Egypt Guides

Family Trip to the Pyramids of Giza

Giza, the next-door neighbour of Cairo the capital city of Egypt, is home to the infamous Pyramids of Giza. The Giza plateau boasts a complex of pyramids, temples, solar boat pits and cemeteries that are 5,000 years old and counting.

Some facts about the Pyramids of Giza

The Great Pyramids of Giza were built by three generations of Pharaohs; Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure between 2550 and 2490 BC. The notorious Great Sphinx was built by Pharaoh Khafre. It took 30,000 workers around 20 years to build the Great Pyramid alone. They used approximately 2.3 million blocks of stone.

There are rumours that the pyramid builders were indentured slaves. However, there is plenty of archaeological evidence to suggest that the workers were paid and fed well. They even had perks like healthcare and entertainment.

Getting to the Giza Pyramids

Great Sphinx with the pyramids in the background
The Sphinx with its body of a lion and head of a man managed to survive every Egyptian dynasty to date

We arranged a private tour with Fadimar travel agency which I would recommend if you are a family with children. Our tour guide gave the kids some interesting fun facts as we explored the complex. She also fended off any nagging sellers in the area. We shuttled around in the van between the different points of interest which saved a lot of time and effort.

Another option would be to hire a car and driver or take a taxi and ask the driver to wait for you and shuttle you around. In this case you have to go through a security gate and have the car / taxi searched. You also need to pay a ticket for the vehicle (EGP 10 for a bus or EGP 5 for a van / car / taxi).

There are some wooden platforms to walk on but unfortunately most of the area is not accessible. You have to watch where you are walking to avoid stumbling on the uneven stone floors or stepping in some camel or horse dung.

When to visit the Giza Pyramids

Souvenirs at the Giza Pyramids
Make sure your bargaining skills are sharp if you decide to take home some souvenirs

The best time to visit the Pyramids of Giza is between October and May. Walking in an open desert in the summer is no fun at all. The ticket office is open every day from 8 am to 4 pm. Try to be there early in the morning to make the most out of the day before it gets too hot and busy.

Where to eat

Small plates of food typical in an Egyptian breakfast
I like to think the ancient Egyptians had a similar breakfast to start their day

We had a hearty Egyptian breakfast at a local rooftop restaurant called Cleopatra Bistro with a gorgeous view of the Giza Pyramids. The set menu included cheese, eggs, jam, molasses, “baladi” bread, “halawa”, “foul” and “feteer” and cost EGP 150 per person. There is a new restaurant on the Giza plateau called 9 Pyramids Lounge that I would love to try next time. But it needs to be booked weeks in advance because it is so popular right now.

What to wear

Girl looking at the Great Pyramids of Giza
Awestruck by the last of the seven wonders of the ancient world

Make sure you dress in comfortable and modest clothes especially since you will be out and about in the desert most of the time. This is especially important if you are planning on riding horses or camels. Wear plenty of sunscreen and take sunglasses and a hat or cap too.

What to do

Map of the Giza complex
Map of Giza Pyramids Complex by MesserWoland licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Our first stop after getting our tickets were the Khufu and Khafre pyramids. You can venture inside the pyramids if you are up for an adventure. You have to bow your head and move through a tunnel in a single file before reaching a burial chamber.

Our next stop was at a panoramic viewpoint of the three pyramids together. Our tour guide introduced us to some local guides. The kids were so excited to ride camels while the adults opted for horse-drawn carriages. We paid EGP 400 per person plus tips for the local guides who were so talented at taking cheesy photos of us.

Next, we rode to another viewpoint where we could see all nine pyramids together – the three pyramids of the pharaohs plus six smaller pyramids dedicated to their wives and children. Afterwards, we rode to yet another viewpoint where we could see the Great Sphinx up close with the pyramids in the background.

What to pack

Temples and cemeteries around the Pyramids of Giza
There was once a thriving community of builders, bakers, artisans and priests here
  • Cash – to buy tickets and pay for the rides and also any souvenirs or refreshments you want to get
  • Water bottles – there are no water fountains to refill them though. But there are stalls that sell bottled water and other refreshments
  • Snacks – to give you some energy after all that climbing, walking and riding
  • Disinfectant spray / wipes – to use in the bathroom facilities and after dealing with camels and horses

More activities near the Giza Pyramids

Sound and Light Show

There are daily Sound and Light shows at 7 pm and 8 pm and the narration is available in 10 languages. Tickets are $19 for adults and $11 for children.

The Grand Egyptian Museum

Located just 2 km from the Giza necropolis, the Grand Egyptian Museum will boast more than 100,000 ancient artefacts. It is scheduled to open mid-2021.

Pharaonic Village

This is an amazing experience for young and old alike. The minute you step foot on a boat and cruise through the mythological canal, you will be transported back in time to ancient Egypt. The Pharaonic Village is open every day from 9 am to 5 pm (7 pm in the summer). Admission fees are calculated based on the activities you want to do.

Want to see more of Greater Cairo?

Make sure you read this guide to visiting Cairo with your family. You can also arrange some day trips to nearby destinations such as Fayoum or Alexandria.

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mirofromcairo

My name is Miriam and I live in Cairo, Egypt with my husband, daughter and Labrador! I am passionate about reading and enjoy travelling and writing so much that I started my own family travel blog. My nickname at university was Miro hence the name for my blog - Miro from Cairo

6 thoughts on “Family Trip to the Pyramids of Giza

  1. Miriam, thank you. You are a star.
    What a beautiful great useful blog.
    Can’t wait to make this great visit in this ancient place.

  2. Looks amazing! I am so excited to find your blog! I have always wanted to go to Egypt, I even took an Egyptology class in University. I was nervous about taking our kiddo without some kind of tour. It seems quite safe though!

  3. I have yet to visit Egypt as I’m a solo traveler and feel nervous about visiting alone. But I’d really love to visit the pyramids. Wonder if it would be possible to visit independently without a guide?

  4. Thank you so much for sharing these tips! I’m hoping to visit Cairo soon (after Covid) and I’d love to see the pyramids, the history loos fascinating and it’s such a beautiful area. So I’ll definitely be using some of your tips for my visit, thank you!

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