To go on the spot
By taxi: This is the simple and convenient way, but it is a bit more expensive than the bus or the metro. It costs 60 to 80 Egyptian pounds to go from downtown to Giza. It is not huge either, it must be said.
By bus : It is the popular means of transportation par excellence, a good way to discover the city, its population and the local atmosphere while traveling at low prices. You have to take buses 355, 357 or 997 on Abdel Moneim Riad Square, behind the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. They pass every 30 minutes and take you to 400m from the entrance to Giza at the terminus. You can also take the bus 913 or 924, but they stop you at 5/10 minutes walk from the entrance of the site.
By subway : Take line 2 and get off at "Om-Elmasreen" station. On the other hand you will not be at the feet of the pyramids, but you can take one of the taxis waiting at the exit of the station and ask him to bring you to Giza, it will cost you only 15-20 Egyptian pounds, not to mention the metro ticket price.
The archaeological site of Giza offers a unique rate to enter the site. With this entrance, you can walk without problem at the foot of the pyramids, along the Sphinx, in the temples, etc. But if you want to enter the pyramids or visit the museum of the solar boat, you will have to pay extra.
- The following rates are from 2018
- They are in Egyptian Pounds (LE)
- There is a student fee
|Entry on the site||80 LE (3,88 Euros)|
|Entry into the pyramid of Khufu||200 LE (9,69 Euros)|
|Entry into the pyramid of Khafra||-|
|Entry into the pyramid of Menkaure||40 LE (1,94 Euros)|
|Entrance to the Solar Boat Museum||50 LE (2,42 Euros)|
Visiting times of Giza and Saqqara are very simple: From 8am to 4pm, every day. There are two exceptions to these schedules:
- During Ramadan the site closes at 15h
- During the summer, the sites close at 17h, except for the Giza necropolis, which still closes at 16h, even in the summer.
Do not ask for the closing time during Ramadan in summer ... We do not know!
Move on the board
The site of Giza is very big, but it can be visited on foot without problem. Plan good walking shoes anyway ... You have to know that taxis can get in and move from one point to another, but you have to keep it all day, which is possible if you go agreement with the driver (prices / duration of the service Be firm and practical, otherwise you could have bad surprises at the end of the day)
To see in Giza
There are many things to see in Giza, but the most important are of course the pyramids of Khufu, Khafra and Menkaure, the Great Sphinx and the Sphinx Temple.
Pyramid of Khufu
It is the highest pyramid of all Egyptian antiquity (146m at the origin, 138m nowadays). Imagine that you can visit it freely. On the other hand, there is not much to see inside, do not expect to be blown away by the sets. In fact, during the Fourth Dynasty, the dynasty of the construction of this necropolis, the pyramids were never decorated internally.
You will first take a corridor dug into the pyramid and arrive at the gutter leading to the actual entrance, now clogged. This gut is actually a real gallery that slowly climbs to the "grand gallery", a marvel of ancient Egyptian architecture. From the top of this gallery you will access the king's room containing the sarcophagus - empty, of course - via a small antechamber. The visit is striking, but it also gives an impression of claustrophobia. The gallery of entrance is narrow and especially low, it is necessary to enter to curve, and to be able of remainder along the whole length of the gallery. It is no problem, but you will not be able to turn around easily, so be sure of your ability to reach the end of the visit before entering. Claustrophobe abstain.
Learn more about the pyramid of Khufu.
Solar Boat Museum
The solar boat museum is a modern building built of concrete that does not look like the pyramid it borders. Fortunately, because the proximity of the two buildings is such that an architectural horror would have been the worst idea for the tourist site. If some decries the building, it must be said that it fits well in the local landscape. And if it was built here, it is because it is the approximate location of the pit in which was found the solar boat of Khufu, in 1947.
This boat is composed of 1224 pieces, it was found disassembled at the bottom of a hermetically closed pit. Real floating bark, it is made of cedar planks assembled by the simple rope, the sealing being made by inflating the wood in contact with the water, each board being tight to the others because they are all held by the ropes which are tighten, too. Awesome, but it works.
By the way, the museum is very simple, it is just made up of the barque kept in the air and explanatory panels. His visit is really worth it, especially since it is not long and you will spend a cool time. Beware, high traffic entries are limited.
Learn more about the solar boat of Khufu.
Pyramid of Khafra
The pyramid of Khafra is much less popular than that of Khufu, it is much less crowded. This is the second pyramid by size (143m originally, 136m nowadays). If you look at them from a distance you will surely have the impression that Khufu' is smaller. It is an optical illusion, because that of Khafra is on a small rocky nipple.
Visiting the pyramid of Khafra is simpler; we enter a long and straight corridor, descending. After a while we enter the burial chamber, which is buried. On the side there is the royal sarcophagus embedded in the ground. It is simple, without registration or decoration. That's about all there is to see in the pyramid of Khafra, it is a simple pyramid but less interesting than that of Khufu. On the other hand, what is particularly interesting is the visit of the temple of Khafra, the best preserved funerary temple of all the necropolis and which shows a impressive architecture.
Learn more about the pyramid of Khafra.
Pyramid of Menkaure
The Menkaure pyramid is historically the newest of the three. It is scarred by a large breakthrough on the north side, the result of excavations made during the weather to find the entrance.
You can freely enter this pyramid, as for others. After the entrance we come to a long corridor that leads down to an antechamber decorated with false doors. Another corridor continues towards a royal chamber, doubled by a second royal chamber. It is in this second room that the sarcophagus is. Unlike his father's and his grandfather's, this one is richly decorated with geometric decorations reminiscent of the ramparts rampart that surrounded the funerary complex of Menkaure.
Learn more about the pyramid of Menkaure.
The Sphinx and its temple
The Sphinx is a monumental statue of a lion with a human head. There is no visit as such, it is only a statue that can be observed at will from every angle, from the ground to the top of the cliff in which it was carved. Between the legs of the Sphinx is a stele telling how Tuthmosis IV, during the eighteenth dynasty, had a dream asking him to remove the Sphinx.
In the course of its history, the Sphinx was silted and sanded several times. Even today it is under constant surveillance because the winds lift the sand of the Giza plateau and accumulate at its feet. In front of the Sphinx there is a temple called the Temple of the Sphinx, which is nothing but a solar temple.
It should be known that each pyramid is only the central element of a very complex funerary complex. That of Khufu consists of an access road, a high temple and a low, called "of the valley", the pyramid, but also two cemeteries containing the tombs of personalities who surrounded the pharaoh during his lifetime. The larger the tomb, the closer it is to the pyramid, the closer the bond between the deceased and the pharaoh was. But near the pyramid of Khufu you will see, besides the 3 pyramids called "queens" a series of mastabas that can be visited, although their interiors are simple.
Sound and light
The "sound and light" is a show that dates from 1961, is to say if he is old. It costs between 125 and 150 Egyptian pounds, depending on the location chosen. Prefer the first ranks, we better see the show. It starts every day at 19h (in English) and there is a second in French at 20h, but only Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. In summer, it is shifted by half an hour (19:20 and 20:20). Be careful, the Giza plateau is cold at night, especially in winter. So it can be a little cold, plan what you cover. If you have forgotten, do not panic, we can rent you blankets for the show time.
This show is a projection of lights on the monuments, all accompanied by an impressive soundtrack that supports an explanatory text. This text is by André Malraux.
Well, and for the record, know that this sound and light is played in a movie that was known in its time a certain popularity, it's a James Bond: "The spy who loved me".