Pyramids of Giza

Visiting the pyramids of Giza is a highlight of any trip to Egypt. On our first full day in Cairo, we booked a full day tour of the pyramids of Giza and a few other stops like Memphis, the step pyramid in Saqqara, and the pyramids of Dashur. Here’s what you need to know about visiting the pyramids of Giza from Cairo.

Booking a Day Tour to the Pyramids of Giza with Emo Tours

During our time in Cairo, we booked three separate day tours, a Nile cruise, and airport transfers through Emo Tours. All tours were with a private tour guide and included hotel pick-up and drop-off. We had a great experience with this company. The best part of booking through Emo Tours was that we had the same driver and tour guide for the three separate tours in Cairo. The Giza full-day private tour with an add-on to go inside the Great Pyramid of Cheops cost us $169 for two people. This price also included lunch and snacks.

Giza Necropolis

Giza Pyramids & the Sphinx

Our first stop was the Giza Pyramids.

Great Pyramid of Giza

This complex includes the Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Cheops), and two smaller pyramids, the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure. We started at the Great Pyramid and got an up close look at the outside.

Up close look at Great Pyramid of Giza

When booking the tour, we decided to pay extra to go inside the pyramid. While it’s a bit tight inside, I definitely think it’s worth going inside for the experience.

Inside the Great Pyramid of Giza

Next, we headed to the Sphinx which is located in the same complex.

The Sphinx

Our tour guide convinced us to take some Sphinx kissing shots.

Kissing the Sphinx

After the Sphinx, we had a quick tour of the Solar Boat Museum. The museum isn’t a must-do in my opinion, but it’s worth visiting if your tour guide offers it.

Our last stop in Giza was a panoramic view of the three pyramids. Our guide was adamant about taking jumping pictures here. Not something I’d normally try, but it came out pretty good!

Pyramids panoramic view

Bent and Red Pyramids in Dashur

After Giza, we drove to Dashur, home of the Bent and Red Pyramids. This is a relatively quick stop if you just want to take pictures from afar.

Bent Pyramid

We decided to go inside the Bent Pyramid. This is much less popular than the Great Pyramid of Giza so we were the only two inside. I felt like I was in The Mummy! At the top, there were a ton of bats. After noticing just how many there were, we quickly headed outside. Be warned, climbing this pyramid is much more physically demanding than the Pyramid of Cheops!

Bats inside the Bent Pyramid


The next stop was the city of Memphis. Memphis was the ancient capital of Egypt and is home to the statue of Ramses II.

Statue of Ramses II

There are some other artifacts to looks at in Memphis as part of an open-air museum.


Step Pyramid in Saqqara  

Our last stop of the day was the Step Pyramid in Saqqara.

Step Pyramid in Saqqara

In addition to the pyramid, Saqqara is also necropolis.


Additional Stops

During our tour, we made a few additional touristy stops. We went to a perfume shop where we were introduced to some of the local fragrances. This was obviously a tourist stop and we felt obligated to buy something or leave a tip. We also stopped at the Egypt Papyrus Museum. This was a cool stop because they provided a demo and were very clear about not accepting tips and did not pressure us to buy anything. We also stopped for lunch which was included in the price of the tour. This lunch ended up being one of our favorites of the whole trip!

Lunch in Giza

Final Thoughts

While the pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx are certainly the highlight of this itinerary, I think it’s worth booking the full-day tour with the additional stops. We enjoyed our climb through the Bent Pyramid and learning more about the ruins in the area surrounding Giza. It’s possible to visit Giza on your own, but having a tour guide provides much needed historical context. If you choose to visit Dashur, Saqqara, and Memphis, booking a tour is a must.

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