Going to be in Cairo for business & really want to visit the pyramids ? Well this would be possible if you have half a day to spare! The pyramids closest to Cairo are located in Giza, about 45 minutes car ride away from central Cairo. You don’t really need an entire free day to get to Giza and visit the awe-inspiring necropolis where the 3 pyramids were located. Walking at a leisurely pace, no camel rides, no horse rides – it took me 3 hours. You can choose to get to Giza by signing up for a day tour in the hotel. Or, you can do what I did, just walk out to the streets of Cairo, talked to the locals or stopped a taxi with a decent driver and ask for a price to get to Giza. In Cairo, almost everyone knows someone that does chauffeuring. You can even ask for the type of car you would like to be driven in. Round trip to Giza should be between 300 – 500 Egyptian pounds.
Tickets to the necropolis can be purchased at the entrances. However, you can only purchase tickets to visit the interior of the pyramids at the main ticket office which is at the north entrance. Visits to the pyramids’ interior is not recommended for the uncontrolled achluophobics and claustrophobics.
It was unusually quiet when we visited Giza necropolis. Perhaps it was because it was 10 am when we arrived and the sun is getting really hot! Remember sun screen!
Touters are common. Be prepared to be swarmed by very persistent ones offering all sorts of services. They are everywhere, by the pyramids of Giza, in Giza, on the way there, in Cairo; in fact, the minute I stepped out of the plane in Egypt. Growing up in Asia, touting is part of life – but the ones I see in Giza pyramid complex were unusually aggressive. So if you are brought up in a developed country, be prepared, say NO to touters – with a stern face, if you are uncomfortable.
Many of these horse cart driver, camel riders, souvenir sellers etc rely on tourism to bring food to the table. There were so many of them at the Giza pyramid complex it was hard to imagine how much they can earn in a day. For most, their average monthly salary is as low as 50 USD.