The Giza Plateau
Back to Site List  
 
 

 


  

Giza is located west and south of modern Cairo, in the vast desert imagined by the ancient Egyptians to be the land of the dead. Guarded by the Great Sphinx, the plateau is dominated by the massive pyramids of Khufu (Gr. Cheops), Khafre (Gr. Chephren), and Menkaure (Gr. Mycerinus), all of whom ruled Egypt during the 4th Dynasty (c. 2500 BC). The royal pyramid complexes, which include temples, causeways, and satellite pyramids, are surrounded by tombs of the elite-members of the royal family, the nobility, and the priesthood. At the foot of the plateau, south of the Great Sphinx, lie the Cemetery and Town of the Pyramid Builders, where the men and women who constructed the royal and elite tombs on the main plateau lived, worked, and were buried.

Probably the most famous site in Egypt, Giza has fascinated the world for millennia. Although the archaeological and historical evidence proves without a doubt that the Great Pyramid of Khufu and its companions are royal tombs built during the Old Kingdom, alternative theorists continue to argue that they were built by aliens or people from the mythical land of Atlantis. The pyramids are indeed remarkable feats of engineering: the Great Pyramid is aligned to the cardinal directions to within 1 degree of arc. However, this was within the engineering capabilities of Egypt's early kings, and there is no need to create outlandish theories to explain its construction.

Giza remained important through the New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period, and on into the Late Period. Significant monuments from these later eras include a New Kingdom temple to the Sphinx and a Temple of Isis (an expansion of the mortuary chapel of one of the queens' pyramids next to the Great Pyramid).

HOURS OF OPERATION:
Open daily.
1 May - Ramadan: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
1 Ramadan - 30 April: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

TICKET COST:
General Admission: (Includes admission to the area and to the following monuments which are open to the public:
Valley Temple of Khafre
Pyramid of Hetepheres (G1a)
Pyramid of Meret-ites (G1b)
Pyramid of Henut-sen (G1c)
Tomb of Idu
Tomb of Qar
Tomb of Seshemnefer
Tomb of Sennedjem-Ib
Tomb of Pa-sen
Tomb of Ka-em-ankh
Tomb of Nen-sedjer-ka
Tickets for the pyramid of Khufu, the pyramid of Khafre, and the Sound and Light Show must be purchased separately.)
Egyptian: 2 LE (Students: 1 LE)
Foreign: 50 LE (Students: 25 LE)
 
Pyramid of Khufu: Egyptian: 20 LE (Students: 10 LE)
Foreign: 100 LE (Students: 50 LE)
*Note that the pyramid of Khufu is closed from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Only 150 tickets are sold in the morning and another 150 after 1 PM
 
Pyramid of Khafre: Egyptian: 2 LE (Students: 1 LE)
Foreign: 25 LE (Students: 15 LE)
 
Pyramid of Menkaure: Currently closed.
 
Student rates available to bearers of a valid student ID from an Egyptian university or an International Student ID Card (ISIC)

LOCATION:
Pyramids Road, Giza

DIRECTIONS:
BY BUS: Bus 355/357 runs from Heliopolis to the Pyramids via Midan al-Tahrir every 20 minutes.

BY METRO: The Giza station is on Pyramids Road, and a taxi or minibus will take you from there to the plateau.

BY TAXI: Ask for "el-ha-ram."

FACILITIES:
Restrooms are located in the Khufu Boat Museum and elsewhere throughout the site. A visitors' center is under construction, and is expected to be completed in (?). A bookstore in the Khufu Boat Museum offers souvenirs and guidebooks.

NO PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED INSIDE THE PYRAMIDS. Cameras must be left outside.

Wheelchairs can enter the site, but the monuments themselves are not accessible.

 

Overview of Giza

Overview of Giza (Kenneth Garrett)

 
Great Pyramid

Great Pyramid of Khufu (Kenneth Garrett)