The Pyramids of Giza
A wonder of the world and about as famous as it gets. A must for anyone visiting Egypt and, whilst the setting on the outskirts of Cairo may not be a magical as you’d expect, this only partially takes the shine off seeing a true mountain of human achievement
I visited all the way back in 2009, so won’t go into much detail, but I’ve listed my main tips below for how to have the best experience
#1 Just gawping at the main pyramids. Arguably the most famous structures in the world. And continuing to gawp . . .
#2 Taking a horse or camel ride to get a bit further away from fellow tourists and into the desert
#3 The famous Phinx - and its lack of nose!
#4 Wandering out a bit further into the desert and to the plateau surrounding the Pyramids to check out some of the less busy spots
- Take one of the camel or horse rides – not only because its kinda fun, but also because there’s quite a bit of walking to do between the viewing areas. Especially if you’re heading to the cliff beyond the Pyramid of Menkaure (smallest of the 3 main pyramids) where there are the best views of the whole site
- Walk slightly away from the main attractions – most people head straight for the 3 main Pyramids and the Sphinx. Definitely check these out, but make sure you also take time to walk around the whole desert plateau surrounding the Pyramids. The crowds drop off dramatically and there are heaps of ruins and temples to check out
- Lower the expectations a little – the Pyramids are amazing to stand and gawp at, but the surroundings on the edge of Cairo can be a little underwhelming setting. Doesn’t quite meet that Ancient vibe you may be looking for!
- Learn a little bit about the history of the Pyramids, Pharaohs and Ancient Egypt before you visit – as with many such sights, they are of course very impressive on their own, but having the context adds so much to the overall experience. You’re most likely staying in Cairo rather than Giza, so make sure to visit the Egyptian Museum before you see the Pyramids
- Head into the insides of the Great Pyramid of Khufu – we didn’t and regretted it
- Be prepared for the touts and scams – its Egypt, so they come with it. Take a deep breath, be polite – they’ll leave you alone eventually
- Visiting in January was really pleasant temperature – I’d imagine the summer heat would be energy sapping
The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences
The other 7 Wonders of the World Experiences
Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"? That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others. That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score
This overall experience score is calculated by: take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10). Then convert into a score out of 100
Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique". Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides. So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique". But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience). So, both of these scores are standalone