was to GO THERE... And I did it.
It was disappointing for many years but after a while that sentiment has disappeared.
I was expecting to find a clean and quiet place, to have the time to feel the TIME surrounding me and telling me stories about Pharaohs and Queens, about slaves and about Moses. Exactly as I have seen it on the TV documentaries for so many years, as I have dreamed about it for more than 20 years.
Instead, I have found bad smells and crowds trying to sell or steal, beggars, thieves, a lot of kids asking for money, camels, horses, a Babylon of languages and clothes and colours.
First time I was too scared to see something. I was running away as fast as I could having for a long time the feeling that I’ve missed something. That this is not the place I was looking for.
I was there for three or four times and, once the shock was going, I could lay down at the base of Cheops pyramid feeling those thousand years buried here under the 6 million tons of stones and mystery.
What I shall tell you about the experience. You’ll find anyway all the information you’ll need about pyramids on Internet. The only new things is to aware you about the “real Giza plateau” and the kids swimming in Nile 20 meters away from the rotting dead horse, to never ride a camel before negotiating the price (no more than few dollars for few minutes). If you’ll not establish for the beginning the price, you’ll have to jump down from the camel and this can be painful.
Do not accept gifts from them. They use to ask you a lot of money for them later on.
But after all, THIS is the real Giza and this is why I am looking for the next time when I will go there. And I want to go there just for all those things listed up-here. This is what makes that place so special, not only the bones and legends, not only the hieroglyphs and the construction theories.
Sorry again for the old photos...
OK, you're in Cairo, you go see the Pyramids. It's not actually illegal to miss them, but to do so would be wilfully perverse.
It's worth knowing that there are few facilities at the site. The only source of refreshment I saw were a number of hawkers with ice-buckets of Coke, Sprite &c. So I'd strongly advise taking your own food & drink.
This is particularly so if you want to actually go inside the Pyramids. These things are liable to change, but when I visited they were selling a limited number of entry tickets, releasing half of the day's allocation first thing and the remainder after lunch. So if you pitch up mid-morning as I did you've got a few hours hanging about if you want to do this.
I'd also recommend waiting a while between buying the pyramid entry ticket & actually using it.
Most people don't. As a result the way in/out is incredibly congested: it's only a narrow tunnel, quite long & very claustrophobic. I got the impression that if I'd left it an hour or so it would have been better. But I'd spent hours on the site , was hungry and thirsty for ahwa mazbout, so I rushed it.
However cynical you are about these things (I rate pretty high) the pyramids are simply awe-inspiring, truly one of the wonders of the world).
Taxi there was around Le40 (maybe I was a bit overcharged): coming back a little more. Lots of taxis in Maidan Tahrir, not so many at Giza!
Funnily enough, the best impression of how vast they are is not from close-up. But if you visit the Citadel you can get a fantastic view, across Islamic & 19th-century Cairo, across the Nile and across Giza: there in the distance you can see the pyramids on the horizon. The intervening view gives you the sense of their distance, so you are very aware of how huge they actually are.
Everyone coming to Cairo has to go to Giza and see the only remaining one of the 7 ancient wonders of the world. If you're going by taxi, beware of the vendors outside the gates of the pyramids. Tons of people will try to talk you into riding a carriage, a horse or a camel! If you don't want to ride, just ignore them. If you do want to take a ride, outside the area they have better prices than inside!
The entrance fee is 60 EGP for an adult, 30 EGP for student (bring ISID!). There you can also buy the tickets for the great pyramid of Cheops, which are 100 EGP for adults, 50 EGP for students. Please note that they only sell 250 tickets for great pyramid in the morning and 250 in the afternoon! If you want to see the Solar Boat Museum, which I highly recommend, buy the tickets right at the beginning as well, they are 40 EGP for adults, 20 for students. They can also be purchased right at the museum, but there they'll be 50/25 EGP.
Don't forget to bring plenty of water, there are only a couple of vendors selling at high prices.
NEVER show anyone your ticket on the area unless he is wearing a uniform. He'll take your ticket and act as your guide, even if you insist you don't want one, he'll still be after you for baksheesh.
Also there are vendors selling all kinds of scarfs, postcards and memorabilias. Don't let them put it on you, he'll want baksheesh, he might say at the beginning it's a gift, but he'll make sure he gets the appropriate amount... Same accounts for the camel riders, for taking photos of them you have to give baksheesh.