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The city / district of Giza is important as a secondary - and increasingly popular - option for travellers for food, accommodation and entertainment beyond central Cairo. Most of these services are concentrated along the local transport artery, the Pyramids Road.
The desert plateau of Giza, adjacent to the Pyramids, will eventually form the site of the Grand Museum of Egypt [http://www.gem.gov.eg/] (the competition-winning design conceived by an Irish architectural team led by Shih-Fu Peng), the long-awaited primary replacement for the long-standing Egyptian Museum in [[Cairo/Midan Tahrir|Midan Tahrir]]. Completion has been projected for
Metro Line 2 now runs from Cairo into Giza, although it doesn't go all the way to the Pyramids. Get off at Giza station (not the terminus!). The pyramids are 8 km, 15-20 min trip due southwest on the long Al-Haram avenue that the train crosses over just before stopping at the station. That's effectively a 'right turn' from the line you've just been taking. Any number of minibuses and buses go to the site (known as 'al-haram' in Arabic'); they include the green public 900 and 997 buses.
The Pyramids may be nearer than you think, so it's possible to take a
Older black & white taxis - meters are not used, so don't forget to [[haggle]]. Taxi drivers will nearly always want to take you to see their "brother's" perfume shop, or their "father's" carpet warehouse on the way - if you don't want to waste time doing this, and being put on the spot to make a purchase - just make it very clear that you only want to see the antiquities.
Even cheaper and more interesting is taking the ordinary buses 900 or 997, costing 50 piastres, from the big central bus station under the overpasses, close to the museum. There are three lanes, and they leave from one closest to the rundown controllers' booth (as of late July 2010). Be careful when about getting down, most people will be honest and help you, but you may encounter scammers who take you to their camels instead of to the pyramids. For 997, the correct spot is along a long avenue, after you're spotted the Pyramids and the bus has done a U-turn and then turned left — get off when you a see a blue sign for the Light and Sound show.
All the worthwhile attractions within the Giza area are concentrated on the '''Giza Plateau''' at the end of Pyramids Road. Some people are shocked to travel down a street in Giza and see the tip of a Pyramid rise up over the golden arches of a McDonalds with a sign in Arabic - your idea of pyramids rising up out of an empty desert might not match the reality.
There are two ticket offices: the first is near the main entrace, the second - near Sphinx, in the eastern part of the Plateau. If you use the second one in the morning you will avoid crowds of tourists and will have a possibility to explore the Sphinx area all alone in silence. Entry to the site is LE
*'''Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops)''' - the last surviving representative of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, originally 146 m (479 ft) high but now slightly reduced to a still awe-inspiring 137 m (449 ft). Over 2 million blocks of stone were used to construct this edifice, all through manual labour.
*'''Sphinx''' and the '''Temple of the Sphinx''' - the colossal, recumbent human-headed lion was conceived of by the ancient Egyptians as the sun god Re-Horakhty - "Horus of the horizon". The Egyptians call it ''Abu el-Hol'', the "Father of Terror", and even the Greek name Sphinx is the less than pleasant "Strangler". 45 meters long, 22 meters wide, and carved from a single giant block of sandstone, the Sphinx is considerably smaller than the Pyramids around it. The missing nose is blamed on target practice by bored troops, commonly blamed variously on British soldiers in World War I or Napoleon's troops in 1798, but 18th-century drawings showing the nose already missing, pointing the finger towards the occupying Turks.
*Various '''Queens' Pyramids''' and '''Nobles' Tombs''', located in regimented cemeteries surrounding the royal pyramids. Especially the Tomb of Seshemnufer IV which you can explore from the inside, where you can descend to the sarcophagus and get an idea, how it looks
Not all the Pyramids are equally accessible for interior exploration, the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities closing them to the public at least one at a time for conservation and renovation measures.
Climbing the Pyramids, although once a popular tourist activity, is both now officially forbidden and extremely dangerous - several tourists have met an untimely death attempting to. Some Pyramid guards have been known to turn a blind eye in return for baksheesh in less frequented areas, but this practice has a very negative impact on the pyramids and is strongly discouraged.
It's wise to arrive at the Pyramids at the moment they open, as tour bus activity and (in the summer) the heat quickly make the attractions overrun and difficult to fully enjoy.
Do not give up your ticket to anyone outside of the gate checkpoints. You will need to show it to enter through the metal detectors at the entrance to the Pyramids area, Sphinx area, and to enter the Pyramid if you choose to pay for that ticket. There are many folks who will walk up and claim (true or false?) to work for the government and ask to see the ticket/grab it, then take it and try to start a tour for you. Don't think that just because they are doing this in front of the police they are legit. They want to explain things at a fast pace, and then demand a tip. Do not give up your ticket and do not be afraid to stand up for yourself and refuse tip. If you want a tour, better ones can be booked in advance and will offer more accurate details of what you are seeing. (A favorite place for them to lurk is beside the tombs outside the Great Pyramid.)
'''Before you get on the back of a camel or horse''' have a look around how they treat their animals. You might change your mind. If you anyway decide to take the offer of one of the horsemen or camel guys, make sure you discuss the price and where you go first. Ask to confirm it covers two people/two horses. Negotiate the price you want. At the end of the trip, when you get back to where you had agreed, get off the horse/camel, hand the man the agreed money and walk away. They will try to come up with all sorts of scams to get more money out of you. If you are happy and wish to give a tip, do it because you choose. Don't feel pressured into giving extra. Just walk away. They won't follow you.
*'''Camel Rides'''. Avoid succumbing to the temptation of taking a camel ride around the Pyramids, if you can, the practice is noisy, smelly and overrated. Basically, there are many better places in Egypt to take a camel ride, if you must. Things are a little better run than they used to be, and the practice of taking tourists out into the desert and refusing to return unless "tipped" is rather rare now.
*See the '''sunrise''', the first sun beams colouring the Pyramids from the terrace on the third floor of a cafe or from the roof terrace of the hostel situated near the second western entrance and ticket-office.
*<do name="FB Stables" alt="" address="Gamal Abdul Nasser St, Sphinx" directions="Turn left after the sphinx KFC, then right in Gamal Abdul Nasser Street. FB is the last stables on the left" phone="(+20)
great horses - no beating or slapping at FB stables and besides an amazing trip the shisha and Karim's amazing support it was a place to safely say yes without gettin ripped off afterwards!!!!! FB's Abu Sir second stables are very relaxing too!
*'''Pyramids Sound and Light Show''' (''Son-et-Lumière'') [http://www.soundandlight.com.eg/Default.aspx], admission: foreign languages shows LE
*<buy name="Al Amir Perfume Palace" alt="" address="9 Abu el Houl St." directions="" phone="+202 385 4963" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">An overwhelming smell will hit you as soon as you walk inside, if you can stand the smell for more than a few minute you can find some great deals on perfume.</buy>
*<buy name="Legends and Legacies" alt="" address="20 Abuu Hazim St." directions="Off of Pyramid Road" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">
*<buy name="Beymen" alt="" address="FourSeasons Nile Plaza" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Chic Designer Shopping including brands such channel,prada,gucci,christian dior,tods and many others</buy>
*<buy name="City Stars" alt="" address="Nasr City" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Largest Shopping Mall in Egypt includes many international brands such as massimo dutti , zara , hugo boss, bcbg , polo, nike, adidas, joop,calvin klein, levis,ect</buy>
A number of Western fast food options exist immediately opposite the main ticket gates to the Pyramid enclosure, Pizza Hut and KFC included, so you can munch on a Tower burger and sip on a coke in air-conditioned comfort whilst gazing on the 4,000+ year-old Sphinx across the road! Many may prefer a more authentic experience, that said - the novelty of the situation could be interesting.
*<eat name="Fish Market" alt="" address="26 Shar'a al-Nil" directions="Along the Nile, in the same 'boat' as TGI Fridays" phone="+20 2 570 9694" url="" hours="" price="Moderate to High" lat="" long="">This eatery is located on the Nile, in a docked ship, sharing space with a TGI Friday's below. Popular with locals and tourist visitors, but the food is mediocre, overpriced, and service is haphazard.</eat>
* <sleep name="Mena House Oberoi" alt="" address="Pyramids Rd." directions="" phone="+20 2 383 3222" url="http://www.
The Giza Pyramids being the main tourist attraction in Egypt,
Tips to avoid harassment:
* If on your own, headphones make the incessant "Hello where are you from my friend" conversation starters easier to ignore, smiling and pointing at the headphones seems to do the trick.* Avoid eye contact, starting
Additional useful safety tips:
[[de:Gīza (Memphitische Nekropole)]]