11 Things You Should know before you visit the Pyramids in 2020

4th Nov 2019
Photo of 11 Things You Should know before you visit the Pyramids in 2020 1/13 by That NomadCouple
Turns out, even the gloomiest weather can't dim the beauty of these PYRAMIDS!

Both Sid and I always wanted to have a tryst with the pyramids ever since we read about them in books, as children. After all, who doesn't like traveling back in time and visiting the only wonder from the ancient world that still exists up to this day!

Photo of 11 Things You Should know before you visit the Pyramids in 2020 2/13 by That NomadCouple
Happy and how!

I really don't think, I can ever explain the extent of our love for this place.

Egypt had been on our bucket lists for the longest time, and the day we booked our tickets, was the red-letter day our entire lives. We were constantly thinking about these giants. About how they got there. About concealed Egyptian History. About the time and effort that went into building these solid massive pyramids. It all seemed like a sweet dream that we never wanted to wake up from!

I remember vividly sticking my head out of our taxi window and constantly vexing our kind driver, asking him, ''how far are we from the pyramids?'', as we headed to Giza from Cairo city! An hour later, I saw something. Yup, it was the tip of one of the pyramids! It felt like I had almost climbed the Everest of my dreams! OHMYGOODNESS! I can't even express the extent of adrenaline and the beautiful surge of emotions that rushed through me. Look, Sid, I just spotted a pyramid, I yawped gleefully! This was the happiest morning of many happy days in this gem of a country!

Photo of 11 Things You Should know before you visit the Pyramids in 2020 3/13 by That NomadCouple
Someone take me back! Please?
Photo of 11 Things You Should know before you visit the Pyramids in 2020 4/13 by That NomadCouple
Loved this photo for some reason! Do you like it as much as I do?

Did the Pyramids Disappoint Us?

NO. A big no! Visiting the Pyramids was worth it. Oh my God, SO worth it! Having said that, I totally know the feeling of visiting an overhyped place or a monument after seeing the most phenomenal pictures on Instagram, just to realize how ridiculously overcrowded it can get, thereby making the entire experience nasty. No wonder why the travel community is all for Offbeat Travel and you see them raising their brows in disdain when someone talks about Conventional Travel.

But, lets back up a minute here! I can assure you on one thing and trust me it's coming straight from my heart- Please Please Please do yourselves a favor and go see the pyramids in this lifetime, before you die, for all the hype is real. It's bloody real! My eyes thank me to date and given a chance, I would go there again in a heartbeat. No wonder why of all the countries we traveled this year, Egypt stood out for us!

Photo of 11 Things You Should know before you visit the Pyramids in 2020 5/13 by That NomadCouple
Easily the most stunning view we could ever dream of! Someone pinch me!

What Are the Best Months to Visit the Pyramids?

It's no surprise that the temperature in Egypt can shoot up considering how the entire country is covered with a wide band of the desert. So, we would advise you to plan your travel during winter months that fall between November and January. Summers months falling between June and August can get unbearably hot and humid, especially if you are planning to spend your day, out in the pyramids where there's absolutely no shade from the sun slapping your bum constantly.

We traveled to Egypt last month in November, and we thought the weather was extremely pleasant during the mornings and at night, but the afternoons were a bit nasty. I can't even think of the soaring temperature and sun-baked summers, so should you!

Photo of 11 Things You Should know before you visit the Pyramids in 2020 6/13 by That NomadCouple
My two favorites ;)

What Is the Best Time of the Day to Visit the Pyramids?

Ok, so the pyramids open at 8 in the morning and shut at 4 in the evening. Whaaaa? Yes, you read that right! All our sunrise and sunset missions were abandoned at that very moment. But, you gotta do what you gotta do, right? We decided to reach the gates at 8 am sharp, but luckily we didn't have to wake up early for that as we stayed at a beautiful homestay by the name ''Atlantis Pyramids Inn'', located directly across from the Pyramids of Giza, overlooking all the Pyramids and Sphinx. This place is a jackpot and I will be talking more about it later under a separate heading, coz it deserves all the attention!

Coming back to the story, so we reached the entry gates and bought the tickets. We checked in our backpack at the security counter and headed out of the security room. Move fast babe, I exclaimed! Finally, the day had arrived when I could see these babies with my own eyes, feel them around me. I couldn't contain my excitement. But there was a bummer! Due to the misty weather, we couldn't really see the pyramids clearly. That was when we understood the timing concept. This also happens to be a con of visiting the pyramids in winters, but this isn't a big deal as this misty situation gets better as the clock ticks by and also considering how amazing the weather is to just walk around. Plus, all the tour buses arrive by 10. So, you get ample time to explore and soak in the mystical energy and quietude that these pyramids emanate! Also, the entire area is so freaking humungous and the pyramids are SO huge that somehow the entire place never feels crowded (also why I loved the entire experience) and you can always find your picture-perfect spot!

So, to sum it all, be there by 8:30 am in winters and 8 am sharp in summers.

Photo of 11 Things You Should know before you visit the Pyramids in 2020 7/13 by That NomadCouple
Meet 'Charlie Brown'- the friendliest camel we have ever met!
Photo of 11 Things You Should know before you visit the Pyramids in 2020 8/13 by That NomadCouple
As I said, there's never a dull moment here!

How to Solve the ''BAKSHEESH'' Theorem?

Well, it's funny how you will be introduced to the term BAKSHEESH (tip) soon after you land here. Baksheesh is an inseparable part of their culture and it's quite inevitable. Like for us, it might be rude to get asked for money when we clearly don't intend to tip, but for them, it's considered downright rude to not give them any baksheesh when they expect it, which they will, all the time!

Now, there are two ways of asking for Baksheesh.

The FIRST one, where they will casually ask for baksheesh without any logical reasoning. Here's how-

They say hello- Baksheesh!

They show you the way- Baksheesh!

They help you with a picture- Baksheesh!

They suggest you funny poses with the Sphinx- Baksheesh!

Clean your room- Baksheesh!

Ask for fresh towels- Baksheesh!

And the list goes on and on!

BUT, there's absolutely nothing that a polite yet firm 'No, Thank You' can't do. We heard and read so much about how the tourists felt hassled because of constant nagging, but we not even once faced a circumstance where someone troubled us or kept asking for baksheesh. The idea is to not make eye contact and keep walking. You just have to ignore them if they insist even after a 'No, Thank You'!

We NEVER tipped anyone unless we saw some legit efforts being made, and the others got a 'No, Thank You' from us when they tried to act smart.

The SECOND one, where you will be expected to give baksheesh for the services you take.

For this, we would first advise you to fix the rates beforehand for any service or tour package you take. I know it goes without saying, but when you are in Egypt, confirm the final price twice, or maybe thrice. More the better!

Why, you ask?

So, as we were headed towards a point on the sand dunes, where all the 9 pyramids could be spotted (not the famous panorama viewpoint), we were stopped by someone who claimed to be a policeman. You are not allowed to go there on your own, you can only go there on a camel, he shrieked. Trust me, he wasn't making sense. The distance between that point and where we stood was not more than 100 meters. Moreover, we didn't see any signboards too. We could tell, that they were cooking this story up for everyone present there and we all had no choice other than listening to what he had to say. So, after some meaningless argument, we decided to take a camel cart ride. We agreed upon a price which was around 200 EGP after some haggling. After spending around half an hour there, taking in the most magical vistas, clicking some photos, we headed back to the point where he picked us. Now comes the important part! We were told we owed an extra 100EGP since he had to wait for half an hour (something we were not informed). My blood started to boil at this point. I wouldn't pay him 200 EGP for a distance as small as this, only to touch it and come back! We paid him 200 EGP at last and yes, we did not give him any baksheesh too!

So kids, ALWAYS fix the price in advance and stick to that, no matter what they say. To tip or not to tip, or even the generosity for that matter should purely depend upon the services you get.

TIP- Always keep small change in hand for tips.

Photo of 11 Things You Should know before you visit the Pyramids in 2020 9/13 by That NomadCouple
This is the spot I was talking about. It lets you take in the most magical vistas of all the pyramids with almost no one around!
Photo of 11 Things You Should know before you visit the Pyramids in 2020 10/13 by That NomadCouple
NEVER forgetting this moment!

Will the Touts Harass Me?

Trust me, 'harass' is a very strong word. Like I said earlier, we read so many articles on how touts tend to ruin the entire experience of tourists at the pyramids. We were a little scared too, I won't lie!

But hey, haven't you dealt with the touts before? Do these touts kill you or harm you, if you don't take the services they offer? Do they steal from you? Do they abuse or misbehave?

Well, there's only one answer to all the above questions, and that's 'NO'! They are human beings like you and me, trying to make a living.

I don't want to generalize, but coming from India, it did feel like a cakewalk, if nothing else.

But yes, they can be cunning and play smart at times. All you gotta do is, be vigilant and never really succumb to any pressure.

Some things I heard from fellow travelers were-

They will show you the way, that you never really asked for.

They will promise to take you to a secret point where you can spot the three major pyramids together, but never really take you there. Instead, they drop you at a point where you can only see the two of them.

But, I don't understand how that can ever turn against you. I will never pay someone or take anybody's services if they are trying to unnecessarily show me the directions, or if I'm not delivered as promised.

Having said that, if you are a solo traveler and you really don't want any hassles whatsoever, then consider hiring a private guide or doing a group tour. Touts will never bother you once if you are with a local guide!

'Hello, where are you from?', will be a usual conversation starter! If you are an Indian, then get used to hearing- Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Aishwariya Rai, Salman Khan. I guess, these 4 are everyone's favorite there. FYI, Egyptians LOVE Bollywood Movies.

No matter what happens, never let any of this trivial issue (if any) bitter this otherworldly experience for you. It's not every day you get to see the world's most incredible wonder with centuries-old history and culture!

Like I said before, there's no rocket science involved! A firm 'No, I'm Good' did wonders for us. It shall do the same for you too!

Photo of 11 Things You Should know before you visit the Pyramids in 2020 11/13 by That NomadCouple
See, they don't bite!
Photo of 11 Things You Should know before you visit the Pyramids in 2020 12/13 by That NomadCouple
Reading up on different countries and cultures is great, but the real answers come from someone who has experienced it first-hand!

Why Do Bloggers/Influencers/Photographers/Models need to be Careful?

So, Sid and I started taking photos as the mist started to clear away. As we were taking photos, we noticed a man staring at us. We moved to a different location to shoot the pyramids from a different angle sometime later, without paying any heed to him. This time instead of observing, a different man intervened and asked us for our phone and camera. 'I want to check your photos now, give me your phone', he said.... [Read More..]

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We hope you have a great time in Egypt! Leave us a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article or if you have any questions about planning a trip to Egypt. We will make sure we get back to you asap! :)