We explored the Pyramids on foot and learnt the subtle art of the Giza sweet talkers.
It's been Lisa's dream for ever to see the great pyramids. When we got there I felt the blocks were a lot more rough and not as big as I imagined. But inside there were some big pieces of stone that made me think "aliens".
To get to the pyramids we took the metro and then Uber'd the rest of the way
Our Hostel was in Downtown Cairo which was super convenient but it also meant we'd always be stuck in crazy traffic. To get to the Pyramids you first have to get out of Cairo and we thought we'd be smart and catch a metro out of town to Giza station then Uber the rest of the way but things are never that easy when it's your first time!
Getting the metro
The nearest metro stop from our hostel was Mohamed Naguib. We found it pretty easily using Google maps. A ticket to Giza station costed us 3EGP each.
The first challenge was to figure out which platform. The maps were in arabic but the direction of travel was in English. A quick google search on the name and we figured we needed to head in the El Monib direction
We got on the train at about 10:00am on the Sunday and it wasnt too packed.
There is a girls only carriage!
Right in the middle of the train there's a carriage for girls only. so Lisa went in there and I went into the next mixed carriage. A lesson learned was that I didn't tell Lisa which stop or how many stops until Giza. I thought I could just call her. But there's no reception in the metro until just before Giza so this made the ride a bit stressful.
Image: the only map I saw at the station was in Arabic
Now when you get off Giza station get prepared to be hassled. Teenagers selling taxis or seemingly nice people wanting to get to know you.
There was one guy at Giza station who said he was visiting the pyramids as well. He had his "son" in his hand and said it's his first time and that they were from Luxor. He tried to talk us into getting on a bus together with them and when we said no he conveniently had his taxi friend nearby ready to help us. I thought he was a tourist like us!
If we went with him my guess is that we'd be stopping at multiple gift shops the whole way there.
We wanted to walk in a different direction then what he suggested so we we got off the other side of the station walked to the end and called an Uber.
In hindsight, we should've just booked an Uber from our hotel. Dealing with the hawkers at Giza station and finding a safe place to get picked up by Uber there was kinda annoying. Our Uber from Giza station costed 84EGP and I'm sure it wouldn't have been much more if we just got picked up from our Hostel.
Special note about taking UBER:
Cars in Egypt use Arabic numbers for their license plates! But the UBER app shows normal Roman Numerals so you will need some kind of cheat sheet to help you find the right car
My first experience at the pyramids was using a public bathroom. There's a guy sitting infront of the toilet who you have to pay. I'm not even sure if he's a cleaner or a random! But I paid 2EGP to use it.
We then get our tickets and we're in!
Get through the ticket gates and walk straight to great Pyramid and you're a marked tourist. We get a guy who greets us asks if we want a tour and when we tell him no and proceed to take photos we can see him standing there waiting for us. He shouts arabic at other Hawkers saying we belong to him and stalks us continually upselling himself until we reach what must be another hawkers territory as he gives the other guy a look of approval saying they're yours to try now lol.
Tired of the hawkers we wanted to get away from the Pyramids so we started walking to the Sphinx. This was a good idea although there's no real escape from these guys lol.
Walking back to the pyramids you walk towards the middle sized one (the one with the pretty capstone) so there's some good opportunities for photos here.
We stopped here to eat our snacks and then made our way into the pyramid.
Going inside King Khafre's Pyramid
Entry to the cap-stone pyramid (King Khafre) costs an extra 100EGP. it's a narrow corridor to the end and there's an Egyptian guard who pinches your elbow for Baksheesh (photography money). We didn't want to pay the guard so we skipped taking photos in the main chamber.
We then walked back to the Great Pyramid to go inside
When we get back to the entrance of the Great Pyramid there's plenty of tourists!
Going inside the great Pyramid
When you go inside the great pyramid the security guard confiscates your camera. He tools Lisa's GoPro and we were a little worried he wouldn't be there when we returned...
Once you get through the narrow steep corridor there's a really steep but high ceiling gallery.
Get to the end, duck one last time and we're in the main chamber
It's very hot inside and there's plenty of people but we got one quick shot of us and the box.
Then back out the tiny corridor.
In total we were at the Pyramids from 11am to 3pm. Decided to Uber all the way back to Downtown Cairo (just 106EGP) where we went straight for dinner at a roast Pigeon restaurant.
Make sure you check out our post on all the food we ate in Egypt here!
Thanks for reading!