Welcome to my guide on the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. My name is Berbatov and I am from a city in the eastern part of Colombia called Bucaramanga. Since I was a kid, I have dreamed of visiting other countries, meeting new people and discovering the amazing cultures of the world.
This probably stems from my dad who used to tell me stories about his travels during his twenties. He studied in the Soviet Union on a scholarship (he was excellent at maths). Because of this I grew up with stories about Europe, adventures in Russian cities and other types of intriguing tales.
I learnt Russian as a youngster and that triggered even more passion for getting to know different cultures. After that came French which I studied for five years. English is a language that I studied during my whole time at school. Back then, I had a few teachers from Ireland and I found that fascinating. My passion for travel just kept growing and here I am.
A full-time traveller nowadays is who I am. Regarding photography, I have always had an interest in visual communication. I studied Communication Design and also Industrial Engineering (but that is a different story). I started to focus my studies on art and mass media. So that’s me.
One Month Journey to Egypt
One destination that was always on my bucket list growing up was Egypt. As a kid I used to dream of being an archeologist just like Indiana Jones. Ancient cultures have always fascinated me like Egypt, Greece, Mesopotamia, the Mayans, etc. History is full of incredible stories.
Moreover, I used to play with lego toys – some of which were based on ancient Egypt. These were my favourite toys as a kid. So travelling to Egypt was basically a dream come true for me. In total, I stayed for one month. I started in Cairo and went down to Luxor, then to Aswan and finally spent a few days chilling by the Black Sea. What a journey it was!
Experiencing the Chaotic Cairo
I spent a total of four days in Cairo. It was indeed very busy and chaotic yet I loved the city. There is movement, noise and action everywhere. What I liked most was the Pyramids of Giza. I know these are not technically in Cairo (they are located in Giza) but they really take the spotlight in the area.
Especially the sunsets at the Pyramids. I was sleeping in Giza at a place just in front of the Pyramids and these were some of the best sunsets I have ever seen in my life. Seeing the Pyramids and the Sphinx from my balcony at night was truly something special. It was such a priceless experience!
Staying at Panorama Pyramids Inn & Guardian Guest House
Although the hotels in Cairo look nice, I’m glad I stayed so close to the Pyramids. It gave me a chance to speak with the owners and get more real interactions with locals. I recommend both of these places.
First Impressions of the Pyramids of Giza: One Good and One Bad
I had two first impressions of the Pyramids of Giza. One good and one bad. The good one was that the Pyramids blew my mind. As soon as you enter, you see the Sphinx and it’s just awesome. It was more impressive in real life than in the photos you see. I was speechless. It’s hard to describe the feeling but you are looking at thousands of years of history.
The second impression was not that good. I was a bit disappointed with some of the details. Sadly, there was a lot of garbage around and the camels you see in photos on social media are all chained to rocks. The camels didn’t look very well taken care of. It was a sad sight and so I tried not to go near the camels. I don’t like to support this type of tourism.
But like all of Egypt, and many countries around the world, you take the good with the bad and appreciate the destination for what it is. A bitter sweet symphony. The Pyramids still absolutely blew my mind and I 100% recommend everyone visit them and discover more of Egypt as a country.
Favourite Place in the Pyramids of Giza: A Small Hill with a View
The area surrounding the Pyramids is large. Mostly dunes which is amazing. It’s like a sand oasis frozen in time. My favourite part was a little hill where you can see all three pyramids – away from tourists where you can admire the greatness of this place. There are several hills in the area.
It was special because I was taken there by a local boy who just got his first camel from his dad. He really loved his camel and it looked different from the others I had seen. The camel didn’t have a chain but rather a little rope to guide it. The boy told me that if I practiced my English with him that he would take me to the hill. It was an amazing little experience.
We stayed at the hill staring at the Pyramids for some time while he told me about his life in Cairo. I told him about Colombia in return. At the end, I gave the boy some money to help him (and his camel). This was one of my best memories not only of the Pyramids but of my entire Egypt trip.
Attractions of the Pyramids of Giza
Despite the area being not very small, the attractions are limited. I would recommend entering one of the pyramids (the one you choose, they are all pretty similar) and just allow yourself to take your time inside the place.
Some people enter the complex, go inside a pyramid, take a picture, go to the Sphinx and then leave. I preferred to take my time and connect with the monuments and spend time there enjoying the views. If you can get yourself a camel that is not mistreated then this makes for a nice walk.
And, if you decide to stay in one of the hotels that I mentioned, make sure you take your time to watch the sunset every night from the balcony. You can also have a meal while looking out at the Pyramids at night. It’s totally up to you how you want to experience this wonder of the world.
Need to Know Before you Go
- Learn some ancient Egypt history before you go
- The Pyramids of Giza are far away from the entrance and I would not advise you to go walking due to the heat and the effort. People can take you in a car without much trouble. Your guide will tell you that as well.
- The Sphinx is near the entrance. Most people visit it when they leave from a viewpoint full of people. Be prepared for lots of tourists here.
- If someone approaches you, they will try to engage you in a conversation to get some tips by telling you information they consider “useful”. This is normal in Egypt. If you don’t want the tips (it can get tiresome) just say “La Shukran” which means “No, thank you”. It’s one of the most useful words you can learn in the country. Keep your cool and repeat it with a smile.
- Take some cash with you. In general, you should always do this in Egypt. This is just in case you need to give the driver who took you from the entrance to the Pyramids some cash. Or it could be like my story of the boy who took me to a little hill and you want to give him a genuine tip.
- If you want some nice photos, try going early in the morning at around 9am when the place is not packed yet with tourists.
- Go with some spare time and try to get to one of those nearby hills, away from the hassle. Lastly, just take your time. The Pyramids of Giza should be enjoyed and not rushed. Appreciate the moments when there are little to no tourists around. You will love it!