The Pyramids of Giza – a wonder of the ancient world
If you’re a world traveler looking for an adventure, the pyramids of Giza should be at the top of your list. These iconic structures, located on the outskirts of Cairo in Egypt, are some of the ancient world’s most recognizable and awe-inspiring wonders. But before you go, you should know a few things to make the most of your experience.
When I planned my trip to the pyramids, I knew I wanted to stay as close to the site as possible. And, I made it happen! I found a hotel with rooms overlooking the Giza plateau, so I could enjoy breakfast with a view of the Sphinx. It was an easy walk across the street to explore the pyramids.
As I stepped on the plateau and approached the pyramids for the first time, I was struck by their sheer size and majesty. The Great Pyramid, the oldest and largest of the three, stands over 147 meters high, and the other two are close behind. The surrounding desert landscape only adds to the sense of awe. It’s hard to imagine the effort and resources that went into building these structures over 4,000 years ago.
The Pyramids were built as tombs for the pharaohs and their consorts, filled with treasures and offerings that they believed they would need in the afterlife. The Great Pyramid was constructed as a tomb for Pharaoh Khufu, estimated to have taken over 20 years to build and completed around 2560 BC. It remained the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years. The other two pyramids were built for Khufu’s successors, Khafre and Menkaure. Today, they are the only ancient wonders still standing.
Exploring the Pyramids is an adventure in itself. You can choose to walk or ride a camel, but be prepared to haggle with the camel owners over the price. Make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as the desert sun can be intense. As you explore, you’ll be amazed by the engineering feats accomplished by the ancient Egyptians. The precision with which the pyramids were built is truly remarkable, and it’s hard to imagine how they could construct such massive structures without modern technology.
Going inside the pyramids is an opportunity you won’t want to miss. The Great Pyramid has several interior chambers, including the burial chamber where Khufu was laid to rest. However, be prepared for narrow passages and steep inclines, as the interiors were not designed for easy access.
The Sphinx, a massive statue of a lion with a human head, is another must-see attraction near the pyramids. Believed to have been built around the same time as the pyramids, it’s thought to represent the pharaoh Khafre. The Sphinx offers a unique perspective on Egypt’s ancient history and is a popular spot for photos.
It’s important to remember that the pyramids are located in a bustling city, and Cairo is home to over 20 million people. If you book accommodation in the city center, you’ll likely encounter crowds and traffic on your way to the pyramids. But don’t let that deter you.
Visiting the pyramids in Cairo is an experience that shouldn’t be missed. The sense of history and wonder you’ll feel as you explore these incredible structures are truly unforgettable. Just be prepared for crowds, heat, and plenty of walking. And don’t forget your camera – you’ll want to capture every moment of this incredible adventure.
Tips on avoiding scams when visiting the pyramids of Giza:
Visiting the pyramids in Cairo is an incredible experience many people dream of. However, with any popular tourist destination comes the risk of scams and dishonest vendors. Here are some tips to help you avoid scams and enjoy your trip to the pyramids:
- Research reputable tour operators: Before booking a tour to the pyramids, research to find a reputable tour operator. Look for reviews and recommendations from other travelers, and make sure the company is licensed and insured.
- Avoid touts and unofficial guides: When you arrive at the pyramids, you may be approached by touts offering to sell you souvenirs or guide services. These individuals are often not licensed and may overcharge you or take you to less-than-ideal locations. Stick with your reputable tour operator or official guides to ensure a safe and legitimate experience.
- Agree on prices before buying anything: Whether buying souvenirs or paying for a camel ride, it’s important to agree on the price before making a purchase. Vendors may try inflating prices, especially if they sense you’re a tourist. Stand your ground and negotiate if necessary, but always know what you’re paying for.
- Be wary of scams involving photos: Some vendors may offer to take your photo in front of the pyramids or with a camel, only to demand a high fee for the photo afterward. To avoid this scam, take photos or agree on a price beforehand. If a vendor is too pushy or aggressive, walking away is best.
- Keep your valuables safe: As with any tourist destination, keeping them safe while visiting the pyramids is important. Keep your money and passport in a secure location, and always be aware of your surroundings.
- Dress appropriately: When visiting the pyramids, it’s important to dress modestly and respectfully. This means covering your shoulders and knees and avoiding revealing clothing. Not only is this respectful to the local culture, but it can also help you blend in and avoid unwanted attention.
- Use common sense: Finally, use common sense when visiting the pyramids. Don’t wander off alone or in secluded areas; be aware of your surroundings. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
It’s important to be vigilant and avoid scams. By following these tips, you can enjoy a safe and memorable trip to one of the world’s most iconic landmarks.
Safety tips for solo travelers:
While I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Pyramids, I also recognized some unique challenges and risks associated with traveling to Egypt if you were a solo (female) traveler. Here are some tips that I would offer to other women who are planning a trip to Cairo and the Pyramids:
- Dress appropriately: Egypt is a conservative country, and it’s important to dress modestly to avoid unwanted attention. I recommend wearing loose-fitting clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.
- Be aware of your surroundings: As with any major tourist destination, the Pyramids can attract pickpockets and other potential dangers. Keep an eye out for any suspicious behavior, and trust your instincts if you feel uncomfortable.
- Use a reputable guide: Hiring a local guide can be a great way to learn more about the Pyramids and stay safe while exploring the area. Make sure to use a reputable guide service that has good reviews.
- Avoid going out alone at night: As a solo female traveler, it’s best to avoid going alone. Stick to well-lit areas and use reputable transportation services to get around.
Tips on how to handle high temperatures when visiting the pyramids of Giza:
The Pyramids of Giza are an incredible destination that attracts millions of tourists every year. However, one of the main challenges that visitors face when exploring the pyramids is the heat. As the pyramids are located in the desert, temperatures can soar to over 40C during the summer months, making it essential to know how to handle the heat. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Wear appropriate clothing: Dressing in light-colored, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabric, such as cotton, is a great way to stay cool. It’s also important to wear a hat to protect your head and face from the sun.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water is crucial to stay hydrated in the hot, dry climate. Bring a refillable water bottle and fill it up as often as possible. You can also buy bottled water at the site, but be aware that it can be expensive.
- Take breaks in the shade: Take frequent breaks in shaded areas, such as under trees or inside the pyramids themselves. This will give you a chance to rest and cool off before continuing your exploration.
- Use sunscreen: The desert sun is intense and can quickly burn your skin. Make sure to apply sunscreen with a high SPF and reapply regularly throughout the day.
- Time your visit wisely: The best time to visit the pyramids is early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the temperature is cooler. If you must visit during the hottest part of the day, take extra precautions to stay cool and hydrated.
- Consider a guide: Hiring a guide can be helpful in navigating the site and staying safe in the heat. A knowledgeable guide can also provide interesting insights into the history and culture of the pyramids.
By following these tips, you can enjoy your visit to the Pyramids of Giza without being overwhelmed by the heat. Remember to take care of yourself and stay safe while exploring this incredible wonder of the ancient world.
That’s all for now. To read more about Egypt, click HERE.